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EMC Adds High-End Management Solutions

EMC has taken a step toward automating storage processes in data centers with a set of product announcements today. But the release shows just how far EMC -- and other big storage vendors -- remain from offering any truly heterogeneous or off-the-shelf solutions.

Demand for more automated IT management is growing. (See BladeLogic Boasts Big Q3 and HP to Buy Opsware for $1.6B.) And as far as storage goes, it's early days, though some SRM vendors like Onaro are aiming to change that. But if you can pay for it, EMC has a growing list of high-end management offerings, from which it claims to be squeezing more meaningful data and a potentially more automated approach.

EMC's four new software products unveiled today include:

  • IT Process Centre. This is EMC's contribution to the IT "runbook automation" systems currently in vogue. (See VMware Dives Into Dunes.) Not an off-the-shelf product, it is instead a software framework designed to link trouble ticketing or service desk packages such as HP's Peregrine software or BMC's Remedy with EMC software like its ControlCenter storage equipment SRM system, Smarts, and Application Discovery Manager (ADM). ADM, you'll recall, is the package EMC acquired with its 2006 purchase of nLayers. When a request for storage comes into the service desk, for instance, IT Process Centre can notify ControlCenter to kick in with a provisioning tool.

    As far as storage information goes, IT Process Centre is limited by the capabilities of EMC's ControlCenter. So far, that package actually provisions and configures equipment only from EMC, HP, and HDS. So you'll only be able to activate routines that apply to gear from those vendors.

    IT Process Centre starts at $150,000 and is typically set up with a customized interface.

  • IT Compliance Analyzer (Application Edition). This package is designed to use ADM as a repository for tracking how applications and software support or violate specific internal or regulatory policies. Examples include checking that all Web servers have the latest operating system; that Oracle databases at multiple sites share the same data pool size; that connections use a secure protocol; or that data from specified hosts is or isn't cross-accessible.
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