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EMC Stays Smart

BOSTON -- With the ship date of its midrange storage systems still up in the air, EMC emphasized software on the opening day of its EMC World conference here today.

In his keynote speech, EMC CEO Joe Tucci mentioned new Clariions were coming without giving details, and there was no formal announcement of the new midrange systems. (See EMC Hiccups, Waits for Clariion and EMC, NetApp Ready New Wares.) Instead, today's news involved two products in the Smarts management family, Storage Insight for Availability and Application Discovery Manager.

The main focus was on Storage Insight for Availability, which extends root cause analysis to Fibre Channel SANs. Smarts, which was acquired by EMC in late 2004, built its reputation by identifying root causes of performance degradation or failure in IP networks. EMC rolled out Smarts IP Availability Manager for NAS last month. (See EMC Gets Smarts and EMC Smartens Its NAS.)

EMC says Storage Insight for Availability answers questions for IT customers faced with problems in the storage network. "It tells you what's wrong, what's impacted, and what's the result of the impact," says Chris Gahagan, SVP of resource management for EMC software.

The idea is to determine the root cause of a problem, then show the impact of the failure on specific business units. That leads to quicker diagnosis and repair of Fibre Channel SAN devices and points to the impact from a business sense. "It's very difficult in IT to understand the business impact of a fault or failure," Gahagan asserts.

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