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EMC Automates Its Smarts Server Manager
When something goes awry in the new virtualized data center, it's often difficult to determine where the problem lays -- with virtual servers, physical servers, storage, the network itself or application software.
EMC, which has spearheaded the virtualization movement through its VMware unit, is moving to solve the problem of finding and resolving the root cause of virtualized data center problems before they get out of hand. This week, the company announced its EMC Smarts Server Manager, which is aimed at automatically pinpointing problems.
"Typically, when one thing goes wrong, you needed to sort through false alarms," EMC's Bob Quillin said in an interview. "But now we've embedded intelligence into the system to automatically pinpoint the problem quickly. Before this, the network guys and the virtualization guys and the storage guys often were blaming each other."
Now Smarts Server Manager enables IT management to remove the complexity of managing the various mixed infrastructure environments -- and IT staffers can manage it all from one console, typically pinpointing a problem in seconds or minutes. Before the latest Smarts release, a problem could take hours -- even days -- to pinpoint and resolve, said Quillin, who is senior director of product planning at EMC.
The new product provides discovery of problems through automated discovery, root-cause analysis, and business-impact assessment of VMware ESX servers as well as of the virtual machines and applications.
Noting that complexity challenges in data centers become more acute as additional critical applications are being placed on top of virtualized IT environments, Quillin pointed out that EMC Smarts Server Manager not only is effective in current installations, but is easily scalable to accommodate future configuration additions. Moreover, the scalable feature is becoming more important during today's difficult economy. Said Quillin: "Staffs are being asked to manage more with the same [staff] numbers."
Specifically, the new software product extends EMC Smarts Root Cause Analysis and Codebook Correlation technology to the virtual server environment, thereby enabling users to identify problems across physical and virtual domains.
Smarts Server Manager can monitor Microsoft Cluster Services and Veritas Cluster Servers while also integrating with IBM, Dell, and Sun Microsystems hardware monitoring suites. Available this week, product pricing starts at $30,000 for existing EMC Smarts customers.
InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the challenges around virtualization management. Download the report here (registration required).
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