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EMC promises common management platform

By , Network World
May 23, 2007 03:21 PM ET

Network World - EMC says that by year's end it will begin delivering a common platform for managing the company's myriad storage lines, an advance long desired by customers weary of juggling multiple interfaces.

“Over a year ago, we undertook a re-architecture of our resource management platforms to evolve our ControlCenter product line and our element managers themselves into a common platform,” said Mark Lewis, executive vice president and chief development officer at EMC, in an interview with Network World at the company's user conference this week. “This includes the reworking and building of a common platform framework we call CMP for Common Management Platform. All the products’ management – for Symmetrix, Clariion, Centera and Celerra -- will converge to a common user interface.”

Management morass
Managing multitiered EMC environments takes a variety of storage management packages.

Product Storage type Description
Celerra Automated Volume Management NAS Automates file-system provisioning and optimizes volume and file system configurations.
Celerra Manager NAS Configures, administers and monitors.
ControlCenter Family High-end SAN, NAS, direct-attached storage, Centera Storage resource management that simplifies and automates such tasks as reporting, planning and provisioning.
NaviSphere Management Suite Mid-range SAN Discovers, monitors, configures and reports on Clariion arrays.
Symmetrix Management Console High-end SAN Automates discovery, configuration, administration and replication management.
Symmetrix Manager High-end SAN Discovers, monitors and configures Symmetrix platforms.
Click to see: Management morass

EMC plans to deliver unified products later this year and next, said Lewis, who did not provide additional details about the forthcoming management platform. It is expected that the common management interface will be applied to existing software products over time.

At EMC World last week in Orlando, it took no effort to get the company and its customers talking about the problems of managing data that resides on a variety of EMC gear -- gear that was sold on the mantra of tiered storage, in which data is placed on appropriately priced media according to its business criticality and performance requirements.

As a result, users, who formerly may have owned only EMC Symmetrix or Clariion systems, have implemented a mixture of platforms – they have high-end Symmetrix DMX’s, mid-range Clariions, the company’s archiving and compliance Centera boxes and even its network attached storage Celerra system in their environments, each serving its purpose as highly accessible, secondary or archival storage. To discover, monitor, manage and configure these intertwined systems, however, they rely on separate storage management software, one for Symmetrix, a different set for Clariion and so on.

“All I can say is that it is about time EMC started pulling all of this together,” says Steven Olson, infrastructure manager for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in Nevada. “The last executive briefing I attended for EMC still showed the product sets as a whole lacked the tools necessary to manage a multitiered environment from EMC. Because of the tools they had at that time, moving data from Symmetrix to a Clariion and vice versa was no easier than moving data from a Symmetrix to Network Appliance file server.”

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