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7/14/2011
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EMC Gives Storage Management A Cloud Facelift

ProSphere updates storage management for the highly virtualized, cloud-based IT environment.

Today's storage resource management offerings won't cut it in the emerging highly virtualized, cloud-based IT environment, so storage leader EMC has created a new solution with a federated architecture that delivers an end-to-end view of all storage assets, single-pane management, and host-through-storage performance monitoring and analysis. ProSphere features agent-less discovery, 'Smart Groups' policy management, and tight integration with the latest EMC and VMware storage and virtualization technologies.

This is storage management for the cloud computing era, says EMC's Kevin Gray. Consisting of two modules, Core and Ionix Storage Configuration Advisor, ProSphere is fast and easy to install, with a virtual application deployable in under an hour. It will manage more than 1.2 million volumes, 36,000 SAN ports, and 18,000 hosts, he said, and should result in 75% less hardware.

Initially targeted at performance use cases, subsequent releases will focus on additional functionality and eventually ProSphere will replace EMC's Ionix Control Center.

General availability will be the end of July, but the product has been under development for years, and there are currently 20 beta users, said Gray. He said that Storage Configuration Advisor, which was released in 2009, was the company's first version of this tool.

EMC gathered a tremendous amount of experience working with Control Center customers and listening to what they wanted, but the underlying architecture/technology was adopted from the companies they acquired over the last several years, says Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

"Storage Configuration Advisor was the first product built using that new technology. A big difference is that EMC has re-architected its SRM software with the cloud in mind. By leveraging this new technology platform, ProSphere is agentless, can deploy as a virtual application in far less time and begin delivering value on day one. In fact EMC claims the installation can be done in less than 30 minutes and fewer than 10 steps."

While some of the competitive solutions from the likes of HP and IBM still require agents, Laliberte says most that still have them are actively working to eliminate them or make them less intrusive. "Performance is a big area of concern for organizations as well."

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

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