EMC Unveils Automated Resource Manager


EMC on Wednesday announced the arrival of new software that gives IT managers the ability to automate storage provisioning as well as configure storage capacity based on the service level an application requires.

The Hopkington, Mass.-based company is calling this software Automated Resource Manager and executives say it is a key member of the EMC ControlCenter family. About a year ago, EMC outlined storage management strategy--called AutoIS--in a quest to evolve its image as a proprietary hardware vendor into one as an open-standards software company.

ARM, the newest member in the software product line, supports EMC's high-end Symmetrix, midrange Clariion and Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks, said Chuck Hollis, vice president of marketing at EMC.

The product, which will be available in 60 days, automates the numerous manual steps needed when an IT administrator has to provision storage capacity to various devices and applications. Typically, when an IT manager has to provision more capacity, he is required to go through numerous manual steps that touch from the disk drive all the way up to the application. Analysts describe this as a labor-intensive task.

"This is what is called in the industry 'heavy lifting,'" Hollis said.

With ARM, policies can be pre-set for the type of storage, RAID levels, replication parameters or number of paths between the server and storage. For instance, applications that deal with On-Line Transaction Processing (OLTP), ERP or disaster recovery may need higher levels of storage performance and availability.

"Not all storage is created equal," Hollis said. "You want to put them in buckets based on what needs to be done."

As part of today's announcement, EMC has enhanced several of its other software products--including StorageScope, which does some Storage Resource Management (SRM) functions. It generates reports that details who is using what storage. The product now supports Hitachi's Thunder and Lightening disk arrays, IBM's Shark subsystems, and Network Appliance's filers and JBODs. Hollis says they were able to include Hitachi's and IBM's devices through "interoperability engineering" and not through an API exchange agreement.

"APIs are a nice way to do it but they are not mandatory," he said.

The Enterprise Storage Network product has been renamed SAN Manager, which helps set up configurations, zoning and LUN Masking. No longer a standalone application, it has been fully integrated with Control Center. The software gives detailed performance information and it now supports Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks. In addition, the Replication Manager, which makes data copies used from backup and testing, now supports Clariion and HP StorageWorks. The EMC Data Manager, a backup and recovery tape application, also has been upgraded to do automated event management.

EMC's Common Array Manager, used to monitor and supply details of other companies' storage arrays such as the health and status, performance levels and configurations. Hollis said ESN now supports more platforms that include Network Appliance devices.

"Plus, it gives more detailed information. We dug in deeper," he said.