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For example, to provision an Exchange Storage Server was literally a mater of seven clicks, with the only values to input being the number of users (default=10), and whether to enable thin provisioning (default=no) and snapshots (default=yes). The seventh step is to confirm settings on the summary page, which displays the settings that were input along with defaults and others chosen automatically, any of which can be directly edited by an advanced admin without going back to the beginning.
Even better is the new system's integration with VMware. Storage provisioning can be completed from within EMC's browser pages, which finds ESX hosts, accepts credentials and creates a representation of the VMware host right in the storage server, either with NFS or VMware's VMFS. Once completed, the datastore (as it's called in VMware) pops right up in vCenter; there's no need for any additional steps in VMware's management tool.
Then there's the Carousel, EMC's health and support utility for the VNXe. Most systems offer some kind of graphical representation of hardware in software, with live portions reacting to mouse clicks and displaying device and health info in real time. Dell's EqualLogic arrays are particularly adept at this. But EMC takes the feature to a whole new level. The support tab shows a rotating replica of the array with hovered-over components encased in green, yellow or red to indicate their health.
In the left-hand pane, the highlighted component's proper name and/or part number is displayed in a standard tree (which also can be used to navigate directly to device parts), while in the carousel a balloon appears (a la Google Maps) with its vital data and a few links, including one to context-sensitive help.
Also among the links is live chat, which connects with a person in either Hopkinton, India or elsewhere depending on the time of day. Another link brings up an order form, with the component's part number and many of the other fields pre-populated. This is an extremely useful feature that's relatively complicated to implement, and EMC has done a terrific job with it.