EMC becoming a software competitor

EMC becoming a software competitor

EMC announced Automated Information Storage (AutoIS), its automation software strategy for heterogeneous storage infrastructures. This is EMC's first major step towards managing storage components produced by storage vendors other than EMC.

Highlights:

Today's AutoIS announcement includes four components

  • EMC ControlCenter/Open Edition - management framework for storage infrastructure
  • EMC WideSky - Middleware for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • EMC ControlCenter Replication Manager - central management of disk-based replication
  • EMC ControlCenter StorageScope - storage resource management

The underlying goal for Automated Information Storage (AutoIS) is to provide a central point of control for storage management across EMC and non-EMC storage hardware, using a framework (EMC Control Center/Open Edition), APIs (WideSky) and "plug-in" modules such as the Replication Manager and StorageScope. Other modules are planned for future release.

EMC ControlCenter/Open Edition (ECC/Open Edition)

ECC/Open Edition provides a storage management framework for managing storage infrastructure. It includes discovery, monitoring, configuration, reporting and automation for storage environments. Plug-in software modules performing specific storage management tasks such as EMC Replication Manager and EMC StorageScope are added as needed. This framework is designed to support EMC and non-EMC storage hardware across a variety of operating system platforms. ECC/Open Edition uses an Oracle database for its repository, and runs on Windows NT/2000 systems.

Evaluator group note:

This would fit what we define as a "SAN Manager" approach to SAN management.

EMC WideSky

WideSky is a set of APIs for management of EMC storage hardware, non-EMC storage hardware and other storage components. These APIs are designed to work with ECC/Open Edition.

EMC ControlCenter Replication Manager

Replication Manager provides a central management and control point for multiple disk-based replication technologies. The first replication technology included is EMC TimeFinder. Support for EMC's CLARiiON SnapView as well as non-EMC replication technologies are planned. Replication Manager automates the scheduling of replications, mounting replications on alternate hosts and recovery of disk-based data replicas.

EMC ControlCenter StorageScope

StorageScope is a Storage Resource Management (SRM) solution. It provides utilization, alerting, trend reporting and capacity planning functions across UNIX and Windows NT/2000 platforms. It also provides database utilization information for several popular databases. Data can be exported in CSV format, suitable for use in spreadsheet or other applications.

Availability:

Product name Announce date Expected ship date
EMC ControlCenter/Open Edition October 29, 2001 90 days after announcement
EMC WideSky October 29, 2001 Immediately
EMC ControlCenter Replication Manager October 29, 2001 Immediately
EMC ControlCenter StorageScope October 29, 2001 30 days after announcement

Pricing:

EMC plans to provide EMC ControlCenter/Open Edition and EMC WideSky free of charge to existing customers of EMC software. List prices for Replication Manager and StorageScope were not announced.

Evaluator Group comments:

With this announcement, EMC is announcing its intent to become a true "independent" storage management software competitor. This is a major shift in emphasis from a primarily hardware driven company and brings with it a new set of software competitors. We expect EMC to strongly market these new software products within its existing customer base to gain some new revenue from existing customers. EMC is making a smart move by providing ECC/Open Edition and WideSky free of charge to existing customers.

We look for WideSky support for non-EMC storage hardware and non-EMC storage replication features to begin to appear in 2002.

Storage virtualization (data abstraction) and automation work well together to provide maximum customer benefit and efficiency. Adding virtualization to automation would give EMC a solution that competes with other initiatives in this area from other vendors. We fully expect EMC to provide such a solution in the future.

Customers are deciding which storage management strategy and look and feel to adopt for their enterprises. It remains to be seen if this EMC software will integrate well with some of the existing storage management strategies provided by other software vendors.

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The Evaluator Series and Evaluator Series On-Line (ES/OL) are trademarks of Evaluator Group, Inc.


This was first published in November 2001

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