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EMC app manager still missing VMware storage utilization reporting

The new version of EMC's Application Discovery Manager can report on virtual hosts, but hasn't yet been integrated with VMware storage utiilization reporting.

LAS VEGAS—EMC Corp. is giving Application Discovery Manager (ADM) a refresh by adding reporting on virtual hosts to its application topology maps and more integration with EMC IT Compliance Analyzer to enforce application policies. However, EMC still hasn't linked that analysis to storage utilization.

For now, the product is complementary but not integrated with EMC Control Center's reporting on VMware storage utilization. But while launching ADM 6.0 today, Chris Gahagan, senior vice president for EMC's resource management software group, said, "Stay tuned."

Data Mobility analyst Robin Harris said he's surprised that reporting with VMware storage utilization isn't more advanced. "I do find it odd that a company 86% owned by the leading independent storage company wouldn't be further along with this stuff," he said of VMware. But "I don't think there are that many development engineers who really understand this intersection between storage and server virtualization -- at least not in terms of the problems people are finding with the rate of growth in the market."

Another analyst, John Webster of Illuminata, said it appears EMC is picking its spots for integration and sees greater needs than reporting for VMware. "You can get [storage reporting for VMware] other places, so it's not a big deal," he said. "EMC is going toward more integration of things, and it may be leaving some of these questions in abeyance while they figure out where [integration] is most appropriate."

Added Harris, "They also have to be very careful not to advantage EMC over other storage competitors when it comes to VMware as the [storage virtualization] market is heating up."

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Other applications can report on VMware storage utilization, including ECC and third-party tools such as NetApp Inc. subsidiary Onaro's SANScreen software, Akorri Inc.'s BalancePoint software, Symantec's CommandCentral 5.0 and TekTools Inc.'s Profiler for VMware.

In the ADM 6.0 update, EMC has improved the granularity of reporting and change management features. These include reporting on which applications are running on which guest hosts, which other physical and virtual hosts those applications are communicating with at a given moment, and what protocol they're speaking to do so.

Like Onaro's Business Continuity Edition, ADM 6.0 will provide that type of granular analysis for replication, disaster recovery configurations and data protection. In other words, it will determine which servers are protected according to policies and identify servers that aren't being backed up properly. Another storage-related use for the product, added Gahagan, is managing dependencies during data migrations.

The software comes in an appliance that contains a new Virtual Listener that monitors traffic through the VMware Virtual Switch (vSwitch) to avoid the use of software agents. Gahagan said that integration with Microsoft's Hyper-V and Citrix's XenServer will follow. ADM 6.0 is available now; its starting list price is $50,000.

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