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EMC heads towards CA and Tivoli turf

Automated server and network configuration management

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EMC has launched two products that are aimed straight at CA and Tivoli in the automated compliance and configuration management areas. Storage integration is lacking and will come next year.

The idea is to treat IT as a process delivering services which have to be compliant with regulations and best practices. EMC is expanding out of its storage and information infrastructure base and pushing the boundaries of what it does to include closed loop control of a business information infrastructure; the physical and virtual servers, the applications, the networks, and the storage.

This is a wide-ranging scheme and will be implemented in stages, with initial server and networking domains added today.

With EMC's new Server Configuration Manager (SCM), users can automatically discover and maintain detailed server configuration data. It is integrated with EMC's Application Discovery Manager to know about dependency relationships between servers running applications and with Smarts for troubleshooting and management of resources across networks, applications and servers. (Note that storage is missing here.)

The second new product, Configuration Analytics Manager (CAM), provides a dashboard for what EMC calls a "single services model for monitoring, analyzing, planning and forecasting compliance and IT service levels by measuring key performance indicators and tracking data trends over time".

CAM is fed data from both SCM and VoyenceControl, for network change and configuration management software. So storage is missing here too.

Bob Quillin, an EMC senior product director, said: "Storage is the next step. We integrated servers and networks first." We can expect storage to be added, meaning ControlCenter integration with CAM, in the first half of next year.

Quillin added: "The goal is to manage end-to-end information infrastructures," with the capability to look across server, storage, network and application domains and deliver information relating to service delivery and compliance.

"The need is to squeeze more cost-savings out of IT. Cost-efficiency and service management are driving us through the process... We'll integrate and work with high-level tools, like HP OpenView and CA and Tivoli."

Questions, questions, questions

A few questions: How long will it be before EMC has its own high-level service tools like Open View and Tivoli? Will ControlCenter be able to integrate and liaise with third-party storage products so that customers can use CAM as a quasi-camcorder through which they can monitor the service delivery level and compliance level of an information infrastructure including heterogeneous server, storage and network domain elements?

A third-party server element is there already as Windows, Unix and Linux servers as well as VMware virtual servers are supported now. What about HDS, HP, IBM, and NetApp storage? How about Hyper-V? How inclusive is this CAM thing going to be?

In the short-term aspects of CA's EITM and Tivoli looks to be in EMC's sights. In the longer term more of the markets served by CA, HP Open View and IBM Tivoli might be facing EMC competition.

Closed-loop control means you can detect problems and fix them. Not enough processing bandwidth? Provision more virtual machines? Not enough storage? Provision more from your virtualised storage pool. Not enough networking, etc. How realistic is this as an EMC goal? It is looking awfully like a prospective autonomic data centre management facility. ®

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