EMC Reduces Number of Clicks for Storage Provisioning

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-08-24 Print this article Print

EMC announced an update of its Unisphere management software, which the company claims enables storage administrators to perform common tasks from drop-down menus using far fewer clicks.

EMC is "dumbing down" the management of some of its storage systems, primarily for small and midsize businesses.

Recognizing that large enterprises with large IT staffs aren't the only ones investing in new, more efficient virtualized systems, EMC on Aug. 24 announced an update of its Unisphere management software, which the company claims enables storage administrators to perform common tasks from drop-down menus using far fewer clicks.

Simplification of storage and server administration has been a trend for a couple of years, but EMC appears to be taking this to new levels. In fact, EMC claims that a trained employee-not necessarily an IT expert-can provision storage from a VMware vCenter Server in only two clicks.

This reflects a natural evolution within the industry, Mark Sorenson, senior vice president at EMC Computer Systems said in a video interview.

"Up until recently, there really haven't been the software tools and technologies that could exploit [the simplification of administrative tasks]," Sorenson said. "Fast, fully automated storage begins to exploit those, putting the information on the right device-whether it's SATA [Serial ATA] for cost or flash for performance. FAST Cache takes advantage of flash devices to extend the size of caches."

EMC's FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) Cache is performance-optimization software that enables applications to run about twice as fast as usual. It is fully automated with no administrator intervention required.

New software, like FAST Cache, continues to be developed to harness these new hardware advancements, Sorenson said.

As part of this software consolidation, EMC has integrated Unisphere with VMware's vCenter into a single application to centralize control for VMware administrators. In addition, EMC's unified storage systems now work immediately out of the box with VMware vSphere and VMware vStorage APIs.

For improved connectivity, FCOE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) is also built into these midrange arrays, Sorenson said.

EMC also announced something called New Block Data Compression, which reduces storage capacity requirements by up to 50 percent.

All these new software features will be made available for EMC's Clariion and Celerra midrange storage platforms by this fall.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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