EMC Reduces Number of Clicks for Storage Provisioning

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-08-24

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.

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