EMC Tools Seek to Streamline IT Compliance

EMC's new tools make it easier for IT managers to adhere to government compliance regulations.

EMC on Sept. 17 launched a grab bag of new management tools that range from compliance and performance management to IT process and IPv6 availability management.

EMC is joining a growing chorus of management software providers that are customizing their configuration management or provisioning tools to address the need for IT to adhere to government or industry regulations such as the Payment Card Industrys Data Security Standard or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Among its new offerings is the EMC IT Compliance Analyzer, which, like the VoyenceControl PCI Advisor that was also launched on Sept. 17, helps IT operators improve compliance with the PCI DSS regulations.

The Voyence tool approaches PCI compliance from a network device configuration perspective, whereas the EMC IT Compliance Analyzer focuses on application compliance behavior.

The IT Compliance Analyzer is built on EMCs Application Discovery Manager, acquired with nLayers last year. The Application Discovery Manager gathers information about configuration and application dependencies and then applies rules to check that applications are configured correctly and that they have the right patch levels.


To read more about EMCs Application Discovery Manager, click here.

With the Compliance Analyzer, EMC added a set of 15 to 20 predefined rules that meet PCI standard requirements. For example, it can check to see if all laptops have a personal firewall installed, whether they are at the proper security level for virus protection, and whether all servers doing credit card authorizations have secured connections and are behaving in a way thats appropriate to the DSS, according to Bob Quillan, senior director of product marketing for EMCs resource management software group in Santa Clara, Calif.

EMC plans to add more templates that extend compliance support to other regulatory mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act or HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

In a nod to the growing adoption of the IPv6 standard among government organizations and the Far East, EMC also announced its new Smarts IPv6 Availability Manager.

The tool provides cross-domain management for enterprises migrating from IPv4 to IPv6, and it collects native IPv6 data for analyzing faults. It can discover both IPv4 and IPv6 network devices and create network maps from that discovered information. It can also generate IPv4 and IPv6 events and perform root-cause analysis for both versions, and it provides device polling and monitoring. In addition, it supports IPv6 to IPv4 tunneling.

With the mandate for government organizations to adopt IPv6 by June 2008, more organizations will be faced with making that transition, Quillan said.

"Theres a ripple effect. Anyone selling to the government, connecting to government networks or carrying out major activity in [the] Asia Pacific [region] is seeing it work its way into classic v4 networks," he said.

EMC will also compete directly with CAs Concord network performance reporting products with its new EMC IT Performance Reporter—Network Edition historic performance reporting tool. And EMC will throw its hat into the run book automation space, competing with the new process automation technology launched Sept. 18 by Opsware.

EMC with its new IT Process Center automation tool is looking to automate the process of provisioning storage to reduce the time it takes to add new storage for new virtual machines.

"With virtualization we see a lot of customers whove made improvements in the time it takes to provision servers. They can take it from 30 days to 30 minutes. But to add storage may still take 29 days, so there is no improvement in overall provisioning. We built process automation tools to provision storage much faster," said Quillan, who said the tool is OEMed from an unnamed source.

The EMC IPv6 Availability Manager and IT Process Center are available now and start at $35,000 and $150,000, respectively. The EMC IT Compliance Analyzer and IT Performance Reporter are due in October and start at $27,000 and $15,000, respectively.


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