Enterasys Management Solution Targets Virtual Data Centers

Enterasys' management software offers IT staffs greater control over virtualized environments with an all-encompassing view of the data center infrastructure.

Enterasys Networks executives in June unveiled a data center networking strategy that is designed to take on larger rivals like Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Brocade Communications, and started with improvements to its S-Series family of switches.

Enterasys on Nov. 15 rolled out the next step in its data center strategy with the Enterasys Data Center Manager, a solution that officials say offers greater automation, visibility and control over all the components of the data center, including servers, networks, storage and applications.

While the solution manages both physical and virtual environments, it's the new technologies like virtualization that the software is designed to help out with, according to Enterasys President and CEO Chris Cowell.

"Data center managers are under constant pressure to improve processes, reduce costs and manage increasingly disparate resources, while continuing to deploy new technologies such as virtualization," Crowell said in a statement. "By providing integrated tracking and monitoring of virtual machines (VMs) and applications and an integrated view of virtual server and network environments, Enterasys Data Center Manager allows IT administrators to bring together the 'islands' that exist in the data center. "

The offering from Enterasys, a Siemens Enterprise Communications company, enables enterprises to track the movement of VMs and ensure they get the necessary network resources when they're provisioned, regardless of where on the network it's located, according to the company. IT administrators also can group VMs together depending on their workloads.

In addition, the DCM works with a variety of virtualization platforms, including those from Citrix Systems, VMware and Microsoft. The goal is to give IT departments greater flexibility when choosing a platform, servers or storage devices, according to Enterasys officials.

Such an agnostic approach is a key part of Enterasys' data center strategy. When they first introduced their data center strategy, company officials said it is their high level of support for heterogeneous environments that will set it apart from their larger competitors.

HP, Cisco and others are aggressively expanding their data center offerings as businesses look for greater integration within their infrastructures. The vendors-through in-house technology and partnerships-offer everything from servers and storage devices to networking products, management software and virtualization.

However, though HP, Cisco, Brocade and other vendors talk about how open their offerings are, the eventual goal is to tie customers into their products, Barry Cioe, vice president of product management marketing at Enterasys, told eWEEK at the time.

"When you peel away the veneer, you'll see the goal is to tie in customers to a homogeneous environment," Cioe said.

CEO Crowell said Enterasys' broad vendor support is a key differentiator for the company.

"Enterasys DCM provides vendor-agnostic support, enabling companies to leverage existing investments and reduce overall total cost of ownership," he said.