EMC to Unveil New Management Software

EMC next week will announce new management software and new abilities to manage its competitors' products, say sources.

EMC Corp. next week will announce new management software and new abilities to manage its competitors products, sources close to the company said.

President and CEO Joe Tucci will announce new capabilities for the SRM (storage resource management) and storage virtualization niches in his keynote address Sept. 18 at the Storage Decisions trade show in Chicago.

EMC officials, in Hopkinton, Mass., declined to comment.

SRM is the segment of storage management that applies to the actual drives and volumes, and the capacity management, health monitoring, performance, and provisioning of them. The new application builds on EMCs own API and on the current StorageScope. It plugs into ControlCenter, announced a year ago.

Storage virtualization, which EMC calls data abstraction, is the concept of managing multiple, disparate drive arrays as a single, virtual pool. EMC has promised this technology in the past, but the niche has instead seen strong pushes from small software vendors like DataCore Software Corp. and FalconStor Software Inc. EMC uses the term to differentiate the product from virtualization of individual drives within an array.

Sources did not know the names of the new software.

Tucci will also announce that EMC is making progress in its ability to manage hardware of rivals Hitachi Ltd. and IBM through reverse engineering, the sources said. EMC officials previously said theyd conduct reverse engineering only as a last resort.

Thats now the case. Besides an agreement with Hewlett-Packard Co., EMC has been unable to strike API-swapping deals with its other rivals. Meanwhile, HP has a separate deal with Hitachi, and both HP and Hitachi have deals with IBM. Early-stage talks between EMC and IBM are underway, sources said, but EMC and Hitachi are not negotiating.

Gary Helmig, an analyst with SoundView Technology Corp., said he believes that EMCs interoperability progress, regardless of its means, is ahead of the pack.

"I think theyve really gotten religion," said Helmig, in Greenwich, Conn.

HP officials, in Houston, disagree. Reverse engineering is just an "educated guess," and it needs to be reworked each time the targeted product changes, said Mark Sorenson, vice president of the Storage Software Division, at HPs Network Storage Solutions division. Also, reverse-engineered solutions dont give customers the mutual support agreements that API-swapping deals do, he said.

On the hardware side—EMCs primary revenue source—Tucci is not expected to announce details of the next-generation Symmetrix, Version 6. However, EMC will launch a new version of its mid-range Clariion hardware, the CX400, on Oct. 7, sources said.