EMC Widens Storage Goals to Security, Analytics

EMC is pushing its storage capabilities into uncharted security and resource management territory with a new strategy that includes product tie-ins, partnering and in-house development.

EMC Corp. is pushing its storage capabilities into uncharted security and resource management territory to help customers centralize management of converging data center technology and secure data within the enterprise.

Last week, the Hopkinton, Mass., company announced here its security strategy, which includes cross-product integration, in-house development and partnerships where necessary, said EMC CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci.

EMC officials said they will announce a new product called Storage Insight by the end of the year. Featuring technology from last years EMC acquisition of System Management Arts, or Smarts Inc., Storage Insight will collect data at an abstraction layer to build analytics and create models enabling customers to understand relationships and real-time events occurring in their storage infrastructure.

Slated for release by mid-2006, Storage Insight will be packaged as an optional module for EMCs ControlCenter, which will also include embedded Smarts technology.

In terms of security, Tucci said too many security vendors are responding to data protection needs with a band-aid approach.

"Theres [security] things we need to do that customers are demanding we do. If were going to make a product, we should make sure it works against the highest levels of prevention and intrusion and certify that," said Tucci. "Customers want data encrypted. Some want it encrypted online; some want it encrypted only when it goes to tape; some want it encrypted only when its being moved—these are all things we [can] do."

Tucci said that over time, a lack of proven built-in security functionality could turn customers away from EMCs diverse storage portfolio.

"This isnt an option for me. Customers are going to demand it. You either do it or youre going to fall behind," Tucci said. "Of course, there are opportunities in there, too."

To that end, EMC in a few weeks will announce a CDP (continuous data protection) product. Officials said the product will capture data changes as they occur, for recovery during instantaneous backup. EMC also plans to deliver next year a security product involving single sign-on and auditing.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about CDP technology and products, click here.

Tom Lahive, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, in Milford, Mass., said he believes EMC is going in the right direction, considering the increased focus on security in the data center. "Security is being pushed into the data center managers real responsibility, where historically it never had a specific role per se," said Lahive.

In addition to building new security products, the company plans to expose many of its native capabilities outside the organization and repurpose existing technologies for security use.

EMCs Networker 7.3, due later this year, will feature new snapshot modules that enable greater disk-to-disk storage capabilities. EMC officials said the company plans to tightly bind protection and recovery with archiving, allowing federated search technology—acquired by EMC via its purchase of Xerox Corp.s AskOnce division—to traverse archives for e-mail, Oracle Corp. and SAP AG applications, files, images, rich media, and video.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.