Security, App-Discovery Tools Take the Stage at EMC World

The storage company sets out building blocks for a more cohesive resource-management approach, including a new EMC Centerra management console.

BOSTON—Having spent billions over the last few years remaking the face of its organization, storage technology and product portfolio into a more cohesive information management approach, EMC opened its EMC Technology Summit at EMC World on April 24 with the unveiling of its newest resource-management software and security offerings toward that goal.

At its annual user conference here, EMC introduced EMC Smarts Storage Insight for Availability, EMC Smarts Application Discovery Manager, a new EMC Assessment Services for Storage Security and new digital rights management software based on technology from its recent acquisition of Authentica.

During the morning keynote sessions, EMC executives outlined the storage behemoths efforts to simplify usage and implementation of its products through a new EMC Centerra management console and new EMC eLab Configuration Consultant tool on the way in the third quarter of 2006.

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Constructed to simplify management across Fibre Channel SAN (storage area network) and IP network deployments, EMC Smarts Storage Insight for Availability utilizes EMCs ControlCenter 5.2 storage management tool to automate fault management and discover network elements within the SAN and their interrelationships, said officials from EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass.

Currently available, the model-based software product pinpoints where a failure occurs and immediately analyzes how these issues affect dependent interrelated network infrastructure components such as file systems, host devices and data pathways.

The root-cause notification system is built on EMCs model-mapping Smarts technology and can unearth FC SAN availability glitches as root-cause problems within EMC Symmetrix unit, volume, front-end director and port link failures; EMC Clariion unit, volume, storage processor and port link failures; FC SAN switch units supported by EMC and port links; and HBA (host bus adapter) cards and port links.

The licensing cost of EMC Smarts Storage Insight for Availability is between $750 and $1,000 per terabyte.

For its part, EMC Smarts ADM (Application Discovery Manager) presents a real-time interactive model of a customers application environment to help the customer push a greater degree of automation by understanding specific application behavior and how that directly relates to existing infrastructure investments.

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The appliance, which is currently available, is delivered in a 1U (1.75-inch) Intel server with pre-installed software. The product listens to network traffic passively to capture and analyze all data flowing in and out of an IT network. The model-based management approach sifts through all traffic headers and payloads to resolve CMDB (configuration management database) issues, said EMC officials. Pricing for ADM is more than $100 per node.

EMC is definitely looking at beefing up its current information security capabilities with future technology investments, said Joe Tucci, EMC president and CEO, during his morning keynote session. Other organic and outside acquisition technology areas on Tuccis short list include unified ILM (Information Lifecycle Management), virtualization, "model-based" resource management and information grid.

Currently available, the new EMC Assessment Service for Storage Security examines the security capabilities of a customers SAN, NAS (network-attached storage) and CAS (content-addressed storage) deployments to keep processes on par with the National Security Agencys Information Methodology on which it is based.

Storage platforms, access controls, management systems, applications and networks are all placed under scrutiny for potential security pitfalls. Should any vulnerabilities or areas of high risk be uncovered, the service will recommend the required remediation steps to be taken.

Pulled from EMCs Authentica technology purchase, EMC Documentum Digital Rights Management enables customers to oversee and control access and usage of unstructured data within and outside the enterprise.

During his keynote address, Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of EMC Storage Platforms Operations, said customers can expect EMC to roll out a Centerra Management Console in the third quarter of 2006. The product, which offers a lightweight customer-installable Web interface to manage individual or multiple Centerra boxes, joins the Symmetrix Management Console which was introduced in April.

Donatelli also hinted at the arrival of EMC eLab Configuration Consultant. On display at EMC World but not available until the end of the third quarter, the software product—offered through PowerLink—enables customers to see EMCs up-to-date QA (quality and analysis) results of the same tested configuration. The move is designed to help customers better architect their storage environments.

Although EMC eLab Configuration Consultant only currently supports Symmetrix, Donatelli said EMC plans to eventually roll it out "across the board."

Also, in August this year EMC will introduce the latest version of PowerLink, which will feature a new "Search All" capability that will leverage all data depositories within EMC. He said the "super search" tool will find data, regardless of subject matter, wherever it is retained within EMCs databanks.

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