EMC Drives Data Center Automation and Compliance with EMC Storage Configuration Advisor

Rounding out the company’s comprehensive software portfolio for IT configuration […]

May 13, 2009

Rounding out the company’s comprehensive software portfolio for IT configuration and compliance management, EMC Corporation unveiled EMC Storage Configuration Advisor. The automated management software is directly aimed at helping storage teams minimize their operational costs by addressing the most frequent cause of service-affecting events: improper storage area network (SAN) configurations.

Storage Configuration Advisor is the newest piece of the company’s broad portfolio of IT compliance and configuration management software. EMC’s cross-domain IT management solutions extend change, configuration and compliance management across the storage, server, network and application domains.

“Experience has shown that more than half of SAN outages occur due to improper configurations that are a result of either poorly designed or executed change,” said Bob Laliberte, Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “With all the moves, adds and changes that take place daily, SAN administrators struggle to maintain adequate service levels for the business.”

Leveraging agentless discovery to simplify management and reduce deployment times, the solution tracks the storage infrastructure to proactively detect vulnerabilities and ensure customers are maintaining compliance with internal configuration policies, vendor guidelines or industry best-practices. Providing an audit trail of SAN changes and rule violations — flagging potential service-affecting events before they occur — the software also offers customers extensive reporting capabilities with detailed analysis of SAN configurations, compliance breaches and service levels. The end result is a dramatic reduction in operational costs within the data center by reducing time spent on resolving storage configuration issues and downtime associated with human error.

“Businesses are under increasing pressure to minimize both the risks and costs associated with their ever-changing data centers. Proving their IT environments are compliant — with both regulatory standards and internal corporate IT policies and best practices for configuration and security — is now mandatory for businesses to ensure successful operations,” said Chris Gahagan, EMC’s Senior Vice President, Resource Management Software. “By adding EMC Storage Configuration Advisor to our broad suite of automated IT configuration and compliance solutions, EMC is one of the only companies enabling customers to fully validate IT compliance across their entire data centers.”

Storage Configuration Advisor eliminates the need for cumbersome and ineffective manual processes, enabling customers to automate the process of validating storage infrastructure configuration against both industry and internally defined best practices and policies. Key functionality of Storage Configuration Advisor includes:

* Agentless Discovery and Configuration Analysis: The software creates and maintains an accurate map of all physical and logical SAN elements and relationships across the storage infrastructure. It leverages quick, easy-to-deploy agentless discovery based on industry standards and available data sources. These processes can be automated to eliminate reliance on external scripts or error-prone, manually intensive activities.
* Change Tracking: Storage Configuration Advisor monitors for change to objects discovered in the data center, providing a full audit trail for all changes made to the storage environment. When changes are incorrectly implemented, the solution allows users to quickly recognize a policy breach. The software also documents change history to help analyze breaches and trends to improve change processes and resource planning.
* Storage Service Analytics: Once best-practice policies are enabled, violations can be viewed and propagated through the dashboard, SNMP traps, or e-mail alerts. Storage Configuration Advisor gives visibility into active policy breaches, configuration changes, and breach resolution times. The software offers a number of built-in reports, including Configuration Reports, which provide detailed configuration analysis of the storage infrastructure; and Compliance and Service Reports, which display metrics on policy breaches, causes and resolution.
* Best Practice Policy Management: The solution’s built-in templates enable users to quickly define and modify policies to meet operational requirements. Templates are designed around common industry best practices for physical and logical connectivity, path management, and hardware/software configuration support.

Storage Configuration Advisor is a critical piece of EMC’s resource management software portfolio, providing advanced solutions enabling customers to automate their data center operations. With a unique set of products designed to help customers cut costs while continually improving service delivery, EMC automates visibility and control across the physical and virtual infrastructure throughout the data center.

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