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EMC bundles IT tools for virtualisation

The company has integrated its existing and acquired IT management technologies into a package, named Ionix, that it says will speed the move to virtualisation in the datacentre
Written by Sally Whittle, Contributor on

EMC has pulled together its IT management tools into one product family designed to speed the move from physical to virtualised datacentres.

The Ionix family, announced on Wednesday, incorporates the server compliance and configuration products EMC acquired from Configuresoft with EMC's existing portfolio of IT management systems.

Ionix provides a single window into a company's IT infrastructure, including networks, storage and servers, according to EMC's Colin Murray. "While none of this is brand-new technology, we're offering better integration between these products and services, so customers can do things more quickly than before," the EMEA sales executive said.

For example, Ionix supports the integration of datacentre automation and service management tools, which should allow companies to quickly roll out IT infrastructure library (Itil) service management, Murray said. In addition, the tools are designed to support the rapid adoption of virtualisation in the datacentre.

Re-branding its IT management products into a single family makes sense for EMC, according to Roy Illsley, a senior research analyst at the Butler Group. "It puts them in the same category as HP, IBM and CA, which means more choice and leverage for enterprise customers," Illsley said.

However, few customers are likely to rip out IBM Tivoli to replace it with a single EMC systems management platform, Illsley said, and customers are likely to combine vendor offerings for some time yet. "I think it's going to come down to people putting in a bit of IBM, CA and EMC, and seeing which works best," he said. "So then it depends on features and functionality."

Another important factor is likely to be which hypervisors customers are using, Illsley said. While Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer might account for only 12 to 15 percent of the market today, Illsley expects this to reach 25 to 30 percent within a year.

"At that point, the fact that none of these companies are supporting anything other than VMware might start to be a problem. The platform that offers support for other hypervisors will gain considerable advantage, I suspect," Illsley said. EMC bought virtualisation leader VMware in 2004 and later spun it out into a separate public company.

The Ionix product family incorporates four separate product and service groups. Ionix for Service Discovery and Mapping is a set of tools to enable organisations to map servers and applications throughout the datacentre, incorporating configuration management database (CMDB), configuration management system (CMS) population and change management.

IT Operations Intelligence provides root-cause analysis and performance management, while Data Centre Automation and Compliance incorporates compliance management for servers, storage, application dependencies and networks. Finally, Ionix Service Management enables customers to deploy Itil service management.

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