EMC offers tool for managing virtual systems

EMC announced an analysis tool that it says can help IT managers understand the relationships between virtual servers, physical servers and the network.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor
EMC launched Smarts Server Management, an analysis tool for managing virtualized datacenters, on Wednesday.

Using a behavioral model for systems, Smarts Server Management (SSM) is able to understand the relationships between virtual servers, physical servers and the network, EMC said in a statement. It can also "distinguish how symptoms are propagated to related infrastructure components".

The latest addition to EMC's Smarts line of automated IT management tools, SSM is intended to increase the control of, and compliance across, mixed datacenter environments. EMC claims it can help alleviate some of the complexity of managing systems.

A core feature is root-cause analysis, which works on VMware ESX server hosts, virtual machines and applications, EMC said. Root-cause analysis is a tool that can examine a physical or virtual server to try to establish why it has had a problem or there has been a failure. This can be a time-consuming task without an effective analysis tool.

Root-cause analysis is a key feature of SSM, according to analysts. Bob Laliberte, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, is quoted in EMC's statement as saying: "Because VMware VMotion can rapidly move applications from one server to another to balance workloads, customers seek more efficient ways to manage certain manual tasks such as root-cause analysis, especially in large environments."

"Root-cause analysis is a bit of a holy grail," Tony Lock, of analysts Freeform Dynamics, told ZDNet UK. "The key point is, 'Does it work?'. If it does and can do so quickly, then it becomes very attractive."

The important issue was that many such tools do not work well, or work at all, Lock said.

SSM allows systems managers to identify root-cause issues across physical and virtual domains by extending EMC 's Smarts Root Cause Analysis and Codebook Correlation technology to virtual servers using behavioral models.

EMC has not announced a specific price for SSM, but said that the software is available immediately, and pricing is based on "discovery and availability management per domain" and the number of devices to be managed under each domain.

This article was originally posted on ZDNet.co.uk.

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