Aug 30, 2011 (12:08 PM EDT)
EMC Rolls Out VMware-Aware Storage Management Tool

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VMware Pricing Controversy: Exclusive User Research
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EMC on Monday enhanced its software for provisioning, mapping, and managing its VMAX and VNX storage systems in virtual environments. The announcement was made at the VMworld 2011 conference for virtualization and cloud computing in Las Vegas.

EMC Virtual Storage Integrator for VMware vCenter lets IT managers map virtual machines to storage and provision that storage. Unlike much storage management software that is intended for use by storage administrators, the Virtual Storage Integrator is designed for use by server administrators with knowledge of the virtual server environment.

Designing storage software for the server administrator instead of the storage administrator is a new and coming technology. Since server administrators manage most virtualized environments, EMC's recognition of that is important. The company has designed software for this IT audience, who are familiar with the concepts of network drives and directories and not storage logical unit numbers (LUNs).

EMC has previously applied the design concept to its UniSphere software, which manages its VNX and VNXe storage platform. And, other vendors such as HP, startup Tintri, and Coraid have adopted it into their systems.

VSI 5.0 now provides full support for VMware vSphere 5 and uses the VMware File System (VMFS) to assign multi-terabyte data stores to EMC hardware. It supports both block and file protocols and provides access controls so storage administrators responsible for the EMC hardware can determine the storage platforms and pools of storage a server administrator can access.

Further, the software provides visibility into the relationship between servers and the volumes, file shares, or objects they are attached to. VSI also enables virtual machine compression and array-based cloning.

VSI is available now at no charge.

In other news, EMC announced performance test results for its Symmetrix VMAX in virtualized environments. Using a Symmetrix VMAX, EMC's largest and fastest storage system, the company reported that with VMware vSphere 5, the VMAX achieved over one million IOPS, three times faster than a test using three Clariion CX4s running vSphere 4.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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