Getting to Perfect Vision in the Data Center

These days, all the buzz is around the Software-Defined Data Center. Since there is no one definition of what that means, a common theme is driving simplification and agility through automation & visibility. Today, we’re addressing visibility in the form of the new Service Assurance Suite and the updated Storage Resource Management Suite, which share a common presentation layer with EMC ViPR Software-Defined Storage.

IT teams responsible for managing operations face two big problems: volume of data collected and virtualization. Tracing application hot spots from VM’s down to storage LUNs takes hours and a few calls to identify the offending devices. On the flip side, performing any type of capacity trending and forecasting requires tedious spreadsheet management. Given that the very tenets of having a Software-Defined Data Center is to deliver cloud-like, on-demand services with predictable availability, it’s time to alert Houston: there is a problem, which is cross-domain visibility.

Our view at EMC is very simple: show one version of the truth to all the stakeholders, allowing each to customize how they see the same data. Different admins can see the same data, so remediation and planning functions can happen seamlessly and expeditiously across domains.

We have drastically simplified our reporting products into just two Suites: the updated Storage Resource Management Suite and the new Service Assurance Suite. The suites have a common presentation layer which is the most customizable, intuitive and engaging front-end, with a highly scalable and flexible backend data ingestion engine. This allows us to surface metrics and data from across domains, including third-party or homegrown tools. Customers can now extend EMC’s metrics with their own customized dashboards to provide detail reports around utilization and performance.

The updated Storage Resource Management Suite provides full storage domain context for storage admins, with a focus on capacity, performance and configuration management. Storage teams struggle to understand storage relationships and dependencies with multiple abstractions in the data path like hypervisors or storage virtualization platforms.

Complementing the Storage Resource Management Suite is the new Service Assurance Suite.  Ensuring service availability and performance in dynamic IT environments requires management insights that span networks, storage, and servers. The new EMC Service Assurance Suite brings together the extensive management capabilities of EMC Smarts and EMC Watch4net into one package offering insight across physical and virtual network, storage and server environments. Identification of root causes, risk conditions and SLA violations happens automatically, before business impact occurs.

To summarize, we want our customers to have a tangible journey to the Software-Defined Data Center by bringing in automation from EMC ViPR alongside cross-domain visibility.  The transition from traditional to software-defined storage requires management tools, like the suites, that bridge the gap between today’s infrastructure and tomorrow’s software-defined data center.

About the Author: Amitabh Srivastava