It has been two years since the last major update of EMC ControlCenter (ECC), but the company today announced version 6.0 of its flagship storage resource management (SRM) software. The new release includes a number of enhancements, mostly in the area of reporting, but for users with virtual server environments the key feature of ControlCenter 6.0 may be a tight linking with VMware environments.

Jon Siegal, senior manager for product marketing at EMC, says ControlCenter 6.0 provides the same functionality for VMware that the software does for Unix and/or Windows environments, including discovery, problem management, compliance, change management, provisioning, and reporting functions.

ControlCenter has been tightly integrated with VMware’s VirtualCenter and supports VMware Infrastructure 3 software.

Siegal provides the following use-case scenario: Say that ControlCenter allocates, or provisions, 1TB of storage to a VMware ESX Server. ESX Server and VMware’s VirtualCenter tools then allocate that 1TB out to the virtual machines on the ESX Server. Then, when ControlCenter re-discovers the environment, administrators can see via ControlCenter how much storage is allocated to the specific virtual machines.

ControlCenter discovers individual VMware ESX Server guests—including guest name, operating system version and IP address&#8212and reports the capacity, utilization, and trending of virtual disk files and raw storage devices mapped to each virtual machine guest. ControlCenter 6.0 also allows administrators to provision, mask, and zone storage to VMware ESX Server hosts.

The other enhancements in ControlCenter 6.0 focus primarily on reporting options that make it easier for administrators to access, analyze, and tailor the SRM information into reports.

For example, a new Query Builder feature in the StorageScope module provides access to a centralized reporting repository, as well as customized reporting. In addition, EMC integrated StorageScope and StorageScope File Level Reporter (FLR) with a single interface (the FLR interface) and infrastructure (although users can still license the two products separately).

Finally, EMC extended ControlCenter’s support for disk arrays from Hitachi Data Systems (and HDS resellers Hewlett-Packard and Sun) and announced ControlCenter support for SMI-S 1.1-compliant disk arrays.

ControlCenter 6.0 will be available at the end of June.

EMC claims to have more than 7,000 ECC customers, making it the leading SRM vendor, although the Gartner IT consulting firm puts IBM neck-and-neck with EMC as the “leaders” in SRM and SAN management software in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” ranking.

Other players in the SRM market include vendors such as Akorri (see Akorri links VMware to storage resources), Brocade, CA, HP, HDS, Network Appliance, Northern, NTP Software, Onaro, Symantec, Tek-Tools, and TeraCloud.

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