Integration Trend in Storage, Virtualization Management

Loraine Lawson

Vendors love to talk about integration-even when they're not in the integration business, per se. I get countless press releases touting the benefits of often minor integrations between applications or servers or what-have-you. If I covered them all, this blog would read like a dating column, which is why I don't.


Occasionally, however, there's a bigger trend worth noting, as in the case with EMC's recent announcement bragging about its "breakthrough new VMware integration."


EMC is in the storage and virtualization businesses, among other things. On a nuts-and-bolts level, this announcement, reported at CRN, is about how it has upgraded its Clariion and Celerra storage products to be more efficiently managed, thanks to integration with VMware products.


It turns out, however, that integration is becoming something of an issue for virtual environments and storage. IT Business Edge's Mike Vizard wrote about this trend in May, noting that Cisco, EMC, IBM and HP have been pushing "a new class of servers that tightly integrates servers, storage and networking functionality." Why would you care? Well, as Vizard explains, integrated management means IT needs fewer IT staff to manage these resources. (Needless to say, IT staff are not thrilled about this trend.)


And, in fact, that's the sort of efficiency eluded to in EMC's recent announcement, which promises 60-plus integration points with VMware. EMC Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Burton proclaimed that EMC's "VMware integration goes deeper than either HP, Dell or other storage players have in VMware integration."


I would hope so. After all, EMC owns VMware and has since 2004.


One thing that is interesting: This announcement comes just as Dell and HP are engaged in a bidding war for storage virtualization company 3Par.


The EMC upgrades include a new interface with "up to 90 percent fewer clicks" than normally associated with administering storage management, according to the CRN article. As someone who's on the verge of carpal tunnel syndrome, I can definitely see the benefit of anything touting fewer clicks.


The CRN article covers much of the integration angle, but if you'd like to read more, ComputerWorld goes into a bit more detail about which specific VMware products are involved and the out-of-the-box integrations.

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