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EMC releases Storage Configuration Advisor SRM tool; storage vendors work on integration with Citrix

Headlines: EMC Storage Configuration Advisor provides policy-based monitoring of a storage infrastructure, but overlaps with other tools in the vendor's storage resource management portfolio; about 20 data storage partners, from arrays to backup, have signed on to Citrix Systems' Citrix Ready Open Storage Program for XenServer integration. But if they build it, will users come?

Storage channel news roundup for May 6-13, 2009

EMC's Storage Configuration Advisor provides policy-based monitoring, overlaps other EMC SRM offerings

EMC Corp. this week launched Storage Configuration Advisor, an addition to its data center management software suite that can provide agentless policy-based monitoring of the storage infrastructure.

Storage Configuration Advisor (SCA) was developed by EMC based on IP from its nLayers acquisition in 2006, according to Kevin Gray, director of EMC's Resource Management Software Group (RMSG). Storage Configuration Advisor is aimed at large shops with complex environments, where "it's not that IT doesn't understand what the configurations are supposed to be, but they have thousands of servers and may not be aware of all the issues at a given moment," Gray said.

The software resides on an appliance on the network and uses industry-standard data collection interfaces, including Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Secure Shell (SSH), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S).

Read the full story on EMC's Storage Configuration Advisor.

Data storage vendors work on integration with Citrix Systems' XenServer

Years after implementing its first storage integration with Symantec Corp., Citrix Systems Inc. is making integration and automation with data storage products a major priority for its XenServer 5.5 server virtualization software due to ship next month.

Citrix Systems said last week that more than 20 storage partners are in its Citrix Ready Open Storage Program. The program's purpose is to verify that data storage products work with XenServer through its StorageLink technology. StorageLink consists of components that tie storage resources to virtual servers.

Dell Inc./EqualLogic, Hewlett-Packard Co. and NetApp have completed work writing code to integrate disk arrays with the StorageLink API for XenServer.

XenServer 5.5 will also add a new API for backup software vendors, with the goal of creating consolidated backup via server images loaded onto a proxy server similar to VMware Inc.'s VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB).

Check out these XenServer installation and deployment guidelines.

Microsoft refreshes Windows Storage Server 2008

Microsoft Corp. took the wraps off Windows Storage Server 2008 last week, claiming improvements in its block storage capabilities, single-instance storage and performance.

Windows Storage Server 2008 adds an increase in scalability for file-level single-instance storage (SIS) repositories, and a newly integrated software iSCSI target that can operate alongside network-attached storage (NAS). Microsoft did a deep dive into these and other features during a webinar Thursday, one day after releasing Windows Storage Server 2008 to OEM partners.

Windows Storage Server is sold by Microsoft through storage OEMs such as Compellent, Dell/EqualLogic, and Hewlett-Packard/LeftHand Networks that often use it as a NAS gateway for block storage devices. Those OEMs will have the choice of rolling out their own versions in the coming months, said Jason Buffington, senior technical product manager for Microsoft's storage solutions team.

Read the full story on Windows Storage Server 2008.

F5 Networks makes ARX file virtualization switch more tier friendly

F5 Networks Inc. rolled out Version 5.0 of its ARX file virtualization switch this week, with more support for tiered storage data modeling, virtual snapshots for Windows file servers and a less disruptive deployment process.

F5 is rolling out two new software features -- File Tracking in the ARX management console and a tiered storage ROI tool for its Data Manager storage resource management (SRM) software. File Tracking allows a backup administrator to track where files have been moved by the ARX switch over time.

A new Seamless Import feature resulting from changes to the way ARX lays out its routing tables will let end users access files while the ARX switch is scanning and virtualizing file systems in the environment.

Listen to this podcast on how systems integrators can help customers manage unstructured data with three file virtualization approaches.

NetGear ups ante in SMB network-attached storage market with ReadyNAS 2100

NetGear Inc. is taking its ReadyNAS platform upmarket a bit with the more resilient, higher-performance rackmount ReadyNAS 2100, and the new ReadyNAS Remote feature for offsite access on all ReadyNAS systems.

The ReadyNAS 2100 is the largest and fastest ReadyNAS, due to a new Intel chipset and 1 GB of RAM. NetGear claims the 2100 is twice as fast as its previous rackmount version, the ReadyNAS 1100.

The ReadyNAS Remote software lets customers access and manage ReadyNAS systems remotely through a Web interface without requiring VPN or FTP access. NetGear added ReadyNAS Remote though a partnership with cloud vendor Leaf Networks LLC.

Find details on NetGear's partner program here.

Storage news of the week

Check out's rundown of the week's product news. And find last week's storage channel news roundup here.

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