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EMC Corp. is bulking up its ControlCenter storage resource management platform and expanding its offerings for managed service providers—two cornerstones of its strategy for centralizing management of heterogeneous storage infrastructures.

ControlCenter 5.2, which the Hopkinton, Mass., company will introduce this week, adds a broad slate of connectivity features for managing multivendor storage environments, including interoperability with SMI-S (Storage Management Interface Specification)-compliant devices. The upgrade also provides enhanced support for monitoring and reporting on the performance of IBM, Hitachi Data Systems Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. arrays, as well as that of Linux hosts, EMC officials said.

Click here to read eWEEK’s interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci.

To improve management of tiered EMC and non-EMC storage architectures, ControlCenter 5.2 allows users to launch automated provisioning tasks directly from the systems management interfaces of other vendors. Customers using systems management frameworks such as HP’s OpenView, Computer Associates International Inc.’s Unicenter and IBM’s Tivoli software can, for example, natively issue commands to ControlCenter applications such as EMC Automated Resource Manager.

The beefed-up ControlCenter software is designed to help customers improve trouble-ticketing processes and storage provisioning automation through integration with BMC Software Inc.’s Remedy IT Service Management Suite and BMC Service Impact Manager, EMC officials said.

Additionally, ControlCenter 5.2 features a new Web console that enables remote management, monitoring and aggregation of storage environments and offers SAN (storage area network) management support for SAN-oriented products from HP, Hitachi and Cisco Systems Inc.

Next Page: Hitting a sweet spot.

The new features in Version 5.2, particularly the Linux support, hit a sweet spot for ControlCenter 4.0 customer Omgeo LLC.

“Our current environment consists of more than one data storage system and would therefore find value from an operations perspective in being able to extend ControlCenter to manage all of the storage products—including those that are not EMC,” said Omgeo Managing Director of Technology David Cutright in Boston.

“We are in the process of defining an upgrade project to Version 5.x of ControlCenter for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we will be able to unify and leverage one interface for commands and tasks down from the current six interfaces,” Cutright said. “Doing so will create a consistent work environment for our users.”

On the managed services side, EMC last week joined Connected Corp., of Framingham, Mass., in unveiling the new EMC Proven Solution for PC Backup. The joint offering will enable telecommunications and cable television companies to offer subscribers automated PC data protection and backup as a managed service, according to EMC officials.

The package consists of EMC’s Clariion XC and Centera disk arrays integrated with Connected’s DataProtector/PC data capture and restoration software.

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