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EMC Management Software for Access Control

Storage giant EMC Corp. wants IT administrators to manage access to files in the SAN rather than the operating system.

EMC unveiled new storage software management software this week called ESN Manager that the company says will bring a return on investment by reducing management overhead.

“Instead of managing data access at every server in the Enterprise Storage Netwok environment, administrators gain the ability to manage data access once – at the storage level,” according to an EMC brochure on the management software.

The management software runs on Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 5 or Service Pack 6a; Windows 2000; and versions 2.6, 7 or 8 of Sun Solaris. Through the management software, an administrator can control access to storage volumes used by those and other operating systems including HP-UX, IBM AIX, RedHat Linux and Novell NetWare.

The administration piece of the software is available as a GUI or a command-line interface.

A feature of the product called volume access control is the main means for administrators to control access to storage volumes. It allows administrators to provide secure, shared or selective access to Symmetrix data volumes for authorized users. The feature is designed to shield sensitive information from inadvertent access.

Another important feature of EMC’s new software is the ability to create and manage zones.

Zoning allows an administrator to group logical devices in a Fibre Channel fabric. The selected HBAs, Fibre Channel ports and storage devices assigned to one zone can communicate with other devices in the zone, but not with devices in other zones.

While EMC says the zoning capability helps administrators restrict access to storage network resources, the feature also allows for performance tuning and increased availability, the company says.

The new software works with Fibre-Channel switches from Brocade and McData in addition to EMC’s own Connectrix line. It is limited to Fibre-Channel connected hosts and storage devices.

In the same announcement as the ESN Manager, EMC revealed that disk storage systems from main rivals Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi and tape systems from StorageTek had passed an EMC qualification for EMC’s Enterprise Storage Network framework performed at EMC’s in-house compatibility labs.

Those companies' storage cabinets can be managed as part of zones in the ESN Manager software, although it wasn't immediately clear if access control was a possibility for volumes in anything other than EMC's own Symmetrix Enterprise Storage Manager.

Contact EMC, www.emc.com.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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