Published: May 20, 2011

EMC Upgrades Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) To Accelerate VCE Vblock Use in Cloud

EMC World 2011, held in Las Vegas, was the backdrop for EMC's announcement of the Unified Infrastructure Manager 2.1 (UIM 2.1). The UIM software is essentially the VCE Vblock management system, capable of orchestrating and provisioning infrastructure services across the entire Vblock infrastructure: VMware hypervisors, Cisco UCS compute and networking gear, and EMC storage arrays. This software was introduced about a year ago and when first introduced covered the hypervisor and Cisco components. Version 2.0 added the storage provisioning, and 2.1 now adds:

  • "Single-click" end-to-end provisioning for the Vblock. EMC claims this is five times faster and 80% more efficient than other methods. Ideally, this provisioning capability will be integrated with a self-service provisioning portal and service catalog.
  • An operations module that will provide rapid problem identification and resolution across the entire Vblock (compute, network, and storage). As organizations deploy mission critical applications on these converged infrastructures, it will be critical to have the ability to quickly find and isolate faults. The operations module will provide that capability.
  • Expanded support for unified storage arrays. UIM 2.1 will support the Vblock Series 300. The ability to provide options of scale, performance, and automation will be important as organizations of all sizes look to deploy solutions on the Vblock.

EMC Ionix UIM/Provisioning 2.1 is now generally available and UIM/Operations 2.1 is available as of May 13th. Support for Vblock Series 300 will be available in June 2011.

UIM provides tremendous value in conjunction with Vblock for simplified management and provisioning of infrastructure services. But organizations also need to consider the implications of deploying converged infrastructure with unified management. Specifically organizations should also think about:

  • The impact on people and process. With the UIM's single-click provisioning, organizations will not require separate teams and processes for compute, network, and storage environments. At a high level, this should be viewed as a good thing. As these environments continue to grow at an astronomical pace, it will be difficult to scale teams; while technology specialists will still be required for some time to come, IT generalists who understand the business and all aspects of the environment will become more prevalent. Organizations should consider cross-training its IT staff for maximum efficiency.
  • Cost vs. business process improvement and agility. Although IT is under constant pressure to reduce costs, there may come a time when improving business processes and delivering more responsive and flexible services will trump financial concerns. ESG research has shown that over the last three years, reducing operational expenses is still the number one justification for IT investments; however, the gap between it and the number two justification, business process improvement, is closing. In fact, we could see business process improvement claiming the top spot next year.

 

 

You can read Bob's other blog entries at Data Center Continuum.

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