EMC has united its disparate management portfolio built up from acquisitions, organic development and integration work, into a new IT management software and services suite named Ionix, which will help customers more easily control next-generation networks.

EMC Ionix consists of four IT management product sets: Service Discovery and Mapping; Service Management; Data Center Automation and Compliance; and IT operations Intelligence. The software and services in each category support automated discovery, model-based management, ITIL processes, integrated workflows, automation and root-cause analysis, according to EMC.

"Ionix is the result of a five-year strategy bringing together a range of products, with the Configuresoft product anchoring the suite with its data centre automation technology," says Bob Quillin, senior director of marketing for EMC Ionix. "The integrations enable customers to manage across domains and monitor virtualisation across all areas of IT, not treating it as a silo."

EMC Ionix incorporates technology recently acquired with Configuresoft and EMC products partly built on software from the vendor's Smarts, nLayers, Voyence and Infra acquisitions. Ionix also puts EMC's ControlCenter to work to manage performance and availability across network, storage, servers and applications as well as tracking end-to-end services. Part of the motivation to update its management suite now was the current need to manage virtual infrastructure alongside physical machines and the growing appeal of cloud computing, EMC says.

"Ionix is not just managing silos, but centralising around management and using virtualisation to drive management to the next level," Quillin says.

EMC's approach to incorporate virtualisation technology into its management software could address a current pain point in enterprise IT management. Research firms such as IDC expect virtualisation adoption to slow if enterprise IT customers aren't able to automate virtualisation management and simplify the ongoing operations. Industry watchers say traditional management software products might not be built to adequately address more dynamic environments.

"HP and BMC are two leaders in the space for sure - but they built monolithic software to support monolithic physical infrastructures - and were built well before anyone even heard of virtualisation, let alone the cloud," said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. "At every major disruption point, huge new market opportunities are created and the eventual winners tend to be the ones that are purpose-built for the new world order - not those who bolt-on functions to last year's model."

While Ionix would likely increase competition among EMC and management market leaders BMC, CA, HP and IBM, the vendor will still have to overcome challenges to be chosen as a primary management vendor. In an analysis of the management software market, Forrester Research commended EMC's progress and pointed out that more work needed to be done.

"EMC's recent acquisitions, such as nLayers and Voyence, have placed it as a leading configuration vendor, but broader management coverage is questionable. It has some great weapons in its arsenal with Smarts and now Infra, but it must accelerate its M&A expansion and internal development to capitalise on its assets and enter the elite class of anchors," reads the report "Managing the IT Management Software Portfolio," which was published prior to EMC's Configuresoft acquisition.

Updates, integrations and common platform support will be included in EMC Ionix products immediately.