EMC has launched a new addition to its Ionix range of data centre management software. The company has released Data Center Insight Manager as a way of providing a common interface to enterprise software.

According to Andy Waterhouse, EMC Ionix's pre-sales director for EMEA, the challenge facing enterprises is to have a single view of the infrastructure, particularly with so many organisations pushing to adopt ITIL. Admistrators want a common view of the enterprise but all too frequently the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) has not been updated accurately.

The problem is, said Waterhouse, that people in different IT departments will have had different naming conventions and will not always the attach the same names to the same devices. "For example," said Waterhouse, "let's say that server is being referenced using DNS - but the server admins are using Windows' naming conventions. It's the same entity under two different names and that information is not shared by the different administrators. So when a change is made, the enterprise database is not always up to date."

Waterhouse said that this was important because changes generated much of the workload of the data centre administrator. "Surveys show that 60 to70 percent of data centre workload is just keeping the lights on and that 80 percent of incidents are related to those changes that have been made." A single-enterprise wide view of all entities would make the administrator's task much easier said Waterhouse.

One of the problems facing enterprises is the drive towards virtualisation and how to keep tabs on that. Waterhouse said that Data Center Insight Manager could cope with this too. "When an enterprises move into virtualisation, you have to be able to handle the virtualisation natively or you're in trouble. We can spot when a virtual machine has been moved and can keep tabs on the whole infrastructure," he said.

"Establishing and populating a federated CMDB system is one of the biggest challenges companies face today when trying to manage their next-generation data centres," said Denis Drogseth, vice president Enterprise Management Associates. "With so many tools collecting data from all parts of the IT environment, the ability to get up-to-date, accurate and complete data to a single, monolithic CMDB solution becomes extremely difficult and requires excessive manual labour and guesswork. With EMC Ionix Data Center Insight, EMC is taking a major step forward in helping customers tackle these challenges head-on."