EMC Wednesday is set to unveil the latest version of its Smarts Application Discovery Manager appliance, which is designed to help users better understand and map relationships among applications and infrastructure components.
ADM gives users an inventory of applications and maps how they are linked to IT resources, such as servers, network devices and storage arrays. A built-in dependency catalog lets enterprises keep track of software and hardware configuration changes and compare them on a server-to-server basis.
By combining information about the application infrastructure that ADM collects with EMC Smarts' root-cause analysis capabilities, IT can more easily pinpoint the impact of system events and changes, says Bob Quillin, director of marketing in EMC's nLayers division.
"We know how the applications relate to the infrastructure through Application Discovery Manager. By providing that information to Smarts, when Smarts discovers that a router, or switch or server is down, it can then help the user understand which applications are affected by that outage," Quillin says. "We're linking infrastructure problems directly to the business service that's affected."
EMC released its first version of ADM in May and based the product on technology it licensed from application discovery and mapping vendor nLayers. One month later, EMC announced it acquired privately held nLayers.
With ADM 5.0, EMC created new appliance models geared for geographically distributed enterprises: The ADM Aggregator reconciles mapping and configuration information which ADM Collectors cull from field locations.
In addition, EMC bolstered the product's discovery capabilities. ADM 5.0 can more granularly map J2EE applications, detailing different modules and components and the relationships among them, Quillin says. For packaged enterprise applications, ADM 5.0 is designed to spell out with greater detail the dependencies and intraserver relationships of application server and database applications.
Embedded in ADM 5.0 is a configuration management database (CMDB), which stores data pertaining to IT assets' configuration specifics. A new "open reconciliation engine" lets companies reconcile CMDB data across diverse discovery sources to make sure configuration information is accurate, current and clean. The software stages and cleanses the data before it is allowed to enter ADM's CMDB.
Newly added federation capabilities let IT staff integrate ADM's CMDB with other in-house or third-party CMDB deployments for a consolidated view - without having to physically copy configuration information to a single repository.
Also new to version 5.0 are enhanced dashboards and analytic features that summarize discovery information and track configuration changes over time.
ADM 5.0 is available Oct. 4. Pricing starts at US$50,000.