EMC buys iWave software for cloud automation

EMC buys iWave software for its storage provisioning, dynamic server provisioning, cloud service management, automated disaster recovery capabilities.

EMC has quietly acquired OEM partner iWave Software, a developer of storage and cloud automation technology that EMC used in its VMAX Service Provider Platform designed for service providers to deploy storage infrastructure for the cloud.

EMC did not officially announce the deal, although it did confirm it closed Dec. 27. The first public disclosure of the acquisition came in a letter to customers and partners posted on iWave's website by CEO Brent Rhymes.

EMC will absorb iWave employees into its EMC Advanced Storage Division (ASD) organization, with Rhymes reporting to Jay Mastaj, senior vice president and chief operating officer of that organization.

iWave's Storage Automator performs storage provisioning, matching application needs to the correct storage tier, array, device group, device type and data path, but it goes beyond basic storage provisioning.

Randy Kerns, senior strategist at Boulder, Colo.-based Evaluator Group, said iWave fits under the software orchestration category, which includes dynamic server provisioning, cloud service management, closed-loop change management, intelligent fault remediation, automated disaster recovery and workload management.

Its primary product, the iWave IT automator, deals with server provisioning, private cloud administration, configuration management database (CMDB), event response and fault remediation, change control process enforcement and resource allocation for agile computing. CMDB is part of ITIL, and holds details of configuration items in the IT infrastructure to illustrate how changes affect system processes.

"EMC used iWave for storage provisioning, but iWave has gone beyond that to do more data-centered cloud management," Kerns said. "It [has] moved to an upper level and not just storage. It has good technology, and it is doing more advanced features."

Because of the OEM relationship, Kerns said, "This acquisition is not a huge surprise, but it establishes EMC as a significant player in this area, and they now have their own intellectual property."

IWave's secondary product is the iWave TransportManager, which provides business-driven change, configuration and release management, and enforceable Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in SAP environments.

On the storage side, the company announced in November the latest version of iWave's Storage Automator as a virtual appliance for easier deployment. It added support for Windows Active Directory, a more robust application programming interface, and a cost code capability for chargeback tracking to its version 6.5, which was unveiled last May. IT Automator helps administrators handle storage provisioning and tiering, reclamation capability and support for block storage for Linux, VMware ESX Servers and VMware clusters, Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS) volumes.

IWave Storage Automator supports EMC VMAX, VMAXe, VNX and Clariion, NetApp FAS and Dell Compellent arrays. It also supports Brocade and Cisco switches, Windows and Linux multipathing, EMC PowerPath, CIFS, NFS and iSCSi protocols.

"IWave is taking a process that vendors often deliver in piecemeal tools and putting it under one roof, said Joseph Martins, managing director of Data Mobility Group, in an interview before the November announcement. "You can get an application up and running with a bare minimum reference profile and you don't have to do a lot of manual tweaking. These profiles they have designed bridge the gap for those [that] may not be very technical."

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