Avocent Releases Trellis Data Management Appliance

Emerson Network Power has introduced the Avocent Universal Management Gateway, a hardware appliance that marks a key step forward in the company’s roll-out of its Trellis platform for data center infrastructure management (DCIM).

The Avocent Universal Management Gateway (UMG) is a 1U rackmount device will serve as a data processing link between IT and facilities systems and management software.

“You’ve got an enormous amount of data from all these devices (throughout the data center),” said Steve Hassell, the President of Avocent. “The UMG is the hardware component of the Trellis solution. It’s a translator that takes all the data from devices and converts it from its native format to a form the Trellis software can use. It can apply rules to those streams of data in real-time.”

On Display in Demos at Gartner

Emerson is demonstrating the Avocent UMG this week at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas. The hardware will be available in February, according to Hassell. “We’ve got a series of early adopters that have the UMG right now,” he said.

Trellis combines Emerson’s existing Aperture, Avocent and Liebert DCIM solutions into a data center infrastructure platform that combines hardware, software and services to provide data center managers detailed information on their infrastructure capacity. Emerson announced its Trellis strategy in Oct. 2010, but the product will not be available until late March of 2012.

The market for DCIM software has become more competitive while Trellis has been in development. But Hassell says Emerson’s decision to take a holistic approach to data center management has paid off.

“When we started Trellis, the phrase DCIM hadn’t been invented yet,” he said. “The market dynamics have changed, but the market has moved towards many of the ideas we built Trellis around, including the need for a more expansive platform rather than series of point solutions. Next year we’ll be the only product that was purpose-built from the ground up.”

Spanning IT and Facilities

Trellis is designed to provide a solution that can span IT and facilities, bringing together data from servers on the raised-floor as well as cooling and power equipment. While optimized for an organization in which IT and facilities cooperate closely, the platform is comprised of multiple modules that allow customers to adopt one component at a time, and add capabilities as needed.

“Trellis is designed so you can start with either IT or facilities models and grow,” said Hassell. “You’re going to start the journey from whatever pain point you have, and then expand outward.”

In emphasizing the importance of DCIM tools in its plans, Emerson has noted that its acquisitions of Aperture and Avocent represent a more than $1.25 billion investment. The Gartner event has featured updates of DCIM tools from several vendors, reflecting the prominence of data center management for the enterprise users that dominate the Gartner attendeer base.

Growing Interest in DCIM

“More and more organizations are seeking to eliminate the inefficiencies created when IT and facilities systems are managed separately,” explained David Cappuccio, Vice President and Chief of Research – Infrastructures, Gartner. “DCIM solutions that integrate IT and facilities systems into a single management platform will be essential to optimizing the performance of the data center in the future.”

Emerson also introduced Avocent DSView 4, an updated version of Avocent software that can use the Avocent Universal Management Gateway appliance to deliver 24/7 centralized data center management. Avocent DSView 4 also offers new features including HyperV support, FIPS 140-2 support, and the addition of an open architecture database to allow administrators to design custom reports, and utilize third-party reporting systems.

“The UMG is being released as an Avocent device,” said Hassell. “You can use the UMG with the software you have today, in place of our previous service processor product, and then be ready for Trellis.”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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