This week, EMC launched a new strategy called Automated Information Storage (AutoIS), which brings the company's applications and management tools to heterogeneous storage infrastructures and opens the company's tools to competing products for the first time. As a result, AutoIS will support storage systems from EMC and from its competitors, such as Compaq, Dell, HDS, Hewlett Packard (HP), IBM, Network Appliance, and Sun Microsystems.

As part of the AutoIS launch, the company also released several new software products. EMC ControlCenter/Open Edition, which includes EMC ControlCenter StorageScope and EMC ControlCenter Replication Manager, will let customers manage and monitor storage resources from different vendors, all from one tool. The key component that lets EMC's software work together is WideSky, a new storage-management middleware solution. WideSky uses a new access method that lets the company's tools interact with multiple vendors' products. EMC hopes its new strategy will reduce costs for its customers with complex storage environments.

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