HP 'Adapts' Its Storage Portfolio

UPDATE: Systems vendor rolls out new SAN tools, beefier business continuity, better groupings in the shared access storage areas as it extends its 'adaptive enterprise' strategy to storage works.
Hewlett-Packard has sharpened its focus on storage systems that are part of its adaptive, on-demand strategy with the release of an expanded StorageWorks portfolio that includes new business continuity features.

The upgraded storage systems, software and related systems in the portfolio are part of HP's extended ENSA (Enterprise Network Storage Architecture) strategy of giving customers tools that help them provision and make decisions on-the-fly.

Some of the new features in the OpenView Storage Data Protector module include single backup and restore for all Microsoft Exchange Mailbox users or individual mailboxes; full integration with Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service which is used to streamline backup of open files, databases and applications. It also incorporates support for Microsoft Automated System Recovery and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 backup features.

Other new features in the module upgrade are new "group by devices" and "group by hosts" views in the storage area network (SAN) auto-configuration wizard for optimized shared device access, HP said. In addition, the storage data software has been extended to emerging (Intel Architecture) IA-64 platforms, including Windows Server 2003, HP-UX and Linux, as well as DB2 online backup for IBM AIX and HP-UX.

The new addition to its adaptive enterprise strategy was part of a spate of storage-related news the company rolled out Tuesday, including a new security software tool that makes storage area networks (SANs) safer with the help of Brocade's fabric infrastructure.

HP StorageWorks Secure Fabric OS is a security software tool that helps users tailor SAN fabric security to meet specific business requirements. Most SANs are secure at the most basic level, but as IT administrators increasingly perform more complicated tasks with SANs, new levels of security are required, said Roger Archibald, vice president, HP Infrastructure and NAS Division. HP, who is extending its partnership with Brocade in this deal, competes with EMC , IBM and Hitachi Data Systems as a large provider of SAN software, which is used to manage data in networks.

"There is a new focus on security in the SAN," Archibald told internetnews.com. "There is much more business critical data out there and while people have traditionally had car key access to the data center, the SAN is extending to things like remote replication, which requires different security."

Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Nancy Marrone agreed that security issues are becoming a more commonplace in SANs.

"I believe the need to look at security is stronger now because SANs are becoming more commonplace, and are moving out of the "closed door" data center environment," Marrone told internetnews.com. "By their very nature, SANs can create a security issue as there are now a number of entry points to a data share, so administrator must be cautious about what user has access to what data. Management applications allow administrators to change the configuration of a SAN, so there needs to be a great deal of security within the management application itself to make sure that only authorized administrators can make any changes to the network configuration."

Archibald said database managers are asking HP for varying levels of operations with the SAN -- operations that go beyond the "glass house" of the entry level storage networks. The secure OS fabric, based on Brocade architecture, is based on public key infrastructure (PKI) and allows better authentication control and digital certification to protect data from corruption.

StorageWorks Secure Fabric OS works with the Palo Alto, Calif. company's OpenView Storage Area Manager and StorageWorks Fabric Manager to provide centralized management of SAN security policies for management and device access. This leads to configuration integrity and reduced risk of downtime due to intrusion or human error. The HP Secure Fabric OS supports the entire B-Series HP StorageWorks SAN Switch family, which is built by Brocade as the SilkWorm fabric switch product family.

Tom Buiocchi, Brocade vice president of marketing, said a Brocade SAN fabric with StorageWorks Secure Fabric OS assures that only authorized users can take management actions on the fabric and that only authorized servers, storage, or switches can be added to the fabric.

HP StorageWorks Secure Fabric OS is now delivered through HP's Installation and Startup Service, which provides enterprises with storage security planning and design assistance. The service also configures networked storage environments using the HP StorageWorks Secure Fabric OS software.

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