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From Storage to Server, HP Builds a Bridge

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Looking to become the first large systems vendor to bridge the gap between storage and servers, HP introduced the next generation of its storage resource management software, a suite that integrates with the company's server management tools.

Storage Essentials is a set of software plug-ins designed to alleviate the pain points associated with bridging islands of storage and server gear from different vendors and making them seamlessly work together, said Richard Escott, director of storage management at HP.

Storage Essentials offers SAN management, storage resource management, provisioning and application infrastructure monitoring. The product is based on the StorageAuthority Suite product line from AppIQ, with which HP has an OEM partnership.

Together, these are many of the characteristics and tools used for utility computing environments, where computing resources are piped to and from machines on an on-demand basis, based on computing requirements. HP uses these tools for its Adaptive Enterprise strategy for computing that adjusts to business needs on the fly.

Escott said the unity of storage and server environments seems to be where the industry is headed based on software advancements. He said IBM , Sun Microsystems and Veritas Software have all outlined goals along the same path -- they just haven't reached them yet.

"No other vendor is providing consolidated storage and server management that is this tightly integrated," said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement.

Storage Essentials can't do much alone, so its modules integrate with HP System Insight Manager, the company's basic server and storage management platform. The Palo Alto, Calif., company offers Insight Manager for free in large part because it is based on open source technologies like JBoss application server and PostgreSQL database.

Storage Essentials will not be free but pricing depends on the scope of installation. The software, the first storage product on the company's roadmap for a unified server and storage management architecture, is designed to eventually replace HP's OpenView Storage Area Manager.

Available March 28, Storage Essentials supports Windows, Linux and HP-UX, Solaris, IBM-AIX, and IRIX, as well as J2EE, SMI-S, WBEM and WMI standards.

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