Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is ditching its proprietary SAN management software and instead has announced an OEM deal with standards-based storage resource management provider, AppIQ Inc.
From April 1, HP will no longer develop or sell its OpenView Storage Area Manager (OVSAM) product. The 3,000 or so users of this software have the option to migrate to HP Storage Essentials, a new suite of products based on AppIQ's Storage Authority product line.
"The future of storage management is around standards and open systems, and HP has recognized this and is scrapping its proprietary approach," said Nancy Hurley, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).
OVSAM users will be offered equivalent product functionality and licenses at no additional cost, according to an HP spokesperson. Detailed product-to-product comparisons and use of migration assessment tools will also be available to facilitate this transition, the company said. HP will also continue to provide product maintenance support for OVSAM through May 2008.Click here to read what HP storage chief Bob Shultz has to say about the company's recent ups and downs.
Tying server and storage management together
Storage Essentials will integrate with HP's System Insight Manager (SIM), which ships free of charge with all Proliant and HPUX servers. SIM provides device discovery, topology mapping, alarms and alerts, and authentication services for these servers. Storage Essentials will provide similar functionality for heterogeneous storage. On top of these basic functions, HP will offer additional Storage Essentials modules for provisioning and reporting.
"We're adding more storage capabilities into Insight Manager for free and adding enhanced modules through Storage Essentials that we will charge for," said Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of HP's StorageWorks software group. The modules start at $2,000 and go up to as much as $60,000, depending on the functionality.
The key difference between OVSAM and AppIQ's product is support for multivendor storage, as well as provisioning and reporting. And it provides all this functionality through industry standards including J2EE, SMI-S, WBEM and WMI.
"They [HP] offered cursory support of other vendors products but not deep analysis," said a spokesperson for AppIQ. "And they didn't have provisioning or reporting capabilities, or application monitoring," the spokesman added. Storage Essentials supports plug-ins for Sybase Inc. and Oracle Corp. databases, and Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange.
Storage Essentials is the first storage product in HP's road map for unified server and storage management. "We are seeing a lot more cases of customers that want integrated tools for server and storage management … It needs to be modular so that people can choose to manage them separately or together, but the key is that they look the same," HP's Harbist said.
ESG's Hurley noted that this is the first product out there that provides a common tool for server and storage management. "Everyone else still offers separate pieces," she said.
The first iteration of Storage Essentials will be a discrete product, separate from Insight Manager. But later this year, following tighter integration with AppIQ, HP plans to provide a single sign-on for both products. This will mean that users can set a policy on the server side and have it reflect back on the storage. Partitioning capabilities within AppIQ's software allows administrators to divvy up responsibilities so that the server and storage groups continue to perform their tasks, but communication between the two is seamless, according to AppIQ.
The deal with AppIQ is a seven-year agreement that will involve future collaboration on engineering and product development. Storage Essentials is reportedly available from March 28.