Article

Hewlett-Packard tries new storage automation focus

Beth Pariseau

Hewlett-Packard Co. is set to release a package of new products and services for data center automation, including storage automation through integration of its Storage Essentials storage management software with software HP acquired when it bought Opsware Inc. last year.

One of the changes is enhanced integration between Operations Orchestration and the three products that used to make up HP's OpenView -- Network Node Manager 8, Operations Manager 8 and Operations Manager 7. HP's Operations Orchestration was formerly the Opsware Process Automation System, which HP picked up from Opsware.

There's also a new connection between Operations Orchestration and HP's Storage Essentials storage management software. Previously, StorageEssentials had "visibility integration" with Opsware's Application Storage Automation System (ASAS). The new integration with Operations Orchestration, which will be available in early April, will let users automate storage provisioning and other functions based on policies. The software will likely make it easier for HP products to solve interdisciplinary problems in IT, such as rolling out server virtualization, according to Enterprise Strategy Group market research analyst Mary Turner.

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Reldata said its 9240 storage gateways will now include automated software features called Relbots, which perform a sequence of actions that mimic what a human operator would do to perform certain repetitious storage tasks, such as turning over snapshot retention repositories.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. launched an in-band file virtualization product that automates data migration features. (IBM also has several offerings in this space.) Network Appliance Inc. recently announced new provisioning automation software. BMC Software Inc. will be going head-to-head with HP on the server side following its acquisition of BladeLogic Inc. for around $800 million on Monday, and EMC has also been tacking on acquisitions to beef up its IT Process Centre offering.

While these tools can minimize administrators' exposure to complexity in the IT environment, Turner said they won't do much to eliminate that complexity. "Unless you take the underlying complexity out of the environment, automated tools won't change it," she said. "There's only so much management tools can do."


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