Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer first launched in April 2009, designed for companies who lack dedicated storage administrators and usually rely on one team to manage networks, servers and data storage. It monitors servers and devices on Ethernet networks along with Fibre Channel storage-area networks (FC SANs). The application is agentless and managed through a Web GUI.
Through a spokesperson, Hitachi Data Systems said this is a separate effort from the unified compute platform it is developing with Microsoft. Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer is developed for smaller businesses, while the unified compute platform is focused on the enterprise. Still, folding in network and server management with storage reflects an industry-wide trend of moving from domain-based management toward IT stacks that cover the whole data center.
Jeffrey Papen, CEO of service provider and Hitachi Data Systems customer Peak Web Hosting and Peak Web Consulting, said he's intrigued by the product and will test it in the coming months. Papen's company provides consulting and managed services for MySpace, eHarmony and Netflix, and hosts customers' data on Hitachi Data Systems' AMS arrays in its data centers.
"I've reached out to see a demo [of Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer]—you can never have too much monitoring," he said, adding that he hoped the product would be competitive with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co.'s OpenView in features and price. "This is putting a tiptoe in the water for HDS."
Papen said he's more intrigued by this product than the unified compute product Hitachi Data Systems said it's developing for larger users. "Everyone has the opportunity to improve on what's come before as far as performance monitoring tools," he said. "The problem is nobody's willing to pay anything for monitoring products because there's enough decent free stuff out there, but if HDS can bundle it in with other products, it's definitely interesting."
Analysts said the lines between tools for midsized and enterprise organizations will only grow blurrier as data grows and trends like server virtualization add complexity in data centers across the board.
"There seems to be a growing trend for storage vendors to release IT operations measurement and monitoring software," wrote Analytico Inc. analyst Tom Trainer in an email to SearchStorage.com. "However, vendors such as HDS need to realize that once users deploy the early versions of these products they will want greater capabilities added over time. The SMB customer may be running mission-critical apps and require 'enterprise-like' functionality."