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HDS jumps on automation bandwagon

Hitachi Data Systems and InterSAN announced an OEM deal this week that will put automation technology into Hitachi's storage device management software.

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS), Santa Clara, Calif., has inked a deal with InterSAN Inc., Scotts Valley, Calif., to add automation to the HDS HiCommand Device Manager for storage management.

The reseller agreement means that InterSAN's Pathline software is now available through Hitachi's global sales force.

Membership does have its benefits. InterSAN was among the first companies to adopt Hitachi's HiCommand application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate Pathline software with Hitachi Freedom Storage systems as part of the HDS TrueNorth Developers Program.

The OEM relationship -- InterSAN's first -- has started with the offering of InterSAN's software through its direct sales force and reseller networks in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

InterSAN said that, once integrated with the HDS HiCommand Device Manager, the Pathline software will automatically provision, manage and monitor the Hitachi Freedom Storage family of products in a distributed storage-networking environment.

InterSAN's Pathline product is application-based SAM software that automates the management of shared storage services like planning, implementing, provisioning and monitoring networked storage environments.

Pathline uses a technology called Virtual Private DataPath to provide end-to-end path management of the relationship between applications and storage resources, which InterSAN said masks the complexities of disparate SAN devices and technology.

"There have been a growing set of investments in the vendor community in trying to improve the automation of storage," said Raymond Paquet, vice president and research director for Gartner Inc., the Stamford, Conn. research firm.

Paquet said Hitachi is not primarily a software company. "One strategy to take if you're not a software company is to get software companies to solve your software problems," he said.

He said that while storage provisioning is helpful, there are other tasks that need to be automated.

"If you break down storage management spending, the biggest market is in backup, then it's in replication," he said. "I think there's a huge opportunity there."

InterSAN and HDS aren't alone in the automation race. A number of storage companies have added automation to their software in the past few weeks.BMC Software Inc. of Houston has allied itself with Invio Software Inc., based in Palo Alto, Calif., to incorporate Invio's storage automation technology into BMC's Patrol Storage Manager product.

BMC said that the resulting management tools would automate storage management from the analysis level to actionable tasks.

As part of its ongoing push into storage software, EMC unveiled a series of tools and product enhancements last month. EMC's Automated Resource Manager (ARM), is a tool designed to ease the pains of provisioning storage resources to applications by automating the necessary manual steps.

The ARM is the newest member of EMC's ControlCenter family of storage management software and, according to the company, it supports both EMC and non-EMC storage devices, including Symmetrix, Clariion and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s StorageWorks.

IBM added autonomic technology to its Enterprise Storage Server, code-named Shark, earlier this week. Shark is designed to provide self-managing, self-optimizing and self-healing software and hardware. ESS CLI, one of the new Shark enhancements, allows storage administrators to offload management and copy functions onto the arrays processors, and, more important, to automate them.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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