HP touts new server software

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced this month that it is shipping the next generation of its storage resource management software, Storage Essentials 5.0, which is now integrated with its server management software, Systems Insight Manager.

HP’s software upgrade followed news that it had officially closed its acquisition of AppIQ Inc. this month. Storage Essentials is HP’s name for AppIQ’s Storage Authority storage resource management (SRM) suite.

The integration between Storage Essentials 5.0 and HP’s Systems Insight Manager software means users can now view both management applications through a single screen. AppIQ’s software is relatively unusual in that it automatically discovers and registers all physical and logical storage assets and the applications associated with those assets.

Jeff Hill, a systems and storage administrator with Exempla Healthcare, which manages three hospitals in the Denver area, has been beta-testing Storage Essentials 5.0 for five weeks.

Hill said that so far he likes the ability to manage his HP ProLiant servers and storage infrastructure under a single pane of glass. He also praised the reporting tools that allow his managers to use Storage Essentials for chargeback purposes.

“The AppIQ tool is a little more intuitive,” he said. “It gives you a little cleaner interface and the reporting tools are more robust. That’s something I’m pretty stoked about because that gives me a chance to pass information on to my management so they can make business decisions about our storage.”

Frank Harbist, HP’s vice president and general manager of information life cycle management and StorageWorks Software, also offered insight into HP’s plans to increase heterogeneous management capabilities through the AppIQ software, which is based on open standards.

HP plans to add management tools through application programming interface (API) plug-ins to leverage the AppIQ technology in HP BladeSystem environments as well as cluster virtualization, grid management and enhanced reporting tools.

“Fifty per cent of all server shipments over the next couple of years will be in blades, so our focus in terms of moving this technology forward – allowing for automation capabilities – will really be around blade system environments,” Harbist said. “Virtualized devices is another key area where you’ll see investment from us – whether that be by virtue of storage grids or storage clusters.”

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