HP updates storage software with support for rivals

Hewlett-Packard Co. next week will announce a new version of a key product in its storage software portfolio, adding in support for other vendors’ hardware as part of the software upgrade.

HP, based in Palo Alto, California, will deliver Version 3.0 of its OpenView Storage Area Manager (SAM) suite of storage management software at the start of November, said Mark Sorenson, vice president of HP’s storage software division. With the latest release, the software will be able to work with the storage hardware HP gained through the Compaq Computer Corp. acquisition completed earlier this year, as well as with hardware from IBM Corp., EMC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. In addition, HP has enhanced the suite to be able to handle a larger number of systems connected in a network.

“This is a major release for us,” Sorenson said. “This is an integrated suite of products that really provides the checkpoint or single pane of glass for managing all of the storage across an enterprise.”

The addition of APIs (application programming interfaces) to OpenView SAM for the Compaq gear, as well as for hardware from IBM, EMC and Hitachi, builds on a continuing trend at HP to create cross-platform support. Administrators have struggled to deal with the complexity of managing a storage area network (SAN) made up of hardware from multiple vendors, and HP has secured partnerships with its competitors to try to solve some of these problems. [See, ” HP and Hitachi broaden storage ties,” Sept. 10.] Most of the major storage vendors also have signed on to push the Storage Networking Industry Association’s effort — called the Storage Management Initiative — to create a shared management interface for SANs. The project is still in its early stages.

The HP OpenView SAM suite includes the OpenView Storage Node Manager, OpenView Storage Allocator (formerly LUN Manager), OpenView Storage Optimizer and OpenView Storage Builder. These products help with a variety of management tasks, such as presenting a graphical view of all the storage systems, switches and HBAs (host bus adapters) in a SAN and their current performance. In addition, the suite can be used to send off alerts when a system goes down and to handle billing tasks based on usage of the storage resources, Sorenson said.

Version 3.0 of OpenView SAM will be able to manage 50,000 LUNs (logical unit numbers) and 500 host systems in 50 locations, Sorenson said. LUNs are numbers used to represent various elements of a storage system.

Customers with the existing 2.2 Version of OpenView SAM will be able to upgrade their software before November via downloads provided by HP. However, the company did not outline a schedule for these releases.

HP also will release an OpenView SAM Light suite in 2003 that is designed for smaller businesses, Sorenson said.