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HP storage software update supports rivals

Hewlett-Packard will launch Version 3.0 of its OpenView Storage Area Manager (SAM) suite of storage management software at the start of November, according to Mark Sorenson, vice-president of HP's storage software division.

With the latest release, the software will be able to work with Compaq storage hardware as well as with hardware from IBM, EMC and Hitachi. In addition, HP has enhanced the suite to be able to handle a larger number of systems connected to 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 hardware from Compaq, 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. Most of the major storage vendors have also 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 will also release an OpenView SAM Light suite, designed for small businesses, in 2003, Sorenson said.

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