HP reveals next-generation storage plan

Hewlett-Packard has unveiled its roadmap for the next generation of its Extended Network Storage Architecture, dubbed...

Hewlett-Packard has unveiled its roadmap for the next generation of its Extended Network Storage Architecture, dubbed Ensaextended, writes Antony Adshead.

Howard Elias, senior vice-president and general manager for HP storage solutions, said, "With Ensaextended we are giving customers a way to manage their storage infrastructure through end-to-end application integration, based on business rules, resulting in an adaptive storage infrastructure that is controllable, resilient and extensible."

Analysts view the development as a move to strengthen HPs hand in infrastructure management. It comes after the announcement that HP is to discontinue of a number of its middleware products.

Graham Titterington, an analyst at Ovum, said the development is part of HP's growing emphasis on infrastructure management software and a move towards interoperability. "My feeling is that it is another step in the evolution towards storage interoperability but it is not the final piece of the jigsaw. HP is adding elements of interoperability and is establishing its credentials, though the company is still only really in the first division," he said.

"HP is deciding to put more energy into infrastructure management software rather than application software. This ties in with the company's hardware strengths."

Ensaextended follows a roadmap that aims to offer virtualisation in a number of products to be launched over the next three years. As part of this drive to deliver universal network storage, Ensaextended will provide a single view of heterogeneous storage assets to enable performance optimisation of data archiving and replication tasks.

If successful, the products could be a major step forward because storage products have been dogged by a lack of interoperability between suppliers. As a result, users have incurred testing overheads of up to 10% of implementation costs, according to Ovum figures.

Products that will play a key part in the Ensaextended roadmap include HP Openview Storage Area Manager and the forthcoming HP Openview Storage Provisioner.

The move towards a concentration on management products follows the discontinuation of some HP products in the Web commerce sphere, including HP Application Server, HP Web Services and HP Process Manager.

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