By Kevin Komiega
—Hewlett-Packard has completed its acquisition of AppIQ and this week began shipping a new version of its Storage Essentials management application based on AppIQ technology.
The new release of Storage Essentials, version 5.0, features tighter integration between HP's server management software and AppIQ's heterogeneous storage management capabilities.
"This is the full storage management suite that we have been talking about delivering since February," says Frank Harbist, HP's vice president and general manager, ILM and StorageWorks software. "Storage Essentials 5.0 is based on AppIQ technology and is now fully integrated with Systems Insight Manager server management software."
Storage Essentials provides functions such as topology mapping, metering, chargeback, provisioning, performance management, custom reporting, and other management capabilities. The software is built on standards such as CIM, SMI-S, and J2EE and integrates with HP's Systems Insight Manager (SIM). Tying Storage Essentials in with SIM is the latest step in HP's plan to bring server and storage management together under one interface.
Looking ahead, HP plans to put its R&D dollars in several areas to further this goal. Topping the company's list of priorities are blade server management and heterogeneous storage management.
Over the next year, HP will focus on multi-vendor storage support, offering new features such as cluster visualization and reporting, support for Tru64 and OpenVMS systems, backup reporting, NAS management, tape management integration, and iSCSI reporting, according to Harbist. On the server front, HP plans to build out automation technology for its BladeSystem environments as well as grid management and enhanced reporting tools.
During its stint as a stand-alone company, AppIQ was successful in cultivating development and OEM partnerships with a wide variety of storage vendors, which could now give HP an edge in the race for heterogeneous storage management, according to analysts. AppIQ's software supports a slew of storage devices and applications from vendors such as Brocade, Cisco, EMC, Emulex, Engenio, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, McData, Network Appliance, QLogic, Sun, and 3PAR.
In some cases, AppIQ has worked with vendors to help them comply with the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) standard, and in other cases AppIQ has used SMI-S to interface with other vendors' proprietary APIs.
AppIQ's technology provides out-of-band discovery, monitoring, and provisioning, as well as fabric- and application-based management functions.
AppIQ's Ash Ashutosh, now CTO of storage management software at HP, thinks the biggest benefits of the acquisition will be felt by channel partners. "There were a number of things we put on hold because AppIQ was a small company and there was a nagging feeling among partners about our survivability," says Ashutosh. "The acquisition is a win for our OEM partners because there are no longer concerns about AppIQ's longevity. We now have a long-term strategy, and HP brings huge resources to our development team."