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Another Look at Storage Automation

Maybe storage automation isn't just wishful thinking

Maybe it's time to reconsider storage automation.

Not long ago, industry sources were questioning whether the move toward data center automation could include storage. After all, storage managers are notoriously unwilling to relinquish control of anything related to data backup or protection.

With this week's unveiling of pending automated storage applications, Hewlett-Packard may get some of those managers to reconsider. HP claims that by mid-2008, users will be able to tie the provisioning elements of HP's Storage Essentials software to the Application Storage Automation System (ASAS) product it acquired with the purchase of Opsware earlier this year.

Maybe HP's move will liven interest in this area. Storage continues to be rare in the automation equation, which itself is limited in popularity. A recent survey shows that automation of any kind isn't a big priority for IT managers, particularly given reduced budgets.

But at least one analyst says empirical evidence shows automation's popularity is growing. "There is increasing demand for automation. The basic value of it is huge efficiency in terms of operating expenses," says analyst Mike Karp of Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

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