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HP Enhances Software Products to Automate IT Managers' Workloads

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) enhanced two software products this week with the goal of optimizing IT's management of data center operations -- HP Operations Orchestration and HP Storage Essentials.

Both are part of what HP calls its Business Service Automation suite. If the software infrastructure is meant to deliver predictable business services, then HP Operations Orchestration is meant to automate what have previously been IT labor-intensive server configuration and provisioning tasks. It can also repurpose a server for a new task.

The integration of Operations Orchestration with other parts of the suite, such as the HP Change Management Database, allows the orchestration product to call on stored knowledge and configure servers based on an organization's known best practices.

A step by step workflow insures servers are configured the same way each time, without the possibility of human error introducing unexpected changes, said HP's Kalyan Ramanathan, director of product marketing, in an interview. Either physical or virtual servers can be provisioned through it.

While cloning an existing ESX Server is easy, establishing a way to produce an ESX Server that meets higher security standards and implements more policy controls is much harder. "You experience the six minute to six hour conundrum," where something that sounds simple to do takes a long time, said Ramanathan.

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