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SRM Tests Willingness to Spend

For years, management of storage has been separate from management of servers, applications, networks, and other IT infrastructure. That may be changing at last, though solutions will be costly and complicated for a long time to come.

Yesterday's news that Hewlett-Packard has combined StorageWorks SRM with server management software in a new division is proof that big storage suppliers want to combine a range of IT management functions in umbrella products. (See HP Reshuffles More Software.)

The question is, what kind of umbrella is really needed? And what level of integration between storage management and the broader roster of systems management functions is both affordable and practical?

For HP and other big vendors, the goal appears to be to offer software that puts a supplier's system and storage management apps into a common interface with secure access. Customers will still pay handsomely for individual management apps, and there won't be any fancy correlations or combination views. Indeed, it will probably be a long time before deeper integration materializes.

"The focus seems to be on application services management -- with drill-down and integration with the underlying resource management tools, using them with other analytics to solve the underlying problem," writes Richard L. Ptak, principal analyst at Ptak Noel & Associates. While suppliers aren't emphasizing sophisticated SRM in these new wares, it represents a rich area for exploitation, he maintains.

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