HP Steps Up Software and Services

HP strikes at IBM with a new Openview platform and a utility-based storage service

December 3, 2001

2 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) has announced updated services, new products, recovery software, and a new pricing model aimed at buttressing the vendor's so-called Federated Storage Area Management (FSAM) strategy. The raft of upgrades is also clearly meant to dwarf competitors in this field, such as IBM Global Services.

HP says its new services are meant to reduce the difficulties of managing multivendor environments. Included are HP SAN support services, offering troubleshooting and diagnostics, as well as guidance for outsourcing, regardless of what vendor's SAN is installed. OpenView Storage Area Management consulting services give customers advice on how to create scaleable pools of storage using modular storage appliances on any operating system, HP says.

We accept the job of tracking down the problem, no matter what vendor's technology a customer has,” says John Selep, product marketing manager for HP Openview. “The customer has one neck to choke and it's ours.”

IBM Global Services professes to offer storage management services, but hasn’t publicly announced anything yet.

HP’s also got a bunch of updated products, including:

  • A new Openview Storage Area Manager software suite to help manage multivendor storage environments.

  • HP Omniback II 4.1, an "instant recovery" software module for HP's Openview management framework. This is data protection software for copying information to one or more tape libraries. A terabyte per hour is the rule of thumb for recovering data -- but HP says it has been able to improve this “significantly” by moving just the changed blocks between the production copy and the backup copy.

  • HP Zero Downtime Backup hardware and software, now extended to support HP Surestore Virtual Arrays. Previously, this series only supported HP’s high-end XP arrays and EMC Corp.'s (NYSE: EMC) Symmetrix units. This new version provides enterprise features to the mid-range market, company officials said.

  • A series of storage networking devices and switches, including the HP Surestore Fibre Channel 1- and 2-Gbit/s Switch, a new HP Surestore Tape Autoloader, and enhancements to HP Surestore Virtual Arrays 7100 and 7400.

HP's also unveiled a new pricing model called HP Pay Per Use (PPU), whereby payments are made on a gigabyte-per-month basis and customers pay only for the storage they use. Available for the HP Surestore XP Disk and Virtual Array families, HP PPU utility pricing also works with HP OpenView Storage Accountant software, which tracks storage for financial analysis, budgeting, and chargeback.

Analysts agree that these upgrades and services are an important step by HP towards easing the process of managing storage -- particularly since they support multivendor storage networks. But the same analysts warn that many customers may wait to see if the merger with Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) goes ahead and what the outcome of this will be, before they place any big bets on HP (see Compaq/HP Hairball).

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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