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A Slim Effect For HP Storage Management

HP today took its storage resource management (SRM) software downstream, announcing a slimmed-down version of its Storage Essentials software geared for medium-sized businesses of 100 to 1,000 employees.

HP Storage Essentials Standard Edition SRM software, the first product from the Enterprise Storage and Server Software unit HP forged in January, automates tedious, manual tasks for IT administrators and lets them monitor IT resources via a Web-based GUI .

Storage Essentials Standard Edition typifies the fast-growing SRM software segment, part of what IDC said was nearly a $10 billion storage software market in 2006. The software troubleshoots problems, reports on them, scans files and monitors infrastructure performance and utilization rates.

These tasks are traditionally time consuming and cumbersome; automating them frees up the admin to perform other duties that are more critical for the business.

John Kelly, product marketing manager of HP Storage Essentials, said the software is very much like the Storage Essentials Enterprise Edition that HP launched two years ago, originally through an OEM deal with AppIQ, which HP later acquired.

But while the Enterprise Edition is designed to manage operating systems and SAN switches across multiple vendors' platforms, Standard Edition will only manage software and hardware for HP storage arrays.

Specifically, the software's coverage works with Windows and Linux servers, HP EVA, HP MSA, HP ProLiant Storage Servers, (NAS), HP EML E-Series tape libraries and HBAs and fabric switches.

Kelly also said Standard Edition does not come with three key software modules that Enterprise Edition automatically includes: a Provisioning Manager to deploy new storage and switches; Chargeback Manager, which charges end users for storage consumed; and the Global Reporter, which provides a global summary of data from multiple Storage Essential servers.

Finally, Standard Edition is much easier to install than Enterprise Edition, employing numerous wizards to get the software up and running with little effort, Kelly said.

Cost is also a difference. Standard Edition, which will be available from HP and channel partners starting in the second quarter, is $37,000 for 150 Fibre Channel ports. Base price for Enterprise Edition is $50,000.

However, Standard Edition users are not locked in to that package. Standard Edition SRM can be easily upgraded to the HP Storage Essentials Enterprise Edition Software Suite to handle larger, multi-vendor SAN systems.

These software packages enable HP to compete in an SRM market that includes EMC , IBM , CA and a host of smaller specialist and startup players.