Hewlett-Packard wants to help users manage storage-area networks the same way they manage the rest of their enterprise.
HP was last week expected to announce SAN management applications that will give users the ability to monitor storage devices and assign storage priority to users - via HP's OpenView management package.
A SAN is a high-speed network of storage devices, usually connected by Fibre Channel, that can be accessed, theoretically, by any server in the enterprise or any other storage device.
HP already offers some storage management applications, such as OmniBack, a management product for backing up and recovering Unix and Windows NT data. The company also sells OmniStorage, which automatically moves data to the storage media - optical, tape or disk - that has the most available space. But HP's new SAN management product will give IS managers a much more comprehensive application than what is already available, sources say.
While details of the announcement are sketchy, sources say HP is seeking to bring policy-based management to SANs.
As HP's strategy unfolds and more products come to market, users should be able to more easily control the SAN environment, sources say.
For instance, IS staff should be able to prioritise which users get preference in securing storage space for their data.
Among other benefits, users will be able to have a single image of an entire network, complete with the SAN attached to it. Staff will be able to determine SAN resources and the status of individual SAN devices.
HP will also announce this week a Fibre Channel Hub Manager software product. Sources say the com-pany will now be adding tools to manage Fibre Channel switches as well as a variety of storage devices, such as RAID towers.
In the future, users will have the ability, from a single OpenView console, to enable and disable ports in a Fibre Channel switch, monitor the switch's temperature, fan and power supply, and discover which connections are inoperative. With HP software, IS managers will be able to add, configure or remove parts of the SAN without disrupting the entire network.
The new SAN management applications will run with members of the existing OpenView product family, such as the Network Node Manager 6.0.
HP declined to comment on the rollout.