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Delivering on the promise of storage automation

By Nimish Shelat, Product Manager for HP Storage Essentials Storage Resource Management software

I wrote in July on the developments the storage software group has been doing.  I followed up with how Storage Essentials SRM software can help manage storage in a virtual environment (Link Here).  But I realized I left off some of the fundamentals - I get so caught up in this stuff I forget not everyone lives and breathes it as I do!  So let me back up a bit.

The HP Storage Essentials (SE) software suite is a comprehensive storage resource management (SRM) solution that simplifies management of heterogeneous enterprise storage environment via storage provisioning, metering, and customized reporting, business application and backup monitoring, and end-to-end performance management.

Storage Essentials is a key component of the HP Business Service Automation (BSA) suite, which enables integrated automation of the entire IT service including applications, servers, network, and storage infrastructure.  The integrated suites allow customers to discover and baseline their service infrastructure and manage its operations to enable service performance, availability, and improved IT agility.

Today I want to build on my last post and talk a bit more about delivering on the promise of automation......

We have noticed that in most enterprise customer environments typical IT service involves many components like applications, servers, network, and storage. Each service has multiple configurations and interdependencies and is managed by different teams using disparate management systems.  Customers with such an interconnected IT infrastructure require multiple IT systems and teams to collaborate in a coordinated, process-oriented approach to be effective.

Making a simple task such as provisioning new storage to an application is typically a multi-step process that requires that several teams work together.  I've seen it look like this:

The storage team needs to create new storage volume and assign it to the server

  • The server team needs to create the server logical volumes and/or file systems to use the new storage

  • And finally the DBA or the application administrator needs to assign the new storage to the appropriate application

In the same way, typical ITIL-defined change processes for storage infrastructure require coordination across multiple systems and teams, like this:

  • The storage team scopes the changes to the storage domain-including the host-based storage resources that would be potentially impacted

  • The storage team inputs this data into a change management system as a Request for Change

  • The Change Advisory Board (or the IT service managers) evaluates service impact of the proposed changes to plan/schedule the change

  • Upon approval from the Change Advisory Board, the storage team executes the change

  • The storage team updates the change management system with the executed changes

  • The IT service manager updates the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to reflect the new state of the IT service-with the changed infrastructure and its configuration and interrelationships

All of these processes although critical are executed manually today.  This puts a lot of pressure on the customer who must manually integrate the systems and coordinate the end-to-end process.  Automation can help with the challenges associated with such a manual method. 

As I discussed last month, HP's storage automation software suite is designed specifically to streamline these manual process.  The suite is comprised of HP Storage Essentials Storage Resource Management software and the newly released Storage Essentials Performance Edition.  

There's another cool product that further enables end-to-end storage automation--HP Operations Orchestration runbook automation.  These two products offer a tight integration that automates storage provisioning, thereby reducing manual, error-prone IT management processes.  This solution offers many virtualization-centric workflows that integrate server, storage, and network tasks in the virtualized environment. Check it out for yourself here.

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Anonymous | ‎08-28-2009 08:31 PM

I am usning HP storage essential from last six months and I am not happy with this product. Most of the time its not working and you need to open a case with HP.  Also in HP there very few people who works on this project, you will keep fighting with L1 team and they will not elevate your case to next leve so easly.

| ‎09-01-2009 03:36 AM

Hi unkown,

We are sincerely sorry for the issues that you are facing with HP Storage Essentials. We would like to work with you to resolve the issues. Please click on the "Contact" link on the top right of the page and include your contact information and we will get in touch with you immediately.  Alternatively, you can send me an email at calvinDOTzito (replace the word "DOT" with a ".").


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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..

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