Hitachi Data Systems has released three new software products to provide enhanced monitoring of business applications, virtualised servers and the storage they use.
Hitachi said the products address a new market for the storage systems and software provider: a holistic view of everything that an enterprise uses to connect to its storage systems. The products will also work with competing vendors' systems.
The Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer is an application aimed at midsize companies that provides a single-pane view of data centre servers and IP networks, as well as Fibre Channel storage-area networks, LANs and the storage hardware attached through those networks. Hitachi said the application provides performance and availability monitoring across heterogeneous servers, networks and storage systems.
"It's certainly a new kind of product for Hitachi in that they obviously come from a storage background. I think this is a first-generation effort to really reach beyond storage and offer customers and channel partners visibility into both network servers and storage," said Mary Johnston Turner, an analyst at IDC.
Turner said Hitachi will likely use the IT Operations Analyzer as a platform for other monitoring tools in the future. The software features automated root-cause analysis and network visualisation and runs off an agentless architecture. It has a web-based interface.
"It uses I/O path awareness to look at bottlenecks proactively so there's no need for active monitoring or the setting of thresholds," said Sean Moser, vice president of software at Hitachi Data Systems.
Moser said Hitachi's IT Operations Analyzer is designed to help users monitor and improve customer service levels and can easily be managed across a data centre without requiring specialised training.
Hitachi's second release, its Virtual Server Reporter (VSR), uses Aptare's StorageConsole to provide an end-to-end view of virtualised VMware servers and their respective storage usage. VSR is intended for enterprise installations and extends the capabilities of heterogeneous storage management reporting to individual virtual machines.
VSR is an agentless application that automatically discovers all ESX server deployments and then monitors hardware capacity and CPU utilisation. The application can automatically load-balance workload across virtual machine server deployments, "and it helps customers find spare capacity across their server footprint," Moser said.
VSR works independently of storage installations, which is a first for Hitachi Data Systems, a storage-centric vendor.
Moser said that by integrating the reporting of virtual servers, users can increase the visibility of their virtual environments and more effectively manage the storage and backups associated with virtual machines, allowing them to make the best use of storage assets and decrease costs.
Hitachi's third product is the Storage Command Portal, which consolidates storage reporting within the Hitachi Storage Command Suite of management software to report on Hitachi storage systems and the business applications that rely on them.
The software provides a business application view of the Hitachi storage environment, with capacity and performance reporting to help manage service-level agreements.