HP has bought storage company AppIQ for an undisclosed sum.

HP already offers AppIQ's storage area management software as HP Storage Essentials. It provides storage resource visualisation, provisioning, monitoring, reporting and policy-based automation. It can also correlate the availability of applications with SAN configuration, capacity and performance, and manage network-attached storage.

It does this through a standards-based approach and works with storage systems, fabric switches and tape libraries from many vendors.

AppIQ has OEM deals with Engenio, Hitachi Data Systems, SGI, and Sun. They take all or part of its software and resell it under their own brand names. Two at least of these OEM deals are likely to remain intact as Hitachi is the manufacturer of the "HP StorageWorks XP" series of disk arrays, and Sun, through StorageTek, produces the "HP StorageWorks Enterprise Modular Library" (EML). What happens with Engenio, being re-organised inside LSI, and SGI, remains to be seen.

HP and AppIQ share the view that SAN management has to be multi-vendor and based on standards. They also share a utility-based view of storage.

AppIQ's StorageAuthority Suite product complies with the SNIA's Storage Management Initiative Specification - SMI-S - and was designed from the start as an integrated software suite. Competitors such as Softek bought technologies to build their SRM products and have had an integration backlog.

The purchase gives HP the technology in storage management that it needs to compete with a rampant EMC and IBM. If it can sustain the existing OEM relationships then it denies EMC and IBM OEM channels for their products. It also has ownership of a proven product with, it must think, great potential for customers to make storage management better.

HP's StorageWorks general manager, Bob Schultz, said: "In addition to complementing our storage business, AppIQ's technology will play a strategic role in HP's server, software and services businesses." Dave Lemont, AppIQ's CEO, said: "As a result of the merger, AppIQ will have access to the resources we need to accelerate our vision." Clearly HP will now stamp its concerns on the AppIQ product roadmap.

Purchase number two
HP has also bought Peregrine Systems for $425 million. Peregrine and its service management software will be integrated into the HP OpenView business unit. HP's goal is "to create the industry's most comprehensive distributed enterprise management software solution". It's likely that links between the AppIQ and Peregrine software will be built.