HP has launched storage resource management software that it said unifies server and storage management, which are often separate in today's data centres.

HP Storage Essentials is, said HP, the first storage offering in the company’s roadmap for a unified server and storage management architecture. It's also among the first fruits of a collaboration agreement between HP and SAN management vendor AppIQ.

The product enables customers to simplify IT infrastructure administration and drive collaboration without compromising control, said HP. It consists of a suite of standards-based plug-ins that offers functionality from HP and its partners, beyond HP Systems Insight Manager, and allows you to manage storage area networks (SAN) and other storage resources, as well as monitor provisioning and application infrastructures, in heterogeneous environments.

HP said that benefits include the ability to improve application infrastructure monitoring and to align storage tiers quickly with user needs. This means that, by helping to virtualise and automate server and storage management, the software enables users to shift resources and capacity easily and quickly to where they're needed.

According to HP, Storage Essentials integrates seamlessly with its existing HP Systems Insight Manager, the company’s cross-server and storage management platform, which is bundled with the company's server and storage systems and offers basic storage management functions.

Each HP Storage Essentials plug-in is, said HP, factory tested to integrate into the HP Systems Insight Manager platform easily, and complies with industry standards such as J2EE, SMI-S, WBEM and WMI. Benefits include the ability to control hardware from vendors other than HP.

HP Storage Essentials is the first result of a new OEM relationship between HP’s StorageWorks Division and AppIQ. As part of a long-term agreement, HP will OEM AppIQ’s Storage Authority Enterprise Edition product line. In addition, HP and AppIQ will collaborate on engineering and future product development.

"No other vendor is providing consolidated storage and server management that is this tightly integrated," said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "This is a better way to manage infrastructure. It is a holistic heterogeneous management that will provide greater insight into IT issues that impact business practices."

"Simply put, HP is changing the economics of management in the data centre by eliminating the management islands. Because we deliver basic infrastructure management with HP servers, BladeSystems and storage platforms, customers can start their journey to the Adaptive Enterprise without a large investment," said David Smith, Enterprise storage manager, HP UK. "And, by unifying server and storage management, HP enables customers to simplify their IT environments without sacrificing control."

"AppIQ has worked closely with HP to advance the creation, adoption and deployment of industry standards," said David Lemont, CEO of AppIQ. "As a result of our work together, we believe that HP can provide a level of truly unified storage and server management that extends beyond what the market is delivering today, and offers IT organisations new ways to increase productivity, efficiency and service levels."