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Goodbye, HP OpenView Storage Area Manager. Hello, AppIQ.

HP this week announced that it will give the boot to OpenView SAM in favor of AppIQ's StorageAuthority storage resource management (SRM) software. In so doing, HP mimics the likes of Hitachi, Sun Microsystems and SGI - all of which have partnered with the wee AppIQ. HP plans to slap the AppIQ code with a new name, calling it HP Storage Essentials.

There's more than a simple rebranding exercise in store for customers, according to HP. The Storage Essentials software will be merged with HP's Systems Insight Manager server management software by year end. Ideally, this will give administrators a single place for controlling both servers and storage systems.

A plus? Sure. But you've probably heard a similar "single window to the wonderful world of virtualized hardware" pitch before.

A more obvious bonus with the Storage Essentials package is HP's pick of a clear winner. AppIQ has been gobbled up by numerous vendors because it adheres to the industry accepted SMI-S management structure and because it has some of the most sophisticated tools around.

HP will, however, continue to sell the feature-poor Storage Area Management product for the next year and a half.

The new HP software goes on sale at the end of March. Customers will pay anywhere from $2,000 on up to $60,000 for the product, and it will work with HP's SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network attached storage) systems.

HP's storage division has been floundering for about six months now. Large revenue and market share losses have been noticed by customers, analysts and competitors and played a role in former CEO Carly Fiorina's ouster.

Despite these struggles, HP presents a fertile selling ground for AppIQ since it has large SAN and NAS sales, unlike Sun and Hitachi, which are relegated more to niche parts of the storage market.®

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