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HP vows storage goods will stay just as 'open' as open source

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HP this week reiterated plans to move forward with the "open" storage management plans it inherited in the buy of AppIQ and vowed to offer an alternative to the open source Aperi plan recently launched by IBM and others.

HP has released Storage Essentials 5.0, which includes the AppIQ management software. The storage management package, as of October, works with HP's Systems Insight Manager server management products. The AppIQ code centers around the CMI (Common Information Model) embraced by the Storage Networking Industry Association as a management interface standard. This relative openness helped AppIQ secure customers such as Hitachi, Sun Microsystems and SGI before HP snatched up the company in September.

HP reckons that StorageEssentials now stands as the best heterogeneous management product around for handling storage attached to Unix and Windows systems. It has tools for displaying all the systems in a network, metering and chargeback, storage provisioning, performance management and linking storage boxes to servers.

AppIQ generated a lot of buzz and support, but in the hands of HP, it poses a clear threat to storage rivals. With that in mind, IBM in late October formed the Aperi group with the likes of Cisco, Fujitsu, CA and NetApp. HP and EMC were notably missing from this open source storage management party, and many see Aperi as a direct response to HP's apparent lead with "open" storage management.

Old AppIQ executives now working at HP stress that their software will remain "open" and that HP will try to work with as many platforms as possible. That's potentially great news for customers and, of course, for HP.

Is open source more open than open interfaces here? Well, it's not really even a point worth debating yet, according to HP.

"One (product) works, and the other - we don't know yet," said Ash Ashutosh, AppIQ founder and new CTO of HP storage management software.

The storage industry, on paper, has come a long way from the days of withholding management APIs and trying to lock out rivals. The "open" debate is on and raging.®

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