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HPE SFO 2.0: The next big step toward automation and orchestration for SAN infrastructure


Still believe that IT deployment processes are too complex and time consuming? All efforts to improve uptime and deliver faster constant access to data centers have driven complexities up and utilization rates down. HPE Smart Fabric Orchestrator (SFO) modernizes the storage network, helping you increase productivity and scale, while improving storage management efficiency.

It has been a year since HPE Smart Fabric Orchestrator was launched and we have been sending out regular SFO updates HPE Smart Fabric Orchestrator - step up - blog.jpgwith exciting new features added every time, strengthening our commitment to simplify and optimize storage networking while reducing costs for our customers.

Business managers still believe that their organizations IT deployment processes are too complex and/or too time consuming. In a survey conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group, 68% of the respondents (N=651) agreed that their organization’s IT environment had grown more complex over the last two years, with 35% attributing the increase in complexity to the increase in number and type of applications used by their employees.

Enterprise data centers are under pressure to deliver greater performance, agility, and operational efficiency to address data growth and dynamic business demands. Thus, deploying different applications to manage today’s complex data centers—consisting of myriad of devices and solutions—seems like the next logical step. But all efforts to deliver faster, constant access to data centers and improve uptime have driven complexities up and utilization rates down. It is critical therefore for IT managers to have a single glass pane view of the infrastructure that they are managing.

Smart, simple, scalable

Addressing this need, SFO has been designed to provide a smart, simple, and scalable environment. It offers one-stop shopping for fine-grain visibility into your SAN infrastructure—and that includes  storage arrays, switches, adapters, servers, optics. and cables. SFO provides you a framework for centralized orchestration with diagnostic abilities, scalable from startup to enterprise.

Extend beyond just visibility of your infrastructure with compliance, automation, and reports

The ultimate goal of HPE Smart Fabric Orchestrator is to decrease complexity in managing IT and reduce the human errors involved in the data center management. Anything that involves manual, human intervention, is ultimately going to result in a breach in compliance because at some point people will make mistakes. To ease up this task, SFO provides the Single Point of Connectivity Knowledge (SPOCK) for SAN. Regular SPOCK updates are provided, which are used by the SFO to validate the integrity, interoperability, and compliance of HPE storage, servers, and network fabric infrastructure before or during deployment.

Assisting in efficient end to end infrastructure management is the feature of Automation. Administrators can monitor various parameters end to end to make informed decisions based on alerts with other fabric services to remedy a situation delivering an easy way for administrators to be altered about storage networking issues. It builds on the basic diagnostic-ready fabric capabilities with advanced diagnostic assessment to monitor and quickly identify states of physical ports for root cause analysis, failure impact assessment, and self-healing for improved performance. It provides hands off way for an administrator to diagnose storage networking physical issues and implement solutions for best performance.

What’s more, reports can be generated to check the status of the template application or to identify any complaint element existing in the topology.

Features and updates for release 2.0

  • Monitor HPE C-Series Fibre Channel Switches
  • HPE Complete Partner Products (Datera, Hedvig, CommVault, Zerto, with predefined SFO templates to assist with deployment in Datera and Hedvig environments)
  • Server HBA management through iLO.5
  • Template updates to enhance field organization and clarity
  • Update or migrate from prior SFO releases to preserve existing information
  • Default element refresh period raised to 480 minutes

Building an ecosystem

HPE Smart Fabric Orchestrator has come a long way, supporting more products in the HPE ecosystem, simplifying and fastening the process of end to end infrastructure management. The SFO application connects, monitors, and manages different types of data center fabric configurations, including HPE Smart SAN and HPE Smart Fabric configurations.

  • M-Series, B-Series, and C-Series switches
  • HPE 3PAR arrays
  • HPE Complete Partner products
  • HPE servers

Commvault, Datera, Hedvig, and Zerto are the HPE Complete Partner products that have been included in this release of HPE SFO. Not only users have the option to monitor these product environments through the SFO, they can also use templates to configure components within Datera and Hedvig.

This is just the first step towards active management of much larger range of storage networking products. Stay tuned!

Want to learn more?

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Sukhmani Kahlon_HPE.jpgMeet Around the Storage Block blogger Sukhmani Kahlon, Product Management, HPE Storage Networking. Sukhmani is an Associate Product Manager at HPE’s storage business group, managing software solutions for storage network orchestration.


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