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10/30/2006
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HP Expands Storage Options

The product launch will run the gamut from blade servers to SANs to virtual storage.

Hewlett-Packard is expanding its blade server storage offerings and making it easier for new SAN customers to implement storage networking technology.

The company on Tuesday is slated to launch a storage blade to go with its HP BladeSystem c-Class server blade enclosure, a storage gateway device to virtualize a company's existing storage capacity as a virtual tape library, and a new entry-level SAN starter kit, said Kyle Fitze, director of SAN marketing for HP's StorageWorks division.

About 60 percent of HP's server blade customers currently have a SAN environment, Fitze said. But many of them are looking for ways to increase storage capacity for applications run on server blades such as e-mail and databases beyond the two drives typically found on a blade without the expense of adding an external SAN controller, he said.

For such customers, HP is introducing the SB40c, a blade that fits in the c-Class server blade enclosure with room for up to six small form factor hard drives. The SB40c connects directly to a server blade to increase the storage available to that blade by up to 876 Gbytes without connecting the server to a SAN.

"It's for applications where customers need the extra capacity, but don't need to go to a SAN," he said.

The controller on the SB40c supports several RAID levels including RAID 6. RAID 6 is a data protection scheme in which two or more drives in a RAID array can concurrently fail without interrupting the read and write requests to all the disks in the array.

The SB40c is expected to ship in mid-November, Fitze said. List price is $1,599 with no drives. "Our channel typically stocks the hard drives, and can configure the blades for customers," he said. "They're the same hot-plug drives used in our other ProLiant and BladeSystem servers and other StorageWorks arrays."

HP is also introducing a complete entry-level SAN solution, the HP StorageWorks EVA4000 SAN Starter Kit.

The kit, aimed at midrange customers looking to implement their first SAN for such applications as e-mail or database or for larger customers looking for a simple solution for their remote offices, includes a dual SAN controller, a hard drive enclosure, a minimum of eight 146-Gbyte Fibre Channel hard drives, software, an Emulex LightPulse LPe1150 host bus adapter, and an eight-port Brocade switch, Fitze said.

The list price of the kit is $33,100. It is currently available.

The complete kit lowers the cost of deploying a SAN, Fitze said. "It also lets customers and their VARs work on application integration and data migration," he said.

Also new from HP is the HP StorageWorks VLS300 EVA Gateway, which virtualizes a portion of existing EVA array storage capacity to create a virtual tape library, which scales to over 500 Tbytes and provides throughput speed of up to 8 Tbytes per hour.

Customers can scale to up to eight VLS300 nodes and six EVA arrays to create a backup system of up to 1,024 virtual tape drives or 128 virtual tape libraries, Fitze said.

"A lot of customers are buying EVAs," he said. "If they are challenged by their backups, they can add these gateways to the EVAs."

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