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5/13/2005
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HP Takes Aim At Midrange Storage Market

New Enterprise Virtual Array storage systems on tap for Americas StorageWorks conference next week.

Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise Virtual Array midrange storage systems, to be unveiled Monday at its Americas StorageWorks conference in Las Vegas, will provide a much-needed boost to the vendor's efforts to regain market share from rivals EMC Corp. and Network Appliance Inc.

The new midrange configurations, the 4000, 6000, and 8000, will offer almost double the performance over the older 3000 and 5000 configurations. Maximum capacity has increased from 35 terabytes to 72 terabytes, and up to 200 terabytes eventually, while sequential read speeds have increased from 700 Mbytes per second to 1,300 Mbytes per second.

Most of HP's weak results in storage have been caused by market-share losses against EMC and NetApp in the midrange segment, Merrill Lynch analyst Shebly Seyrafi says in a research report issued Friday. HP's market share stood at 43% in December, down from 48% a year earlier, according to Merrill Lynch. The refreshed Enterprise Virtual Array lineup may help it regain some of that share, Seyrafi says.

In the network-attached storage market, HP will offer a system enabling up to 16 ProLiant servers to work under a common file system, providing a maximum capacity of 16 terabytes, which compares favorably to NetApp's lower-end FAS200 file server series, Seyrafi says.

HP will also debut a midrange tape library called Enterprise Modular Library. The product, a rebranding of StorageTek's midrange SL500 tape library, will be offered in three configurations: the 103e, with a throughput of up to 1.1 terabytes/hour; the 245e, with a throughput of up to 2.3 terabytes/hour; and the 407e, with a throughput of up to 4.6 terabytes/hour.

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