3PAR Offers 'Utility' Storage - InformationWeek

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3PAR Offers 'Utility' Storage

New software lets IT managers easily allocate storage for each application.

Utility computing, getting computing power from a plug in the wall like electricity, is being pushed by a number of hardware vendors. Storage vendor 3PAR is trying to bring the utility model to the storage industry. With most storage systems operating at 30% of capacity, a utility approach to storage could save users money.

3PAR already offers its InServ Storage Server, which lets customers easily add storage that can be managed by the server's software. Wednesday it added Thin Provisioning software to the storage server to help IT managers allocate storage to specific applications. The software is included with the server at no additional charge.

3PAR CEO David Scott acknowledges that the utility storage model might result in fewer sales of hard disks. He says the goal is to help customers make better use of the storage resources they already own. The software is designed to let storage administrators easily allocate resources from a physical pool of storage to an application as needed.

3PAR is the first storage vendor to offer this form of utility storage, which should appeal to business customers, says Jamie Gruener, an analyst at the Yankee Group. "Companies are allocating excess capacity to safeguard themselves from failing," he says. "There's a lot of inefficiency in that."

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