HP Refreshes Storage Line - InformationWeek

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5/20/2005
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HP Refreshes Storage Line

Additions to midrange offerings in StorageWorks let company go after midsize market with arrays that almost double performance

Hewlett-Packard last week took the wraps off new midrange offerings within its StorageWorks family. The products and services include revved-up versions of its Enterprise Virtual Array disk devices, a Clustered Gateway aimed at network-attached storage competitors EMC Corp. and Network Appliance Inc., an Enterprise Modular Library tape library system, a WAN accelerator for speeding branch-office applications, and information-life-cycle-management services.

The products aim to bolster HP's market share in storage, which was 23.7% in the first nine months of 2004, down from 26.4% for the full-calendar year 2003, according to market research firm IDC.

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 May 13. The refreshed Enterprise Virtual Array lineup may help it regain some of that share, Seyrafi says. 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 will go up to 200 terabytes eventually, while sequential read speeds have increased from 700 Mbytes per second to 1,300 Mbytes per second.

Premier Bankcard, a division of First Premier Bank of Sioux Falls, S.D., is adopting a tiered storage approach in response to regulatory requirements. In tiered storage, data is assigned to storage devices based partly on how long the data must be preserved, says Scott Erkonen, Premier Bankcard's managing officer of networking. Premier Bankcard, the 14th-largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa branded cards with 3 million cards in circulation, is planning to replace four legacy HP Modular Smart Array disk devices with one EVA 8000.

With the EVA 8000, Premier Bankcard will only need to manage one pair of controllers versus 12 pairs--three pairs on each of the four Modular Smart Array devices.

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. Seyrafi says that compares favorably to NetApp's lower-end FAS200 file server series.

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