HP Expands Storage, Business Continuity Suites

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HP Wednesday said it will introduce new storage consolidation and business continuity hardware and software to make data storage and disruption recovery easier and less expensive.

The Palo Alto, Calif. firm, which will make the announcement official at the HP ENSA@Work conference in Amsterdam next Tuesday, said the new products are part of HP's Enterprise Network Storage Architecture-extended strategy, which is designed allow customers adapt their storage infrastructure to their business via automation and intelligent management.

On the storage consolidation side, HP's new StorageWorks Virtual Array 7110 has been upgraded to delivers six times the capacity and twice the performance of its predecessor, the VA7100. Disk drive capacity has been bumped to 45 from 15 drives, and with new 146 GB drives, total system capacity is 6.5 TB. The HP StorageWorks Director 2/140 simplifies large storage area network rollouts with A 140-port switch to help customers keep up with increasing storage and connectivity needs.

Lastly on the new hardware side, the StorageWorks Edge Switch 2/24 is geared for small SANs or an edge-placed switch for data center infrastructures. Offered as a "pay as you grow" format, it delivers 2 Gb performance in eight-, 16- or 24-port configurations. Also, beginning in the first half of this year, HP will offer the Cisco MDS line of fabric switches in HP StorageWorks SANs.

Storage consolidation, a realm in which many systems vendors such as Sun , Dell and EMC also jockey for position, is lucrative to infrastructure players because many enterprises seek to consolidate their infrastructure to reduce operating expenses, while keeping their applications up with little or no interruption.

HP Wednesday also reported additions to its suite of business continuity products, which allow customers to automate backup procedures and maintain uptime as backup windows are reduced and application availability increased.

First among these is the HP StorageWorks Non-Disruptive Backup and Remote Mirroring for Oracle 9i on UNIX. This ensures that databases are backed up, while avoiding application downtime or performance degradation. HP StorageWorks Rapid Restore for Exchange 2000 offers quick recovery and preservation of Exchange 2000 environments on HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays and HP StorageWorks Modular Arrays. Lastly, the HP StorageWorks Secure Path 4.0 for Windows Workgroup Edition manages and maintains continuous data access to HP StorageWorks systems with support for Microsoft Windows Workgroup Edition.

The company didn't stop there, also choosing to enhance its StorageWorks Modular SAN Array 1000 to chip away at the cost of entry-level SAN products and broaden support for customers with heterogeneous server environments.

Pat McMullan, Product Manager of MSA1000, told internetnews.com the MSA1000's popularity led his team to improve the product, which he said has found its way in the form of 6,500 shipped terabytes in the marketplace.

The MSA1000 Fibre Channel storage array, which enables companies to move from direct-attach storage DAS to SANs, now supports multi-cluster servers to simplify storage management and increase utilization of storage resources. HP has doubled the maximum capacity to six terabytes (TB) and improved performance by up to 80 percent over the previous version.

The MSA1000 is also now available with a three-port embedded hub or an MSA Fabric Switch 6, as well as support for concurrent access to an MSA1000 by servers running Windows, NetWare and Linux.

The MSA1000 does wonders for storage consolidation, according to HP. McMullan said one of the obvious reasons of moving from DAS to SAN is that the storage effiency is very low -- about 25 percent.

Tom Rallens, Director of Entry-Mid Online Storage at HP, also said the MSA1000 lowers the cost of moving from DAS to San systems.

"You have to have the availability of external storage to get to such features as clustering," Rallens said. "To have the ability to take the disk drive out of a ProLiant and put it in a MSA1000 without data migration is a value proposition that is hard to beat."

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