HP Delivers SMB Storage Software, Services

The hardware/software maker becomes more aggressive in the midmarket against IBM and EMC with the introduction of several new storage and services products.

Hewlett-Packard, determined to assert itself in a rapidly escalating scramble against IBM and EMC for small and midsize businesses, announced on July 24 a bevy of new storage products and services expressly aimed at that market.

HP boosted its frontline StorageWorks server portfolio with new, improved firmware for its entry-level and midrange disk array offerings.

In addition, the Palo Alto, Calif., company said it is adding new integration functionality to its Storage Essentials software line.

On the OEM side, HP also announced an agreement with France-based Bull SA to include its StorageAuthority Technology Suite within the Bull StoreWay Maestro Management brand.

Finally, HP and Oracle announced they have partnered to develop new reference designs for data warehouses aimed to help accelerate the implementation of Oracle Database 10g-based data warehouses on HP servers and storage by IT departments.

"All enterprise customers are experiencing data growth. We have a lot more data and we have to keep it longer. SMB companies are no exception to this rule. So we are seeing growth opportunities for storage vendors in the SMB market," Dianne McAdam, director of Enterprise Information Assurance for The Clipper Group in Wellesley, Mass., told eWEEK.

One of the keys to winning over the SMB storage market is making the server installation and setup as simple as point and click, McAdam said.

"For example, [HP] has a solution called My First SAN, which bundles disk storage with a small switch and the HBAs needed for the server into one package. There is a guide that is shipped with the solution that steps people through the installation process," McAdam said.

But the problem with SANs is that not all equipment works well together (for example, certain disk drives or switches require certain HBAs and will not work with other HBAs), she said.

"Figuring this all out for SMB customers can be a bit overwhelming. HP ships the HBA, switch and disk array together knowing that this equipment will work well together. It eliminates the guess work [i.e., Do I have the right HBA?]," McAdam said.

Disk array firmware aims to maximize bandwidth

The new firmware for HPs entry-level modular disk array, the HP StorageWorks MSA1500cs, enables full, dual-active controller support for the HP-UX11i operating system, aimed to maximize bandwidth, a company spokesperson said.

This functionality enables both controllers to write data to the drives and gives data access to the hosts at all times in HP-UX11i installations, the spokesperson said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifIBM, HP and EMC finish in top three in world storage services market, Gartner reports. Click here to read more.

This "active/active" support gives customers failover capabilities on redundant storage controllers and allows both controllers to share the workload, improving scalability and availability.

HP also offers this controller firmware to its installed-base of MSA1500cs customers, providing two controller active/active support for Windows and Linux platforms, and in the future HP will also extend this to OpenVMS, Tru64 UNIX, NetWare and SCO operating systems as well.

MSA Active/Active firmware is available today as a download here.

HP also enhanced the array-based software replication capabilities for its StorageWorks EVA midrange disk arrays.

  • StorageWorks Business Copy EVA Software: New MirrorClone feature is a pre-normalized clone copy of an EVA Vdisk (LUN) that provides a point-in-time copy enhancing data protection, application testing, data mining and other non-disruptive business processes.

Next Page: Out-of-box storage integration.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...