HP Breathes Life into Enterprise Storage Line

The computer giant previews parts of a broad StorageWorks product refresh scheduled for later this month, offering new features and a midrange tape library.

Hewlett-Packard gave an early view of its major refresh of the StorageWorks line of corporate storage gear on Friday.

Company executives previewed three new Hewlett-Packard Co. EVA (Enterprise Virtual Array) models, EVA 4000, EVA 6000 and EVA 8000, which can store up to 72 terabytes of data using varying numbers of 146GB disk drives at 10,000 rpm.

The preview, which HP held for a number of reporters on Friday afternoon, comes days in advance of a wider rollout of new storage systems. The company, which ousted CEO Carly Fiorina and later named former NCR chief executive Mark Hurd its CEO, has said that storage has been one of its largest areas of disappointment of late in terms of revenue and market share.

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Thus HP is hoping to change its fortunes with the refresh, which it plans to detail on May 16. The event promises to bring new features to products like the EVA line as well as to fill in certain product-line gaps, as with the introduction of a midrange tape library product.

Aside from offering more speed and a greater range of capacities—the three new EVAs supersede two existing models, the EVA 3000 and EVA5000—the line offers several extras, including additional Fibre Channel ports-management software.

"Not only are we bringing capabilities down to midrange price points, but were also doing some very innovative things in terms of packaging," said Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for the SAN (storage area network) division of HP StorageWorks, on a call with reporters Friday. "Its all about making sure we can simplify the experience not only for our customers but for our our [reseller] partners."

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To that end, HP will bundle a new version of its Command View EVA management software suite with the products for no additional charge, Fitze said.

The suite, which can be run on any version of Windows server, includes a tool called EVAPerf tool for monitoring real-time performance of the arrays as well as analyzing their historical performance metrics.

Prices for typical installations of the three different EVA systems will range from about $124,000 for an EVA 4000 with 3.5TB of storage capacity, two years of support, a network switch and a cabinet, among other gear, to about $409,000 for an EVA 8000 with 14TB of capacity, twin switches, two years of support and a cabinet. A 6.7TB EVA 6000 will be about $221,000, Fitze said.

HP also discussed a new Enterprise Modular Library, which is capable of backing up as much as 350TB of data on 442 LTO tape cartridges.

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