Hewlett-Packard, continuing to brand itself as the go-to supplier of data storage systems for small and midrange businesses, on May 28 launched a bevy of new unified computing and storage-related products aimed at those growing markets.
Unified storage systems combine both storage and application deployment through a single set of controls. Cisco Systems made news back on March 16 by announcing its own unified computing initiative, which is scheduled for product release later this year.
In April 2007, when HP realized it was losing market share to IBM, EMC and other storage makers in the high-end enterprise ECB (external controller-based) disk storage market, it made the decision to focus more sharply on the SMB and midrange markets. Its response at that time was the All-in-One storage system for SMBs, which did well to boost HP's overall storage reputation.
HP's newest strategy, called Total Care for SMBs, includes not only storage but infrastructure offerings for virtualization, remote access and consolidation system packages.
The latest rollout includes the new HP StorageWorks X1000 and X3000 Network Storage Systems, which combine file and application storage.
"With a single, unified system, SMBs do not need to invest in siloed storage systems for file and database data," Lee Johns, HP director of marketing for unified computing, told eWEEK. "The X1000 and X3000 are self-contained systems; they have iSCSI and file serving with an automated storage manager, which makes it very easy for an SMB to configure.
"A user can basically just request extra capacity-for example, it can add an extra 100MB for an application like [Microsoft] Exchange. The system will just go off and configure what's needed, carve up the LUNs automatically, and get it deployed."
The network-attached X1000 and X3000 systems also come with HP's file deduplication, which is provided by its OEM partner, Sepaton. This produces up to 35 percent more usable capacity, Johns said.
That's a conservative estimate. Data deduplication, when used correctly, has been known to provide up to anywhere from 30 percent to 80 percent more usable capacity, depending on the type of data stored.
The other new storage systems in the launch are the StorageWorks 2000i and 2000sa G2 Modular Smart Arrays, which feature 2.5-inch, small form-factor drives that increase storage capacity and reduce power draw, thanks to cooler-running, multicore processors, Johns said.
Pricing has been lowered, also. HP is offering a starter system consisting of a ProLiant server, 1.2TB of StorageWorks storage, VMware ESX hypervisor and all the other software licenses for about $6,000. A year ago, the cost for that system would have been 50 to 60 percent higher.
HP also launched a new SMB package called Virtualization Bundle, which recasts existing data center server disk drives into more efficient shared virtualized storage. The package includes an HP ProLiant server, storage and networking software, the VMware ESX hypervisor, and a simplified interface that doesn't have to be utilized by a highly trained technical staff person.
HP announced a new service for SMBs and remote corporate offices called Secure Remote Access, which uses Citrix XenApp Fundamentals to enable mobile employees to stay connected with necessary business applications, regardless of their location or connectivity device.
As part of this new initiative, HP is offering SMB channel partners discounted servers and storage through its SmartBuy program. The company also is offering customers and partners a free trial of Citrix XenApp Fundamentals.
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Editor's note: This story was updated to correct a reference to HP's deduplication partner, Sepaton.