HP StorageWorks Gets into Gear

Q&A: HP StorageWorks CTO Mike Feinberg discusses how recent acquisitions and rollouts affect the company's storage strategy.

After a full year under the watchful eye of Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd, the Palo Alto, Calif., company is aggressively reinvigorating its storage business following years of underperformance.

With solid technology acquisitions such as AppIQ and OuterBay, coupled with storage portfolio enhancements designed to more closely align the relationship of storage to other enterprise systems, HP is not slowing down.

Recently, Mike Feinberg, vice president and chief technology officer of HPs StorageWorks division, outlined some of his thoughts to eWEEK Senior Writer Brian Fonseca on the future of HP StorageWorks, what Hurds ultimate storage strategy is and why multivendor storage interoperability has been slow to develop.

What specific consolidation issues does HP expect to address for its customers with its product rollout in Asia Pacific this week? Which area is currently feeling the most pain?

These announcements are specifically targeted at online, backup, e-mail and remote office consolidation, both for HP and multi-vendor IT environments, and demonstrate HPs continued commitment to its storage business. This is the second major refresh of our storage portfolio in the past nine months since the largest storage product launch in company history last May.

Describe HPs plans for technology acquired by its recent OuterBay purchase.

OuterBay builds on HPs enterprise solutions to help companies get more from their mission-critical database environments. Its Application Data Management suite manages enterprise databases such as Oracle, SQL Server and Sybase by automatically extracting and relocating inactive information—thus reducing the size of the database, improving database performance and lowering costs.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about HPs storage lineup revamp.

In other words, it provides significant, demonstrable ROI (return on investment). Sixty percent of HPs Integrity server customers are running Oracle applications and databases today, making OuterBays products a key capability for our customers. The technology will enable HP to expand its solutions for customers deploying Oracle, SQL Server and Sybase databases as well as major enterprise applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, SAP and PeopleSoft.

In addition, this acquisition is another step in our ILM (information lifecycle management) strategy as we continue to advance our capabilities—allowing us to manage the retention of structured data in the same manner that we manage the retention of unstructured data.

Database archiving is complementary to our data protection, e-mail archiving, and file movement technologies—all important to the efficient deployment of a comprehensive ILM process.

What will the role of RISS be for HP and its customers in 2006? When will RISS be capable of managing customers current storage architecture?

We will continue to enhance HPs Reference Information Storage System to become the repository of choice [with which] to archive customer file and application data—both with HP solutions and offerings from our ISV partners in HPs ILM Partner Program. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements in the very near future.

In terms of functionality, in what specific areas is HP focusing its R&D efforts on its EVA and XP storage hardware product lines?

HP will continue to enhance the performance, capacity and high-availability features on both the EVA and XP product lines—with a focus on making both arrays easier to manage and more scalable over time—always with a customers investment protection in mind.

This weeks announcement is a perfect example—where iSCSI and 4GB Fibre Channel connectivity as well as the 400 and 500GB FATA disk drives in the EVA allow customers to connect one EVA via both Fibre Channel and iSCSI, gain improved performance, and increased capacity and scalability up to 120TB. And continued enhancements to HPs Command View and Replication

Next Page: HPs systems advantage over pure storage.