HP to Introduce Dedicated Storage Blade

The company also will expand its storage array offerings and come up with a SAN "starter kit" as it continues to tune its enterprise-type products for SMBs.

Hewlett-Packard will introduce three new products on Oct. 31 at Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla.—its first C-class blade server dedicated to storage, an ultra-high-speed virtual tape library gateway and a storage area network "starter kit" for small and midsize businesses.

Although all three could work well in a large enterprise storage environment, HP is aiming them squarely at the burgeoning SMB storage market—especially in the United States—in its continuing battle against foes IBM, EMC, Sun Microsystems, NetApp and others in this sector.

The StorageWorks SB40c storage blade can add as much as 876GB of direct-attached storage capacity to each blade within an HP BladeSystem c-Class enclosure.

It is the latest step in HPs longtime strategy to "blade everything" in the data center, Kyle Fitze, marketing director for HPs Storage Area Network division, told eWEEK.

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"This new blade fits into the slot next to the storage server," Fitze said. "It gives users a choice: It can be used in internal, external or network storage configurations."

Based on industry-standard components—including small-form-factor Serial Attached SCSI drives—the SB40cs improved density and power efficiency accommodate the space and power constraints of data centers, he said. In addition, the storage blade features automated storage and server management via HP Systems Insight Manager and Integrated Lights-Out tools.

The processing power of BladeSystem c-Class server blades, combined with the SB40c, provides the performance and capacity needed for applications such as file and print, mail and messaging, video streaming, databases, and distributed file systems, Fitze added.

The SB40c blade server will begin shipping in mid-November at a base cost of $1,599, which includes the server and a P400 controller. It can accommodate up to six hard drives and up to 876GB of storage capacity, Fitze said.

The VLS300 EVA Gateway can scale to 500 terabytes of capacity and provide throughput in excess of 8TB per hour, accelerating SAN backup and recovery in even very large IT environments, Fitze said.

Engineered to augment the HP StorageWorks EVA Disk Array, the VLS300 EVA Gateway allows users to standardize on a common storage, management and fabric infrastructure, he said.

The VLS300 EVA Gateway can emulate up to 1,024 tape drives and 128 libraries, and users can seamlessly integrate disk into their existing enterprise data protection processes, Fitze said.

The VLS300 EVA Gateway joins a family of EVA-based storage hardware and software, including the StorageWorks EVA iSCSI Connectivity Option, the EFS Clustered NAS Gateway and the EML E-Series Tape Libraries.

The gateway will ship in mid-to-late November and is priced at $57,750 for two nodes, switches and licenses. Licenses for up to 50TB of storage are available.

The HP StorageWorks EVA4000 SAN Starter Kit is designed to be a cost-effective and easy-to-use SAN storage system for SMBs. The Starter Kit is a complete out-of-the-box storage package for SMBs that are ready for a SAN but had been concerned about SAN complexities, Fitze said.

Designated by Microsoft as a Simple SAN solution, the EVA4000 SAN Starter Kit provides comprehensive SAN management and a flexible environment for future growth. In addition, management tasks are automated with a centralized interface for provisioning on Windows 2003 hosts—using an enterprise-class array and enterprise-class components, the spokesperson said.

The EVA4000 SAN Starter Kit is available now and is priced at $33,000 for a "skeleton" ensemble that includes device hardware and software and licenses for up to 17TB of storage.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...