HP Upgrades Entry-Level Storage Product

The new XP20000 offers greater flexibility and a better modular design than its predecessor.

HP has a new entry in its StorageWorks line of disk storage systems that will replace the aging XP10000 disk array.

The new product, called the StorageWorks XP20000 and announced Sept. 10, is similar to its predecessor in many ways, including the ability to scale to 240 drives and more than 69TB of raw storage capacity. Also, like the XP10000, the XP20000 offers 24-by-7 reliability with no single point of failure and redundant hot-swappable components, RAID technology and a full suite of software.

Where the XP20000 takes a leap forward is in its flexibility and modular design, said James Wilson, HPs XP product manager. The boards in the XP20000 are half the size of those in previous generations, and there are twice as many slots for those boards.

"It gives customers more configurability and flexibility in terms of price, making it less expensive and more flexible on the low end," Wilson said.

Like the XP10000, the XP20000 is positioned as StorageWorks entry-level enterprise offering, complimenting a higher-end model aimed at larger organizations or companies with massive amounts of data.

"Customers that may not have a huge amount of data but have a requirement to run absolutely 24-by-7 with no planned or unplanned downtime, such as smaller companies or companies with specific applications that dont move data back and forth but cant afford to go down, are good candidates for the XP20000," Wilson said.

The XP20000 operates with all of the new software for the XP240000, including the StorageWorks XP Thin Provisioning software, which enables users to provide disk storage capacity for applications from a pool of virtualized storage, and StorageWorks XP External Storage software, which allows systems to host XP disk array data on externally attached disk arrays.

Introducing a successor to the XP10000 is a good idea for both HPs customer base and the Palo Alto, Calif., company itself, said Tony Asaro, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

"This is a more cost-effective, enterprise-class storage system with a number of sophisticated features for data and system management, and it also supports storage virtualization and thin provisioning," he said. "It can compete at both the low end of the high-end storage market and the high end of the midrange market. It can be used as a secondary remote mirroring target and can be used for smaller mainframe shops. Since its installed in a rack, it can be used in environments that need enterprise-class systems but are short on floor space."


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However, to remain competitive, Asaro said HP should spend more time focusing on application integration and VMware support.

Also Sept. 10, HP announced two new models of the StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array Gateway, which are virtual library systems that help improve backup performance in storage area network environments by emulating multiple tape drives simultaneously. The enterprise-class VLS12000 supports 4GB Fibre Channel infrastructure, offers auto-migration capabilities for evaluation, and is data deduplication-ready. The midrange VLS6000 offers 750GB drives and up to 105.6TB of storage.

The StorageWorks XP 20000 ships Sept. 28, with complete systems available for less than $150,000.


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