HP to offer networked storage for SMBs

HP to offer networked storage for SMBs

HP will launch network attached storage products for SMBs in September, company officials said at an event Monday.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) will launch a family of networked storage products in September to compete with EMC for small and medium-size business customers.

The products would simplify the process of migrating data from application servers to shared network storage, worldwide marketing manager for HP's StorageWorks division, Debbie Young, said.

HP will price the products beginning at $US5000 for 1TB capacity and ranging up to $US10,000, coming in below its current low-end storage tool, the modular smart array (MSA).

As their businesses grow, users will be able to upgrade through the spectrum of HP storage options, from 24TB for the MSA to 72TB for the enterprise virtual array (EVA) to 332TB for the XP array.

Despite the low price tag, HP and its partners will stand to profit since the number small and medium-size businesses is growing so fast.

HP will launch the product with a $US20 million worldwide marketing campaign to compete against products like StoreVault from Network Appliance (NetApp), SAN Express from QLogic and Snap Server from Adaptec.

Small business users typically held their data on 3-14 servers, adding extra servers as they grew, Young said.

In market research, HP found that 60 per cent to 70 per cent of those users said they had continued to use this "direct attached storage" technique because its simplicity allowed them to maintain it without a full-time IT department, and because the only alternatives in today's market cost $20,000 to $30,000.

To reach those users, HP's new products will be able to host client applications, email running on Exchange or Lotus, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) databases, all without requiring customers to install a fibre channel infrastructure.

They will protect data by duplicating it in snapshots stored on the same box or by creating tape backups on an attached device. In an effort to keep prices low, they will not include data encryption.

HP would not reveal details of the system design, but said it would include shared application server storage, a Microsoft Windows-based file server and proprietary intellectual property to provide data management and protection.

Rather than using revolutionary hardware, it relied on the wide adoption of common industry standards and on a tight integration of domains that have been separated in previous designs, vice-president and chief technology officer of HP's StorageWorks division, Ash Ashutosh, said.

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