HP beefs up storage strategy

HP beefs up storage strategy

Broadening the range of storage technology it can offer its customers, Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday pre-announced a line of iSCSI storage products and made public its plans to acquire storage virtualisation company StorageApps.

Both moves fill important gaps in HP's storage product catalog, explained Jim Porter, president of Disk/Trend, a storage industry think tank.

"They're filling in the weak spots," said Porter. "They have been predominantly oriented to the corporate storage market, and a lot of the (storage technology) has been in the Internet area. So I think it is a matter of supplementing their coverage and just beefing it up."

HP will acquire StorageApps, an enterprise storage vendor, in an all-stock transaction valued at $US350 million. Subject to standard regulatory approval processes, StorageApps, formerly named Raid Power Service, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of HP, the companies said in a statement.

HP's real target is the company's storage virtualization technology, which HP intends to feature in its so-called Federated Storage Area Management (FSAM) strategy, HP said.

Still being perfected, storage virtualisation allows customers to manage multiple, mixed vendor storage devices as they would a single, virtual storage device.

Starting in the first quarter of 2002, HP will also begin shipping a variety of storage products centered around the emerging iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) standard for linking data storage systems over IP, according to Mark Thompson, worldwide marketing manager for HP's networked storage division.

HP claims its broad product line can compete with the top-tier storage vendors such as IBM and EMC, and at the same time go up against low-cost storage players such as Dell Computer.

StorageApps products won by HP in the acquisition include the SANLink appliance, a network storage device that integrates hardware, software, and services providing connectivity for servers and storage; the SANLink Storage system, a device aimed at the enterprise market; and the SANMaster, a SAN information and monitoring system, the companies said.

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