HP Rolls Out New Products to Reduce Cost of Storage Area Networking

4/12/2004 - HP announced innovative storage solutions designed to help customers drive down storage area network (SAN) cost and simplify SAN integration and management based on industry standards.

Among the new offerings are lower-cost-per-gigabyte, high-capacity Fibre Channel disk drives for the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) family designed to reduce SAN cost while increasing flexibility and investment protection. By combining higher capacity, lower cost disk drive mechanisms with a Fibre Channel interface, the industry-first drives address the growing need for businesses to cost-effectively store less critical or infrequently accessed information in a more economical fashion.

"HP is broadening the appeal of storage area networks by eliminating some of the barriers to entry," said Bob Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Network Storage Solutions, HP. "For instance, the ability to offer tiered storage within a single storage system and enable simplified integration through support of industry standards lowers the price for SAN implementations - making them more attractive to a broader range of customers."

HP also announced:

In collaboration with Seagate, HP plans to introduce a new class of disk drives, called Fibre Attached Technology Adapted, which will be the first in the industry to offer customers the flexibility to segment reference data (such as archived e-mail) as well as mission-critical data (such as financial transactions) between lower-cost-per-gigabyte drives and high-performance drives within a single storage system based on application performance and availability requirements.

"Fibre Channel drives and technology are traditionally deployed in the high-end enterprise space where having the highest levels of performance and reliability are critical elements in a system," said Brian Dexheimer, executive vice president, worldwide global marketing, Seagate. "By using more cost-effective Fibre Channel drives, IT managers will have the capability to run their mission-critical data together with their basic reference data and use the same common Fibre Channel infrastructure. This enables easier system management along with added flexibility and scalability."

Lower cost, high capacity drives plug and play with existing systems
The Fibre Attached Technology Adapted drives are designed specifically for enterprise-class environments and SAN deployments where bulk storage and lower price per gigabyte are more important than access time. The drives cost roughly 50 percent less per gigabyte than conventional Fibre Channel drives,(1) extending the value of SANs and making them more accessible to a broader segment of the market.

In addition, the Fibre Channel interface allows these new drives to be plugged directly into existing HP StorageWorks EVA Fibre Channel drive enclosures. The standard EVA disk drive enclosure supports enterprise-class disk drives, new lower cost Fibre Channel drives, or a mix of both for maximum flexibility and protection of customers' current investment in arrays and SAN infrastructure.

HP's drives are designed to offer virtually seamless integration with customers' existing Fibre Channel infrastructure, thus eliminating the need for a costly conversion to integrate traditional lower cost drives such as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA). The native Fibre Channel support also drives down integration complexity making it easier to adapt to changing business needs and less costly to acquire, deploy and manage SANs.

Fibre Attached Technology Adapted drives will offer capacity up to 250 gigabytes with a dual-port, 2GB/second, Fibre Channel interface. The drives provide similar performance to low-cost ATA disk drives, but possess many of the reliability characteristics of Fibre Channel drives. The drives provide system resilience via dual ported data paths all the way to the drives, Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) capability, optimized sequential addressing features, Fibre Channel protocol native data integrity and error event handling capability.

According to IDC, HP continued its No. 1 position for the sixth consecutive quarter in open SANs, with 30.9 percent revenue share, extending its lead over the nearest competitor to 4.8 points of share.(2)

The HP StorageWorks EVA family with Fibre Attached Technology Adapted drives is expected to be available in July. The HP StorageWorks B-series 128-port SAN director switch, HP StorageWorks IP Storage Router 2122-2 and HP StorageWorks B-series and C-series switch interoperability using the Fibre Channel T11 standard are available today.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the last four fiscal quarters, HP revenue totaled $74.7 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

(1) Aberdeen Group, "Tech Edge, Storage Networking World Online," March 2004.
(2) IDC, "Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker," March 2004.

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