By Kevin Komiega
—Hewlett-Packard recently announced enhancements to a range of its hardware and software products in the areas of virtualization, file services, switching, and security, all of which are designed to help users consolidate and manage their storage environments in a simpler, more-secure way.
The list of new upgrades includes enhancements to the P StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA), the first embedded switch from Cisco for HP BladeSystems, a new NAS gateway, and the addition of encryption for the company's Data Protector Software.
"Our new offerings are focused on security, consolidation, and virtualization," says Harry Baeverstad, HP's general manager for NAS products. "We're building easier-to-manage solutions to help drive complexity down."
StorageWorks EVA File Services is a combination of existing virtualization and clustered gateway file services in a single rack. The new EVA allows customers to consolidate storage via a virtualization solution that serves both block-level application data and file-level data concurrently. The consolidated product adds file services capabilities to any new EVA4000/6000/8000 in Windows or Linux environments.
According to Baeverstad, EVA File Services provides a single, shared pool of storage with no single point of failure.
HP's latest NAS offering is the ProLiant DL585 G2 Storage Server, a NAS gateway that provides multi-protocol file and print serving, as well as iSCSI connectivity.
The difference between the DL585 G2 and its predecessor is the operating system. With this release, HP has moved from Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003 to the recently launched Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 as its operating platform of choice.
The advantage of using Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 is its native ability to manage both file and block data sets, improved iSCSI connectivity, and better NFS performance.
The ProLiant DL585 G2 also features 64-bit Intel Xeon processors and more memory.
HP also is shipping an embedded Cisco MDS 9124e fabric switch as a bladed option for its c-Class BladeSystem. The MDS 9124e marks the first Cisco embedded fabric switch for HP's BladeSystem.
"This is the same product as the MDS 9124 external switch, but it plugs right into our chassis. Sixty percent of blade servers are connected to SANs. Using the BladeSystem backplane with the embedded fabric switch can reduce space, wiring, and power and cooling requirements of the SAN infrastructure," says Baeverstad.
The last piece of HP's recent product blitz was the addition of 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to its Data Protector Software 6.0. The software completes backup encryption at the client level, so data is secure during transmission and at rest. Baeverstad says adding AES encryption to the backup process helps protect data from unauthorized access and allows backups to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.