by Dave Simpson
Taking aim at former partner EMC, Hewlett-Packard last month unveiled a Windows NT storage consolidation initiative consisting of products and services. According to a survey conducted by Find/SVP more than 75% of IT managers are consolidating their NT storage.
A number of other studies highlight the problems associated with decentralized NT storage. For example, 56% of the NT users in a HP survey were using less than half of their available capacity, and 20% of the survey respondents had to purchase additional servers to access additional storage capacity.
Illustrating the benefits of consolidating storage, The Yankee Group consulting firm reports that in a decentralized environment, one administrator can manage 100GB (and management costs account for 55% of the storage budget). In contrast, one administrator can manage 750GB in a consolidated environment (with management costs reduced to only 15% of the storage budget).
By going from a 1TB distributed NT storage environment to a consolidated environment, IT shops can re-deploy 17 of 20 administrators.
Studies by International Data Corp. show that, in a distributed NT environment, two administrators can manage about 100GB of data. In contrast, in a consolidated NT storage environment, two administrators can manage 750GB (see chart).
At the heart of HP's NT consolidation initiative is its XP256 disk array, which stores up to 9TB and, in a non-clustered environment, supports 512 servers.
HP also introduced SAN Manager LM (LUN Management) for NT, which is host-based software that allows administrators to mask (or map or partition) logical unit numbers in a variety of vendors' disk arrays, as well as Secure Manager XP software, which provides array-level LUN masking.
Among a number of other announcements related to NT storage consolidation, HP introduced Auto Path XP, which provides automatic path failover and load balancing for NT servers connected to the XP256.