HP consolidates SMB platforms, adds VM bundles

By Kevin Komiega

-- Hewlett-Packard has revamped its entry-level storage line by consolidating the HP All-in-One (AiO) and ProLiant Storage Server products onto a single, unified storage platform. The company also announced additions to its Modular Smart Array (MSA) lineup and a new virtualization bundle based on LeftHand Networks' Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) technology.

HP today announced the entry-level StorageWorks X1000 and X3000 Network Storage Systems. The disk arrays unify file and application storage and, according to Lee Johns, StorageWorks director of marketing, provide up to 35% more NAS capacity through file deduplication, while boosting file-serving performance by as much as 30%.

The X1000 features quad-core Intel Xeon processors, support for SATA or SAS drives, and external SAS expansion with StorageWorks MSA enclosures. HP is also offering an X1800sb Network Storage Blade based on the X1000. The blade version can be paired with an SB40c for shared storage internal to HP BladeSystem enclosures or used as a gateway to external Fibre Channel, SAS, or iSCSI SAN storage.

The X3000 is the IP-based gateway member of the family, and creates a single, unified storage pool for serving files to clients and blocks to servers using Fibre Channel, iSCSI or SAS protocols.

The X3000 Network Storage Gateways are file and iSCSI bridges into a Fibre Channel or SAS array, or into a Fibre Channel SAN. They add IP-based data services, including file serving and iSCSI, and can be clustered for high availability..

The file and block storage capabilities of the X1000 and X3000 create an overlap in HP's entry-level storage family and herald the end of the line for the HP AiO and ProLiant Storage Server platforms.

"We unified the platforms to make it easier for customers to choose the right storage solution. The StorageWorks X1000 and X3000 are replacing the AiO and ProLiant Storage Server systems," says Johns. "Customers using the AiO and basic ProLiant Storage Server systems will use the X1000 going forward while customers using our gateway and clustered ProLiant solutions will be guided toward the X3000."

Both the X1000 and X3000 run Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2008 operating system and can scale to as much as 96TB of capacity.

Pricing for an entry-level X1000 configuration starts at $3,400.

In conjunction with the debut of its entry-level products, HP is now shipping second-generation models of its MSA systems. New to the lineup are the StorageWorks 2000i and 2000sa G2 MSAs, which feature 2.5-inch, small form factor (SFF) drives that increase capacity by up to 33% per unit of rack space when compared to older models. They also reduce power requirements up to 50%, says Johns.

The MSA2000 G2 family of SAN devices offers a variety of host interfaces, including the SAS-based MSA2000sa G2, the Fibre Channel MSA2000fc G2, and the iSCSI MSA2000i G2. All models support optional controller based snapshot/clone functionality.

Each of the MSA2000G2 devices supports 60TB using SATA drives.

HP also introduced the HP Virtualization Bundle. The bundle costs about $6,000 for an entry-level configuration, and uses LeftHand VSA software to turn existing server disk drives into shared storage. According to Johns, the bundle allows users to reduce costs up to 35% by eliminating the need for external storage to support high-availability applications in VMware environments. The bundle includes HP server, storage and networking technology, as well as integrated virtualization software from HP and VMware.

Related articles:
HP debuts LeftHand iSCSI SAN, SAS for blades
HP upgrades EVA arrays, SVSP
HP acquires LeftHand

This article was originally published on May 28, 2009