Virtualization: HP bundles EVA, clustering

Posted on October 01, 2008

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By Kevin Komiega

Hewlett-Packard is shipping a new virtual storage system comprising an Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) 4400 with scalable NAS file serving software developed via HP’s acquisition of PolyServe.

The StorageWorks 4400 Scalable NAS File Services system integrates the EVA 4400 array, file servers, management software, and Windows or Linux support to virtualize the connection between servers and storage.

A starting configuration includes three file-serving controllers with a dozen 400GB Fibre Channel disk drives for 4.8TB of capacity and dual back-end Fibre Channel controllers to guard against system failures. The array scales to a maximum of 16 nodes with 96TB of capacity using 1TB “FATA” drives.

The 4400 Scalable NAS File Services supports both block- and file-level I/O, and the CIFS, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols.

The system also comes with a 5TB license for Command View EVA software and a 1TB license of Business Copy EVA software. It can also run other EVA software, including StorageWorks Continuous Access EVA and StorageWorks Replication Solutions Manager.

The entry price for the Windows File Services version of the system is $94,270, while the Linux File Services version is priced from $97,630.

HP’s director of NAS marketing, Ian Duncan, says the StorageWorks 4400 links virtual server and virtual storage architectures to create a single consolidated pool of compute and storage resources.

“Virtualization is not a product in and of itself. It’s a set of enabling technologies predominantly used to take costs out of systems through consolidation,” says Duncan, “but we believe there’s a bigger opportunity for customers in using virtualization to accelerate and grow their businesses rather than just reducing costs.”

Duncan claims the StorageWorks 4400 can do just that because it allows users to host applications and operating systems—Windows and Linux—directly on the storage device.

“We’re delivering servers, storage, management software and a scalable clustered file system in an integrated package,” says Duncan.

HP is rolling out the StorageWorks 4400 as part of a larger, company-wide virtualization initiative. The company also extolled the virtual virtues of several new products spanning its hardware, software, and services portfolios.

Joining the StorageWorks 4400 in the infrastructure portion of the virtualization launch are the ProLiant BL495c, a blade server designed specifically to host virtual machines, a new set of Virtualization Acceleration Services for planning and implementation projects, and enhancements to HP-UX 11i V3 and the HP Virtual Server Environment, including improvements in performance, automation, and management.

The StorageWorks 4400 Scalable NAS File Services is the second offering in HP’s family of clustering products based on PolyServe technology. HP began selling the much larger StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100) in May with an entry price of approximately $500,000 and a maximum capacity of 820TB.

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