HP brings VTLs to SMBs

By Kevin Komiega

—Hewlett-Packard continued its efforts to recruit smaller customers this week by adding virtual tape libraries (VTLs) and a range of new and upgraded data-protection hardware and software products to its small to medium-sized business (SMB) storage portfolio.

The newest product in the lineup is the StorageWorks Virtual Library System 1002i (VLS1002i), a VTL that provides unattended backup and faster restore performance than traditional tape libraries for SMBs or branch offices of large enterprises. The VLS1002i stores up to 1.5TB, or up to 3TB when using the integrated data compression feature.

The VLS1002i was built on HP's ProLiant hardware platform and is targeted at organizations with little or no dedicated IT staff and three or more servers. The VLS1002i also features iSCSI connectivity to take advantage of Ethernet networks.

"A lot of these [smaller] customers probably won't invest in Fibre Channel SANs, and that's why we designed this with iSCSI connectivity. Users can plug straight into an existing LAN," says Adam Thew, director of marketing, nearline, in HP's StorageWorks Division.

The VLS1002i will be available next month, with a starting price of $6,099.

Despite the addition of a disk-based backup appliance, HP isn't forgetting about tape. The company also introduced the midrange StorageWorks MSL4048 tape library, which stores up to 19.2TB in a 4U form factor. Pricing starts at $11,300.

Both the VLS1002i and the MSL4048 come with integrated Web-based management for remote management and troubleshooting.

HP has also begun an effort to spread the adoption of its ProLiant Data Protection Storage Server (DPSS) family by punching up the capabilities of its StorageWorks Data Protector Express software. The software now offers online backup of DPSS replicas and systems, as well as an automated One-Button Disaster Recovery (OBDR) utility, which enables users to restore a server's operating system, software applications, and data by pressing a button and following on-screen instructions.

All HP tape drives and autoloaders now ship with Data Protector Express Single Server Edition software, and HP is also including the software with its ProLiant servers. Existing customers can also download Data Protector Express ProLiant Edition for free.

The revamped Data Protector Express software costs just under $1,000, and includes one year of support.

This article was originally published on May 26, 2006