3PAR targets midrange

By Kevin Komiega

—;3PAR Data is shrinking its disk systems to fit departmental, replicated site, and remote data center deployments with this week's debut of the InServ E200 Storage Server, a midrange complement to the company's high-end InServ S400 and S800 arrays.

The InServ E200 uses the same operating system as 3PAR's S-Class Storage Servers, which allows for the simple movement of data from the high-end boxes to the new midrange systems, a feature that 3PAR hopes will make the E200 an attractive option for existing customers.

3PAR president and CEO David Scott sees the InServ E200 as an extension of the company's utility storage architecture. "We wanted to expand the application areas in which we deploy our systems by bringing the high-end features of our S-Class products into the midrange."

Target customers include large enterprises in the market for tiered storage, replication from primary storage to smaller platforms, and companies conducting test and development work. 3PAR's other key customers include managed service providers and utilities that deliver software as a service to their customers.

3PAR is not necessarily looking to lure new customers with its entry into the midrange market. For Scott, the debut of the E200 is about broadening 3PAR's footprint in its existing customer accounts.

"We primarily hope to extend opportunities with existing customers and broaden their deployments. We have no intention of driving this into the SMB market itself," says Scott.

The InServ E200 is based on 3PAR's InSpire Architecture in a modular box that scales from 16 to 128 drives and from 2TB to 63TB using 147GB Fibre Channel, 300GB Fibre Channel, or 500GB Nearline drives.

Users can choose different connectivity options, including support for 4 to 12 Fibre Channel host ports in conjunction with four optional iSCSI ports. The InServ E200 features the InSpire Architecture's "single-system" cluster technology, whereby redundant E200 Controller Nodes simultaneously service and export all storage volumes in a load-balanced manner. E200 Controller Nodes also feature the 3PAR ASIC for RAID 5 as well as mixed-workload support.

Software includes the company's Rapid Provisioning, Dynamic Optimization, Thin Provisioning, and Virtual and Remote Copy.

Pricing for an InServ E200 with 2.3TB of capacity and the InForm Operating Suite (including Rapid Provisioning, Access Guard, and Full Copy software) starts at just under $65,000—a step down from the price of an S-Class array, which can start at $100,000. The 2.3TB configuration also includes four Fibre Channel host ports, system installation, two years of software support, and a two-year hardware warranty with four-hour business day response.

This article was originally published on August 30, 2006