By Kevin Komiega
—Hewlett-Packard is out to bring blades to the masses with an all-in-one system complete with server, storage, networking, and data protection in an enclosure about the same size as a desk-side PC.
The brains of the new box—also referred to as "Shorty"—is the BladeSystem c3000 server blade. The rack-based c3000 features a 10.5-inch-high design that fits up to eight blades. The tower version of the c3000, expected to be available in the first quarter of 2008, is outfitted with the same features and will occupy two square feet of floor space.
Shorty's storage is supplied by the latest addition to HP's All-in-One (AiO) family—the StorageWorks AiO SB600c Storage Blade—which works in both the new c3000 and the existing BladeSystem c7000.
The storage blade provides 1TB of internal capacity with support for NAS and iSCSI, as well as the ability to scale to 9TB by attaching to external AiO disk systems.
The SB600c is tuned for file serving performance and provides a mechanism for managing disk-based snapshots for rollback, integrated data-protection software for off-site and archive storage, hot-plug disk drives, and hardware redundancy. Data can be replicated between systems for disaster recovery.
HP claims customers can migrate data to the c3000 BladeSystem with AiO storage in as few as 10 mouse clicks using built-in configuration, setup, and data movement tools.
"Adding a SAN is a complex and daunting task for mid-size customers. With the c3000, adding a SAN is as simple as taking the AiO storage blade and plugging it in," says Paul Miller, vice president of marketing for HP's Enterprise Storage and Server Division. "Customers can now have data protection, backup, scalability, data retention, and compliance policies with one tool to manage all of it."
HP hasn't forgotten about tape. Shorty has an on-board StorageWorks Ultrium 448c Tape Blade, which provides data protection for all servers and associated storage.
"A lot of small businesses are still using tape as their standard backup media," says Miller. "Shorty is the only blade chassis on the market that offers integrated tape backup."
The c3000 works with software from HP partners such as Citrix, Microsoft, Oracle, Sage Software, SAP, and VMware.
For mid-size businesses looking to run multiple applications in a single consolidated environment, HP offers pre-packaged configurations of the c3000 called BladeSystem Solution Blocks. The Solution Blocks are combinations of server blades, storage blades, and management software developed for the company's channel partners. HP Services has also developed three new Care Pack services to aid in the installation, startup, and support process.
A full-featured c3000 server and storage enclosure is priced just under $15,000. Pricing for the c3000 starts at $4,299, while the SB600c storage blade costs $9,968.