HP unveils entry-level SAN array

By Kevin Komiega

—Hewlett-Packard this week announced the newest member of its family of SAN arrays for the small and medium-size business (SMB) market in the form of the StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array (MSA2000). But this time HP has narrowed its focus by designing the MSA2000 as a multi-protocol network storage device designed for virtualized server environments.

The MSA2000 disk array is available in two modela: the MSA2000fc with 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connectivity and the MSA2000i with 1Gbps iSCSI host connectivity. Both models scale up to 36TB of capacity, and each array can be configured with up to 48 SAS or SATA disk drives with the addition of three 12-bay drive enclosures.

The MSA2000fc supports 64 host connections, while the iSCSI-based MSA2000i supports 16 hosts. Both versions support 146GB and 300GB 15,000rpm SAS drives for performance-intensive applications or 500GB and 750GB 7,200rpm SATA drives for capacity-intensive applications.

Charles Vallhonrat, MSA product manager for HP's StorageWorks division, says the MSA is a fit for first-time SAN deployments, but it may also fill a niche in large enterprises.

"The MSA2000 is a great option for first-timers, but there is also an opportunity to meet the needs of enterprises at the departmental, test and development, and remote location level," says Vallhonrat.

He adds that with VMware virtualization software, the MSA2000 arrays can be deployed in virtualized server environments to deliver an automated storage infrastructure.

The MSA2000 has some new capabilities for increasing application uptime, including dual power supplies, optional dual controllers, and redundant hardware with automatic fail-over.

Both the iSCSI and Fibre Channel MSA2000 arrays use the same management software as the HP BladeSystem, enabling users to centralize the management of network connections for BladeSystem infrastructures from a single console. Optional snapshot and cloning software is also available on the MSA2000.

The MSA2000 is priced from $4,999. However, the entry price does not include disk drives. Vallhonrat says the pricing will vary widely depending on the number and type of drives included in the array.

General availability of the MSA2000 is slated for March.

This article was originally published on February 08, 2008