HP ships low-cost SAN array

By Kevin Komiega

—Hewlett-Packard took a long look at its family of Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) midrange SAN systems and decided that the low end of the EVA line was missing the mark when it came to the cost and ease-of-use requirements of medium-sized businesses. As a result, HP went back to the drawing board and developed the StorageWorks EVA4400, a disk array that offers a combination of high-performance and availability features, virtualization capabilities, and provisioning software at a lower price than previous models.

Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for the SAN division of HP's StorageWorks group, says the EVA4400 features a redesigned dual-controller architecture and back-end disk enclosure. He says HP has simultaneously reduced the overall cost and increased the density of the system by packing 12 disk drives and two controllers in a 2U enclosure.

"Most of the SAN storage purchased is in the price band between $15,000 and $40,000. While we could scale the EVA down into those prices in the past, once customers started adding options the prices quickly moved up out of that range," says Fitze. "We didn't feel we were covering the sweet spots of the midrange well. Now we've got it covered."

A $15,000 entry configuration of the EVA4400 includes two controllers, a 12-drive disk shelf, and management software. Users can buy additional external drive shelves to increase capacity to a maximum of 96 drives, or a total of 96TB, using 1TB SATA drives.

HP has included a number of virtualization features in the EVA4400 previously available only on its high-end arrays. For example, the new dual-redundant hardware architecture supports local and remote replication software.

The array supports the replication capabilities of StorageWorks Business Copy EVA software and StorageWorks Continuous Access EVA software. This provides disaster tolerance and the ability to keep applications online during backup and restore.

Storage provisioning also is available via HP's StorageWorks EVA Dynamic Capacity Management (DCM) software to help manage storage resources.

HP is also offering a variety of pre-tested "blueprints" with the EVA4400 that outline server, storage, and application components to reduce configuration and implementation times for customers and channel partners. The pre-tested configurations enable integration with a range of typical midsize business applications, including Microsoft Exchange, SQL, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle E-Business Suite, SAP, VMware, and HP PolyServe Scalable NAS.

The EVA can also be purchased with HP's new 8Gbps Fibre Channel Simple SAN Connection Kit, which includes management software, an 8Gbps switch, and a PCI Express host bus adapter (HBA). The single-port 8Gbps HBA offers twice the throughput of 4Gbps HBAs and includes support for virtualization and adaptive power management.

This article was originally published on March 05, 2008