HP debuts LeftHand iSCSI SAN, SAS for blades

By Kevin Komiega

-- Hewlett-Packard today advanced its iSCSI SAN products acquired from LeftHand Networks last Fall with the launch of the P4000 series of IP SANs and a virtual appliance that creates shared storage inside blade server enclosures.

Ben Bolles, HP's product manager for the LeftHand family, says the P4000 series SANs feature a scale-out architecture and all-inclusive software that provides data replication and automatically balances data volumes across storage resources.

The P4000 series SANs are available in a variety of configurations. A two-node P4300 SAN "package" with 16 drives and roughly 10TB of SATA-based capacity costs approximately $30,000.

HP is also using the LeftHand software to put SANs inside virtualized blade server infrastructures with the new StorageWorks SB40c and P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) Software bundle. The resulting SAN can be deployed within an HP BladeSystem infrastructure and dynamically expanded across multiple blade enclosures.

The P4000 SANs and VSA software work with VMware's vStorage, integrate with VMware Site Recovery Manager, and are VMware Ready Certified.

In addition to the P4000 family and VSA software bundle, HP announced HP Direct Connect SAS storage for HP BladeSystems is now available in the form of the new StorageWorks 600 Modular Disk System (MDS600).

The MDS600 with Direct Connect SAS is aimed at large-scale physical storage consolidation for HP BladeSystems.

Lenore Adam, product manager for HP's bladed storage solutions, says the MDS600 is a "giant JBOD," boasting 70 hard disk drives (HDDs) in a 5U form factor. "It connects to SAS systems on the back of a BladeSystem enclosure," she says. "The MDS600 systems appear as though they were direct-attached storage [DAS], but allow users to zone or group drives like you would in a SAN."

Adam says the SAS-connected systems do not have the long distance connectivity of iSCSI or Fibre Channel, but the SAS-based DAS approach opens up some new opportunities for blade implementations.

She adds that a single BladeSystem can attach to as many as six MDS600 arrays, and the system can scale up to 420TB allocated across 16 BladeSystem servers.

The direct-connect SAS system with the MDS600 will be available this month with estimated prices starting at $10,000.

Related articles:
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HP launches midrange storage virtualization platform

This article was originally published on April 20, 2009