HP Tackles Unstructured Data-Spewing SMBs with X5000 NAS

By Pedro Hernandez

HP rolled out a virtual desktop solutions suite for SMBs this week centered on new networking hardware and server and software bundles for today's mobile workforces. The products are meant to get businesses quickly up and running on client virtualization platforms from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.

What about the storage part of the equation?

The answer, according to Britt Terry, product marketing manager for HP Storage, is HP's newly updated X5000 network attached storage (NAS) system. The X5000 not only acts as a repository for mobile file access, says Terry. It can also help storage administrators come to grips with ballooning amounts of unstructured data.

For the vast majority of small and mid-sized businesses, Windows Office is to blame for their struggles with unstructured data.

"Windows Office productivity tools are driving a large amount of unstructured data growth," states Terry. Gone are the days when workers created and traded emails, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets that barely broke the MB barrier. Now, it's not uncommon for capacity-draining videos, large graphics files and an assortment of hefty email attachments to come along for the ride.

HP X5000 features 10 GbE network connectivity and "an active/active, dual clustered pair of servers" acting as controllers. It's a design, says Terry, that not only shuttles data across the network quickly, but also further blurs the line between servers and storage.

Typically the job of a server or an appliance, the system has "the ability to natively run anti-virus and security tools," according to Terry. The X5000 also runs Microsoft backup and integrates with Active Directory, Distributed File System and Microsoft System Center.

New to the HP X5000 is the G2 small form factor (SFF) drive chassis with 36 drive slots. Its large form factor (LFF) sibling can now accommodate 3 TB, 7.2K SAS drives. The X5000 platform ships as a base 3U unit with optional 2U expansion nodes.

Storage management and capacity-stretching features include deduplication, compression and file classification -- a Windows Server feature that enables automated file policy enforcement, management and reporting. According to HP, the X5000 can help administrators reclaim up to 30 percent of existing disk space.

And businesses get a break on the electric bill, too. HP says that by consolidating compute and networking infrastructure into the X5000, not only do IT department save on precious rack space, they can reduce power by up to 58 percent and cooling requirements by up to 63 percent.

HP X5000 is available now. Prices start at $30,229 for an active-active clustered controller configuration.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on June 22, 2012