Introduces post-merger hardware, software at partner event
Less than two months after completing its merger with Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard used a partner-sponsored event to revamp its storage hardware and software line.
At an end-user conference held here last week by Nth Generation Computing, one of its largest storage partners, HP unveiled version 2 of its Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA). The new array supports the HP-UX, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows 2000 Data Center platforms, and its capacity was doubled to 34 Tbytes per array.
Space-efficient snapshot capability also was added to speed backups, said Mark Sorenson, vice president of storage software for HP's Network Storage Systems division.
In addition, HP bolstered the StorageWorks va7410, the latest model in its legacy VA array line. The product now has double the RAID ports and the capacity and performance of previous models, and HP soon plans to cut its price by about 5 percent, Sorenson said.
HP also introduced new SDLT, DLT and LTO tape drives; a new low-end NAS appliance; new 2-Gbps Fibre Channel core switches with up to 128 ports; and new software to improve storage availability, replication and management. Sources close to HP also gave a sneak peak at new disaster-recovery and performance features slated for HP's EVA array this fall.
"Since we had several hundred of the largest storage clients assembled here in Southern California, [HP decided this would be a good forum to actually make the new product announcements," said Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation Computing, San Diego.
The new and upcoming EVA features will make the array line a more competitive offering, Baldwin said. "[It will then cover practically all of the major platforms, save the IBM mainframe," he said.
The performance and capacity upgrades to HP's legacy VA array also are important, even though the vendor plans to phase out the product line next year, Baldwin said.
"It still is a year away, I think, before we're going to see complete functionality within the EVA in terms of all platforms supported and in terms of disaster recovery," he said.
In other HP storage news, the company is expected this fall to roll out its VersaStore out-of-band storage virtualization technology. Industry observers said the technology is now in beta testing at Microsoft.
And this week, HP plans to start reselling Quantum's enterprise-class tape arrays instead of StorageTek models, according to sources close to Quantum. An HP official confirmed that the company plans to phase out its StorageTek-made 10/180 and 20/700 arrays over the next three months but will continue to support them for up to five years after the sale date.