LeftHand Networks has come up with a new way to repurpose old Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL380 servers: Turn them into iSCSI SAN storage modules.
LeftHand on Monday introduced its SAN/iQ 6.6, an enhanced version of its software for building iSCSI-based SANs. It includes a new user interface that gives a single view for managing tiered SATA, iSCSI and SAS clusters, as well as more templates and wizards to increase storage automation, said Karl Chen, vice president of marketing and development at the Denver-based company.
LeftHand also made SAN/iQ 6.6 available so that solution providers can sell it to customers for use with HP ProLiant DL380 servers. By integrating SAN/iQ with the DL380, customers get a full-featured iSCSI target array with clustering, three-way replication, thin provisioning and synchronous replication, all for about $11,750 plus the cost of the server, according to Chen.
"To get a similar function, you'd need an HP EVA or an EMC CX500, which might cost $60,000 to $70,000," he said. "But you wouldn't have thin provisioning."
Thin provisioning enables a storage administrator to allocate more capacity to a specific application or user than is physically available, under the assumption that not all of those applications and users will need the entire allocated space simultaneously. That allows extra physical capacity to be installed at a later date as the total amount of space actually used approaches the storage device's capacity.
Often, the cost of the required server is nothing. "We're seeing a lot of customers move to blade servers or consolidate their servers using VMware," Chen said. "This is a great way for customers to repurpose existing hardware."
The software gives solution providers flexibility in bringing iSCSI storage arrays to customers, Chen added. "They don't need to buy new boxes and stuff them with hard drives," he said. "And they don't need to figure out how much capacity they need early."