HP Updates MSA, LeftHand Virtual Storage Offerings


Hewlett-Packard is revamping its MSA storage product line with increased performance and a new moniker, and enhancing its LeftHand virtual storage product line with improved capacity, performance, and virtualization characteristics.

HP this week renamed its Modular Smart Array (MSA) line as the P2000 series, and unveiled the StorageWorks P2000 G3 MSA System.

The renaming of the MAS to the P2000 brings the product family name more in convention with other HP products, said Charles Vallhonrat, product marketing manager for HP StorageWorks.

The P2000 G3 now features 8-Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity, with twice the potential bandwidth of the previous 4-Gbps Fibre Channel, Vallhonrat said.

The company also added the option of adding either two 8-Gbit Fibre Channel controllers for high-performance applications or one 8-Gbit Fibre Channel and one iSCSI controller for customers requiring both types of storage connectivity, he said.

Also new in the P2000 G3 is the ability to plug in 6-Gbit SATA hard drives in addition to SAS drives. Customers can now have up to 96 large form factor drives or 149 small form factor drives, up from the previous limits of 60 large and 96 small form factor drives, increasing the total capacity to up to 57.6 TBs of SAS storage or 192 TBs of SATA storage.

On the software side, HP has added Remote Snap to replicate data to a second P2000 G3 for disaster recovery, Vallhonrat said.

HP has also added the ability to spin down hard drives to conserve power by up to 20 percent, Vallhonrat said.

"Based on company policies, the P2000 G3 can spin down hard drives according to the time of day or week, or for a data volume that has not been accessed for some time," he said.

Customers with existing G1 and G2 MSAs can convert their existing disk capacity to the P2000 G3 by replacing their storage controllers, he said.

List pricing for the P2000 G3 starts at $9,950 for a unit without drives and with a dual-controller Fibre Channel controller and the ability to work with large form factor drives.

On the virtual storage side, HP this week is introducing the StorageWorks P4000 G2 SAN Solutions based on the SAN/iQ software HP got with its late-2008 acquisition of LeftHand Networks.

The P4000 G2 is focused on delivering storage to virtual server environments, said Chris McCall, product marketing manager for HP's StorageWorks business.

The SAN/iQ software on which the P4000 G2 is based has been updated to work with up to 50 percent more storage capacity than previous models.

The software also now includes RAID 5 and RAID 6 data protection, making it more flexible and better able to utilize storage capacity than previous versions which only allowed RAID 10, McCall said.

To better manage storage networking in virtual environments, the P4000 G2 now includes Best Practice Analyzer, a software tool to show customers what changes they can make in the configuration to optimize their storage for their environments.

Other software enhancements include automated data snapshot, remote copy, and clone capabilities.

The P4000 G2 is available with a list price of $30,000 for a starter SAN bundle which includes 12 TBs of capacity, a three-year service contract, and all the software features already turned on, McCall said.

The new P2000 G3 and P4000 G2 show that HP is continuing to develop and improve its affordable storage offerings, said Dave Butler, president of Enterprise Computing Solutions, a Mission Viejo, Calif.-based solution provider.

"HP has been very strong in making its technology affordable," Butler said. "I won't say 'commoditized'—that's not the right word. But they've been the leader in making technology affordable."