HP Expands Storage Virtualization Offering, Looks To Channel For Sales

The company on Monday introduced the latest version of its suite of in-band storage virtualization technology, a follow-up to its July, 2001 acquisition of StorageApps.

The StorageApps SV3000, expected to ship next month, supports virtualization of HP, Compaq Computer and EMC storage arrays in heterogeneous environments.

Virtualization puts storage devices into a heterogeneous pool, while freeing customers from worrying about which vendor's array is connected to which system, said Genevieve Sullivan, marketing and operations manager for storage at HP. This improves storage utilization while cutting management costs, she said.

The SV3000 virtualization appliance is aimed at midsize businesses, especially those running Microsoft Exchange, since these clients typically have limited resources and cash available to take advantage of high-end storage solutions, Sullivan said.

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The appliance offers 14 Fibre Channel ports supporting 2-Gbit-per-second throughput, eliminating the need to purchase a Fibre Channel switch, Sullivan said.

The unit was enhanced to improve data replication and mirroring, including peer nodes to recover quickly if there is any failure during the data mirroring process, Sullivan said. The appliance allows a mirroring operation to be paused temporarily and then resume as needed. Other capabilities include mirroring a single LUN (logical unit number) to multiple remote LUNs, and compacted point-in-time data images, which reduces the amount of storage capacity needed for point-in-time copying of data.

Other new enhancements include support for Linux, as well as an upgrade path to iSCSI once the iSCSI standard is finalized, Sullivan said.

The SV3000 is expected to have a list price of about $125,000, compared with $270,000 for its current SANlink storage virtualization appliance, which was sold direct by HP to large enterprises, Sullivan said.

"[The SV3000 gives solution providers entry into a space they have not had access to before," she said. "They can now approach users other than HP users, and really bring virtualization to the NT marketplace."