HP To Start Shipping Midrange Version Of EVA Array

The EVA3000, also known as the EVA Light, delivers enterprise-class functionality to the midrange storage space, said Pete Korce, director of enterprise storage arrays for HP's Network Storage Systems group.

The current EVA line has been renamed the EVA5000 in order to distinguish it from the new version, Korce said.

The EVA3000 is limited in terms of capacity to 56 hard drives which gives a maximum total capacity of 8.1 Tbytes, assuming 146-Gbyte drives are used, Korce said, adding that it offers the same management and connectivity features as the EVA5000.

The EVA3000 is scheduled to hit the streets next week. Pricing ranges from $63,000 to $150,000, depending on the configuration, HP executives said. EVA5000 pricing ranges from $85,000 to up to $1 million.

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Korce said the EVA3000 is targeted at the same space occupied by EMC's CX400 and IBM's FAStT midrange arrays.

When pre-merger Compaq unveiled the EVA family of October 2001, the company said it would eventually unveil downscale and upscale versions in an effort to consolidate the company's storage offerings on a single platform.

On the midrange side, Korce said he expects the EVA3000 to replace a portion of the market currently occupied by HP's VA and MA lines. HP will continue to support the VA and MA lines with firmware upgrades but will not take their architectures forward, he said.

"We will continue to ship the VA and MA, but we haven't published end-of-life plans yet," Korce said. "Our strategy has been to make the EVA our strategic piece going forward. But as long as there is significant demand, we will continue to build the MA and VA lines. But we clearly want to move customers over time to the EVA."

HP also plans to participate in a demonstration of the Storage Management Interface (SMI) standards at the conference, said Steve Jerman, chief architect for array integrated software at the company.

The SMI standards are based on the Common Information Model program of the Storage Network Industry of America and are aimed at ensuring that storage hardware and software from multiple vendors seamlessly interoperates with each other.

HP plans to support its XP, VA, EVA and EMA array families with SMI compatibility by the end of the year, Jerman said. The company also plans to offer SMI compatibility to its legacy arrays. "SMI allows us to have a consistent API across all four array lines in the company," he said.