HP Rolls Out New Storage Services, Capacity-On-Demand Enhancement

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., also enhanced its XP-series of disk arrays with improved pay-per-use capabilities that allow capacity to be turned on and off as needed.

The new services and capabilities are a result of companies needing to increase their ROI for storage infrastructures at a time when their storage-capacity growth is booming and they are struggling with disaster-tolerance implementation, said Gary Wright, vice president of network storage services for HP Services.

The five new storage services take advantage of HP Services' resources, Wright said. For a new service, the organization will assign a project manager to oversee the project, design the storage environment, complete the integration, test the solution in the customer environment, completely document the solution and train customer staff, he said.

The first new storage service is data replication, which uses three different technologies to do both local and remote replication, Wright said. The service can include business copy, which provides snapshot capability for local replication within a single storage controller; continuous access, with allows remote mirroring to a remote site; and HP OpenView Continuous Storage Appliance, which allows data to be replicated between HP and non-HP arrays both locally and remotely.

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The second service, Storage Area Management, utilizes HP's OpenView Storage Area Management suite of applications to manage data stored on HP, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM and EMC storage arrays, Wright said.

The third, Storage Optimization Service, is a consulting service that Wright said is not aimed at selling hardware, and so is vendor-agnostic. "This is about optimizing what the customer has today," he said. "This is nothing about new equipment."

The fourth service, Data Sanitization, overwrites data on hard drives that are being retired or migrated to new equipment to ensure sensitive data is not accidentally released, Wright said.

This service now works only with HP hard drives, but will be extended to non-HP drives in the future, he added.

The fifth new service is the Disaster Tolerant Management Service. Under this service, a customer's servers, networks, recovery plans, staff and IT sites are tested completely for disaster scenarios, Wright said.

Customers can use one of 50 recovery centers HP has set up worldwide for use in disaster recovery implementation in lieu of building their own remote data centers.

All the new storage services are available to HP's storage solution providers, which account for about two-thirds of the company's storage sales, Wright said.

"The majority of our storage is sold through our partners," he said. "We want them to provide the services. We are also enabling our channel partners with everything they need to sell and deliver these services, including separate certifications for selling and delivering them."

Channel partners with the proper certification can either sell or implement basic installation and startup services related to the new services, as well as sell the ability for customers to get a project manager and start the design and training procedures, Wright said. These services are sold at a fixed price.

Solution providers also can work with HP to offer application integration on top of the storage services, but these will have prices customized according to the number of applications and the size of the environment.

HP's new pay-per-use capability for its XP arrays is aimed at the majority of customers who find it impossible to predict future storage capacity growth, Wright said.

The customer can order an XP array with greater capacity than needed initially, and then pay for increased usage as it occurs.

"Therefore, if storage grows slower than originally thought, the customer saves money over buying everything up front," Wright said.

However, he added that if a customer needs to grow faster than planned, HP will cap the payment for the storage capacity at what the customer would have paid for the full capacity up-front.

Unlike most capacity-on-demand programs, where capacity once turned on cannot be turned off, the new HP pay-per-use program allows capacity to increase to meet peak loads, and then decreased if the extra capacity is no longer needed, Wright said.