HP Jumps Into SMB Storage Pool

Count Hewlett-Packard as the latest vendor getting ready to jump into the SMB storage pool.

HP today previewed a new family of networked storage, code-named Atlanta, aimed at the many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that still rely on direct-attached storage. The company disclosed the line at a technology briefing in Marlborough, Mass.

The products, to be released in September, will combine networked-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) functionality, allowing organizations to consolidate their file- and block-based data onto centralized networked storage. The products will also have built-in data-protection software and a variety of capacity points.

"Most small and [midsize] businesses understand network software, but the complexity is still there," says Debbie Young, worldwide marketing manager of HP's StorageWorks product lines. "And it's just not at a price point many businesses can afford."

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Based on focus groups performed by HP, most customers are willing to spend between $5,000 and $10,000 for a complete storage solution. While HP would not provide specific product or pricing information, Young says the products would be priced within that range.

HP joins the growing ranks of storage suppliers that are adding entry-level storage solutions, including EMC, which already offers its Insignia brand of products and is preparing to launch more, and Network Appliance, which recently launched its StoreVault line.