HP Unveils "Atlanta" SMB Storage Device

While HP kept silent on many of the details of the new SMB storage device, Debbie Young, worldwide marketing manager for the company's StorageWorks division, said it will be based on Microsoft's Windows Storage Server operating system.

The new device, codenamed "Atlanta," will be the first of a new family of NAS appliances combined with shared application storage, a Windows file server, data protection, and management and backup software, Young said. "You don't have to add anything," she said.

Atlanta is expected to ship in September, at which time HP will also provide more details about the product family, Young said.

The new appliances will be sold primarily through indirect sales channels. "It's a volume product," Young said. "With its price point, I don't expect our direct force to spend much time on this."

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HP is only the latest big name tier-one storage vendor to put a special focus on the SMB space with sub-$5,000 storage appliances.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Network Appliance unveiled its new StoreVault S500 low-cost NAS appliances for the channel. NetApp uses a proprietary operating system for its appliances, while HP plans to use the Microsoft operating system, Young said.

HP also follows its enterprise storage arch-rival EMC, which entered the small business space a couple years ago with its AX100 array, and which in February unveiled its Insignia small business channel program.

With its new appliance, HP plans to take out as much of the complexity related to storage as possible in order to make it easier for smaller businesses to implement. "I haven't seen the competition take out the complexity yet," she said. "Storage isn't complex to me, it's not complex to you. But it is complex to small and medium businesses."

Monday also saw HP add new firmware to the company's entry-level StorageWorks MSA1500cs which gives it dual-active controller support for the company's HP-UX11i operating system. That support will also be extended to users of OpenVMS, Tru64 Unix, NetWare, and SCO, the company said.

Also new is StorageWorks Business Copy EVA Software which tracks point-in-time copy changes to enable quick restoration of a data volume or updating of a MirrorClone copy of the data.

HP also expanded heterogeneous support for its HP Storage Essentials software, and integrated the software with its HP OpenView Data Protector software to allow the monitoring of the entire backup process. Storage Essentials is also now integrated with HP OpenView Operations for Windows to provide centralized, automated health monitoring and fault management. Also new is integration with HP OpenView Service Desk to automatically create Service Desk incidents to cut the time needed to resolve storage device issues.