HP Unveils Scalable NAS For Web 2.0

NAS infrastructure blade storage Web 2.0

The HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System is HP's way to get the cost of storage capacity from the traditional $15-per-Gbyte price range down to about $2 per Gbyte, making it suitable for the kinds of capacity and cost structures customers in the Web 2.0 market require, said Ian Duncan, director of marketing for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor's StorageWorks NAS division.

The ExDS9100 is HP's answer to the need to deliver content and services over the Internet as part of the move towards Web 2.0 from both service providers and from enterprise companies, Duncan said.

For instance, he cited the example of SnapFish, an on-line photo-hosting service HP acquired about three years ago. "SnapFish hosts about 5 billion images today, and is adding about 1 million customers a month," he said. "It has about 35 million customers now, and should have about 50 million (customers) by the end of next year. That means storage capacity of about 6 petabytes today will grow to about 20 petabytes by the end of 2010."

HP is seeing equally aggressive growth from its enterprise customers as well, Duncan said. "Everyone's looking at how to give users additional services, giving them more sharing, making their content more accessible," he said.

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The ExDS9100 consists of three main components which fit in a newly-designed rack.

The first is between 4 and 16 HP BL460 blade servers which gives up to 3.2 Gbytes per second of throughput, Duncan said. The blade servers include a Linux operating system, and run applications directly on the nodes. "For example, a news organization can run the streaming applications on the nodes," he said. "There's no need for a separate application server, so there's one less layer for applications to access. This eliminates a tier of computing."

The second is storage capacity with a density of 12 Tbytes per 1U of rack space. Capacity starts at 246 Tbytes, and can be expanded in 82-Tbyte blocks to a maximum of 820 Tbytes of storage.

The third is the management software needed to deliver the storage, including HP's Clustered File System software based on its acquisition last year of PolyServe, a maker of storage software for clustering NAS appliances and consolidating Windows and Linux servers and storage. Also included is HP's in-house developed software for managing the storage and servers as a single system, Duncan said.

The ExDS9100 is expected to be available this Fall, with a price of under $2 per Gbyte, depending on configuration, Duncan said.

It will be available to channel partners with HP's "Value" certification, especially those in markets such as communications, media, and life sciences, he said.