Teaming Up On EMC: HDS, Sun, HP Unleash New Array

The TagmaStore is the third generation of HDS' Lightning family of arrays. The Lightning family competes mainly against EMC's DMX family and IBM's Shark family.

HP, which OEMs the TagmaStore for sale as the XP12000, plans to make the array the centerpiece of its HP StorageWorks conference this week in Houston.

That conference, and the new high-end array, come at a trying time for HP, which last month admitted its storage business has been dragging down profits.

To underscore the importance of storage to HP, Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina plans to go to Houston for her first-ever keynote address to a group of storage solution providers and customers.

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This shows storage is finally getting the senior executive attention it deserves, said Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based HP solution provider.

"Carly's coming [to Houston], and this is the first event HP has had like this in a couple years," said Baldwin. "Now we'll see what she says about the importance of storage."

Early next month, Sun will showcase the StorEdge 9990, its branded version of the TagmaStore, for its 60 or so Elite storage partners at the MOCA partner event in Carlsbad, Calif., said Mark Canepa, executive vice president for Sun's network storage products.

TagmaStore, starting at $450,000, offers the ability to connect external storage devices through the array to create a virtual pool of addressable storage up to 32 petabytes in size. Of that, up to 332 Tbytes can be internal Fibre Channel hard drives. The remaining capacity comes from other arrays attached via TagmaStore.

Solution providers said the TagmaStore's virtualization capabilities mean it can attach to and manage multiple classes of storage devices"including arrays that customers already have--as they build a multitiered archival infrastructure for customers.

John Murphy, executive vice president of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider for both HDS and Sun, said customers appreciate it when a partner can combine classes of storage devices while maintaining their investment in legacy equipment. "This hopefully drives the ability we've been waiting for for 15 years: hierarchical storage management," Murphy said. "The assignment of storage by classes, and who manages that storage, has been the big question."

Scott Genereux, senior vice president of HDS, said the TagmaStore is a great product for the channel because of customers' need for consulting help in relation to their archiving needs. "This is not a box sell," he said. "It's how to sell universal replication. It's about meeting customer needs."