New HP Storage Gear Integrates Into ILM Solution

HP is aiming at making it easier to build ILM solutions by offering the products, which can be integrated into a complete tiered storage solution, said Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of storage, software and ILM for the vendor.

New this week is the MSA 1500cs array which allows both high-speed SCSI and low-cost SATA hard drives to be installed behind the same controller. The original MSA 1500 could be configured with all SCSI or all SATA drives, said Harbist. By combining the two types of drives behind a single controller, customers can get tiered storage within one enclosure, he said.

The MSA 1500cs is targeted at customers who typically do not have a lot of IT personnel, Harbist said. Starting list price for an MSA 1500cs enclosure and controller without hard drives is $8,995.

Carl Wolfston, director of Headlands Associates, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based HP solution provider, said that having two tiers of storage within a single array makes sense for customers who agree that tiered storage is important to them.

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At any rate, Wolfston said, such a capability makes it easy to engage customers in conversations about the importance of different classes of storage. "It's a great discussion point on what to use," he said. "If customers look for performance, I can tell them, don't put their data on SATA."

The second product is the Ultrium 960 LTO-3 tape drive. Unlike IBM and Certance versions of the LTO-3 tape drive, which offer Ultra160 SCSI interfaces, the HP model includes an Ultra320 interface, said Rick Luttrall, chief technology strategist for the company's Nearline Storage Division. Also unique to the HP offering is that it can be used with WORM-compatible tape cartridges from Day One, Luttrall said.

The Ultrium 960 is scheduled to start shipping Dec. 13, said Luttrall. List price starts at $5,549, with 800-Gbyte rewritable tape cartridges list-priced at $182, compared to $200 for WORM cartridges.

Wolfston said having WORM capability with LTO-3 drives makes it easy to do backups and to secure data at the same time.

Wolfston also said having a high-speed Ultra320 SCSI interface is important. "It's interesting that tape is no longer the bottleneck in storage," he said.

Also new are lower-cost versions of its Ultra Density Optical (UDO) jukebox. The 700ux offers optical storage capacity of up to 720 Gbytes, and the 1100ux comes with up to 1.1 Tbytes of capacity. Starting price is $7,975.

Finally, HP is tying its hard drive, optical drive, and tape drive products into a tiered storage solution with version 5.5 of its StorageWorks Data Protector software.

New with the software is an advanced backup feature that virtualizes the tape backup process to treat a backup data set as an object, said Luttrall. As a result, tape backups can be scheduled as needed throughout the week rather than in the evenings, he said. Treating them as objects also makes it easier for the data sets to be moved from disk to optical to tape and back, he said.

The software also includes advanced media management under which those objects can be used to easily do restores from disk or tape, Luttrall said. Those objects also allow full backups and incremental to be done on the same tape so that, instead of sending five cartridges to an offsite storage company, customers can send one, thereby cutting off-site storage costs by up to 80 percent, he said.

Also new is backup mirroring under which backups can be mirrored to a second target at the same time as the original backup is done for remote archiving, he said.

While HP's new ILM products might be useful in the commercial space, they may not yet be welcome in the education and government spaces targeted by Sapphire Systems, said Dave Goldsmith, president of the Roselle, Ill.-based HP solution provider.

"For our space, the message is not there yet," Goldsmith said. "[Our customers] tend to run six months to two years behind everybody else."