Arrow Lab First To Get HP XP 12000 Storage Array For Demos, Training

SBM, the HP-focused division of Arrow Electronics North American Computer Products, Englewood, Colo., has an XP12000 in Arrow's Enterprise Storage Lab in Duluth, Ga., and aims to educate solution providers about the array and let them demo it to potential customers, said Charlie McPherson, vice president of marketing for Duluth-based SBM.

The enterprise-class XP12000, which HP introduced last September, scales to up to 165 Tbytes of internal capacity and 14 petabytes of external capacity in heterogeneous operating system environments.

The lab also has other HP arrays, such as an EVA and an MSA, as well as non-HP storage arrays and servers from several vendors, McPherson said. "We're the only [enterprise channel partner] to have an XP12000 for demos," he said.

Late last month, Arrow held its first education program for about 35 solution providers on the XP12000, and will do other similar events with support from HP, McPherson said. At that initial seminar, four solution provider organizations signed up to receive certification on the array, he said.

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One HP solution provider liked the demo so much he signed up several of his employees for XP12000 certification.

Gary Matsuda, executive vice president of professional services at Agile360, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider that already offers EVA and MSA arrays, said the XP12000 will allow his company to broaden its customer base.

"The XP12000 means being able to get into large companies by embracing that level of storage," Matsuda said.

Arrow's lab has the capability to allow solution providers to demo the array remotely if they cannot attend in person. Solution providers can also bring customers to the lab for hands-on demos, McPherson said.

Matsuda said the ability to use Arrow's XP12000 for remote demonstrations is one of the things that sold him on the platform.

"The best thing is [Arrow] is making all that equipment available for WebEx [demos] over the Internet," he said. "We send Arrow a statement [detailing our request], and they promise a 24-hour response on whether they can do our specific configuration."

Jim VanderMey, vice president of technical operations at Open Systems Technologies, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based solution provider that already works with the XP12000, said his company plans to use Arrow's demo array to highlight its management capabilities to customers, and to show how it works with an entry-level HP MSA array for tiered storage.

The ability to demo the XP12000 using online applications such as WebEx Communications' WebEx or Microsoft's NetMeeting is a great benefit, VanderMey said.

"It's hard to take an XP12000 to the customer site for a demo," he said.

In the future, Arrow plans to offer its solution providers similar training and demonstration programs on a 1-Tbyte Reference Information Storage System (RISS), an array HP introduced last May specifically for secure storage of data for compliance and regulatory purposes, McPherson said.