HP upgrades entry level, mid-range arrays

Doubles drive count of StorageWorks P2000 arrays, offers SAN/iQ software with P4000s

Hewlett-Packard Co. today upgraded to its entry-level modular storage array, and added network failover features to its midrange array via its SAN/iQ SAN clustering software.

The upgraded HP StorageWorks MSA P2000 G3 storage area network (SAN) products offer twice the number of drives, twice the performance, four times the number of snapshots as the previous version of the array line. The upgraded entry level products also add support for 2.5-in. small form factor drives.

The SAN has been upgraded to include a single controller with two 8Gbit/sec Fibre Channel and two 1Gbit/sec iSCSI ports. Previously, the StorageWorks P2000 came only with two 4Gbit/sec Fibre Channel ports.

Charles Vallhonrat, product marketing manager for HP StorageWorks, said the P2000 G3 is targeted at small- to mid-sized businesses for primary backup and at larger businesses to remotely replicate data and send it back to primary data centers.

HP is also introducing disaster recovery capabilities with a new Remote Snap feature on the box. Remote Snap offers up to 64 point-in-time data copies or 128 full volume copies for replication between branch offices and data centers. The uograded system's new Volume Copy software automatically captures local copies of stored data, while the standard 64-snapshots license helps ensure critical data is accessible in the event of failure.

"With Remote Snap you can set up replication between two like MSAs in two locations, and data can move in both directions," Vallhonrat said. "It's an optional software license we're adding for remote replication, but very few products in the entry level space include remote replication."

HP also increased the number of drives available in the P2000 G3 from 60 3.5-in serial ATA (SATA) drives to 96 drives and from 99 2.5-in serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives to 194 SAS drives. The array can support up to 57.6TB in SAS-based configurations or 192TB with SATA.

HP also announced that its midrange StorageWorks P4000 G2 SAN is being offered with the SAN/iQ clustering software, which increases capacity utilization by up to 50% over existing P4000 SANs with an automated performance analyzer and tuner. The company also added a new Network RAID feature that reduces the amount of storage space consumed.

Network RAID goes one level above hardware RAID by delivering automated network failover protecting against major power outages, complete system or site failures, according to Chris McCall, product marketing manager for HP StorageWorks.

SAN/iQ's Best Practice Analyzer monitors and compares the SAN environment with lab-tested best practices and if the SAN needs fine tuning, it sends an alert regarding potential adjustments that can be made to drive optimal performance, such as moving data to higher-capacity, but slower performing drives.

The P4000 G2 SAN also offers scalability with a pay-as-you-grow options. The low-wnd P4000 G2 SAN, starts with 60TB of capacity at a cost of less than $1.50/GB, according to McCall.

The HP StorageWorks P4000 G2 SAN systems are currently available at a starting list price of $30,000. A P4000 Unified NAS Gateway is expected to begin shipping on April 5. The new SAN/iQ software will ship with all P4000 G2 SAN systems and is available to existing P4000 and LeftHand Networks customers for download on March 29.

The HP P2000 G3 is available immediately, and the starting price for a Fibre Channel dual controller array is $9,950. An HP P2000 G3 MSA with a Fibre Channel/iSCSI dual combo controller array starts at $12,350.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, send e-mail to lmearian@computerworld.com or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed .

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