HP Offers Utility Pricing for Storage - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

HP Offers Utility Pricing for Storage

HP's latest moves in the storage sector include pay-per-use financing for its StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) devices as well as a new line of tape libraries.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's EVA3000 and EVA5000 are built with modular storage components, allowing customers to scale capacity on demand. They also include virtualization technology for dynamically reallocating storage resources to improve capacity utilization, simplify management, and optimize floor space.

With utility pricing, EVA devices will now be even more flexible, according to Neal Clapper, VP of HP's online storage division. EVA devices will offer metering technology that tracks capacity usage, letting customers pay only for the capacity they use. The solution allows for more economical storage use and prevents over-provisioning, she says.

Storage users with "a lot of volatility" in usage demands, such as e-commerce companies, could use utility pricing to meet peak demands without overpaying for excess capacity, Clapper illustrates.

The idea sounds like something every cash-strapped IT department should consider (and doesn't that describe just about all IT departments these days?), but Clapper admits it might just be too much of a "paradigm shift" for some. "Some customers prefer to own their own assets," she says.

StorageWorks EVA systems can hold up to 24 terabytes of data on one machine, more than twice the size of the Library of Congress, according to HP. Previously available on the HP StorageWorks Disk Array XP Series for large enterprise customers, pay-per-use for the EVA family lets businesses with smaller IT budgets take advantage of the reduced costs of utility pricing programs, the company says.

HP is also introducing the StorageWorks ESL E-Series Tape Libraries, offered in both Ultrium 460 and SDLT 320 drive formats. The ESL712e and ESL630e enterprise tape automation systems are enterprise-class solutions designed for use in SAN environments. The libraries will feature native Fibre drive options and improved storage density within a single, smaller library form-factor, increasing total capacity to 14.2 Terabytes (TB) per square foot, compared to 9.5 TB per square foot on the existing platform. When integrated with HP's Extended Tape Library Architecture, customers can manage more storage in less floor space with fewer IT resources, the company claims.

The new libraries have "some of the best densities of anyone on the market," says Jeff Cato, director of HP's automation business segment.

Pricing for the ESL E-Series Tape Libraries begins at $132,000 with expected availability in March 2004.

HP also voiced support for open standards, and said it will unveil SMI-S-compliant solutions later this year.

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