HP Unveils 'Extreme' Storage - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

HP Unveils 'Extreme' Storage

HP today unveiled its entry in the race for Web 2.0 storage users, the multi-petabyte HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100).

Ian Duncan, HP's director of SAN marketing, said the NAS system is aimed at users experiencing "explosive growth" in files from developing and delivering services and content over the Web, but he added that "there is just as much growth occurring in traditional enterprises."

Designed to compete with planned offerings from rivals EMC, IBM and others, Duncan said it is HP's densest system, packing 12TB in a 1U space. It scales from 246TB to 820TB of SAS storage, offers 200 MB/second throughput in each blade of a four to 16-blade system, and is managed with clustered file system software acquired from PolyServe.

And HP promises to deliver all of that for less than $2/GB, said Duncan, meeting the company's goals of "scalability, affordability and manageability."

HP tested the system on its fast-growing, multi-petabyte Snapfish online photo service, with other beta testers expected this summer before the product becomes available in the fall.

HP said performance and capacity can be provisioned independently, for greater flexibility in meeting workload demands and fluctuations. Applications are run directly on the server block to reduce complexity, and a single graphical management interface and wizards ease management.

Greg Schulz, senior analyst and founder of StorageIO, said HP's offering is priced where it "needs to be at to stay where the market is going for bulk online and near-line storage, and that's before you add real-time or online compression, de-dupe and other data footprint reduction techniques," plus third-party software for data replication and other traditional storage and data management functions.

"This is intended for low-cost, bulk storage applications where data is created, stored and accessed over time, as opposed to traditional data lifecycle where data is created, accessed and then goes to sleep for long periods of time," said Schulz.

Schulz noted that users could take PolyServe, Lustre or IBRIX software, run it on HP Proliant or blade servers, add HP MSA low-cost storage, and "lo and behold, you can have today what HP will be shipping toward the end of the year."

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