HP Combines Storage, Virtual Servers - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

HP Combines Storage, Virtual Servers

HP (NYSE: HPQ) is rolling out new data storage offerings for virtual server environments today.

The new storage products include iSCSI SAN arrays from the company's November acquisition of LeftHand Networks and a new direct-attached storage (DAS) offering.

HP's return on its $360 million acquisition of LeftHand could be a quick one, as the company will use its global reach to turn LeftHand's North American sales focus into a worldwide one.

"Turning on the worldwide focus of HP is certainly going to be good news for us," said LeftHand product manager Ben Bolles.

Bolles said 70 percent of LeftHand's business comes from virtualization environments, making it a strong play in a market coveted by competitors like EMC (NYSE: EMC), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL).

The new HP LeftHand P4000 SANs offer data replication and automatically balance volumes across storage resources. The P4300 comes with eight drives and the P4500 12.

HP also announced what it claims is the first "highly available shared storage solution within a virtualized blade server infrastructure," the new HP StorageWorks SB40c with P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance software. HP says the SB40c Storage Blade lets customers "manage their combined blade and SAN environment within one user interface to ensure investment protection, scalability and simple management."

Customers can use the LeftHand VSA P4000 to create shared storage inside a BladeSystem enclosure. The P4000 VSA is a virtual SAN appliance that is installed in a virtual machine of any VMware (NYSE: VMW) ESX host. In a blade environment, customers can install the P4000 software in a virtual machine of an ESX host on a blade server, and the adjacent SB40c storage blade is then able to be shared by any other physical or virtual server inside that enclosure or any other.

The VSA software uses VMware's vStorage functionality and integrates with VMware Site Recovery Manager. Network RAID technology allows volumes to stay online during an SB40c+VSA node or blade chassis failure. Multiple SB40c+VSA nodes are managed as a single pool of storage, and data can be migrated online between pools of SB40c+VSA storage and HP LeftHand P4300 or P4500 storage systems.

The new LeftHand offerings start at $30,000 for a SATA-based P4300 Starter SAN and $60,000 for the P4500 Virtualization SAN, and both come with SAN/iQ management software. The P4500 also offers remote office support for 10 sites, and for $35,000, P4300 users get remote office support and SAS drives. A multi-site high availability and disaster recovery version of the P4500 starts at $115,000. SB40c+VSA pricing without drives, HP Blade Server or VMware ESX starts at $4190.

HP also unveiled its latest direct connect SAS offering, building on last fall's MSA2000sa launch.

The new offering is built around the new HP StorageWorks 600 Modular Disk System (MDS600) to provide direct-attached storage for the HP BladeSystem. The MDS600 can fit 70TB in a 5U space and can expand to six units. Pricing starts at around $13,000 for the MDS600 with switches and controllers.

Lenore Adam, HP's product manager for blade storage, said target markets are data-intensive uses like medical and video archiving and virtualization environments that don't require a storage network.

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