HP Upgrades SAN Storage, OEMs QLogic Fibre Channel Switches - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

HP Upgrades SAN Storage, OEMs QLogic Fibre Channel Switches

HP (NYSE: HPQ) made a few big moves in the storage networking space this week, upgrading its MSA and LeftHand data storage arrays and striking a deal to offer QLogic's (NASDAQ: QLGC) stackable Fibre Channel switches.

HP is dropping the LeftHand name for a new common naming scheme with its MSA line with the new HP StorageWorks P4000 G2 SAN solutions and the HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 Modular Smart Array (MSA) system. HP is keeping the EVA name for its higher-end Fibre Channel storage arrays.

The P4000 G2 storage area network (SAN) — formerly known as the LeftHand P4000 — offers redundant components and hardware RAID to guard against disk drive failures, plus Network RAID functionality that offers data protection at the network level to guard against a major power outage or a complete system or site failure.

Network RAID also boosts storage capacity utilization by as much as 50 percent, HP said.

The new Best Practice Analyzer monitors and compares the SAN environment with best practices and notifies users of potential adjustments to optimize performance. Other storage management features include application integrated snapshot, remote copy and clone capabilities.

HP also claims easier management of converged server and storage environments with its Integrated Lights-Out 2 (iLO2) remote management software for P4000 G2 SANs and HP ProLiant servers, and the company will also offer a P4000 Unified NAS Gateway for managing both block and file storage.

HP is adding new 7200 RPM SAS drives to the SANs. The P4300 G2 7.2TB SAS Starter SAN starts at $30,000.

The P2000 G3 offers 8Gbps Fibre Channel, and also features an FC/iSCSI Combo controller option that offers both 8Gb FC and 1Gb iSCSI ports.

New data protection and disaster recovery features include Remote Snap, which replicates data to a second P2000 G3 array, and Volume Copy software, which automatically captures local copies of stored data.

Pricing for the dual-controller arrays starts at around $10,000.

QLogic's Storage Switch Deal

HP and QLogic announced a deal to offer QLogic's 5800V and 5802V 8Gb Fibre Channel stackable switches as the HP StorageWorks SN6000 Stackable 8Gb FC Switches for HP's BladeSystem Virtual Connect and MSA and EVA systems.

Jesse Parker, vice president and general manager of QLogic's Network Solutions Group, said Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) have focused much of their efforts on the director and core storage switch markets, leaving room for QLogic to gain share in edge switches.

Parker called the deal a "validation" of the potential of stackable storage switches in enterprises. "It's a great entry and validation of this technology in mainstream enterprises," he said.

HP and QLogic have also partnered on unified SAN management, and N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) allows the stackable switches to be integrated into legacy environments.

"Wikibon believes that stackable switches are a significant improvement over non-stackable switches," Wikibon analyst Dave Vellante said in a statement. "Stackable switches scale to 25 percent higher user port counts, simplify configuration growth and improve inter-switch bandwidth and manageability."

Pricing for the switches starts at $10,500 for a single power supply and $13,500 for a dual power supply.

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