HP Thinks Small With 2.5-Inch Hard Drives

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HP has unveiled a 2.5-inch hard drive for its entire ProLiant server line in an effort to lure customers away from rivals IBM, Dell and EMC.

Small form factor hard drives are prized in the industry because they provide a number of advantages over more traditional 3.5-inch drives, including the ability to do online transaction processing.

Smaller drives are more dense, meaning administrators can generally pack about 50 more drives per server. HP’s new drive also runs on serial attached SCSI (SAS), which pipes data at 1,200 megabits per second (Mbps). The smaller size also means the devices consume less power and are more reliable than 3.5 inch gadgets.

For example, when HP’s ProLiant DL360 server was outfitted with the new drives, it enabled applications with greater performance requirements than its 3.5-inch predecessor.

Paul Perez, vice president of storage, networks and infrastructure at HP, said the new offering should give the Palo Alto, Calif., company a leg up over the competition. It might even help HP sell more than the one million drives per quarter it currently ships, Perez suggested.

Of the larger systems vendors, only IBM offers a 2.5-inch drive. But it offers the box to customers in parallel SCSI technology, which is slower than serial approaches. Moreover, IBM only offers that device for one specific server, the eServer x366.

To further support its case against its rivals, HP has enlisted support from fellow hard drive makers Fujitsu, Hitachi and Seagate, all of whom helped develop the new drive.

The 2.5-inch, 10K RPM hard drive is expected to be available in HP ProLiant servers in mid-2005. Perez said HP will bring the 2.5 inch drives to its Integrity, BladeSystem and StorageWorks lines by 2006.

HP also plans to increase shipments of 3.5-inch, 15K RPM SAS drives for server and storage applications requiring the highest levels of system performance. The idea is to leave the older 3.5-inch drives behind.

While the 3.5-inch drives will be hard pressed to deliver the benefits of their 2.5-inch gadgets, the performance increase from 10K to 15K RPM will let businesses meet their data transfer requirements with more densely packed storage systems.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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