Virtualization Coming to HP SANs

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HP (NYSE: HPQ) will soon introduce a new storage virtualization platform that promises to simplify management and reduce costs associated with storage area networks (SANs).

The HP StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform (SVSP), based on virtualization technology from LSI (NYSE: LSI), lets IT teams pool storage capacity across heterogeneous systems and provides centralized management and more efficient resource allocation while also reducing storage costs, according to HP.

“Storage virtualization is a key component of a virtualized IT environment that is flexible, efficient and easy to manage,” Bob Wilson, executive vice president of the storage platforms division at HP, said in a statement.

The news comes as virtualization technologies expand beyond server environments, unifying storage systems into large pools that keep track of where information is located, allowing a number of storage devices to be managed as a single device.

The benefits range from consolidation and better data protection. TheInfoPro research firm reported earlier this year that 35 percent of Fortune 1000 enterprises are using storage virtualization and plan to expand their investment during the next two years. It is expected to hit 50 percent by 2009 — a 400 percent spike in adoption since 2005.

The SVSP platform builds on virtualization technologies that HP’s StorageWorks portfolio already offers. One is HP’s Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) that virtualizes disk drives.

The new piece extends scale-out virtualization across SAN heterogeneous storage and introduces network-based block storage virtualization.

One industry expert said it will help enterprises manage and move data across different storage systems and bring greater efficiencies into play.

“This should be a welcome addition, as users can finally aggregate, consolidate, as well as transparently manage and move data across different systems,” said Greg Schulz, senior analyst and founder of StorageIO.

HP joins a full deck of vendors offering storage virtualization tools, including FalconStor (NASDAQ: FALC), DataCore, EMC (NYSE: EMC), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Incipient.

HP said it uses a split-path architecture that separates data flow from management processes, similar to the approach taken by EMC and Incipient. That means processing power needed for data path workloads can scale independently from what’s needed for management.

“This lets it deliver superior performance and greater scalability than traditional virtualization architectures,” said an HP spokesperson.

An entry-level 4TB configuration will be priced at $43,900.

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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