Wednesday announced it is extending its multi-billion dollar OEM and technology relationship with Tokyo-based Hitachi
through 2008. And in a stroke of fortuitous timing, coming on the heels of yesterday’s massive Northeast and Canadian power outage, the two firms also unveiled a multi-site disaster-tolerant solution.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said the extended hardware deal will include continued production of HP’s high-end StorageWorks XP family and development of its next-generation StorageWorks Disk Array XP family.
HP’s XP systems are designed for enterprise-class data centers and combine Hitachi’s high-end disk array technology with HP-developed software, solutions, and services. The company also produces the MSA 1000 line for low-end businesses and EVA solutions for the mid-range.”The unabated growth of corporate data means sustained, significant demand for true high-end arrays,” says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “The continuance of the relationship between HP and Hitachi shows that each company is dedicated to delivering high-end arrays for enterprise customers who need absolute data availability and the ability to easily add and manage many terabytes of data.”
“We’ve had four thousand units shipped since the original agreement, each one worth between a half million to a million dollars,” said HP online storage division director Pete Korce. “We’re seeing a lot of pick up in large companies, especially Best Buy for their new music service as well as major phone companies and health care companies.”
Since signing the original contract with Hitachi in 1999, HP has continued to extend the XP technology and develop solutions around the XP family. The two sometimes rivals have even exchanged APIs. This includes a pay-per-use solution announced in June and the new HP StorageWorks Multi-Site Disaster Tolerant Solution, both of which represent key infrastructure components of HP’s Adaptive Enterprise strategy.
HP is just one of several enterprises in the pursuit of utility-based storage, as its Adaptive Enterprise strategy is battling it out with IBM’s “on-demand” program and Sun Microsystem’s “N1” initiative for dominance in the server room. Korce believes HP’s advantage in this area is that the strategy has been fully developed and has even survived the merger between Compaq and HP unscathed.
A Timely Disaster Tolerant Solution
The HP StorageWorks Multi-Site Disaster Tolerant Solution combines HP software, networking, hardware, and services to help customers recover application processing — typically in less than one hour — in the event of a local or regional disaster.
The idea is to use HP’s StorageWorks Disk Array XP platform to let administrators coordinate and automate synchronizing data transfers across three sites — at the campus, at a local metropolitan recovery site, and at a remote, “out of region” site.
For example, two nearby sites that are less than 60 miles apart can protect each other in the case of a local disaster through the synchronous mirroring of data and critical applications. In the case of localized failure, one site can take over application processing to virtually the exact point where it was interrupted. A third site located well outside the region offers protection should the two most preferred sites both go down, a fate much more conceivable in the wake of this week’s massive power outage in the Northeast and Canada.
HP says its Consulting and Integration division will handle the new Disaster Tolerant Solution plan. The company says it can even tailor HP’s management tools to a company’s specific environment.