At its SME launch, Hp has announced a range of new StorageWorks solutions including updates to existing products and some new storage solutions that are long overdue, especially in the storage blade space.
The first two products are the StorageWorks X1000 and the StorageWorks X3000 Network Storage Systems. Both products are based on the latest
HP ProLiant G6 servers. They are designed for Network Attached Storage (NAS) and ship with Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 pre-installed. The X1000 comes with the standard edition and the X3000 comes with the enterprise edition.
The X1000 is targeted at customers who want a storage device for file and print services as well as those looking for applications data consolidation. By comparison the X3000 is targeted at those who want a clustered storage solution and will act as a gateway to an existing SAN.
Later this year, Microsoft will update Windows Storage Server 2008 with its R2 version. This updated version contains new technology, in particular support for Direct Access and Branch Cache. According to Kyle Fitze, Marketing Director, HP StorageWorks, HP World Wide "we will be working with Microsoft to ensure that this is ported as quickly as possible after release by Microsoft."
Both the X1000 and X3000 product families have a storage blade option. These are the StorageWorks X1800sb and the StorageWorks X3800sb. Both are half height blades and designed to fit into any c-class blade system chassis. In line with the rest of their product families, both come with Windows Storage Server 2008.
Both the X1800sb and the X3800sb come with a pair of SAS drives onboard for local storage and can manage existing storage blades such as the StorageWorks SB40c Storage Blade. What makes these new storage blades exciting is that as well as taking control of other storage blades without requiring you to dedicate a server blade to manage them, they also act as a gateway to your NAS and SAN environments.
For the SME market, combining the X1800sb with the SB40c is around $1700 cheaper than buying the SB600c all-in-one blade and unlike the SB6o0c you get the external connectivity for SAN and NAS as part of the X1800sb package.
The final products are the StorageWorks MSA 2000sa and the StorageWorks MSA 2000i G2 Disk Arrays aimed at those customers with large amounts of existing local storage and who want to transition to external disk solutions.
The MSA 2000sa is a 2U storage array supporting up to 24 Small Form Factor (SFF) or 12 Large Form Factor (LFF)drives internally. It has four 3GB/sec SAS ports that will connect to servers and to other MSA 2000sa disk arrays. You can chain up to 4 of the MSA 2000sa disk arrays together into a single disk array mixing and matching both the SFF and LFF drives. The maximum capacity of any single array is 60TB (using 1TB LFF SATA drives).
The MSA 2000i is similar to the MSA 2000sa with the exception that it is an iSCSI device and comes with two 1GbE iSCSI ports per controller. The MSA 2000sa and the MSA 2000i join a third product in the MSA 2000 family - the MSA 2000fc which was released earlier this year. This is aimed at larger enterprises who want a fibre channel device that will fit into their SAN environment.
HP has already announced the integration of LeftHand into its StorageWorks business unit. For the SME environment, it has chosen to target the
LeftHand P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA). This is a software based solution that can be installed on VMware ESX and then uses your existing storage. Its big advantage is that it will treat any disk as part of a SAN.
One announcement that was expected today was HP releasing LeftHand as part of its new X1800sb and X3800sb products. By placing it on the storage blades it would have provided customers with a bundled storage virtualisation start point. According to Fiske, "storage virtualisation has some level of complexity that a large part of the partner network has trouble dealing with. We needed to make it simple to order and easy to scale the solution and that is why we have included it in the virtualisation bundles.