HP Intros New Storage, Virtualization Solutions

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HP’s newest storage and virtualization solutions can help customers of any size overcome their server and storage pain points to successfully weather a troubled economic climate.

Hewlett-Packard has introduced new storage products and services that it hopes will allow customers to successfully weather the economic downturn and emerge from the economic crises stronger than ever.

Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for storage platforms for HP StorageWorks, says HP’s new products and services focus on customers’ needs to optimise and automate their data centres and storage environments to squeeze every last drop of performance possible out of their infrastructure.

To that end, Fitze says, HP will introduce new StorageWorks SAN Virtualization solutions, including two new enterprise virtual arrays (EVAs), enhancements to HP’s SAN virtualization service platform and new features for its DataProtector software.

“We’re introducing solutions for our partners that will help their customers address storage pain points that arise as a result of server virtualization,” says Fitze. “Solution providers will have solutions that increase customers’ ability to scale and provision new storage capacity, manage their data stores and better protect them.”

Fitze says HP will replace the 6100 and 8100 series EVAs with new 6400 and 8400 models, respectively. The new EVAs integrate new controllers and disk interfaces with twice as much cache capacity and double the number of disks supported, which gives solution providers more value for the price.

The new EVAs also include built-in virtualization capabilities and new tier management capabilities that incorporate a solid-state disk (SSD) tier for customers’ most critical data.

“We can now create a ‘high performance’ tier using SSDs,” says Fitze. “This is ideal for customers who need to store transaction logs, quickly access databases or run high-performance applications.”

HP also announced enhancements to its HP DataProtector software and services, which provides a wide variety of backup options and supports deduplication and other backup services for all physical and virtual environments, Fitze says.

The new version, Data Protector 6.1, offers new security and encryption management capabilities as well as integration of virtual library systems and deduplication to reduce capacity needed for customers to back up their data.

Finally, Fitze says HP will offer enhancements to its HP SAN Virtualization Services Platform, which creates a virtual storage pool out of various heterogeneous arrays within customers’ legacy environments.

“The cheapest storage capacity is the stuff customers already own, so we’re helping them get the most out of existing investments by increasing their ability to use their capacity,” he says, adding that many SAN customers are running utilisation rates at 50 percent or less.

SAN Virtualization Services Platform Version 2.1 (SVSP 2.1) is a network-based storage virtualization solution that increases available storage capacity and streamlines storage operations by reducing the time required for migration, replication, backup and bringing new applications into production, Fitze says.

The solution will also support arrays from most of the leading storage providers, allowing it to integrate seamlessly with customers’ existing infrastructure. Supported vendors include Hitachi, IBM, EMC and NetApp, as well as HP, of course, Fitze says.

The new solution will help customers simplify the provisioning, management and optimisation of virtualized server and storage environments, regardless of size, and whether or not they’re currently using virtualization technology, he says.

“Customers looking to virtualize servers aren’t all starting at the same place,” Fitze says. “For newer customers and for smaller shops, we have LeftHand’s SAN IQ that can help with the initial move to blades and a virtual server environment.”

HP’s EVA offerings can help customers who’ve already implemented a Fibre Channel SAN, and for those customers who already have virtualization and SAN technology—Fitze says the SVSP can help them make the most of their investments.

“Regardless of where customers are starting from, we can help them get to a virtualized environment, protect their data, increase efficiencies and also drive down costs,” Fitze says.