HP brings out virtual tape library for SMBs

Hewlett-Packard is trying to bring virtual tape storage to small and medium-sized businesses with the release of a new entry in its StorageWorks line.

Called the D2D Backup System, it is designed for companies with up to four servers looking to augment their slow tape backup with faster disk-to-disk recovery.

Looking like a tower PC, it’s specifically aimed at small companies with few IT staffers. The iSCSI interface means it can be connected to an open port on an Ethernet switch without additional cables or hardware. A setup wizard is said to need only three steps to configure the appliance after that.

If the customer already has compatible software, for $3,500 it can have as much as 1.5 terrabytes of backup.

“Many SMB customers do not have the time or resources or expertise to properly protect their data,” said Parag Suri, category business manager for HP Canada’s StorageWorks products.

“With this solution we’re making it absolutely simple – I like to call it dead easy – for customers who have a little bit more crunch on resources to use technologies like this.”

The D2D has earned compliments from Alain Lamoureux, national director of the enterprise server and storage group at Compugen, a solutions provider with offices from coast to coast.

“We now have a [virtual tape library] offering at the higher end of the spectrum and one at the entry level,” he said.

“Instead of having only big solutions we now have something for all size of clients.”

Until the D2D came along, VTLs were out of reach for smaller organizations, he said.

“We’re going to pitch this at clients that fell they need to improve their backup and recovery strategy,” he said, particularly firms that aren’t meeting their backup schedules.

The series is starting with two models: the $2,500 D2D110 holds up to four 250Gb SATA hard drives giving a formatted capacity of 750Gb. The $3,500 D2D120 holds up to four 500Gb SATA drives with 1.5Tb of useable capacity.

HP can also bundle either one with Data Protector Express Software for those who don’t already have a compatible backup application.

Customers should connect the D2D to a tape library for a full solution incorporating offsite and long-term storage, Suri said.

HP argues that the D2D package will make it easier for organizations to automate daily backup on a platform that is less than the cost of a tape autoloader. The package backs up four servers simultaneously. Data, says HP, can be recovered faster than tape.

“This is a great opportunity for partners to bring a brand-new solution to the SMB space, said Suri.

“I don’t think we’re going to double our national revenue” with the D2D, said Lamoureux,” but I think we now have a solution for the SMB.”

Meanwhile HP also announced that is has signed a definitive agreement to buy PolyServe Inc., of Beaverton, Ore., a provider of storage software for application and file serving utilities.

PolyServe software works on industry-standard servers to consolidate and virtualize network attached storage (NAS) in enterprise Linux and Windows environments.

HP said the acquisition will let it extend NAS technology into its blade servers, as well as allow it to offer a customized consolidation platform for databases needing high performance and resiliency.

The deal is expected to close in 60 days.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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