HP revamps storage products for market transitions

FRANKFURT, Germany – Hewlett Packard Corp. today released a series of new storage products the company says will “transform the way infrastructure is designed and built.”

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Dave Donatelli, executive vice-president and general manager at HP’s enterprise group, made the remarks at the company’s annual Discover conference in here leading up to the announcement of the first of the bunch: the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 series line of storage servers.

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These are aimed at mid-sized businesses and smaller enterprise branch offices. But the performance of these servers, with starting prices between $20,000 (the 7200 model) and $34,000 (the 7400 model), will be comparable to HP’s higher-end and and costlier Tier 1 storage servers, HP says.

“This platform extends the target addressable market for 3PAR down to a new $11 billion market,” said David Scott, senior vice-president and general manager of HP’s storage division.

He said it would bring Tier 1 storage capabilities “effortlessly” into mid-range products for the first time.

The 7000-series servers are available in either spinning disk and SSD or all-SSD configurations, with the latter capable of up to 320,000 I/O operations a second, the company claims.

The new servers also allow for hardware and software upgrades without having to depend on multipathing servers, Scott said.

HP also announced the StoreAll 9000 Storage appliance line, which will allow for rapid search queries on up to 16 PB of data in a single namespace, according to Scott.

At the core of the platform is a new technology developed by HP Labs called Express Query, a NoSQL metadata database that can perform searches up to 100,000 times faster than more “traditional methods,” Scott said. It can also offload queries to Autonomy’s IDOL 10 big data modeling platform, making it more efficient still, HP said.

StoreAll will be availabile around the world starting on Dec. 20 at prices beginning at just under $1/GB.

Finally, HP released two new models of its StoreOnceBackup servers, the 2000 and 4000, and an enhanced version of its 6200. They’ve been built with multitenancy in mind, allowing for improved file deduplication across data centres, more flexible permissions for administrators and users, and a new reporting capability, Scott said.

The 6200 backup systems, at the high end of the spectrum and intended for large data centre consolidation, will start at $250,000, while the 2000 and 4000, designed for smaller or remote IT environments, will be priced at $10,000 and $30,000, respectively. Overall, Donatelli called the news “our most important announcement in more than a decade,” and said it exemplified HP’s efforts to develop its “converged infrastructure,” a strategy it began several years ago as a way to modernize data centres in a cloud computing age.

He said the type of storage infrastructure currently in use is badly outdated.

“Old storage architectures were great in their day, but they cannot provide the value and utility that customers need going forward,” he said.

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