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HP Pitches Low Cost, High Capacity Drives

Low cost fibre channel disk drives are in as far as leading storage vendors like HP and EMC are concerned.

Fibre Attached Technology Adapted (FATA) disk drives have a fibre channel interface that help corporations store infrequently accessed information at a reasonable cost, and at a faster rate than tape systems.

While FATA and SATA drive costs are comparable and considered a bargain compared to FC, FATA technology affords users the option of having two types of disk technology without buying two separate arrays.

To wit, HP said it would offer new FATA disk drives geared to deliver information according to its relevance. That means the drives arrange files into rarely accessed and frequently accessed categories.

Data in these drives, which were created by Seagate, may also be ferried between drives that cost less per gigabyte and more expensive drives within a single storage system.

The drives, offered in 400 gigabyte (GB) and 500 GB capacities, offer customers a great deal of storage for data applications without forcing them to break their banks on expensive fibre channel drives.

According to HP, the new hardware provides nearly double the capacity for less than half the cost per gigabyte of fibre channel drives.

This is important at a time when CIOs are faced with increasing gluts of data and compliance regulations but have no means to fund new storage gear, or manage it. FATA drives give high-tech officials some cost-effective options at a time when FC may not be the most feasible option due to budget constraints.

HP is also offering its StorageWorks File System Extender (FSE) data management software to help customers store single or multiple copies of files on the devices. This will help users preserve data in the face of disasters.

Other new perks of the drives include autonomic tools such as self-monitoring, analysis and reporting software; command queuing, native FC data integrity; the ability to handle events; and high availability.

The 400 GB and 500 GB capacity FATA drives are expected to be available later this year. Pricing will also be announced at that time.

EMC also said Monday it is using FATA, although the company calls it Low Cost Fibre Channel (LC-FC) disk drive technology.

EMC officials said during the launch the new DMX-3 high-end array that LC-FC will allow customers to run multiple tiers of storage on a single DMX system.

This is symbolic of the Hopkinton, Mass, company's information lifecycle management strategy for managing data from its creation to its demise.