HP Slashes Prices on Storage Grid Software

HP has updated its grid software for information lifecycle management (ILM), more than doubling the storage capacity and slashing the price by almost half.

The system, called StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System (RISS) 1.1, helps users locate specific files by facilitating full text indexes and original content across storage “smart cells,” a form of grid computing , said Paul O’Brien, director of ILM, HP StorageWorks division.

The idea behind the grid is to have a number of commodity storage “cells” or compartments, which can take on different identities, such as network-attached storage, block or content-addressed storage.

The cells are self-contained, with a dedicated processor, search engine, database, index and management layer. The grid runs on standard storage arrays.

O’Brien said RISS 2.1 increases smart cell capacity from 400 gigabytes (GB) to 850GB with a base price that is nearly 50 percent less than the previous version, launched last May.

The system’s new price starts at $112,500 for a base of 1.8 terabytes with RISS capacity and density upgrades costing 850GB increments at $52,000.

RISS is HP’s answer for a comprehensive archive and retrieval system for storing and retrieving data, helping e-mail and other documents find placement in low-cost storage when they are not called upon as much as more critical business data.

This is important for corporations, which are sometimes called upon to produce documents for legal reasons. IBM, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and several other storage system vendors have been providing ILM solutions to help enterprises efficiently manage data from cradle to grave.

O’Brien, former CEO of Persist Technologies, which HP acquired in order to augment its ILM offerings, said RISS has had a number of significant customer wins since the software was issued last year, including NASDAQ.

“People are using the product to manage their e-mail infrastructure and to provide a quick response to a legal discovery or a compliance regulation,”
O’Brien said.

To complement RISS, HP also unveiled the StorageWorks Reference Information
Manager for Messaging (RIM) 1.1. RIM is an archiving application that
reduces the cost of e-mail storage by shuttling specific messages from
users’ mailboxes to a lower cost archive pool.

IT staffers can use RIM to set policies for moving messages out of users’
Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino mailboxes and into HP RISS. O’Brien said
that over the next year, the Palo Alto, Calif., concern will introduce new
RIM functionality to databases. and customer relationship management (CRM)

Lastly, StorageWorks File System Extender (FSE) 3.1 is new data movement
software that automatically moves information between production storage
media and secondary storage media. FSE makes sure the “information is in the
right place at the right time through the application of user defined
rules,” O’Brien said.

FSE supports Windows and Linux operating systems, with support for the HP-UX
platform and additional search and retrieval capabilities that will
integrate with RISS.

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