HP Beats IBM to Storage Blade

IBM  may lead the market for blade servers by a long
shot. But HP  has beaten Big Blue to market with its
first storage blade.


HP said at Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla., today that it has
created a dedicated storage blade server to let customers tack on more
storage simply by popping thin servers into a chassis.


Used in conjunction with HP BladeSystem c-Class server blades, the HP
StorageWorks SB40c storage blade, serves up data for applications such as
file and print, mail and messaging, video streaming, databases and
distributed file systems.


The SB40c consists of six disk drives with an internal RAID
 controller that sits next to a BladeSystem server,
providing up to 876 more gigabytes of direct-attached storage (DAS)
 capacity to each blade within an HP BladeSystem c-Class
enclosure, said Kyle Fitze, director of SAN marketing for HP StorageWorks.

HP SB40c

HP SB40c.

Source: HP


“This is important because, as we’re ramping our blade system business,
we’ve noticed that some applications require more capacity or more spindles
than exist on a BladeSystem server,” Fitze said, noting that the SB40c acts
like an external enclosure or a JBOD  for a rack-mount
server.


Supporting small form factor serial-attached SCSI or SATA drives, the
SB40c’s capacity and low power consumption accommodate the space and power
constraints of data centers.


This is a key sales point systems vendors use to appeal to cost- and
space-constrained businesses that are tired of large disk arrays and server
overheating their datacenters.


The SBC40c will be available in mid-November for $1,599.


HP’s storage blade is part of the Palo Alto, Calif., company’s strategy to
power everything in a datacenter with a blade at a time when companies
demand more space and less power consumption.


Storage blades could be a nice alternative for companies with such concerns.
But will providing a storage blade subsume traditional disk arrays?


Fitze said HP does not believe the SB40c will cannibalize its XP, MSA or EVA
storage lines, noting that the value lies in offering customers more choice.


“Customers that are using applications that need more DAS can use this,”
Fitze said. “If they need scalable network storage, they can connect to a
SAN array or even a NAS product outside of the BladeSystem enclosure.”


The notion of situating server and storage blades side by side points to the
increasingly tight synergy between data servers and storage systems. HP last
year unveiled
management software for such integration.


Though HP has beat IBM the storage blade form factor, IBM, which currently
corrals more than 40 percent of the total blade server market, has one in
the works. Sun Microsystems makes a network-attached storage (NAS)
blade.


HP today also introduced two offerings within the HP StorageWorks Enterprise
Virtual Array (EVA) family.


The HP StorageWorks VLS300 EVA Gateway emulates a tape library, scaling
beyond 500 terabytes (TB) of capacity and piping data
at more than eight TB per hour to speed backup and recovery in storage area
networks (SANs) . The capacity is equivalent to 128 virtual tape
libraries.


Also available mid-November, the gateway is $57,750 for the base unit, which
includes 2 nodes plus switches with 25 LUNs or 50 TB.


Finally, the HP StorageWorks EVA4000 SAN Starter Kit makes storage
management easier for small-and medium businesses (SMBs), a critical
function for businesses with overworked, barebones IT staffs.


The kit’s interface automatically discovers switches and other gear and
configures arrays with a few mouse clicks. The software is available now for
$33,100.

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