HP Boosts NAS Offerings, Joins iSCSI Party

HP Monday triggered across-the-board
improvements to its network-attached storage (NAS) portfolio
and joined the iSCSI party by introducing software that
enables server and storage connectivity to Fibre Channel storage area
networks (SANs) across an Ethernet network.


According to Mark Nagaitis, director of product marketing, Infrastructure
and NAS Division at HP, the NAS enhancements are a continuation of the Palo
Alto, Calif. firm’s Enterprise Network Storage Architecture strategy, in
which HP firmly believes in bridging the gap between NAS and SAN products,
as opposed to treating them as competing architectures.


Nagaitis told internetnews.com the goal of ENSA, which will be
hammered home at the ENSA show in Orlando Monday, is to deliver a storage
environment based on the customer’s business requirements. This, he said,
should be “controllable, resilient and extensible.”


HP has enhanced the entire HP StorageWorks NAS portfolio by boosting
performance, improving connectivity with SAN infrastructure and attractive
price reductions on certain products. Specifically, the HP StorageWorks NAS
b2000, b3000 and e7000 now employ technology from the HP ProLiant family of
servers, providing about a 20 percent jump in performance. HP is also
slashing prices in this group. For example, the b3000, which normally
retails for $44,000, will now cost $25,000.


Toward the NAS-SAN fusion track, HP unveiled NAS Data Path Manager, which is
multi-pathing software for the HP StorageWorks NAS 8000 that makes
connectivity into SAN environments better by allowing path fail-over between
host bus adaptors, as well as by providing load-balancing and performance
monitoring support.


Though very different approaches, NAS and SAN, viewed by some in the
industry as competing technologies, have strong toeholds in the sector. HP
is one firm that is choosing to fuse the technologies to hone as
complementary a solution as possible to please a wider variety of enterprise
customers. Nagaitis said fusing the technologies will help customers funnel
their NAS and SAN environments into a singularly-managed pool of storage
resources to maximize return on investments.


“We are protocol agnostic,” said Nagaitis, when asked if HP favors Fibre
Channel over iSCSI, or NAS to SAN ideologies. “We
don’t believe in favoring one religion over the other, but we do base our
products heavily on these open standards.”


He said HP recognizes the pros and cons of all the technologies and finds a
way to make them work together to benefit customers.


The iSCSI product is the HP StorageWorks SR2122 storage router. Nagaitis
said the device integrates TCP/IP and Fibre Channel connectivity in a single
unit, providing block-level data storage and retrieval.


The push for the product, Nagaitis said, is that with its enterprises can
deploy the HP iSCSI storage router to consolidate storage resources,
centralize backup, improve the use of storage disks and simplify storage
management.


Big businesses seeking to augment existing Fibre Channel SANs can use the router to provide SAN connectivity to isolated
servers or servers without internal expansion capabilities. This obviates
the need to extend Fibre Channel networking components to these
environments.


HP StorageWorks SR2122 comes complete with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, for
connectivity to standard TCP/IP networks, and 2-gigabit Fibre Channel
interfaces for connectivity to the SAN. At a slim 1U in size, it features
iSCSI connectivity for X86 servers, including HP ProLiant BL series blade
servers, as well as HP StorageWorks HSG80 products, HP StorageWorks Modular
SAN Array 1000, HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays and all major
enterprise backup storage. It retails for $9,995.


HP Monday also announced new and expanded storage services, including new
SAN services, in which a SAN certified expert support team is provided to
keep SANs up and running twenty four hours a day; a data migration service
to allows customers to safely transport their business information across
systems; and enhanced backup and recovery services to save data.

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