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Questioning HP's Innovation

HP's new 'extreme storage' doesn't really break new ground

News of Hewlett-Packard's new massively scaleable file storage system, the HP StorageWorks ExDS9100, doesn't impress Greg Schulz of the StorageIO Group consultancy.

"HP is cobbling an HP-branded solution together out of parts you can buy now," Schulz says. The vendor could ship the EXDS9100 today if it wasn't waiting for the specialized storage blocks it's touting as the capacity part of the solution, he insists.

Schulz says customers wanting a scaleable unstructured data system from HP today can get one by purchasing their own HP BladeSystem and HP MSA70 SAS/SATA storage modules. Just add software: "The MSA70 is a dense JBOD that is attachable to Proliant servers running Polyserve -- or iSCSI through LeftHand Networks software," Schulz points out. Indeed, HP has already done it for Dreamworks using Ibrix software, Schulz points out.

The point, Schulz maintains, is that storing bulk file data with commodity hardware isn't a new concept, and solutions are already out there, even at the lower price point of $2/Gbyte that HP is touting.

This isn't to say things aren't evolving. We've all heard about the imminent Hulk platform with Maui software from EMC. And IBM, also in a position to cobble easily, could be next up with massively scaleable file storage.

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