Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday confirmed its next-generation Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) is coming in June. In the meantime, HP is offering an early access program that allows select enterprises to use the HP P6000 Enterprise EVA before the official unveiling of the upgraded product.
A "couple hundred" customers will be treated to HP's mainstream enterprise block access storage array, with most of them existing EVA users, said Tom Joyce, vice president of marketing for HP Storage, in an interview.
"The reason we decided to do it this way is because the EVA is one of the most successful storage products in history, with up to a 100,000 out there," Joyce said. "We have a very significant customer base and a lot of folks are looking forward to the new product."
The EVA is part of HP's Converged Infrastructure portfolio that includes virtualization, unification, and management of storage, networking, and compute resources. The HP EVA is typically deployed for core enterprise applications from messaging to enterprise resource planning.
The HP P6000 EVA is the company's fifth generation EVA and will feature increased capacity and performance improvements. The HP P6000 EVA will include a 6 Gbps Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) back-end, support for standard SAS hard disk drives, and 8 Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity. It will have new software features for increased functionality, but HP isn't disclosing details yet.
The EVA is HPs mainstream enterprise block access storage array, with an estimated 100,000 deployed. After HP acquired 3PAR last year, it said there would be two more generations of EVA to fit into HP's Converged Infrastructure product portfolio. The upcoming EVA upgrade is the first of these.
While there is overlap in both the offerings, Joyce says they are far enough apart to provide offerings for different enterprise needs. He gives a car analogy to describe the product, with the EVA the Ford F150 truck and the 3PAR product the Ferrari.
"Many consumers decide to go with the EVA for its functionality, simplicity, and economic value for general storage use cases," Joyce said. "If an organization is primarily services oriented they can go with 3Par."
The EVA upgrade is part of HP's ongoing Converged Infrastructure strategy. HP's merger with cloud storage provider 3Par last year helped in its competition against archrival Cisco, which has been strong in the conjoined data center and cloud computing markets. For its converged infrastructure strategy, HP noted that it is focusing on its storage, server, and networking portfolio. 3Par helped to beef up HP's storage operation.