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HP Sued For Server Failure

Shipping and logistics vendor BDP International lost business due to system meltdown, suit contends.

An insurance company that represents a Hewlett-Packard customer filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, claiming the failure of an HP storage server cost the customer more than $990,000 in damages and lost business, InformationWeek has learned exclusively.

Great Northern Insurance says it paid a claim in that amount to shipping and logistics company BDP International after an HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) system purchased by BDP suffered "catastrophic failure."

Philadelphia-based BDP purchased the unit from HP dealer Razor, Inc. and had it installed at a secure datacenter operated by SunGard Recovery Services, according to court papers filed Sept. 1. BDP also signed a contract under which HP was to provide monitoring and support services for the system through its Web Based Enterprise Services and Instant Support Enterprise Edition software.

BDP acquired the system in April 2006. But "on or about September 19, 2007, there was a catastrophic failure in the unit," Great Northern claims, in papers filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. Without offering specific details, Great Northern says "BDP suffered damage and destruction to the unit and its business in an amount in excess of $990,000."

HP presently offers five models in its StorageWorks Enterprise line, ranging from 96 TB to 324 TB in capacity. The lawsuit does not specify the model in question.

Great Northern alleges HP failed to properly design and install the storage system, failed to properly service and monitor the unit, and failed to properly train its service representatives.

Great Northern is seeking damages of more than $990,000 plus reimbursement for legal fees and other costs. Representatives for Great Northern and HP did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking more details by posting time. A BDP spokesman said he was not immediately able to provide more information on the case.

HP has yet to file a formal response to the allegations.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on the state of enterprise storage. Download the report here (registration required).

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