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HP Births Bouncing Baby NAS

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) next week will launch StorageWorks NAS 1000s, a line of sub-$7,000 Windows-powered network-attached storage devices that will allow HP to cover the last market segment in the NAS space it had yet to address.

"We now offer a very broad -- if not the broadest -- NAS lineup in the industry," says Mark Nagaitis, director of product marketing for HP's storage infrastructure and NAS division.

HP is positioning the 1U-high NAS 1000s for workgroups, small businesses, and branch office locations. The system will be available in three configurations: a 320-Gbyte unit for a list price of $2,999; a 640-Gbyte unit for $4,999; and a 1-Tbyte model for $6,999.

The 1000s fit underneath the HP's b2000 NAS box, which starts at $8,000 for 500 Gbytes and expands up to 18 Tbytes of capacity. The company's other Windows-based NAS offerings are the recently introduced b3000, which connects into an HP MSA 1000 SAN array; and at the high end, the e7000, which plugs into EVA or XP storage arrays. HP also sells the high-end NAS 8000 system, which uses a Linux-based operating system (see HP Kisses NAS, Nods to iSCSI).

HP has been the marquee hardware partner for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which in the past two years has made steady advances in the lower end of the NAS market. According to Gartner Inc., HP grew faster than any other vendor in the NAS market. In 2002, HP shipped about 3,000 NAS systems, up 61 percent, and increased its NAS revenues by 91 percent, to $55 million, according to the research firm.

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