HP Bundles Up With MS

HP bundles Microsoft's DPM, raising questions about how much CDP is enough

September 6, 2005

4 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) has become the first major storage vendor to bundle its wares with Microsoft Corp.s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Data Protection Manager (DPM) disk-based recovery software.

As part of a rollout at the Storage Networking World Europe tradeshow in Frankfurt today, HP said it will pack DPM with two of its Windows-based NAS boxes, the ProLiant DL 380 G4 Data Protection Storage Server and DL 100 G2 Data Protection Storage Server.

HP says the new ProLiant Storage Servers will be available Sept. 26, which is the week Microsoft will officially announce DPM.

The move is meant to showcase HP's efforts in data protection and archiving. But it also raises questions about how much CDP is enough. DPM takes snapshots every hour and allows users to restore files without intervention of an administrator (see Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim). Microsoft bills DPM as “near-continuous data protection (CDP),” because it doesn’t restore files from any point as CDP does. DPM also works only on files, while most CDP products back up and restore Exchange and databases.

Why isn't HP going the whole CDP hog? Apparently, the vendor believes mini-CDP is sufficient for NAS customers now, particularly if it's from Microsoft. “We are definitely looking at CDP, and we have it on the roadmap,” says Duncan Campbell, VP of marketing for HP StorageWorks. “While the whole CDP space is still emerging, we feel DPM is mainstream and will be a volume hit.”HP isn't alone in favoring mini-CDP. A slew of other vendors think users aren't ready to spend on full-fledged CDP from the likes of Mendocino Software, Revivio Inc., Storactive Inc., or XOsoft.

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is expected in late September to roll out a product code-named Panther that has been in beta testing and is similar to DPM. EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) also plans to bring out an updated version of Legato RepliStor that will support more frequent snapshots in similar fashion as DPM and Panther (see Veritas Uncages Panther). And IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) recently announced a CDP product that only handles files and competes with DPM (see IBM Hops CDP Bus).

These developments will challenge HP and the rest of the mini-CDP market. Meanwhile, HP has other storage products in the wings. The rest of its data protection and archiving announcement includes backup services through an OEM deal with Asigra Inc., database archiving from OuterBay Technologies Inc., and an updated virtual tape library from an existing OEM deal with startup Sepaton Inc.. HP is unveiling one home-grown product – a file migration agent.

Here’s a rundown:

  • HP Electronic Vaulting Services built on Asigra’s Televaulting software provide backup of remote sites, either offsite at an HP hosting facility or at one of the customer’s sites (see Asigra's Path Forks). Thomas Goepel, portfolio manager for HP StorageWorks services, says HP selected Asigra software because it does not require the installation of agents at all remote sites. Customers install Asigra software on a server in the data center and one more on the backup site, but the computers being backed up do not require agents.

  • HP StorageWorks Reference Information Manager (RIM) for Database Archiving uses Outerbay’s Application Data Management (ADM) Suite to archive database records. OuterBay’s ADM Suite scans databases to tag business transactions that are no longer active, moving them to tape or less expensive disk. EMC also sells ADM Suite as its Database Xtender product through an OEM agreement with Outerbay (see EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit and EMC Puts OuterBay Inside).

  • HP StorageWorks 6480 Virtual Library System extends the platform HP began selling last May through its OEM deal with Sepaton. Campbell describes the new VTL as “more enterprise ready” than the 6000 model that HP has been selling. The new library holds up to 40 Tbytes, up from the 6000’s 10-Tbytes capacity.

  • HP StorageWorks File Migration Agent, developed by HP, lets customers create policies to automatically move inactive files to cheaper storage such as tape, or to HP's Reference Information Storage System (RISS) content addressed storage (CAS) systems (see HP Adds Archiving Apps).

    The new VTL will begin shipping Sept. 26. The vaulting services, RIM for Database Archiving, and File Migration Agent will be generally available in the fourth quarter.These deals with OEMs show HP's ongoing interest in partnering for big storage rollouts, a pattern it followed with its EVA midrange SAN system last May (see HP Upgrade Features OEM Crowd and HP Hoists New Storage Products).

    — Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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