HP Launches 'Extreme' Storage System

Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks 9100 Extreme is designed for Web companies and other organizations that need multipetabytes of data storarge.

Antone Gonsalves

May 5, 2008

2 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard on Monday introduced a storage system for Web companies and other organizations that need multipetabytes of data storage.

The StorageWorks 9100 Extreme system is designed for managing large amounts of online subscriber information and video content found in today's social networks and other Web properties. Other potential customers would include users of video surveillance systems or research organizations and medical institutions that are heavy users of medical imaging.

HP claims the system is relatively affordable at about $2 per gigabyte, while comparable systems from competitors start at about $5 a gigabyte. Nevertheless, the total package isn't cheap. A fully loaded Extreme system that reaches almost a petabyte of storage costs $1.6 million. A baseline system with 246 TB is about $500,000.

The new product includes a chassis capable of holding from four to 16 server blades, and up to 10 "storage blocks," HP said. Each block is 7U and slides in as one unit, which holds up to 82 TB of data and contains an array of SATA drives connected by SAS controllers. A minimum system configuration is four blades and three blocks.

HP says the 9100 Extreme is less expensive than other systems because it provides high storage in one appliance, which eliminates the need for expensive Fibre Channel switches, cables and host bus adapters that are needed with distributed systems. "The fact that it's all one appliance, one unit, drives down the cost," Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing for HP, said.

In addition, only one IT administrator is needed to manage a fully loaded system, versus a half dozen or more for other types of systems, according to Eitenbichler.

The new product includes a cluster file system based on technology from former storage virtualization software maker PolyServe, which HP acquired in March 2007. The technology made it possible for HP to extend network-attached storage onto blade servers.

HP competes with Dell and EMC in the storage market.

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