HP Pushes New Midrange EVA

HP adds one more to round out an aggressive relaunch of midrange offerings

February 28, 2008

3 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard took the next step in an aggressive launch of new midrange products with the introduction of the StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA4400) this week.

The news comes on the heels of a major upgrade of HP's MSA series, which targets low-end SAN customers, as well news that HP has replaced its head of storage sales.

The EVA4400 is aimed slightly above the level of the new MSA2000, HP says. "This is a new low-end EVA for customers with need of broader platform support at lower price points," asserts Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for the HP StorageWorks SAN division.

Fitze says the EVA4400 is 20 percent less expensive than the lowest EVA model up to now, the EVA4100, which it replaces. And at a starting price of $15,000, it is just a cut above the highest pricing for the recently announced SMB-worthy MSA2000.

"We spent a lot of time revamping power and packaging to drive out cost," says Fitze. And he claims the interface is "75 percent simpler" for customers to use.The EVA4400, which is based on a controller that is separate from the Dot Hill-OEM'd components in the MSA series, offers up to 96 spindles supporting 450-Gbyte Fibre Channel drives, with 1-Tbyte FATA drives due to ship within a couple of months. Also within a few weeks, HP says it will integrate a Brocade 8-Gbit/s 10-port SAN switch into the array.

EVA4400 options include storage virtualization, remote and local replication, HP's "dynamic capacity management" of disk space, and an iSCSI front-end interface for use with filers.

The EVA4400 will compete with EMC's Clariion systems, NetApp's FAS and StoreVault series (which also got an upgrade this week), and IBM's DS3000. Like HP, suppliers of these systems are making a push toward the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) customer.

At least one analyst sees the EVA4400 as progress for HP. "The emphasis in the midmarket has to be around simplicity and pricing. This announcement appears to have 'bigger, faster, cheaper' covered," says Rich Bourdeau, senior analyst at the Taneja Group.

On the other hand, Bourdeau says HP, like EMC and other traditional SAN players, faces a growing roster of competition from the likes of 3PAR, XIV (recently bought by IBM), Compellent, LeftHand, and others whose architectures are based on clustering and pooled storage techniques that are more scaleable and flexible.For now, HP, which claims an installed base of about 40,000 for the EVA series overall, seems to think its midrange is flexible enough in the ways that matter most to customers. That said, it will be interesting to see how larger trends play out in the vendor's SME and SMB product lines over the next couple of years.

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  • Compellent Technologies Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • LeftHand Networks Inc.

  • NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Taneja Group

  • 3PAR Inc.

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