HP Thinks Small

Vendor locks onto smaller scale storage with D2D backup for small and medium business

April 11, 2007

3 Min Read
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HP turned its focus to SMB storage today, reshuffling key execs, and taking the wraps off of a bulked-up disk-to-disk backup device for small firms. (See HP Intros All-in-One for SMBs and HP Builds SANs for SMBs.)

With vendors scrambling to gain a share of the small business dollar, HP fleshed out its line of All-in-One (AIO) storage systems, unveiling the 1200, a 2U device containing up to 9 Tbytes of SATA drives or 3.6 Tbytes of SAS. (See NetApp Certifies VMware, SMC Announces NAS, Marvell, Seagate Team, and EMC Takes CDP Downmarket .)

HP launched its first AIO systems, based on ProLiant servers with Microsoft's Storage Server and the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, last year. (See HP Fills In SMB Storage.) The first of these, the AIO 400, came with just 1 Tbyte of SATA-based storage, and the AIO 600 offered up to 3 Tbytes of SATA or 876 Gbytes of SAS. (See HP Rethinks Storage Plays.)

Pricing for the AIO 1200, which is available now, starts at $8,759 for a basic 3-Tbyte configuration.

The AIO systems are up against SMB storage products such as EMC's AX 150 and NetApp's StoreVault S500, which have maximum capacities of 6 Tbytes. (See EMC Eyes SMB Push.)One analyst told Byte and Switch that small businesses are on the lookout for larger, disk-based, storage. "I am seeing a lot of demand for D2D products -- there's not just demand for backup, but also archival-type things," says John Webster, senior analyst at Illuminata.

Like enterprises, litigation is driving this trend, according to the analyst. "Small businesses are in contact with their attorneys on a regular basis -- they are just as exposed to litigation as anyone else," says Webster, explaining that tape technology is not the answer. (See Legal Eagles Seek Data Unity, Intel's Email Maelstrom, and Is Your Email Lawyer-Ready?) Trawling through tapes is a big problem for SMBs, because they don't typically have any tape management, he says.

Then there is the issue of data growth. Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Tony Asaro estimates that the average SMB today uses between 3 and 5 Tbytes of storage, although he expects this figure to grow to at least 10 Tbytes in the near future, even amongst the smallest firms.

Unlike EMC's AX 150, HP's AIO family does not offer Fibre Channel connectivity, although Asaro thinks that this is hardly a problem in the SMB arena. "To me, it makes more sense to have a marriage of SAS and SATA, than it would to go to Fibre Channel," he says, citing skills issues. "When you get into the SMBs, you have a lot of guys that know IP well, but there are a lot of guys that probably can't even spell Fibre Channel."

HP also shuffled the chairs within its StorageWorks division today, shifting Harry Baeverstad from his role in charge of NAS and appointing him to the new position of SMB director. "My role is to pull together a more compelling, cohesive strategy for SMB roadmaps," he told Byte and Switch, explaining that another HP veteran, Urs Renggli, has moved over from Europe as part of this reshuffle.The exec, who was previously in charge of HP's SMB business in EMEA, is now director of worldwide SMB activities within the vendor's Technology Solutions Group (TSG). Renggli will link up with the vendor's Personal Systems Group (PSG) as part of this role, looking for opportunities to tie storage to sales of desktops and laptops, according to Baeverstad.

IBM, which has also ramped up its SMB strategy over recent months, is expected to unveil pre-packaged bundles of some of its low-end storage technology at SNW next week. (See IBM Debuts Low-End SANs, IBM Intros DS4200, IBM Ships QLogic, and IBM Sharpens SMB Blades.)

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Illuminata Inc.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • QLogic Corp.

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