Users Eye Up HP's EVA

HP's overhaul of the EVA family of storage devices is getting good feedback - mostly

May 17, 2005

3 Min Read
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LAS VEGAS -- Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) customers at the vendors StorageWorks conference here seem excited about new capacity and performance in the much-hyped additions to the family of Enterprise Virtual Arrays (EVAs). (See HP Hoists New Storage Products.) But they're reserving judgment on the overall series.

Scott Erkonen, the managing officer of networking at Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Premier Bankcard, is already planning to consolidate the work of four older HP Enterprise Modular Array (EMA) devices onto a single EVA 8000.

The benefits? Capacity, performance, and, ultimately, cost, according to the exec. Erkonen explains that the EVA 8000 has a capacity of 70 Terabytes, compared to a combined total of 18 Tbytes on the EMAs. The EVA controllers, which govern access to the disks, are also higher performing, according to Erkonen. “They can perform more processing and I/O per second,” he says.

But consolidation is not just about performance, and Erkonen predicts that a single 8000 could slash his company’s support costs. “Over the [next] three years, that will save us just over one million dollars,” he says.

Kevin Pollock, manager of data center and network services at guitar manufacturer Fender, has also got capacity in mind. With the firm’s databases growing at a volume of 65 to 70 Gigabytes a month, Pollock is considering usurping his existing EVA 3000 with the 8000 box.“I think we’re outgrowing our 3000 a lot faster than we anticipated,” he says. The IT exec is contemplating whether to use the 8000 for production data and archiving, while relegating the 3000 to a disaster recovery role.

Another user, Benoit Brissette, network administrator of call center technology specialist Nordia, is also eager to take a closer look at the new additions to the EVA range. “We’re looking more and more to virtualize servers using VMware, for the most part, and to do that we need a lot of storage,” he says.

But, despite the positive feedback, some users are still a little wary about the flood of storage announcements pouring forth from HP. “They make it all seem very good,” says one IT manager attending the conference, who asked not to be named. “Now I want to see it in action.”

Another IT manager, who works in the manufacturing industry and also asked to remain anonymous, says he had been discouraged from buying the initial version of the EVA technology after its launch in 2001. “We were going to use EVAs, but there were some bugs in the first draft,” he says. “A lot of what they offered in the graphical user interface didn’t translate to the connections.”

However, the same IT manager is eager to deploy the newly launched EVAs. “We’re looking to consolidate a lot of our storage,” he says. “We’re looking to reduce the footprint and the electrical drain on our data center.”Bob Schultz, senior vice president of HP’s network storage solutions division, admitted the EVA is an involved piece of technology with a lot of different facets, despite its long development cycle. “With any system this complex, there are always things that we are working on,” he said yesterday.

Customers are waiting to see whether HP can bring enough pieces together to make the most of its new offerings.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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