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HP Plans EVA Facelift

The Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) is no longer the invisible SAN.

HP today offered a sneak preview of the new EVA systems it plans to roll out May 16 at its annual StorageWorks Conference. It is HPs first major refresh of the EVA line since it added the EVA 3000 to the EVA 5000 in April 2003 (see HP, IBM Muscle Up Midrange and HP Launches EVA 3000).

Like Rip Van Winkle, HP missed out while it slept, failing to capitalize on the fastest growing SAN segment, midrange systems. That was one of the reasons analysts say HP storage hit rock bottom last summer when its revenue dropped 15 percent year-on-year (see HP Storage Down, But Improving and HP Storage Slammed).

Now HP's hoping to reverse the trend. It is replacing the EVA 3000 and 5000 with three new midrange models -- the EVA 4000, 6000, and 8000, all of which are shipping. Each model comes with dual controllers. The 4000 and 6000 have four host ports, and the 8000 has eight. The models feature Fibre Channel and HP's FATA drives. Pricing for the 4000 begins at $124,000 with 3.5 Tbytes. The 6000 starts at $221,000 with 6.7 Tbytes, and the 8000 at $409,000 with 14 Tbytes.

Prices include Command View management and Business Copy data protection software, which have been upgraded. Business Copy’s snapshot speed is increased, and Command View includes new wizards, Window GUIs, and tighter integration with HP servers. “We kind of leapfrog in speeds and feeds with our competitors, but it’s more about how easy the arrays are to integrate, and about their disaster recovery capabilities and simplified management,” says Kyle Fitzke, HP’s director of SAN marketing.

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