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HP Plans HW/SW Upgrades

Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of OuterBay Technologies came on the day HP was showing off its latest Storage Essentials management software at its Marlborough, Mass., office. Execs said it was just one of many software salvos they expect to fire at their rivals in coming months. (See HP Hops on OuterBay.)

There's more coming,” said Ash Ashutosh, HP’s CTO of storage management, referring to acquisitions and partnerships at yesterday's conference.

What the execs at Marlborough didn’t say was that HP is also preparing systems upgrades later this month aimed primarily at EMC and IBM. Sources say HP will unveil 4-Gbit/s and iSCSI connectivity for its Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) midrange SANs and upgrade its tape, virtual tape, and WAN accelerator products on or about February 21.

The systems changes are largely cosmetic. For instance, to beat EMC to the 4-Gbit/s punch, HP will upgrade the front-end connectivity to its EVA systems without changing the back end, I/O per second (IOPS), or throughput speeds. The iSCSI connectivity is a ProLiant server running Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 -- and perhaps eventually LeftHand Networks’ SAN/iQ software -- in front of the EVA.

“There is a lot of sizzle,” says one analyst familiar with the rollout, “and not a lot of steak.”

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