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HP Refills Its SAN Flask

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) kicked off the year with a rather humdrum refresh of its SAN hardware palette, including an enhanced version of its low-end SAN array, the StorageWorks Modular SAN Array 1000 (MSA1000).

Individually, none of HP's new products or announcements are game-changing maneuvers. But overall, they strengthen its storage networking lineup, as HP continues to face major competitive pressure from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).

The turn of the crank on the MSA1000, originally developed by Compaq, provides 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel interfaces, as well as support for Linux and NetWare hosts. [Ed. note: Please, save your enthusiastic applause for the end.] A new three-port embedded FC hub option allows basic two-node clustering (see HP Boosts MSA1000).

The MSA1000 has also doubled its capacity, with support for up to 42 disk drives -- that's 6 Tbytes total (in 10U of rack space) using 146-Gbyte drives. That leapfrogs ahead of EMC's CX200 in terms of capacity; the CX200 can support up to 4.4 Tbytes in a 7U-high chassis (see EMC and Dell Double-Down).

HP says the MSA1000 starts at around $19,000 for a single-controller model with 500 Gbytes and goes up to $78,000 for a dual-controller model with 6 Tbytes.

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