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HP, Sun Upgrade Hitachi

When it comes to high-end SANs, one vendor's midrange is another one's entry level. Got that?

The NSC55 controller Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)
launched today aimed at the midrange is also being resold by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)
as an entry level enterprise system (see Hitachi Plans Midrange Rollout). HP launched the system today as the XP10000 and Sun as the StorEdge 9985 (see HP Offers New XP Disk Array and Sun Adds to SAN Family).

HP and Sun already sell Hitachis higher-end systems, formerly the Lightning and now the TagmaStore (see Hitachi Struts Mr. Universal). This would mark the first time HP and Sun are reselling Hitachi’s midrange systems -- except they’re not positioning them as midrange systems. The XP is HP’s enterprise family, as is Sun’s StorEdge9000 product line.

“They [Hitachi] chose to position it in the midrange but it’s in same group that makes TagmaStore,” says James Wilson, HP’s XP product manager. “They consider it the high end of the midrange, we consider it the low end of the high end. We’re just on the other side of the same fence.”

The difference is obviously more of a marketing distinction than a technical one. Hitachi’s partners have their own midrange families to protect. HP in May launched a new EVA line of midrange systems (see HP Plans EVA Facelift). Sun’s flagship storage product is its high-end midrange StorEdge 6920, and Sun carries a lower-end family of systems through an OEM deal with Engenio Information Technologies Inc. (see Sun Expands Storage and Engenio's Sun Rises).

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