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HP Takes the Low Road

Despite its love of enterprise buzzwords, such as adaptive enterprise, virtualization, and grid computing, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) plans a fling with the small- and medium-sized business market.

With the price of disk drives dropping, iSCSI on the horizon, compliance with federal regulations a reality, and the entry of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) into the NAS market, storage networks are not just for enterprises any more, HP says. Now the rush is on to capture the smaller fry as well.

HP began by capitalizing on Microsoft's support for NAS last year. It jumped from ninth to fourth in the NAS market, according to calculations from IDC, by building a line of NAS devices built on Windows Storage Server 2003 (see Sands Shift Under NAS Market and Microsoft Raises NAS Roof).

Now HP wants to bring SANs into organizations that have hitherto found them too costly or complicated. It is taking on the SMB market with a low-end SAN system called the Modular Storage Array (MSA) 1000, announced in November (see HP Underprices IBM, EMC on Low End). We’re taking SANs into the volume mainstream market,” says Bob Schultz, HP’s VP of network storage solutions.

The MSA 1000 lets users migrate drivers on HP ProLiant servers from direct-attached storage to a SAN. “We think of it as, ‘My first SAN,' ” Schultz says.

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