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HP Upgrades EVA Arrays, Virtualization Software

Hewlett-Packard today rolled out new storage hardware and software products that it says will help companies handle tight IT budgets by cutting storage acquisition and administration costs. The upgrades to the company's EVA mid-range storage array, SAN Virtualization Services Platform, and Data Protector, along with new services, are designed to produce short-term cost reductions and help companies deploy an infrastructure that will support growth once the economy recovers, the company says.

HP also added support for solid-state drives made by STEC, matching offerings from other major storage systems vendors.

The StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array 6400 and 8400, which replace the EVA 6100 and 8100, can cut administration costs by 50 percent compared to competitive products by offering simplified management and virtualized storage that can accommodate changing demands by applications, says Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for storage platforms. The 8400 can support up to 320 drives, 20 GB of cache, and 72-GB SSDs. Both systems support RAID 6, so a system can lose two drives out of an eight-drive set without losing any data. "With terabyte-sized drives shipping today, this kind of protection is important because it can take hours or days to rebuild these high-capacity drives," Fitze says.

The company also upgraded its SAN Virtualization Services Platform, or SVSP, which lets users virtualize a variety of storage arrays from different vendors into a single pool. By increasing available storage capacity, SVSP can cut storage acquisitions costs. The enhanced version extends support to more products from competitors such as EMC, IBM, NetApp, and others, as well as HP's new EVA models.

The software's management capabilities will let administrators easily pool storage resources and allocate capacity to virtual servers, migrate data between systems, replicate data to a disaster recovery site. "We recognize that customers have a variety of systems in their environment and we are extending the benefits of HP management to third-party storage vendors," Fitze says. "This can triple the amount managed by each storage administrator."

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