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HP's Relevant Again

5:45 PM -- A year ago, people were wondering if Hewlett-Packard would still be in the storage game by now. It had just fired CEO Carly Fiorina, was almost certain to make changes to the overall business, and its struggling storage platform seemed like a possible place to start. (See HP Plots New Course.)

Not only is HP storage still around, but this week we saw evidence that HP is dedicated to having as complete a storage portfolio as anybody in the business.

HP pushed ahead with its storage strategy Tuesday by acquiring database archiver OuterBay and it came to light that HP is readying a product rollout later this month. (See HP Hops on OuterBay and HP Plans HW/SW Upgrades.) Soon, HP will have 4-Gibt/s Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity for its midrange EVA system and is beefing up its virtual tape library (VTL), WAN optimization, and doubling the cache on the XP high-end array it sells from Hitachi Data Systems.

How full is HPs storage product line? Consider this: EMC doesn’t even have 4-Gibt/s Fibre Channel support or a branded WAN optimization product.

We can’t be sure about the quality yet. The EVA still faces a tough road competing with midrange systems from EMC, HP, and Network Appliance, even with its new capabilities. Some HP competitors say its strategy of building up its product line quickly largely through OEM deals shows a lack of innovation.

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