HP Births Bouncing Baby NAS

Debuts sub-$7K Windows NAS line and says it hasn't 'swapped girlfriends' on strategy like rivals

May 30, 2003

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) next week will launch StorageWorks NAS 1000s, a line of sub-$7,000 Windows-powered network-attached storage devices that will allow HP to cover the last market segment in the NAS space it had yet to address.

"We now offer a very broad -- if not the broadest -- NAS lineup in the industry," says Mark Nagaitis, director of product marketing for HP's storage infrastructure and NAS division.

HP is positioning the 1U-high NAS 1000s for workgroups, small businesses, and branch office locations. The system will be available in three configurations: a 320-Gbyte unit for a list price of $2,999; a 640-Gbyte unit for $4,999; and a 1-Tbyte model for $6,999.

The 1000s fit underneath the HP's b2000 NAS box, which starts at $8,000 for 500 Gbytes and expands up to 18 Tbytes of capacity. The company's other Windows-based NAS offerings are the recently introduced b3000, which connects into an HP MSA 1000 SAN array; and at the high end, the e7000, which plugs into EVA or XP storage arrays. HP also sells the high-end NAS 8000 system, which uses a Linux-based operating system (see HP Kisses NAS, Nods to iSCSI).

HP has been the marquee hardware partner for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which in the past two years has made steady advances in the lower end of the NAS market. According to Gartner Inc., HP grew faster than any other vendor in the NAS market. In 2002, HP shipped about 3,000 NAS systems, up 61 percent, and increased its NAS revenues by 91 percent, to $55 million, according to the research firm.The 1000s will match up against entry-level NAS systems from Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Iomega Corp. -- all three of which are also Windows NAS partners. Also in the low-end NAS space is Snap Appliance Inc., which uses its own operating systems based on Linux and Berkeley BSD Unix.

Nagaitis says HP's advantage is that it provides a common set of management tools and features across its entire line of NAS devices, including snapshot and failover mechanisms. What's more, he adds, the company has maintained a consistent strategy in the NAS market. "We are not swapping girlfriends every year like some of our competitors," says Nagaitis.

That's chiefly a swipe at Dell, which previously had a reseller deal with Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and also OEM'd low-end Snap NAS devices from Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS), which recently spun off its NAS operations (see Quantum Evicts NAS Unit).

HP is planning to formally introduce the 1000s line at Microsoft TechEd 2003 in Dallas next week.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights