HP has added Microsoft Hyper-V compatibility to its StorageWorks P4000 virtual storage area network appliance, the hardware vendor announced on Wednesday.
The announcement was made as part of HP's 'Just Right IT' marketing strategy for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which has also included a low-cost server for small businesses.
"It can take a server and run a full blown SAN as a virtual machine on top of it; I'm talking about the features you would get with an enterprise-class SAN, like replication and virtualised storage pools," James Henry, business development manager for servers in the EMEA region at HP, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. The appliance is already compatible with VMware.
A virtual storage area network (SAN) appliance makes better use of server storage without having to invest in an actual physical SAN, by making a single pool of storage from disparate disks. Also, because it is a virtual appliance, it can have a higher level of redundancy than a single physical system.
The appliance can run on over 100 varieties of HP ProLiant rack and blade servers, according to HP's product information.
"The problem with shared storage is that typically it has a high entry point in terms of cost, because you need to have specialist skills in terms of shared storage and SAN technology and so on," Henry said. "By virtualising the server and running a hypervisor on those systems, then running the virtual SAN appliance on top of it, you're creating a shared pool of storage across all those systems."
The appliance is available and costs £3,729. A comparable physical HP SAN — such as the HP P3400 G2 16TB SAS Starter SAN — would cost £20,325, according to HP. However, to use the virtualised appliance, customers will need to have invested in compatible hardware to run it on.
Customers who buy both, however, will be able to use one SAN to backup the other, providing increased redundancy. The virtual SAN can "talk to the physical SAN and replicate data back", Henry told ZDNet UK.