HP fills in the storage gaps

Low end, high end and fibre channel. Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday filled in some gaps to back up its claim to offer a full storage range

Alongside its virtualisation product, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday launched new JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) products and a network-attached storage device that that bridges between regular Ethernet networks and Fibre Channel storage area networks. The company also claimed to be the first to bring new low cost Brocade switches to market. The NAS 8000 network attached storage product -- due for delivery in April -- is based on a "NAS head". Such devices act as the interface between the NAS and network clients, allowing more expandable storage area networks (SANs) to be built. Within the NAS 8000, both the filer and the disks have their own Fibre Channel connections to the storage area network. This lets the filer use storage on the SAN, adding it to the pool it manages as network-attached storage, said Tony Jones, NAS and SAN product manager for HP Europe. Though this is HP's first NAS head, rival EMC was not impressed. "Technically, our Celerra (NAS filer) is a NAS head," said EMC's UK marketing manager Nigel Ghent, "because it originally was just a front end to a Symmetrix (storage unit)." Jones promised that NAS8000 would allow multivendor products to work together, while EMC's Celerra has been criticised for being too closely linked to the company's Symetrix units. "If EMC were to open Celerra up to open storage, would most of EMC's advanced functionality disappear because it depends on proprietary Symmetrix interfaces?" asked an IBM spokesman. HP also announced it is shipping two new low-cost 2G Fibre Channel switches from Brocade. HP is the first OEM to ship these, said Jones. The 8B has only one E-Link (Fibre Channel uplink) so they cannot be meshed.. HP is to retire its 2800 1G Fibre Channel product. The Entry 8B product is a switch for the current price of a hub, said Jones. HP is to retire its Surestore FC hub product. The low end disk enclosures, HP's DS 2300 and 2405 disk systems will cope with ultra320 SCSI when it is finalised, and are backward compatible with UltraSCSI, Jones. The 2405 includes two 2gbps Fibre Channel links, giving up to 400 megabytes per second data throughput to the virtual array. They hold 14 and 15 drives respectively.


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