HP launches storage system for SMEs

The latest system offers many of the features of high-end products for enterprise customers, but is available to SMEs and mid-range companies

HP has launched its StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array, aimed at bringing enterprise-class storage to medium-sized companies with small budgets.

With many of the features normally associated with high-end systems such as dual-redundant hardware architecture and support for remote replication software, the EVA 4400 boasts 99.999 percent uptime for up to 96TB of data, says HP.

A starter system with 1TB capacity will cost about €15,000 (£11,300), said HP.

HP is claiming some noticeable success with selling its systems and storage products in Europe. According to the company's SAN marketing director, Kyle Fitze, HP saw 15 percent growth in the storage products last year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it shipped 40,000 of the previous models in the mid-range EVA line-up — nearly half of all mid-range storage arrays sold accross Europe, according to Fitze.

HP's announcement underlined the importance the mainstream IT suppliers attach to the SME market. In November, Dell paid $1.4bn (£700,000) for the mid-range storage company EqualLogic. Only three months later, in March, it launched its first storage array to carry the EqualLogic branding.

IBM, EMC and Sun all carry mid-range storage systems to complement their high-end and mainframe systems.

After early attempts at gaining penetration in the mid-range with systems that were basically cut-down versions of their mainframe storage arrays, all those suppliers are now stressing that their mid-range machines may be less expensive than their high-end counterparts, but they lack none of their features.

To prove the point, on Monday, HP also announced that the EVA 4400 would be available with an 8Gb Simple SAN Connection for companies planning for large growth of their Storage Area Network (SAN) environments. This will be available for Fibre Channel networks and will include software that aims to simplify connections.

HP EVA 4400

The EVA 4400 is also available in the 'shorty' compact size for companies wanting something a bit smaller
 

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