HP is targeting the market for consolidating high-end systems with the launch of the XP24000 storage array.
The XP24000 product replaces HP's XP12000, and not only boosts directly addressable memory by a massive extent but also doubles communications speed and introduces other new features.
The 24000 sees an increase in the connection speed to 4GB, along with the ability to support up to 1,152 disk drives, and it has 332 terabytes of disk capacity in one four-unit system. With the addition of external storage, the system can address up to 247 petabytes of capacity in one image.
According to HP's SAN marketing director for StorageWorks, Kyle Fitze, the 24000 should work out between 10 and 25 percent cheaper than the 12000.
A major development of the 24000 is that it is the first HP system to offer "thin provisioning", a feature that is fast becoming popular with companies, especially in the virtualisation world. When companies introduce new applications to a network, the system will allocate resources, such as memory, to the new application. Invariably, the IT manager responsible for this provisioning will allocate more resources than initially needed so that the new application has plenty of headroom. To save resources, many IT managers might prefer to "thin provision", only allocating what is necessary, as long as they can be sure that, if the application suddenly runs out of memory, the system will automatically allocate more without disturbing the application's smooth running.
Other features in the XP24000 include what HP claims is an "unprecedented peak performance" of 3.5 million input/output processes per second, but that is I/Os from cache.
HP leans on Hitachi as a technology partner for the 24000, as it did for the 12000. Some of the engineering in the 24000 is Hitachi's, which on Monday launched its own system incorporating thin provisioning.
HP is practising what it preaches with consolidation. According to Fitze, the company is currently consolidating its own data centres from 85 separate locations to three main ones. All three centres will be based in the US, which, according to the company, means that "the consolidation will cost $1.8bn rather than $2.5bn". The XP24000 is priced from £200,000.