HP pushes AIO storage to SMBs

Company launches all-in-one systems that combine iSCSI SAN and NAS, and are tipped to simplify storage management for smaller businesses.

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week unveiled a new line of storage systems that combines iSCSI storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) support into a single device.

The HP StorageWorks All-in-One (AIO) Storage Systems product line is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to HP, and is expected to simplify storage and offer "reliable data protection" at an affordable price.

Immediately available in the market, the StorageWorks AIO Storage Systems are sold in four storage configurations--1TB SATA, 1.5TB SATA, 3.0TB SATA and 876GB SAS--through the company's network of over 40,000 resellers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new systems also run on Microsoft's Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2003 R2, launched in Asia in May this year.

Ashwini Bhatnagar, marketing manager at HP StorageWorks in Asia-Pacific and Japan, told ZDNet Asia that the company integrated iSCSI (Internet small computer system interface) into its entry- and mid-level AIO storage systems, while fiber channel (FC) is still available in the high-end systems used for critical processes such as high MBR applications, core banking and high transaction processing, as well as billing systems.

Jack Yu, IDC's Asia-Pacific senior market analyst for storage research, told ZDNet Asia in an interview that the HP all-in-one storage system is an example of concerted efforts by some vendors to address user concerns.

Yu noted that vendors see much potential in iSCSI--formally established three years ago--especially amongst developing markets in Asia. SMBs will also find iSCSI SAN cheaper and easier to implement than FC SAN.

The iSCSI SAN market in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, grew by approximately 70 percent in the first half of 2006, over the same period last year. China and India accounted for the largest market shares, growing at 138 percent and 109 percent, respectively.