HP Expands SAN Storage

Hewlett-Packard last week introduced storage devices for midsize to large heterogeneous enterprises, unveiling a network-attached storage (NAS) appliance and a Fibre Channel switch.

The HP SureStore NetStorage 6000 is an appliance designed for midsize workgroups and departments. It features up to 360 gigabytes of storage and fits in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Unix networks. The NetStorage 6000 can be managed with HP OpenView or Computer Associates Unicenter TNG. In addition, it has a Web browser-based utility that allows remote management from any workstation on the network.

The NetStorage 6000 has RAID-5 capability and features hot-swappable drives and power supplies for fault tolerance. In RAID-5, data is striped across three to five disks, allowing limited protection for mission-critical data. The NAS appliance attaches to 10/100M bps (bits per second) or Gigabit Ethernet networks and can be installed in a standard rack or on a desktop.

The NAS market is expected to exceed US$5 billion by 2003 according to International Data.

HP also announced that it would ship an eight-port Brocade switch that works in Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop environments or switched fabrics. Fibre Channel loop-based storage lets customers link multiple devices in a point-to-point configuration, providing shared access to gigabit bandwidth.

With loop-based storage, however, only two devices can communicate at any one time, and if one device fails, the loop would be out of commission. With a fabric-based storage-area network, Fibre Channel switches are interconnected over a variety of paths, letting devices communicate simultaneously and building in redundancy in the event of a failure.

The NetStorage 6000 NAS will be available in May, starting at $25,500. Pricing for the Brocade switch is not available.

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