By Calvin Zito
Yesterday I talked about the announcement that our Technology Solutions Group did and briefly mentioned the part HP StorageWorks had in that announcement. Today, I'll drill down a bit more into the StorageWorks news.
The current economic conditions are affecting everyone but we all know that the information explosion that we've all been talking about for over a decade doesn't seem to care much about the economy. Many customers are attempting to take costs out to free up capital for their core business processes but the continued information explosion creates specific challenges for IT to efficiently store, protect, optimize and manage data. Adding to this, many data centers are not optimized for agility; a good portion of the IT budget is spent in maintenance and operations. IT is expected to help the business take advantage of opportunities that arise in this new economic era by reacting quickly to deliver new services that help drive growth. Really nothing new here, but I wanted to set the context.
We believe that the next generation data center is core to meeting these challenges. We call this the Adaptive Infrastructure. One of the core tenants of the Adaptive Infrastructure is helping customers move from their current state of high cost IT islands and siloed people resources to low cost pooled assets with more predictable service levels. Virtualization is key to that. Many customers have already virtualized their servers and as a result there's been improvements in utilization, service provisioning and disaster recovery/availability of those servers. If the rest of your infrastructure (e.g. storage, network, etc) isn't virtualized, then you still have limited flexibility. I just saw a post by my colleague in BladeSystem Jason Newton diving deeper on this topic and it's worth a read.
These virtual server environments have unique storage challenges around capacity management, storage provisioning, and data protection/management. And that gets me to the heart of what the announcement this week is about.
Our goal is to reduce the complexities and inhibitors of virtual server environments through the intelligent use of storage virtualization. We're making investments in this technology to optimize capacity, simplify storage provisioning and improve data management across virtual IT environments.
This week's announcement was focused on Fibre Channel storage networks. But we're not suggesting this is the answer for every application or customer environment. We have a very deep (and I know at times confusing) portfolio of products and solutions. But you really don't need an infrastructure vendor who only has a hammer because then every problem looks like a nail. You need an infrastructure vendor who has the breadth of portfolio to match the solution to your specific problem and data types at the lowest cost possible. So again, this announcement is focused on Fibre Channel based solutions - as we continue to integrate LeftHand Networks into our portfolio, we'll have more to say about storage virtualization with other storage networks (Shared SAS, iSCSI, etc.).
So that brings me to the news. There were three new or updated solutions we announced:
HP StorageWorks EVA6400 and EVA8400 virtual storage arrays helps customers save up to 50% in storage management costs for common storage administrative tasks compared to competitive traditional arrays
HP StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform (SVSP) can lower TCO by pooling and sharing of heterogeneous storage resources. You can improve your capacity utilization by 300% and manage 3X the storage capacity per administrator.
The new Data Protector 6.1 software combined with the EVA offers the industry's best (and we think only) replication based Zero Downtime Backup and recovery for VMware environments and is up to 70% less expensive than other enterprise backup products.
I'll go into more details over the next several days but let me leave you with a pointer to a video by our VP of Marketing, Stephan Schmitt. Stephan is at FOSE this week and was interviewed at the event just yesterday. This video is a nice overview of the announcement.
One last footnote I have to make as I can't wait until tomorrow's post where I'll drill down on the EVA6400 and EVA8400. One of our competitors has tried to make their pre-announcement of solid state drives a year ago as a proof point of their innovation. The funny thing is that we source those drives from the same OEM partner. This competitor had made bold and frankly ridiculous predictions that we would not have SSD drives until late this year or maybe in 2010. Well, I've got news for you Chuck - we have SSD drives in the EVA now and have had them in the XP Disk Array for a few months and in our BladeSystem for even longer.