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What's in an (HP Storage) name?

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vExpert 2011, 2012, 2013.png

 

I’ve been a part of HP Storage since 1990 and I’ve seen my share of product naming and branding changes over the years.  Over the last year, we have introduced new product naming that probably has raised a few questions like “what are the marketing guys at HP Storage doing now?”  If you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’ll help you understand it all but let’s start with a look back.

 

Naming and Branding History Lesson

When I first started at HP in 1983  I was a customer engineering working on among other things “disc drives”.  Back then we even spelled disk a little differently.  One of my favorite products to work on was the HP 7935 Disc Drive.  If you’re a nostalgia fan, I found a website that talks about this disc drive.  I especially enjoyed those middle of the night scheduled preventative maintenance calls I used to go on.  Hey – at least I was paid time and a half!  Before I digress too far, you can see we really didn’t have any branding for our products and the name was nothing more than a number that had almost no meaning.

 

Fast forward to the late 90’s.  Our tape and optical storage division had adopted using HP SureStore as a brand for their products.  I was in the division that had disk arrays products.  We started using HP SureStore E as our brand (“E” was for Enterprise).  So for example, the XP Disk Array was the HP SureStore E Disk Array XP. 

 

HP SureStore E and Compact/DEC StorageWorks

When HP and Compaq came together, the two storage groups combined together.  StorageWorks had been in the market for some time and was deemed to have more value than SureStore.  So our branding became HP StorageWorks.  With the mish-mash of products, the naming across the portfolio really had no consistency.

 

Goodbye StorageWorks, Hello HP Storage

Several other businesses in HP started to use a simple naming for their products.  For example, our networking organization dropped ProCurve and became HP Networking, HP OpenView became HP Software.  We followed suit and dropped StorageWorks in favor of HP Storage.  I’m sure glad my Twitter name wasn’t @HPStorageWorksGuy because I would have had to change that!

 

After this change, we also redid our product naming.  I won’t go through all the details but previously we used a letter do signify a class of storage – for example “P” was for block based storage (P2000, P4000, P6000),  “X” was for file-based products (X9000, X1000), and “D” was for disk-based backup (D4000).  But for the most part, people didn’t know what P, X, D and the other letters meant.  So one more change was needed.

 

Enter StoreXXXXXX

The latest change we made was to use new product naming to replace the obscure lettering.  I think the new product naming really helps clarify what the product family is.  Over time, the lettering we used in product names will go away.  For example, the HP 3PAR StoreServ P10000 is now the 10000.  Here’s what we did (note if you click on the hyperlink, you can find blog posts I have on the topic):

 

  • StoreOnce – this was actually the first product family to use the StoreXXXX convention in its product names and we decided it make so much sense that it would become the template for all of our product naming. An example name is HP StoreOnce 6200
  • 3PAR StoreServ – 3PAR is staying in the name but my guess is that at some point, that will be dropped.  Given the market visibility the name 3PAR has, it’s staying.  An example name is HP 3PAR StoreServ 10000
  • StoreVirtual – formerly known as HP LeftHand.  The OS that runs it was called SAN/iQ – that is now LeftHand OS.  An example here is HP StoreVirtual 4530.  Here’s a link with some of the older LeftHand blog posts I’ve done.  
  • StoreEasy – this is our file server and gateway products that were the X1000, X3000, and X5000.  HP StoreEasy 1000 is an example.
  • StoreAll – file and object based information retention, based on IBRIX distributed file engine and was the X9000 family.  The IBRIX X9000 is now the HP StoreAll 9000.
  • StoreEver – this is the family name for our tape and tape library products. 
  • StoreFabric – family name for our storage networking portfolio. 
  • StoreSystem – this is a new solution that we recently announced that combines the 3PAR StoreServ 7000 (block and file-based storage) and StoreOnce in an easy to buy and deploy bundle.
  • StoreFront – a brand new Android based app called StoreFront Mobile Access that will let you manage HP Storage from your smart phone.  More coming here in the future.

If you want to go to any of the hp.com pages to get more information, just type in hp.com/go/XXXXX and put the family name where I have XXXX – for example hp.com/go/StoreVirtual.

 

Lastly, I’ve really enjoyed a new video series that I created – I call it HP Storage ChalkTalk.  I did a ChalkTalk focusing on the new names. 

 

 

You can check out other ChalkTalks I’ve done on my blog.

Labels: chalktalk
Comments
nate | ‎08-07-2013 01:20 AM

Looking over your Store* names I can't help but wonder how long 3PAR can hold onto their brand in the "3PAR StoreServ" name...hmmmmmmmm.... I wager no more than 2 years(or perhaps as long as David Scott happens to stick around).. it would be sad to see it go, obviously it is a proud symbol .. I mean HP doesn't say Lefthand StoreVirtual, or IBRIX StoreAll ...

 

Oh and now that I notice it.. where does the P9500/XP fall under ? Is there not a Store* category that includes them?

 

Also I think the low end P2000 is still called that right? no Store* name for it either? EVA is missing too but that's obviously being slowly shown the door.. XP I think will go there too, probably much quieter though.

 

Maybe StoreBasic for P2000 ? (to imply it's a pretty basic solution without many bells or whistles)

 

 

| ‎08-07-2013 06:30 AM

Good question and I'm not totally sure I know the answer but I think I have a pretty good idea.  I think the criteria for which products were given a name was a couple of things:

 

1). Strategic

2). Clearly part of our Converged Storage strategy focus

 

EVA and XP clearly don't fit into our Converged Storage strategy.  You might have a good arguement around MSA - it doesn't fit into the Converged Strategy, we sell a lot of them. 

 

I'll give you my guess about how long we keep "3PAR" in the naming - it still has a ton of brand-value and until StoreServ is better known than 3PAR, I think we'll have 3PAR in the naming.  Look at LeftHand - we bought them in 2007 and it was just last November that we dropped LeftHand in the name.  Even then, it's now the name of the StoreVirtual software: LeftHand OS.  So I think you'll see 3PAR in the name for a long time.

 

Thanks Nate!

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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..
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