Around the Storage Block Blog
Find out about all things data storage from Around the Storage Block at HP Communities.

Making sure the right hand knows what the LeftHand is doing

By Calvin Zito 

Our colleagues at LeftHand Networks have been hard at work since the acquisition announcement in October and one of the fruits from their labor was announced last week.  New for entry-level customers is the SAS Starter SAN.  Based on high-performing SAS drives, this new SAN is ideal for virtual server environments that require more "horsepower" to perform optimally.  The higher performance drives help satisfy the I/O needs of virtual environments, while LeftHand's architecture automatically balances data volumes across all disk drives, network connections and processors.  To read more, click here see the press release here:

You might also be interested knowing that we have a couple of HP LeftHand Networks blogs.  Last week, the team posted a blog about a roadshow in the U.S. and Canada, focused on Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Environments.  You can read about it here:  The other blog is the HP LHN useablity blog.  The latest post on the same topic of disaster recovery can be found here:

Over the next several months, we'll integrate the HP LHN blog into our Around the Storage Block blog - but for now, I'll highlight here when there's a new post. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

HP/LeftHand Networks named partner of the year

By Lee Johns 

Our new colleagues at LeftHand Networks have big smiles on their faces today. And with good reason too. CDW has named LeftHand its "Partner of the Year" for 2008. The award recognizes LeftHand Networks for "its unique marketing programs and solid field engagement, as well as its strong sales growth at CDW." All of us in the HP StorageWorks business are excited about the merging of our two organizations and the innovations in industry-leading SAN solutions we'll be delivering to customers. You can read more about the award here:

I would like to highlight that when making acquisitions it is important to consider all aspects of a companies viability and strategic fit. LeftHand Networks brought to HP:

  • Great technology and products for iSCSI SANs.

  • A strong presence in midmarket customers in North America.

  • Leadership virtualization technology

  • A product architecture running on industry standard servers that provides unique possibilities for HP

However as we talked with them we realized one of their strongest assets was their shared passion with HP for the reseller community and the innovative apprach they have taken to be the best partner they can be. This award from CDW rightly recognizes them for their innovation outside of their product engineering.

You can learn more about our LeftHand Networks portfolio by going here:

OH, and don't ever let anyone tell you that an old dog can't learn new tricks.

Lee Johns, Director of Marketing for Entry Storage

HP BladeSystem and StorageWorks Synergy

By Lee Johns

I often get asked why HP BladeSystem and StorageWorks are such a compelling combination.  There are multiple reasons and it starts with the cost of connecting to existing fibre channel storage which can be reduced by up to 50% with the reductions in cables, single failure points and administration when you use a technology like HP Virtual Connect.  You of course also benefit from the infrastructure savings you get from implementing blade servers in terms of time, energy, change and cost.  

Today there is a new reason.  Direct connect storage!  Think the simplicity of DAS with the resource sharing of a SAN.  With HP BladeSystem you can now implement up to 192TB of shared storage across 16 blade servers using a simple, but high-performance 3Gb SAS interconnect.  What's more the Storage offers all the management features and capabilities of the HP MSA 2000 but without the requirement to manage a fabric (Fibre Channel or iSCSI).   

Now don't get me wrong.  Fibre Channel and iSCSI storage are every bit as important as they were yesterday with BladeSystem.  In fact HP also announced a technology called Virtual Connect Flex-10 for BladeSystems today that will offer great benefits for future iSCSI storage solutions for our EVA and MSA as well as future products from our acquisition of LeftHand Networks.  The difference today is that if implementing Fibre Channel or iSCSI was not the right choice for me as a customer, I now have an alternative that offers breakthrough simplicity.   Direct connect storage is perfect for Server Administrators who want to implement a simple shared storage environment for boot infrastructure or other server administrator controlled data.  It is ideal for small and medium businesses or remote sites who are looking to implement there first SAN but want a simpler solution.  It is great for VMware infrastructure and supports VMotion. It is great second tier storage for Enterprises.  

Customer excitement in HP early previews has been very strong.  In fact it has so much utility for new implementations or existing SAN environments it make me wonder why the traditional storage only vendors are not offering it.  After all it simply offers customers more choice. 

Lee Johns, Director of Marketing for Entry Storage

Today's LeftHand Networks Announcement

Wow - it's been a busy week at StorageWorks and Lee still can't post his own blog so I'll post this for him on today's news that we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire LeftHand Networks, Inc..  Here is Lee's post: 

As the dust settles on the announcement of the HP & Oracle Exadata machine, along comes another interesting announcement.  HP has signed a definitive agreement to acquire LeftHand Networks (See press release).  I'm sure a lot of press and analyst opinion will focus on the benefits to HP of beefing up our iSCSI portfolio or gaining access to some of the strong server and storage virtualization capabilities of the LeftHand Networks solution, or of the opportunity to sell to more mid-market customers with HP storage or even on the channel synergies and worldwide expansion opportunities of the acquisition.

These are all true but what are the customer benefits?   An interesting fact is a software solution that builds storage products from industry standard servers.  HP Extreme Data Storage System, HP & Oracle Exadata Machine & LeftHand Networks are all very different in their target market, and yet all build from Industry Standard ProLiant and/or BladeSystem components.  They all layer on strong SW capabilities that turn industry standard servers into robust storage solutions.  LeftHand Networks delivers a very strong software stack featuring Snap & Clone technology, thin provisioning, remote replication and SmartClone capabilities and each of these has considerable customer benefit.  LeftHand Networks even offers the capability to run storage services in a virtual machine.  Imagine that - building a SAN without having to buy storage hardware.  Now that really sounds like a customer benefit!

Lee Johns, Director StorageWorks Marketing

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