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HP StoreVirtual replaces LeftHand, adds StoreEasy NAS

HP's StoreVirtual (previously LeftHand) SAN and StoreEasy NAS lines have been introduced, with FC connectivity and Windows Storage Server 2012.

Hewlett-Packard Co. today launched new LeftHand iSCSI SAN and Windows-based network-attached storage products, rebranding both systems and adding Fibre Channel connectivity to LeftHand.

As part of a rebranding of its storage platforms, the LeftHand storage arrays will become HP's StoreVirtual Storage platform. HP is keeping the LeftHand brand for the underlying software, which had been known as SAN/iQ. The arrays previously were called LeftHand P4000 Storage systems. HP began the rebranding in August with its latest LeftHand-based virtual storage appliance.

HP's Windows-based network-attached storage (NAS) becomes StoreEasy as it moves to Windows Storage Server 2012. Its Windows-based NAS previously consisted of the X1000 G2, X3000 G2 and X5000 G2 series.

StoreVirtual Storage and StoreEasy are products for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), with StoreVirtual also serving the lower end of the midrange market.

The StoreVirtual Storage 4130 and 4330 launched today. The clustered-node systems use ProLiant Gen8 server hardware, and the 4330 supports 8 Gbps Fibre Channel -- a first for the platform that was an iSCSI pioneer.

"The requests [for Fibre Channel support], have always been there, and we found a good transition point to get Fibre Channel integrated into the LeftHand operating system infrastructure," said Britt Terry, HP Storage's product marketing manager. "This was the first point that we could get it in."

Rack space required for both series has been reduced by 50% to 1U for the four-drive 4130 and 2U for the eight-drive 4330.

The new systems do not support solid-state drives, but HP does sell an all-flash LeftHand storage array.

LeftHand P4000 G2 owners can download and install the updated OS. The 4130 and 4330 will be generally available Dec. 4. Pricing for a 4130 storage node starts at $11,500 for 2.4-terabyte (TB) raw capacity using four 600-GB disk drives.

Fibre Channel connectivity makes the StoreVirtual Storage line a better fit for the midmarket, which IDC's Christopher Chute calls a fast-growing segment of the IT market.

"The midmarket is the hot new-customer business segment to go after because there are so many more firms than in the enterprise space," said Chute, IDC's research director for worldwide digital imaging and SMB transformative technology, "and the enterprise is probably less of a growth opportunity for IT products and services than it has been in the past. Midsize businesses also tend to be more enterprise-like in a lot of their attributes."

Windows NAS now includes dedupe, pools

StoreEasy supports file and application workloads for up to 25,000 users. Through Windows Storage Server 2012, the NAS systems support primary storage deduplication to replace the less granular single-instance storage in Windows Storage Server 2008. The new OS also scales higher and supports storage pools.

The entry-level StoreEasy 1000 becomes generally available Dec. 10. It scales from 5 TB to around 50 TB, and is available in a tower configuration, 1U and 2U models.

The StoreEasy 1000 will be followed by a StoreEasy 3000 gateway that adds file capabilities to HP 3PAR and StoreVirtual arrays, and a StoreEasy 5000 system with two-node high availability that scales to 400 TB. The 3000 and 5000 are expected by early 2012, Terry said.

Pricing for the StoreEasy 1000 starts at $5,192 for 8 TB.

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