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HP Vows Server, Storage Marriage

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Mar 15, 2005


HP is looking to unify its connections between server and storage devices with standardized technologies, the company said. The company has partnered with Broadcom and Seagate to outfit its server and storage families with Serial Attached SCSI and RAID6.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said it is trying to differentiate itself from competitors like IBM, EMC, and Sun by unifying Smart Array serial controllers, storage enclosure (MSA), and HP ProLiant servers, with Hot-Plug Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and SATA hard drives.

Currently, a typical server environment requires separate connection products for networking, storage, interconnects and infrastructure management.

Recently, companies like HP are moving to a combination of SAS and SATA architectures to give them have a clear path for future networks. HP last month said it was integrating its storage management software with server technologies.

HP is adding its Advanced Data Guarding technology to the mix with industry-standard RAID6 technologies and is calling its version a "unified fabric." The company's strategy is to join multivendor networking, storage, and clustering over a single connection device.

Paul Perez, vice president in charge of storage, networking and infrastructure for ProLiant servers at HP, said the shift was very consistent with HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy.

"A survey we did with the storage consortiums is that customers told us they wanted to be transitioned only once," Perez told internetnews.com. "In the case of multifunction SAS to manage networking, iSCSI, and clusters, we are patching that into a single card, a single fabric."

HP said it worked with partners such as Broadcom and Seagate to standardize the connection and storage technologies so they could be incorporated into heterogeneous data centers.

"New standards like SAS and unified fabrics are a direct result of HP's strategy — inventing technology and then collaborating with other companies to make industry standards that move the entire IT infrastructure on a curve that is faster, better, and cheaper than before," Perez said.

HP's first multifunction networking adapters — the HP NC370F and the NC370T for PCI-X bus architectures — are expected to be available by the end of June. The 12-month plan includes transitioning its upcoming HP BladeSystem, Integrity, ProLiant and StorageWorks products.

"We'll be fully embedded with SAS next spring," Perez said.

HP said its universal drive approach helps standardize on universal small form factor drives for SAS and SATA.

With the technology in place, HP said customers can mix both SAS and SATA drives in the same serial backplane. And because the drives can be removed and inserted into another SAS backplane enclosure, HP said the migration takes minutes, not hours.

Perez said HP would also update its product lines with Remote Direct Memory Access technology when Microsoft is ready to ship its next generation of server and storage software that takes advantage of the specification.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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