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HP tackles data deduplication, EVA clusters, virtual desktop storage at HP TechForum 2010

Dave Raffo, Senior News Director

LAS VEGAS – On Monday, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. launched data deduplication software that it intends to use on primary as well as backup storage, a clustered EVA midrange Fibre Channel SAN (FC SAN)

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and an iSCSI SAN built on its BladeSystem platform for virtual desktops.

HP StoreOnce, EVA Cluster and P48000 BladeSystem were among products HP rolled out during the opening day of HP TechForum 2010. HP executives focused mostly on the deduplication application. Dave Donatelli, HP's executive vice president of enterprise servers, storage and networking, called StoreOnce "the most significant storage announcement we've made in at least five years."

Data deduplication everywhere … but not yet

StoreOnce is inline deduplication that is now available on the new HP D2D4312 backup appliance, and will replace the deduplication HP has sold on its smaller D2D disk backup devices for the past two years. StoreOnce has some code from the previous dedupe product, HP execs said, but will be able to scale to support primary data on application servers and HP's X9000 scale-out NAS over the next year. They also said StoreOnce will run on HP Data Protector backup software within a year.

"This architecture is going to expand, said Dave Roberson, senior vice president of HP's StorageWorks Division. "We're starting out in backup and over the next year we'll be able to introduce end-to-end deduplication. Nobody else is doing this."

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HP execs said other vendors' data deduplication offerings are point products, pointing to EMC Corp.'s use of Data Domain for target deduplication and Avamar software for client dedupe. However, CommVault Systems Inc. is planning to have client and target dedupe in its next version of Simpana due this year, perhaps beating HP to the punch. Other storage vendors are also likely to have primary data deduplication later this year or early in 2011, some through OEM deals with deduplication developers such as Ocarina Networks and Permabit Technology Corp.

HP will continue to sell post-process deduplication from its OEM partner Sepaton Inc. on its Virtual Library System (VLS) virtual tape library product, although higher capacity D2D boxes down the road may replace the need for VLS.

The D2D4312, which starts at 18 TB and can expand to 48 TB of raw capacity, has a starting price of $94,999 and comes bundled with StoreOnce. The new dedupe software can be installed on all but the smallest configurations of older D2D appliances.

HP clusters EVAs

HP's new EVA midrange system will be integrated with the StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform (SVSP) that HP sells through an OEM deal with LSI Corp. SVSP allows clustering of two to six EVA arrays into one storage pool up to 2 PB, and also supports storage arrays from EMC, IBM and NetApp. EVA Clusters use HP's CommandView software to manage the heterogeneous systems.

HP is also introducing thin provisioning to the EVA, but the EVA hardware hasn't changed with this release.

HP's high-end enterprise XP storage platform also supports virtualized storage, thanks to controllers from an OEM deal with Hitachi Data Systems. Tom Joyce, vice president, HP marketing, said there will be overlap between the largest EVAs and the XP systems, but that the target customers are different. XP is frequently used in mainframe environments, while the EVA is an open systems storage array.

Pricing for the EVA Cluster starts at $63,600 for a starter kit that allows clustering of two arrays.

P4800: LeftHand iSCSI technology for virtual desktop infrastructures

The P4800 BladeSystem SAN uses SAN/iQ iSCSI software that HP acquired from LeftHand Networks in 2008. HP re-christened its LeftHand platform the P4000 family earlier this year. HP's other LeftHand-based systems run on ProLiant servers. The BladeSystem used for the P4800 is part of the vendor's common networking architecture running across servers and storage.

The P4800 scales to 63 TB of capacity with four storage blades connected to 140 disk drives. Because the system is integrated into a BladeSystem enclosure, the P4800 does not require external storage switches and cabling.

The P4800 is tuned for virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) based on VMware View and Microsoft Hyper-V with Citrix XenDesktop. Joyce said the P4800 is designed to alleviate boot storms and log-on events that can occur with large VDI implementations. He added that HP plans other versions of the P4000 family built on BladeSystems geared for specific applications besides server virtualization.

Pricing for the P48000 BladeSystem SAN starts at $270,000.

EVA Cluster and the P4800 will be available in July.