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HP Speeds Data Flow in Storage Area Networks with New Switch TechnologyPALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 28, 2005
HP today announced new 4-gigabit (4Gb) Fibre Channel switch technology that offers twice the performance at comparable costs of current Fibre Channel offerings to help IT administrators eliminate bottlenecks in storage area networks (SANs).
Network slowdowns in data availability occur as server bandwidth is consumed by applications, especially if there are large amounts of data being shared from server to server. For example, the oil and gas, entertainment and scientific research industries must move streaming video, complex algorithms or other data-intensive files off storage systems onto servers, thus generating massive demand for high-performance SAN environments.
HP is offering new 4Gb products and services to provide customers a cost-effective storage infrastructure that can adapt to changing business needs and the growing demand for additional storage capacity.
New offerings include:
HP has already shipped more than 2 million switch ports and was first to market with 4Gb embedded switches for blade servers. As part of its technology roadmap, HP plans to incorporate 4Gb technology into HP StorageWorks arrays and tape systems starting in early 2006.
"HP is the only major vendor to offer a 4Gb embedded switch for blade servers and also offers customers 4Gb SAN infrastructure solutions built on a common system architecture," said Greg Schulz, senior analyst at the Evaluator Group, a Colorado-based consulting firm focused on storage-related issues. "By throwing its considerable weight behind 4Gb technology, HP is helping to accelerate the industry's move from 2Gb to 4Gb technology, which will allow customers to cut costs and double the performance of their existing SANs."
Backward compatible with existing 2Gb and 1Gb switches, the 4Gb technology helps increase application performance and shorten backup windows by doubling network bandwidth. Customers also can realize immediate benefits as a result of purchasing fewer ports and consuming less power.
"As the need to access the explosive volumes of data continues to grow, the entire industry will move to upgrade their SAN infrastructures to 4Gb technology, and HP is leading the charge," said Kyle Fitze, SAN marketing director, StorageWorks Division, HP. "HP is the only storage vendor offering this level of support for 4Gb technology, and we're very proud that once again we're leading the way to help our customers put their information to work."
New storage switches
The new HP StorageWorks 4/8 SAN Switch for entry-level and departmental SANs gives customers the ability to grow to a core-to-edge infrastructure and offers features that reduce operating costs by automating many installation and management tasks.
The switches offer pay-as-you-grow scalability up to 16 ports so customers can start small and expand their storage networks in a non-disruptive manner. They are also easy to deploy, manage and integrate into a wide range of IT environments.
For customers who want increased performance and functionality for SANs, HP offers the HP StorageWorks 4/16 SAN Switch. This switch offers high-performance connectivity and faster transfer for application performance improvement such as backups. The product's simplicity and ease of use helps increase productivity, and its Inter Switch Links lower the cost of management for customers.
The new HP StorageWorks 4/256 SAN Director delivers high-density connectivity while satisfying the most demanding availability and scalability requirements for enterprise-class SAN environments. With 256 ports of connectivity within a single domain, the 4/256 SAN Director provides double the number of ports than previous switches, offering flexible scalability for large core-to-edge SAN architectures. In addition, redundant, hot-swappable components offer no single point of failure.
Easier SAN management
The new HP StorageWorks Fabric Manager is a scalable, Java™-based application that manages multiple switches and fabrics in real time, providing the essential functions for efficiently configuring, monitoring, dynamically provisioning and managing SAN fabrics on a daily basis.
Fabric Manager provides intelligent scalable management of storage fabric resources that enables customers to reduce infrastructure costs and improve efficiency of SAN management. It also includes support for fabric security and new routing services.
The new HP StorageWorks 4/16 SAN Switch Power Pack and 4/256 SAN Director Power Pack provide SAN administrators with the necessary tools to monitor the health and performance of the network. The Power Packs also offer software features either pre-configured on the switch or as an upgrade, giving SAN administrators the ability to manage entire environments through a single pane of glass.
Additional features include:
HP also announced the industry's first 4Gb host bus adapters. The HP StorageWorks FC2142SR and the FC2242SR HBAs offer support for customers currently using HP ProLiant servers in Windows® or Linux environments that have PCI-Express I/O slots.
The new HBAs are the first 4Gb product to support this new I/O bus architecture and give customers the ability to use the higher performance I/O bus to connect to any HP StorageWorks array or tape library. Customers also benefit from increased speed of transactions between servers and the SAN.
More information about the new HP StorageWorks offerings is available at http://www.hp.com/go/storageworks.
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