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HP And Dell Quick To Benefit From Storage Acquisitions

It is noteworthy that both Hewlett-Packard and Dell, which each bought young, progressive storage companies last year, have taken their prized new IP and made it the centrepiece of their storage strategies only months after closing the deals.

We are not sure exactly what that says about the older storage products those well-established systems makers have been selling for years, but it does indicate the term “freshening up” was probably used by the buyers at some point in deciding to do both transactions.

Midrange Cross-Pollination

HP announced this week that it is cross-pollinating software and services from the $2.35 billion (£1.43bn) 3PAR acquisition into its older array systems. On the other hand, Dell – which paid a mere $940 million (£572m) for Compellent – is so enthralled with what it got that it is rebranding its entire storage strategy after Compellent’s Liquid Storage identifier.

At its first all-storage customer and partner conference in Orlando this week (Dell Storage Forum, which continues through June 11) that combined the former Compellent and EqualLogic events, Dell introduced some new systems and a refresh of its old standby, PowerVault.

New-product and other highlights of the Fluid Data Architecture line-up:

Demonstration of 16Gbps Fibre Channel infrastructure interoperability at the show. Dell demonstrated compatibility between a Dell Compellent Storage Centre SAN with a Brocade 6510 16Gb Fibre Channel switch and a Brocade 1860 16Gb Fabric Adapter. Dell said it will have 16Gbps Fibre Channel offerings available this fall.

Dell PowerVault MD3600f/MD3620f adds Fibre Channel to its menu choices. Key features: Eight 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports (four per controller); additional capacity can be added up to a maximum of 96 hard drives via the PowerVault MD1200 and/or MD1220 enclosures; users can mix 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch enclosures behind their base units for drive tiering; data protection options include snapshots, virtual disk copy and remote replication services.

Dell unveiled its first unified Dell EqualLogic platform. The EqualLogic FS7500 adds scalable network-attached storage (NAS) capability to the EqualLogic product line – making it a high-performance, scale-out unified storage for midsize deployments. The FS7500 uses the Dell Scalable File System, which incorporates features formerly found only at the high end – including snapshots, advanced caching, load balancing and multi-threading for fast I/O processing. Other features: N-way scalability with automated failover and a single namespace; scale-out CIFS and NFS support; scale a single share up to 510TB.

Dell EqualLogic software upgraded to v5.1. Key features: DCB Support is designed to improve quality of service with consistent and even traffic flow in a converged SAN/LAN networking fabric; enhanced load balancing capability provides the ability to automatically balance storage traffic between EqualLogic arrays; enhanced thin provisioning awareness with VMware vSphere 4.1 reduces recovery time and helps mitigate the risk of potential data loss.

The new products will become available later this summer.

HP’s Hot Word Is ‘Converged’

Hewlett-Packard is going in storage where many systems makers have trod before. The difference is that this is “The HP Way” of building and selling storage systems.

Literally, the company is going by the book, so to speak, by not necessarily innovating, but in acquiring the best IT it can get its hands on and setting a general course that will satisfy its myriad customers of all sizes, sectors and locations.

In this case, we are talking about so-called “converged” storage. Cisco Systems, Dell, IBM and a few others have been marketing these new-gen systems – in Cisco’s case, for more than two years – that put more and more functionality into 1U and 2U rack-mounted servers and storage arrays.

At its Discover conference this week in Las Vegas (which continues through June 10), HP introduced a long list of new data centre-related products and services, most of which are preceded by the term “converged”.

It is like the whole IT world is falling in upon itself, which is the actual definition of the word. What it really means is that IT hardware continues to get bigger (in terms of capability), faster and better, as it has for three generations – while also getting physically smaller, denser and less power-hungry at the same time.

A dichotomy? Certainly. But that is the story of IT in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. So what follows here is a listing of the major new storage products from HP. If you want a good look at Discover conference news about energy-efficient servers, virtualisation and cloud strategy, see stories written by eWEEK’s Jeff Burt.

Dell Raises 3PAR Offer To Silence HP

Dell has upped its offer for cloud storage vendor 3PAR by an extra £65 million, which has been accepted by the company’s board of directors