03 Dec 2012, Dan Worth , V3
FRANKFURT: HP has unveiled a raft of updates to its Converged Storage portfolio including a new series of HP StoreServ systems and analytics tools aimed at the mid-market.
Speaking in Germany at the firm's 2012 Discover event, Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of HP's enterprise group, said the updates were vital as storage requirements have changed dramatically among firms of all sizes in the last few years.
"Most major storage architectures sold today are quite old, they were designed some 15 to 20 years ago, and yet we've seen huge change; the rise of the internet and the evolution of the datacentre such as datacentre as a service and software-defined datacentres," Donatelli said.
In response, HP has this week unveiled products designed to focus on three key areas of storage - primary storage, backup and analytics - with a specific focus on the mid-market, which Donatelli said the firm estimates as having a potential value of $11bn.
HP's new StoreAll product is designed to allow firms to store huge amounts of data for future analysis.
David Scott, general manager for HP storage, explained that as such it can handle up to 16 petabytes of data and has capabilities such as meta-data tagging to aid the analytical requirements of firms looking to take advantage of the huge growth in unstructured data.
It does this by utilising new data mining technology developed in HP Labs called Express Query.
"This is a noSQL database that allows you to offload extremely complex search-based algorithms that you need to find data to reduce the processing power that's required, and allow you to search instantly in the file and object based system," Scott explained.
"In the past if you were to query 500 million files using traditional search techniques, it would take 42 hours to answer the question ‘Which files changed in the last four hours?'. If it takes that long you can't keep data very fresh.
"This [Express Query] allows you to do the same calculation in 1.4 seconds - this is 100,000 times faster than traditional systems."
The firm also touted its capabilities to link this with its analytics tools served by Autonomy, through its IDOL platform.
"What's really exciting about this is we are finally pushing intelligence and analytics down to the storage layer and this gives us the ability to deliver rich insight at a scale no other company can do," said Brian Weiss, vice president of information governance at Autonomy.
Also at Discover, HP announced an update to the StoreServ 7000 portfolio, which is designed to offer the same capabilities of tier one infrastructure to the mid-tier market.
The portfolio includes two new products, the 7200 and 7400, which both offer a number of similar functions to its existing tier one 10000 StoreServ product.
Scott explained that these capabilities include cluster support and mission critical platform updates based on the same technology as its existing tier one offerings.
"Storage is becoming increasingly complex and fragmented, but this is the exact opposite of HP's vision which is one of simplicity by introducing a single architecture for primary storage retention and protection," he said.
Scott also touted the 7400's capabilities against rivals such as EMC, claiming it not only matched EMC's tier one product's services, such as three-site replication, but went further to offer capabilities such as performance for mixed IT workloads including virtualisation.
The StoreServ 7200 is on sale now from $20,000 while the 7400 will start from $32,000.
The firm also updated its StoreOnce offering, aimed at the mid-market to offer firms improved data protection and deduplication capabilities.
This new portfolio is formed of two new single node products, the 2000 Backup and the 4000 Backup, and includes support for HP's Catalyst software.
Pricing for the StoreOnce 2000 Backup system starts at $10,000, while the StoreOnce 4000 Backup system starts at $30,000, with both available now globally.
Furthermore, HP announced new capabilities for its existing 6000 product, including granular reporting to facilitate client billing, flexible permissions for management of data traffic and other information.
At the Frankfurt event, HP was keen to tout the innovation coming from its Labs and the importance of its acquisitions with firms like 3PAR in the storage market and Autonomy in the software market, as it seeks to shift the focus away from its ongoing turbulence.
This includes a series of poor financial quarters and allegations that the former Autonomy management had misrepresented the financial performance of the firm, overvaluing it to the tune of $5bn, forcing HP into a hefty write-down in late November.