Hewlett-Packard is to continue its push into the storage market with the release of a range of Network Attached Storage (NAS) products.
Last week the company released three new SureStore CD-ROM and DVD-ROM servers, for workgroups and departments of up to 200 users.
NAS is a cheaper method of data storage than SAN technology as it runs directly through a network. It is therefore simpler to install and is independent of the file server. However, due to bandwidth constraints, NAS is only practical for small groups of users.
HP is working with Axis Communications to produce the range.
The HP SureStore CD-ROM Server is an entry-level product providing multi-user access to between one and seven CD-ROMs. It will cost £1,775.
The SureStore CD-ROM Server Plus includes six CD drives and an 18Gb hard drive, allowing for up to 28 CD-ROMs of information to be stored and distributed to users. It costs £2,776.
The HP CD/DVD-ROM Server contains seven drives and can read both CD and DVD formats, providing a bridge to the greater capacity of DVD technology, and costs £2,256.
HP has also released an expansion unit which allows all three servers to increase their capacity by a further seven CDs.
The SureStore CD Expansion Tower costs £1,284.
All of these products are shipping now.
The move into NAS storage follows HP's announcement last month of a split from long-term partner EMC and a deal to provide SAN equipment through an OEM relationship with Hitachi.
Mitul Mehta, head of European IT at the Gartner Group, hailed HP's move as a step in the right direction. "HP now has a good focus after two years of dilly-dallying," he said. "It can dictate its relationship with Hitachi, and has put itself in a space for everyone to see it."
Andy Butler, research director at the Gartner Group, added: "This is very important to HP. But the jury is still out on whether it can create enough market awareness to succeed as a storage vendor in its own right."
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