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10 cents a Meg ain't bad, but will SMEs bite?

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HP is pushing its Enterprise Virtual Array towards the SME market, with the launch of the eva3000. This low-end member of the family kicks off at half a terabyte for $52,000 and scales up to 8TB, though HP says that 4.5TB is a more realistic upper limit.

The company has also upgraded the data replication software on the new system's older sibling, the eva5000, to improve its disaster recovery capabilities. Ross Logan, HP's storage business director for UK and Ireland, expects the new replication software to be available on the eva3000 too by next quarter.

The eva3000 "fills a hole," according to Logan. He says that as storage needs grow, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) now need the kind of virtualised storage systems that were previously aimed at - and priced for - large enterprise users.

"The EVA family uses virtualisation to create storage pools behind the controller, along with powerflu replication technology," he says, adding that he sees companies such as HP and IBM making more and more use of virtualisation, which converts physical storage space into a pool of logical storage blocks.

"Customers are trying to reduce costs, cut complexzity and maximise their resources. To do that you need the ability to manage a heterogeneous storage environment from a central console at minimum cost, and the only way to do that is virtualisation."

Other HP announcements include the DAT-72 tape drive, based on DDS Generation 5, and second generation LTO Ultrium drives for its high-end tape libraries. ®

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