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HP stumped up a swathe of storage management gear at SNW Europe this week, with the aim of making SM painless, if not exciting.

Leading the pack are HP's Data Protection Storage Servers, which are disk-to-disk appliances consisting of Microsoft's Data Protection Manager software preloaded onto a Proliant server. The devices provide near-continual backup and allow end users to recover data themselves, said Bob Schultz, senior veep and GM of HP's StorageWorks division.

The company also announced an agentless Electronic Vaulting Service, which remotely backs up a client's servers over the wire to an HP data centre, and a 40TB version of the 10TB virtual tape library that it released back in May. Called the 6840 Virtual Library System, the latter speeds backups by writing logical tape volumes to disk; these can then be staged to real tape later.

Other new software includes FMA, a File Migration Agent which runs on a Windows 2003 server to automatically move files between tiers of storage. For example, it could stage disused files to cheaper bulk storage, leaving behind just a pointer to the new location.

Schultz said the aim is to make data protection and archival storage simpler to manage. He acknowledged that FMA is a throwback to the days of mainframe Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM), but said it still has an important part to play in lowering the cost of storage.

"It's part of what you need to build an ILM infrastructure," he said. "ILM is a process, not a product - it's about using storage more efficiently and then managing it better."

Lastly, HP has done a deal to resell OuterBay's Application Data Management software, which can improve database performance by moving old data out of the database and into an archive. The HP version will be called RIM, for Reference Information Manager.

Alongside the new software were a number of enhancements to existing products. These include replication tools for Exchange 2003, rapid backup software for mySAP, and an archiving system specifically for medical sites. ®

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