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HP whips out blades for future

Post-modular array plots afoot

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Squaring up to the vendor vanguard

How does this compare to other storage vendors' strategies? Dell has the blade servers and an iSCSI storage platform base in the form of EqualLogic. It doesn't have any storage clustering or cloud storage technology, but it does have a good partnership with EMC that could include more products.

HDS has its hgh-end USP-V, which HP in the XP-OEM'd form still sees a long-term need for, and its mid-range AMS arrays. It has its virtualising controllers which could evolve to clustered bladed storage processors looking after AMS-type storage enclosures, Hitachi having recently introduced a set of server blade products. This would be separate from any Symmetrix V-Max kind of redesign of the USP-V product line.

IBM has the blade servers, a Scale Out File System, and the XIV technology, and could conceivably head towards a clustered, scale-out architecture as a follow-on from its mid-range arrays.

NetApp has its own clustering technology coming to the boil with ONTAP 8 but does not have server blade technology. An alliance with a server vendor could be revealing, and it already has a storage product supply deal with IBM. Perhaps IBM server blades could flow in the reverse direction?

It may be noteworthy that DataDirect Networks has recently introduced its own clustered node-based WOS (Web Optimised Scaler) products. Isilon also has its high-end clustered filers, the products that helped spawn HP's ExDS9100, and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to envisage this having the potential to be developed into a generally-applicable product set, ether by Isilon or by an acquisitive vendor looking to build a converged offering.

It's beginning to look as if the next major storage paradigm is the clustered, virtualised, scale-out architecture one, covering cloud, SMB and most enterprise requirements right up to high-end, monolithic arrays. That's HP's storage technology bet, and it reckons it has all of the pieces needed to replicate its bladed server success in the storage space.

This is its EVA and MSA follow-on strategy and it's got Veale charged up and evangelising and dropping Donatelli-knows-you-know hints. Point products (EMC)? Pah! You need a broad-based server-networks-and-storage systems company. You need HP. ®

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