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HP cans EVA clustering

From birth to death in six months

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HP killed EVA clustering sales at the end of 2010, meaning that scale-out virtualised storage capacity across EVA arrays and thin provisioning are no longer available. 3PAR products fill the gap.

LSI Corporation is closing its Storage Virtualisation Manager (SVM) product line down. HP EVA clustering, launched a little over six months ago in June 2010, is based on SVM.

LSI acquired SVM by buying its developer, Israel-based StoreAge, in 2006 for $55m. HP OEMs this software as its SVSP (Storage Virtualisation Services Platform), which virtualised connected EVA arrays' capacity into a single virtual storage pool with thin provisioning, mirroring and other features. LSI-sourced Data Path Module (DPM) pairs were used to cluster EVA arrays using this software.

There was no other significant LSI customer for SVM.

An LSI spokesperson said: "The external storage market is rapidly changing and our business strategy is evolving to take advantage of the broader opportunities that are emerging as a result. With that in mind, we've made the decision to shift our investments in the StoreAge portfolio to other areas of our business and discontinue the SVM and DPM products."

We don't know which decision came first: the HP EVA clustering closure or LSI canning SVSP, and which was a consequence – if it was – of the other. It seems unlikely though, that HP would kill a product just six months after launching it.

If LSI did kill SVM first then HP EVA clustering had nowhere to go.

At the launch of EVA clustering, HP claimed: "Clients can consolidate up to 600 per cent more storage than a single EVA array, which reduces complexity, improves capacity utilisation and lowers management costs. By providing a virtual pool of storage and a common set of storage features, clients can increase storage utilisation up to 300 per cent and reduce management costs up to 50 per cent." These benefits for EVA customers have now gone away.

LSI has undergone a strategic change and has closed down its acquired StoreAge development centre in Nesher, Israel, according to a Globes report. Eli Shapiro, the centre's director and StoreAge founder, said: "LSI closed the centre because of strategic changes at the company."

LSI is apparently focusing on different product lines, such as 6Gbit/s SAS switches and solid state drives.

A picture that could be painted here is that LSI has abandoned SVM, thereby ripping the heart out of SVSP for HP and, in turn, putting EVA clustering in limbo, with no SVSP and DPM development possible unless HP bought the relevant intellectual property from LSI and developed it in-house. It is not doing that.

Craig Nunes, HP's director for storage marketing, said: "In November 2010 HP announced to customers that it will discontinue development of the HP StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform (SVSP). HP is committed to current SVSP clients and will continue ongoing support and services contracts for five years. Additionally, the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) Cluster and LSI SVM-to-HP StorageWorks SVSP Migration products are no longer available from 31 December, 2010."

Nunes said: "The EVA Cluster was a stand-alone product (not an EVA add-on) and its discontinuation has no bearing on future EVA investment and roadmap. The EVA Cluster previously filled a need in our portfolio for Fibre Channel clustered storage arrays that we now address with our newly-acquired 3PAR Utility Arrays."

Having to kill a product just six months after launching it must have hurt. We might imagine that HP people faced with the need to make this decision felt fury towards its cause, if it was forced upon them. Alternatively, how galling it must be to sign an OEM deal with HP only for it to turn to dust six months later. ®

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