The Buzz

HP Offers Heterogeneous Storage Consolidation with XP512

HP has been making big inroads in the storage market, since it introduced the XP256 disk array a little more than a year ago. Over the first year of the XP business, HP has shipped as many terabytes of storage as it did in the years of its relationship with EMC.

Now, HP has unveiled the SureStore eXP512, offering what it calls the latest in next-generation high-end storage and targeting Sun’s UNIX users by embracing Solaris, as well as HP-UX and Windows NT environments.

The XP512, and its forerunner, the XP256, offer users what Craig Nunes, Product Manager for the XP Storage Operation, calls "SAN in a can," or a virtual SAN. The disk arrays allow users to convert all storage devices to a few XPs in order to consolidate storage.

Nunes also says that, "Solaris is the next big growth area from a consolidation perspective – one-third of all the Sun environment goes non-Sun connect." That makes the XP512 appropriate for straight Solaris environments. Where HP sees its biggest opportunity, though, Nunes says, is in heterogeneous environments – the XP512 offers users the chance to consolidate on a single-storage platform.

The XP512 is a hefty array, with capacity for up to 512 disks, up to 928 hosts and up to 96 drive slots (a 50 percent increase over the XP256). That means users can attach hundreds or more servers to one device. It also offers 32 GB cache, double that of the XP256. For the XP512, HP has gone from a bus-based to a cross-bar architecture, duplicating what it’s done on the UNIX server side. And HP has converted from Fast/Wide SCSI to Fibre Channel on the back end. The new architecture results in blazing speed. HP claims that the XP512 is twice as fast as EMC’s Sym 8000 and IBM’s Shark for data warehousing, e-commerce and Web-based applications, and that it is twice as fast as the Sym 8000 and three times as fast as the Shark for SAP, OLTP and messaging solutions.

For Solaris environments, HP is offering VERITAS cluster support, zero downtime and automated disaster recovery. The disaster recovery solution is especially attractive – the XP512 will roll over to a remote XP in the event of total site outage.

The launch of the XP512 doesn’t mean the XP256 is being overlooked. HP has a roadmap for the XP256, which includes increasing the capacity from 11 TB to close to 18 TB, sometime in the fall. The XP256 also will boast new integrated performance management with OpenView Command View and new load-balancing features.

HP Releases HP-UX _Optimized for the Net

HP has rolled out HP-UX 11i. No surprise about the "i." HP wants to broadcast the Internet-readiness of this new release. HP-UX 11i features the Apache Web-serving software, the Nokia WAP server, LDAP-compliant enterprise directory servers, the e-speak runtime engine, e-service brokering libraries, Internet load balancing software from Resonate, Internet caching and content distribution software from Resonate and Inktomi, and InfoSeek’s Ultraseek search engine. It is scheduled to ship in September or October.

The inclusion of the e-speak runtime engine is designed to spur development of e-speak applications, says Rajiv Gupta, the creator of e-speak. In fact, development already seems to be taking off. According to Gupta, there are now more than 10,000 registered e-speak developers worldwide and the open source Web site has recorded more than 13,000 downloads of the code.

HP is touting HP-UX 11i as "the industry’s only operating system that supports applications developed on HP-UX, Windows and Linux." Linux and Windows application development compatibility has been strengthened with Linux Open Source GNU tools, Linux APIs, the ability to debug and deploy from the Webgain VisualCafe Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Java Virtual Machine (VM) optimization tools. HP claims that HP-UX 11i-based systems deliver SPECjvm98 of 91.1, compared to 34.4 from comparable Solaris-based systems. That allows for faster performance of Java applications and the ability to handle more users.

HP-UX11i features 100 percent binary compatibility with the most recent version of the OS, HP-UX 11.0, and with future PA-RISC and IA-64 platforms, as it can scale up to 256 CPUs.

HP also announced that it is offering optional intrusion detection software with HP-UX 11i, as well as the new HP ServiceControl Manager, which provides a single point of administration for multiple systems running HP-UX. Also included in HP-UX 11i is a stripped-down version of HP WebQoS.

HP also unveiled a new complete version of WebQoS – Version 2.2. The new release supports additional operating systems, offers vertical market capabilities and alleviates "denial of service" attacks.

Along with HP-UX 11i, HP unveiled a new Global Security Consulting Practice and new tailored e-solutions delivery services. The Global Security Consulting Practice will make use of HP’s Praesidum products, as well as solutions from partners to provide Risk Management Services, E-Security Strategy Services, E-Enabling Security Services and E-Security Infrastructure Services.

The tailored e-solutions delivery services, intended to help businesses get up and running as fast as possible, while offering them a single point of contact (HP), includes pre-integrated, pre-tested and pre-certified applications from HP and its strategic partners.