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HP Introduces “Extreme” Storage for Online and Digital Media Businesses


HP today announced a highly scalable storage system designed to simplify the management of multiple petabytes(1) of data at an affordable cost, making it ideal for online and digital media businesses.

New business services offered by Web 2.0 and digital media firms – such as photo sharing, streaming media, video-on-demand and social networking – generate massive amounts of file-based data that needs to be stored, managed and retrieved in an instant. Large enterprises in sectors such as oil and gas, security and surveillance, and genetic research have similar demands.

The HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100) addresses these requirements by offering vast storage capacity and simplified, integrated management. No other file-based network-attached storage (NAS) system on the market today offers a single management interface while scaling to the multi-petabyte level.

For the first time, administrators can easily manage petabytes of storage instead of just terabytes. This reduces the number of administrators and the cost necessary to manage these highly demanding data storage environments.

The ExDS9100 is the first in a series of HP offerings for scale-out environments such as cloud computing, which is an emerging category where services are delivered via the Internet. With an architecture that cost-effectively manages these environments, the ExDS9100 enables customers to deliver new online services or enhance existing offerings to drive new revenue streams.

“Many companies are struggling with file-based growth – not only how to cope with the sheer growth, but also how to leverage their digital and static media to create additional revenue by delivering online services,” said Mark Peters, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “HP is aiming to address these dual market needs, which are much more than just petabyte scalability at an affordable price. Customers are looking for systems that combine scalability with simplified management, ease of use, and all-in-one application support. Put very simply, new business models require usability as much as storability.”

Unlike the architectures of competing systems, the ExDS9100 was designed by HP to provision performance and capacity independently, which leads to greater flexibility in matching capabilities to unique workloads. This helps ensure that critical business applications are always available despite changing environments, such as seasonal customer spikes for online photo sharing companies or increased demand for high-quality streaming video from media and file services providers.

“As business requirements rapidly change and digital media files grow at exponential rates, many enterprises need to manage growth in a way that helps them profit from their storage infrastructure. That’s where the ExDS9100 really delivers,” said Dave Roberson, senior vice president and general manager, StorageWorks, HP. “The ExDS9100 is the only complete hardware and software system that provides a flexible and affordable solution for customers with massive capacity needs.”

Expertise in highly scalable environments

HP is No. 1 in revenue of disk storage systems worldwide.(2) The ExDS9100 couples the company’s proven disk-storage technology and expertise in highly scalable NAS with its energy-efficient and affordable blade server technology. This combined storage and server market leadership advances the management, performance and overall availability of HP’s NAS offerings.

The HP ExDS9100 is a unified system consisting of three primary components:

* Performance block: The energy-efficient HP BladeSystem chassis with blade servers offers the performance needed to drive extreme capacity requirements. The base solution starts with four blades, each of which can deliver up to 200 megabytes (MB)/second of performance. This can easily scale up to a maximum configuration of 16 blades with up to 12.8 cores per unit for a 3.2 gigabyte (GB)/second performance level.
* Capacity block: The base configuration provides three high-availability “storage blocks” and 246 terabytes (TB) of capacity. The maximum configuration supports up to 10 storage blocks and 820 TB of capacity.
* Software: The system leverages HP file clustering software needed in demanding Web 2.0 and digital environments. To reduce system complexity and cost, applications are run directly on the server block, eliminating an unnecessary software tier. A single graphical management interface and wizards allow fewer administrators to manage more storage, more easily.

The HP ExDS9100 system is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2008. More information is available at


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