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Hewlett-Packard unpacks SAN gear

The computing device maker introduces a Fibre Channel drive and other products that are intended to smooth out the kinks in storage area networks.

Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced a handful of storage products, including a new Fibre Channel drive that's meant for storage area networks.

The 250-gigabyte drive is intended for the company's StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array line of storage area network (SAN) gear. The device, which HP describes as Fibre Attached Technology Adapted, is designed to segment data between lower-cost-per-gigabyte drives and high-performance drives within a single storage system. It is intended to work with reference data such as archived e-mail and important data such as financial transactions.

HP worked on the device in conjunction with hard-drive maker Seagate Technology. The drive, which comes with a dual-port Fibre Channel interface, are due in July. Pricing was not disclosed.

The other new StorageWorks products include a 128-port SAN director switch and the IP Storage Router 2122-2, which supports the Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol and the iSCSI protocol, which enables SANs to be built using less-expensive Ethernet networks. Those products are available now.

SANs typically include a number of disk arrays connected to a switch, which links the storage system to server computers. They're considered fast systems, and they can hold a great deal of data, but they also can be expensive and result in cumbersome file sharing.

"HP is broadening the appeal of storage area networks by eliminating some of the barriers to entry," Bob Schultz, senior vice president of network storage solutions at HP, said in a statement. "For instance, the ability to offer tiered storage within a single storage system and enable simplified integration through support of industry standards lowers the price for SAN implementations, making them more attractive to a broader range of customers."