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HP storage steps to the middle

Hewlett-Packard says its new StorageWorks products are aimed at the midrange market--where the growth is--but they can handle enterprise-level demands.

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday formally introduced storage gear aimed at the midrange market that it said was also capable of handling enterprise-level demands.

HP unveiled its StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array 3000 and added new software support for its Array family of storage systems. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company also increased the capacity of its StorageWorks msI6000 tape libraries with StorageWorks Ultrium 460 tape drives.

The company announced the new midrange storage systems earlier this month.

The new products will allow midrange customers to build a storage infrastructure that can be adapted as business grows and information technology demands evolve, HP said.

Other storage makers, such as IBM and Sun Microsystems, are taking a similar tack, angling for a segment that's enjoying stronger growth than the overall storage market. EMC's Clariion line of storage systems--which is also resold by Dell Computer--is the leader in the segment.

IBM is also set on Tuesday to start shipping its FastT 600, a speedier, low-end version of its midrange product line. Big Blue announced the product last week.

HP said its EVA 3000 more efficiently harnesses storage techniques, including a "snapshot" function designed to save disk space and improve efficiency. Another function allows the system to immediately use copies of data.

The system scales up to 56 disk drives, or 8.2 terabytes, HP said.

HP added that the management capabilities of the system could lower costs by reducing the time required to manage data. The simplified and powerful virtual-management capability of the eva3000 provides further cost savings by greatly reducing the time required to manage data, the company said.