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Compaq ships unit to push SAN take-up

Compaq has released a storage unit designed to let users recycle some of their old hardware while upgrading to a more flexible storage system.

The company has started shipping the StorageWorks Modular SAN Array 1000 (MSA1000) in an attempt to attract customers who want to move from a direct-attached storage (DAS) environment and build a storage area network (SAN).

With the new storage unit, users will be able to take disk drives that are directly attached to a Compaq ProLiant server and install them in the MSA1000.

The disk drives and the applications on them will be recognised by the MSA1000 on installation, which should save users time and money, said Roger Archibald, vice-president and general manager of Compaq's enterprise storage array division.

The MSA1000 is the first product from Compaq to use the company's drive-swapping technology. The company has embarked on a programme to convert users from DAS to SAN and plans to release further products to encourage this.

Compaq added the drive-swapping capability to make the move from DAS to SAN as simple as possible, according to one analyst.

In a DAS model, a storage unit and server are connected point-to-point through a cable, while SAN architecture adds in a switching network to connect multiple servers and storage.

Moving from DAS to a SAN, therefore, tends to give users more flexibility in managing their data. This means users can, for example, expand the amount of storage available to a particular server without shutting key systems down.

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