Compaq firms up low-end storage line

PC and server manufacturer Compaq has begun shipping a new storage product that brings high-end data protection tools to...

PC and server manufacturer Compaq has begun shipping a new storage product that brings high-end data protection tools to comparatively inexpensive systems.

The Smart Array Cluster Storage system is designed to give users features such as back-up fans and redundant power supplies in a low-end product that can complement the company's ProLiant servers.

Compaq has typically shipped such extras on more expensive storage systems but now hopes to tempt users with a system that costs less but offers data protection safeguards similar to more costly systems, said Vince Gayman, vice-president of high availability and management at Compaq.

"What we have tried to do is bring high-level features and functions typically on our midrange down to an entry-level point," Gayman said.

The new storage product starts at $6,500 (£4,491) for the cabinet. Users can add up to 14 drives in the cabinet, pushing their storage capacity close to 1Tbyte. Compaq, however, expects most users to start with six 36Gbyte drives, the redundant fans and power supplies and a Smart Array controller for less than $10,000 (£6,910). The Smart Array Cluster Storage system is now shipping with worldwide availability, Gayman said.

Compaq claims large to midsize companies will use the new storage product in branch offices, for example, where users do not need as much capacity but do want to make sure they have adequate safeguards against disruptions.

Compaq is also offering the storage system as part of a precertified configuration with two DL380 ProLiant servers. This hardware combination will start close to $20,000 (£13,820) for most users, Gayman said.

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