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Hewlett-Packard’s engineers keep cranking out data storage product after product for small to midsize businesses and larger companies with small remote offices.

On Feb. 26, the Palo Alto, Calif., computer/server maker introduced a modestly priced (under $3,000) disk-based backup and recovery system that automates backup to provide data protection for as many as four servers in a single, self-managing device.

The HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System, which has a browser-based interface, provides up to 1.5 terabytes of usable space and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, attaches onto most existing networks, and can be configured in a mere three steps, a company spokesperson said.

Backup data is stored online instead of on tape, where it can be restored in minutes instead of hours, the spokesperson said.

The D2D Backup System is HP’s fourth storage product rollout for SMBs since September.

In December, HP unveiled the entry-level direct-attached StorageWorks MSA60 and HP StorageWorks MSA70 arrays. In October, the company introduced a dedicated network storage “starter” kit, designed expressly for the midtier business market. And in September, it rolled out its StorageWorks AiO (All-in-One) system, which combines NAS (network-attached storage) and iSCSI connectivity.

Similar to the All-in-One system, the HP D2D Backup System features an iSCSI interface that plugs into a standard Ethernet network and a setup wizard that allows users with little or no storage experience to configure the device, the spokesperson said.

Consolidating backups onto a single disk-based system eliminates the need for multiple direct-attached backup devices and the associated management overhead. Browser-based management allows users to monitor their HP D2D at any time from anywhere on the network.

Data can be migrated, if desired, from the HP D2D to physical tape using the backup software. Because the HP D2D emulates HP LTO-2 tape drives or LTO-2-based 1/8 Ultrium autoloaders, the backup application treats it exactly as it would a physical tape device, effectively making a tape-to-tape copy.

SMBs Looking for Reliable Recovery, Availability

According to researcher IDC in Framingham, Mass., more than 50 percent of SMBs cited improved data availability and recovery as their No. 1 storage management problem. In addition, data protection and disaster recovery are the top SMB drivers for planned spending on additional storage capacity over the next year, IDC reported.

“With our limited IT resources, simplicity and reliability are paramount to keeping the Compass School’s infrastructure up and running,” said Sal Simili, volunteer systems administrator for Compass Public Charter School in Boise, Idaho.

“The HP D2D Backup System allows us to easily back up administrative data and student projects from all three of our servers simultaneously every day, and incremental backups are incredibly fast with a Gigabit Ethernet network,” Simili said.

The HP D2D Backup System is also available as a discounted bundle that includes the HP Data Protector Express Software Kit. The bundle provides users with data protection that supports fully automatic daily backup of four servers, the spokesperson said.

Pricing and Availability

The HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System is available now in two models: A 1TB version, StorageWorks D2D110, is available for $1,999; a 2TB version, the HP StorageWorks D2D120, is available for $2,999. Both models are available bundled with HP Data Protector Express Software licenses for four servers for an additional $1,000, which represents a 60 percent discount over the software purchased separately.

The HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System will be sold primarily through HP’s extensive network of more than 145,000 channel resellers worldwide, the spokesperson said.

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