Compaq firms up low-end storage line

Compaq Computer Corp. began shipping a new storage product on Jan. 14 that brings some of the company’s higher-end data protection tools down to a less expensive piece of hardware.

The Smart Array Cluster Storage system was designed to give users features such as backup 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 US$6,500 for the cabinet. Users can add up to 14 drives in the cabinet, pushing their storage capacity close to 1TB. Compaq, however, expects most users to start with six 36GB drives, the redundant fans and power supplies and a Smart Array controller for less than US$10,000. 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 US$20,000 for most users, Gayman said.

Compaq, in Houston, can be reached at