HP is preparing to launch a new MSA2000 disk array product family for clustered servers, which it is targeting at SME deployments and remote offices.

The array uses either 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives and supports four Windows or eight Linux nodes.

The MSA2000 (modular smart array) comes in two products:

- MSA2060s with 12 x 3.5-inch dual-ported, hot plug SAS drives. Drive options are: 300GB 15K; 146GB 15K; and 72GB 15K.
- MSA2070s with 25 x 2.5-inch dual-port, hot plug SAS drives: 146GB 10K; 72GB 10K; 72GB 15K; 36GB 15K.

The 2070s would be able to handle more IOPS (I/Os per second) than the 2060s.

The enclosures are two standard rack units high, have four 3GB SAS ports, and the maximum capacity is 3.6TB (3.5-inch) or 3.65TB (2.5-inch).

There is battery-backed cache, which can operate for up to 96 hours, and also cache mirroring.

The products use an MSA2000s SAS Controller. A single controller is standard with the option to have a dual active/active setup. Supported RAID levels are: RAID 0; 1; 1+0; 5; and 6. There are hot swap and redundant power supplies and fans.

These new arrays attach to HP ProLiant and Integrity servers with a 4-node multi-path cluster configuration (dual controllers). There can be a lower availability 4-node single path cluster with one controller. A single path cluster could support 8 nodes with a dual controller. Both Windows (2003) and Linux (Red Hat, SuSE) host operating systems are supported with Windows supporting 4 nodes and Linux 8.

The MSA2000 products support up to 512 LUNs (logical unit numbers) with LUN size limits imposed by the operating systems.

Snapshot functionality will be added in a future release as will expansion capability.

HP is positioning the MSA2000 line underneath the MSA1000, 1510i and 1500cs storage area network (SAN) arrays whose prices start from around $6,995 (about £4,000 at ordinary conversion rates). The new products will effectively replace the MSA500G2 with its SCSI drives, which starts from around $4,499 (£2,500). The MSA2000 has prices starting from under $5,000 (£2,500).