Hewlett-Packard has boosted its enterprise storage range, with new software for information capture, archiving and protection.

The StorageWorks Continuous Information Capture software employs continuous data protection (CDP) technology, which backs up enterprise data whenever changes are made so that in the case of a file corruption, the most recent, clean copy of a file can be recovered.

"This is our first step with this new technology, but we see plenty of opportunity for it to be embedded into backup, replication, data migration and archival products in the future," said Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of ILM and storage software, for HP's StorageWorks Division.

While on the radar for some businesses, CDP is still seen as an emerging technology by many.

"We're looking at CDP, but that's an industry that's still fairly new and progressive. CDP still has a little bit of a ways to go before it's ready for prime time," said Fred Leakeas, technical services manager, for Intermountain Gas, a privately owned natural gas utility in Idaho.

The software is set to ship in the second half of the year, starting at $31,200 in the US.

HP also rolled out new archiving software, called StorageWorks Reference Information Manager for Files, which allows the capture of files on Windows desktops or file servers. It will be available in the third quarter of the year.

HP, which already offers archiving software for email and databases, said that in May it will ship a new version of its database archiving tool, which is based on technology it acquired from OuterBay Technologies. The next version of the software, which is used to relocate infrequently used data to an archive database where it is still accessible, will enable automatic migration and conversion of tables within an operational database into open XML format.

HP's line of archiving applications are designed to connect to its StorageWorks RISS (Reference Information Storage System). With a new version of RISS set to ship in June, HP is adding new technology called block-level single instancing, which it says will decrease storage demands by enabling incremental changes in files to be saved instead of the whole file.

"What is typically done today in traditional single instancing is that if multiple people are trying to save the same file, that file is only saved once. Block-level single instancing goes down to a finer grain. If I send you a PowerPoint file, and you change only the title, traditional systems save the whole file as a new object. Block-level single instancing only saves the differences between the original and the changes you made," Harbist said.

HP says it will also double the capacity of RISS to 1.4 TB.

Also new is HP's StorageWorks Application Recovery Manager, which allows users to recover Microsoft Exchange and SQL application databases in the event of disaster. It will be available in July, with pricing starting at $15,800 for a mid-range deployment and $29,600 for an enterprise implementation.

In the third quarter HP will ship version 6.0 of its OpenView Storage Data Protector software for automating backup and recovery from disk or tape with new features to reduce backup time. Pricing for small and medium size business (SMB) configurations starts at $4,598; mid-range configurations starts at $108,307, and enterprise configurations starts at $1,025,766.

Intermountain Gas has been using OpenView Storage Data Protector for several years. "We use it to tie together our core infrastructure for dozens of different locations: data centres, field offices, regional offices, service offices and energy production offices. We control everything from a central console, all backups and recovery," said Leakeas. He noted that one of the major features of the product is its ability to work with SAN virtualization.

HP will also roll out a new in-band appliance, the StorageWorks 200 Virtualization System, designed to help users manage storage arrays from multiple vendors through a single system. It will be available in June.