HP has announced a new line of All-in-One (AiO) point-and-click style networked storage products built especially for the small and medium business market.

They use standard HP hardware, Microsoft's Storage Server 2003 and are pre-loaded with wizards and other software that HP hopes will remove the complexity sting from networked storage's tail.

HP claims that less than half of SMBs have adopted network storage, with operating complexity a large part of the reason why more haven't chosen it. Bob Schultz, senior vice president of HP's StorageWorks division, outlined why he thought the AiO products will be popular: "Developed from the ground up to address the specific problems SMBs face, the HP All-in-One Storage Systems deliver functionality without the complexity of competing offerings."

HP claims that, because of its Windows wizard-style approach, AiO shared storage for an Exchange mailstore can be set up with just 10 mouse clicks.

There are two products:

  • AiO400: up to 1TB of serial ATA (SATA) hot-plug drives and a single dual-core Pentium D CPU in a 1U rack unit
  • AiO600: up to 3TB of SATA capacity (or 876GB of serial-attached SCSI), dual core Xeon CPU in a 5U rack unit or tower enclosure.

Either can be used to provide block-level storage (iSCSI SAN) or file serving (NAS) for application servers and their users. Both have in-built RAID hardware (0/1/5/10), iSCSI target capability, and support CIFs and NFS protocols.

They include the wizard-style Storage Manager software, integrated Data Protector Express backup software and optional SCSI connector to a separately purchased tape drive. Backup can be to disk, virtual tape, tape or an optical disk. Built-in data protection takes regular snapshots of server data.

The systems are explicitly designed to work in Microsoft environments, particularly those using Exchange and SQL Server. As an example of the reduction of traditional SAN complexity, HP says that if more disk space is needed for Exchange application data the AiO system can be told how much is needed and then automatically reprovision Exchange. There is no need for staff to answer technical questions about LUNs, RAID level, stripe size or iSCSI.

HP's All-in-One Storage Systems are available now and will be sold primarily through the company's resellers. No pricing information was supplied.