HP has entered the IP SAN arena with a new array product. It has also launched a new backup product for small business that can target tape, disk or optical media.

Its MSA 1510i is a SAN with iSCSI Links. Disks inside ProLiant Smart Arrays can be loaded into the MSA 1510i. That's a neat idea. It comes as a 2U controller connecting to either SATA or SCSI drive arrays (enclosures). There can be up to four SCSI enclosures - 16.8TB using 56 x 300GB drives - or eight SATA enclosures - 24TB using 96 x 250GB drives.

You can have both types of enclosure, SATA and SCSI, behind a single controller. I'd expect serial-attached SCSI to feature soon.

Up to twenty accessing servers are supported.

So now HP is face to face with the divergence between iSCSI and FC SAN management applications. It will be interesting to see if it attempts to unify the two different SAN spheres.

It will also be interesting to see how EqualLogic, Intransa and Left Hand Networks respond to this. Likewise NetApp.

HP's Data Protector Express (DPE) runs on Windows, Netware and Linux with the same interface. It's simple to buy; a copy costs $779 with a year of support. There is no per-processor licensing or backup capacity-based charge. It's ambitious of HP to launch a new backup product. Has HP come up with something that EMC/Legato, Symantec/Veritas, CA, Dantz and myriad other suppliers have not?

Perhaps HP is OEM'ing the software?

All in all it looks like a powerful pair of products. No news of Microsoft DPM support though. That's curious.