Purchase of StorageApps Strengthens HP's Federal Offerings

With its purchase of StorageApps Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. is able to offer storage solutions that require a tenth of the effort to maintain, said HP officials.

"You will see a broader array of products that will enhance our storage portfolio" because of the purchase, said Milton Weatherhead, sales program manager for HP of Palo Alto, Calif.

Under the terms of the July 25 agreement, HP will acquire StorageApps, a 200-person company based in Bridgewater, N.J., for $350 million of HP common stock. The deal, like HP's recently introduced storage-on-demand service, exemplifies the company's increased focus on the storage market.

Weatherhead said StorageApps' technology plays well in HP's storage area management strategy, which is to offer an open-standard storage management solutions for maximum interoperability.

StorageApps has pioneered advances in the area of "virtual storage" that allows users to pool storage devices from different vendors, easily add capacity and readily move data among the devices independent of server operating systems or network infrastructure.

"Instead of hiring someone who knows how to use this disk drive and that drive, the underlying technologies reach every device," said Weatherhead.

This may be good news for government information technology departments. "The way the government procures data storage solutions, nobody has a heterogeneous environment today," Weatherhead said. Such an array of disparate systems may necessitate hiring expensive, hardware-specific expertise when they need to be expanded or connected.

HP estimated that maintaining today's storage technologies requires employing one person-per-five terabytes. With a heterogeneous approach, however, one person can manage 50 terabytes, Weatherhead said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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