HP today announced it has qualified its entry-level P2000 disk storage array with VMware's API for Array Integration, which will reduce some virtual server administration tasks time as much as 70% and reduce CPU utlization.

The HP P2000 G3 Modular Smart Array (MSA) is among the first entry-level storage arrays in the market to support (VAAI), HP said. It also supports HP Insight Control Storage Module Manager for VMware vCenter, enabling small and medium-size businesses to simplify storage management and increase performance.

Britt Terry, marketing manager for HP's StorageWorks Division, said the new VAAI-integration eliminates an arduous task performed by server admins: Namely, taking time to clear or zero out virtual machine disk-drive space to receive new data.

"Through VAAI [admins] issue us one command and the array then zero's out the whole data block. So there's no storage area network traffic or CPU utilization on the [VMware] ESX server," Terry said. "We can now cut the time performing that task by 60% to 70%. Without VAAI you might wait 400 seconds to it to happen, with VAAI, it takes about a minute."

HP's last upgrade to the P2000 series array was released earlier this year.

This latest upgrade is without cost and involves a firmware update for current owners of P2000 arrays.

PC backup service for channel partners

Hewlett-Packard today also announced it's extending its online PC backup service for midsized businesses and enterprises as a pre-packaged product for channel partners to sell.

HP said its PC Backup Services (PCBS), which was originally launched in 2003, is designed to ensure midsize businesses and large enterprises have access to data in the event of an outage, corrupted data or a lost or stolen PC, said Tim Bowers, product marketing manager for HP Storage Services.

"This is a fully managed service, but now it's prepackaged for channel partners," Bowers said.

The HP PCBS is currently only available to businesses in the U.S. The service is a usage-based utility sold by seat license and gigabytes stored. The services deduplication or single-instance storage feature produces up to a 4:1 data compression ratio, which helps reduce overall storage requirements.

Pricing begins at $5.95 per month per seat license for a 2GB data store.

Bowers said the PCBS prepackaged backup service provides HP channel partners with a simple solution with no investment requirements in product or infrastructure to deliver the service.

Key features of the HP PCBS include:

* Incremental backups, which store only data changes since the last backup;

* Self-service restore, which allows users to easily restore individual files or recreate an entire data set;

* Single instancing store, which eliminates duplicate copies of data;

* Data encryption.

"These channel partners are already selling HP products and they're looking to sell more value into their clients. This is one way they can do it," Bowers said.