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HP StorageWorks X1600 G2 12TB review

HP’s latest StorageWorks appliances aim to take the strain out of network storage provisioning and management for SMBs. In this exclusive review Dave Mitchell puts the X1600 G2 on his lab bench and sees if it’s as easy to use as HP claims.

Price
£6,085

HP's new StorageWorks X1000 G2 appliances are designed to provide a unified storage solution for SMBs with simplified management and provisioning as top priorities. With Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 (WSS2008) at the helm they provide standard NAS shares and IP SAN services. HP has also added more than a few of its own touches to make them even easier to use.

ITPRO Value award

In this exclusive review we look at the StorageWorks X1600 G2 which is a 2U rack appliance with twelve hot-swap drive bays. Our review model had six 2TB SATA drives included in the price and HP hasn't wasted any of their raw capacity as the OS is looked after by a mirrored pair of 146GB SAS SFF hot-swap drives lurking at the rear.

All storage is handled by a Smart Array P212 PCI Express controller with 512MB of cache memory and battery backup. Expansion is impressive - along with the six spare bays you can add HP's external disk arrays which can provide up to 288TB of extra capacity.

We found initial installation simple enough as the first time the appliance is fired up it runs a quick setup wizard. Further management is via the standard Windows Server Manager console where HP has added its Automated Storage Manager (ASM) snap-in which handles the majority of storage-related tasks.

Bringing your application servers into the fold requires the ASM agent installed on each one which also loads the volume shadow copy iSCSI provider to allow snapshots to be taken. To test this feature we used a Windows server running SQL Server 2008 R2.

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