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.

General performance is good and we tested this with a RAID5 share mapped to a dual Xeon X5560 Broadberry rack server running Windows Server 2008 R2. Copies of a 2.52GB video clip to and from the server returned fast read and write speeds of 103MB/sec and 86MB/sec.

The X1600 handled small files very well with our 17.4GB test sample of 10,500 file copied across to it at an average of 78MB/sec. General IP SAN performance is tops as well with Iometer reporting a raw read rate of 113MB/sec for a 50GB virtual volume.

Plenty of other storage features are included as you get the standard WSS2008 file screening, quotas and storage reporting. File level deduplication is provided by Microsoft's Single Instance Storage (SIS) and you can add HP's optional Data Protector Express backup software which is managed directly from the ASM interface.

The X1600 G2 12TB is good value as it costs around 500 less than the equivalent LaCie's 12big Rack Network which only has the standard WSS2008 R2 loaded and none of HP's extra trimmings. Furthermore, HP really does make light work of provisioning IP SAN storage for Exchange and SQL Server and the appliance is fast as well.

So what's our verdict?


The X1600 G2 is a good choice for SMBs that want a central repository for their application data that can easily be expanded on demand. We found migrating our SQL Server database to it a simple process and were able to provision extra storage in minutes with no disruption to services. The ASM snap-in makes light work of management whilst general IP SAN and network share performance is impressive. Compared to other standard Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 powered appliances it’s very good value as well.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 2.26GHz Intel Xeon E5520 Memory: 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 Storage: 2 x 146GB 6Gbps SAS SFF (OS); 6 x 2TB HP LFF SATA (data storage – max 12) RAID: HP Smart Array P212 with 512MB cache and BBU Array support: RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6, 50, 60 Expansion: 1 x PCI Express slot Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Power: 2 x 750W hot-plug supplies Remote Management: HP iLO2 with 10/100 Software: Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 64-bit, HP ASM preinstalled Options: HP Data Protector Express Single Server, (approx.) £350 ex VAT

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.