• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

HP StorageWorks NAS b2000

May 13, 20033 mins
Data CenterSAN

* The Reviewmeister checks out NAS boxes based on the Windows operating system

Everybody’s storage needs are going through the roof, and a network-attached storage appliance is quick and easy way to add storage capacity to the network. The Reviewmeister checked out a bunch of NAS boxes, and this week let’s talk about appliances based on the Windows operating system.

First up, HP’s StorageWorks NAS b2000. This baby uses a ProLiant DL380 server platform, which builds on HP’s experience as a server manufacturer. Take, for example, HP’s RapidLaunch utility. It provided prompt-driven installation that resulted in quick deployment and management access to the box.

RapidLaunch requires no Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server access to set up the NAS. It discovered all network-attached elements and assigned an appropriate IP address to the NAS. Our only complaint was that the default administrative username and password were nowhere to be found on “Quick Start Guide” documentation, an annoyance that HP promised to fix in its next release note.

HP’s device is a self-contained storage unit with SCSI connectivity for expansion cabinets that can accommodate up to 27 terabytes.

Hardware redundancy is solid, with the HP appliance featuring hot-swappable disks, N+1 power supplies, multiple redundant fans, and dual, load-balancing Ethernet network interface cards. HP also features hot spare memory and memory mirroring.

The version we tested had two Intel Xeon 2.8-GHz processors and 1G byte of RAM. HP’s StorageWorks registered an average of 7.67M bit/sec throughput when we ran our file server client emulations against it and an impressive average of 76.38M bit/sec with Web server requests.

Additionally, HP’s resilience to off-the-shelf denial-of-service attacks was impressive. The product proved impervious to our attacks despite multiple attempts.

HP’s well-known server utilities made managing their offering a smooth experience. One example was called Survey Utility. This provided a lengthy, well-organized log of all administrative changes – hardware and software – performed on the NAS.

HP’s most notable software feature is StorageWorks’ NAS Data Copy software, which lets data be replicated over an IP network to a redundant StorageWorks box. If a link or system fails, users request failover to the redundant NAS, and fail back when the primary is restored.

HP’s Integrated Lights Out (ILO) is a feature of the underlying ProLiant DL380 server platform. Embedding the ILO software on a dedicated processor, complete with its own Web server, allows browser-based terminal emulation of the StorageWorks console in the event of connectivity loss or system malfunction.

An HP StorageWorks NAS b2000 with one processor, 1G byte of RAM, two, 36G-byte drives for internal storage use, and three 146G-byte drives for client storage use is priced at $8,000. For the full report, go to