HP Invited Lab To Shoot Its Hardware

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The high-tech ballistics center managed by National Technical Systems (NTS) in Camden, AR, pulled off the kind of test that system administrators worldwide dream about: taking a rifle and putting a bullet into a piece of hardware.

Hewlett-Packard wanted to torture test the StorageWorks XP12000 Disk Array. So they did what techies everywhere have wanted to do at times to the hardware under their care, and pumped a round of .308 ammunition into one of those refridgerator-sized boxes, HP said in a statement.

“This is the first request we’ve ever received to shoot a storage system-and a fish tank,” says David Mann, general manager, NTS, Camden Operations. To pass the bulletproof test, HP said the XP12000 had to continue streaming video while a bullet passed through the disk array and shattered a fish tank behind it.

They recorded video of the shooting too, and a brief documentary of the project test; they are in Windows Media Format.

Apparently, engineers at HP who designed the XP12000 said an entire side of the array could be wiped out, and a product marketing manager named Scott Edwards took them at their word. The test was arranged, with NTS putting aside its usual weapon and explosive testing to handle HP’s request.

The bullet, a M80 ball round in .308 caliber, hit the array at 2,900 feet per second. The array passed the test. HP cited in a whitepaper five reasons why the XP12000 was able to continue functioning after suffering “multiple catastrophic failures induced” by the bullet.

HP also noted that the array was returned to “full redundant functionality using standard repair procedures” after the shooting.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

HP Invited Lab To Shoot Its Hardware
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