By Drew Robb
HP made a number of storage announcements this week, including the integration of 3PAR’s utility storage systems with the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio, a new iSCSI SAN blade for the HP BladeSystem, and a new data deduplication platform based on HP’s internally-developed StoreOnce deduplication technology.
“3PAR has an extremely efficient architecture [for cloud computing] with thin provisioning, multi-tenancy and storage tiering,” says Lee Johns, director of product marketing for unified storage in HP’s StorageWorks division.
Johns says that HP’s users have been asking for utility storage for private cloud architectures. In response, HP integrated 3PAR storage systems with the HP BladeSystem Matrix and HP CloudSystem. BladeSystem includes storage, server and networking blades in a single enclosure, which reduces cabling and implementation requirements and costs. The Matrix part is an orchestration engine that aids in rolling out IT-as-a-service. And CloudSystem extends the Matrix into the cloud.
While no new products were introduced, HP announced that 3PAR systems have been tested and certified with these components of the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio.
Johns says that 3PAR arrays and software widen the scope of BladeSystem and CloudSystem.
“Users will be able to set up different classes of storage [solid-state disk, high performance disk, and SATA] and automatically provision data,” says Johns. “We’ve also done a lot of certification work on 3PAR for HP-UX to widen the options available for Unix customers.”
HP also qualified 3PAR systems with the HP X9300 Network Storage Gateway (which is based on Ibrix technology). Company officials claim combining 3PAR’s thin provisioning (or “thin storage”) functionality with the X9300 NAS gateway can reduce capacity requirements by up to 50%.
Johns claims that HP has trained about 10,000 people on 3PAR systems since the acquisition of the company last year, and has expanded the 3PAR channel by a factor of four.
iSCSI SAN blade
Also this week, HP introduced the P4800 G2 SAN, which is targeted primarily at virtual server and virtual desktop environments. The P4800, which is based on LeftHand iSCSI technology, is a blade that plugs into the HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure. The SAN blade connects to an HP MDS600 JBOD array.
“It’s the only SAN that fits inside a BladeSystem enclosure, and you can use the same slots to grow the SAN within the same environment,” says Johns.
The iSCSI-based P4800 SAN blade runs HP’s SAN/IQ 9.0 software, which includes enhanced support for VMware vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). Johns claims that this speeds cloning by up to 95% and reduces the load on VMware ESX servers by as much as 94%. Pricing for the P4800 G2 SAN blade starts at $148,000.
“The P4800 can scale up to eight nodes in a single BladeSystem enclosure, which leaves eight more slots for blade servers,” says Johns. “You can also split the SAN across multiple BladeSystem enclosures.”
HP also introduced the D2D4324 Backup System. Based on HP’s StoreOnce deduplication technology, the D2D4324’s 96TB raw capacity is twice that of the previous system, the D2D4312.
For this release, HP souped up the deduplication algorithms in several ways. For example, Johns says that it stores the index of deduplication files in both memory and disk, and lays out the data on disk better. Pricing starts at $149,999.
“The 4324 provides a 66% performance improvement over the 4312,” says Johns. “At 4TB per hour, it offers a performance advantage over the competition in this range.”
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering, and the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).
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