HP Unwraps the Flash-Friendly XP7 Enterprise Storage Array

By Pedro Hernandez

HP has unveiled the latest version of the company's high-end XP Disk Array, the XP7.

The new data storage system is slated to ship in May, with a starting price tag of $462,000. Enterprises ponying up nearly a half a million for storage get a highly-available, flash-friendly array that delivers up to 3x the performance of the XP7's predecessor, according to HP.

Just don't call it a Hitachi (HDS) system in disguise. While HP and HDS participate in a joint technology and OEM partnership, the XP7 has plenty of HP's DNA, argues HP Storage's Calvin Zito.

"One of my big pet peeves in when people say that we rebadge an HDS array," said Zito in a blog post. "That couldn't be further from the truth and I dare say that HP has made far more contributions to the XP platform over the years because of the technology agreement with Hitachi Ltd."

Designed for business-critical workloads, the HP XP7 delivers "six 9's" uptime (99.9999 percent), "less than 31.5 seconds of application downtime per year," boasted the company in a statement. In terms of performance, the XP7 can reach 3 million IOPS with sub-millisecond latencies.

Customers can pack up to 4.5 PB (3.9 PB useable) into a single XP7, which can be outfitted with XP Flash Modules, solid-state drives (SSDs) and traditional SAS hard disk drives (HDDs). The system supports up to 1 TB of cache and can address up to 247 PB of external storage.

A new multi-array virtualization technology, called XP7 Always On Disaster Recovery with Online Data Migration, keeps applications running during data migrations with negligible performance impact. Arguing that downtime is the top enemy of enterprise-class workloads, David Scott, senior vice president and general manager of HP Storage, said in a statement that HP is "supplying customers with a single system that is highly efficient, with features that can reduce the risk of data loss and provide nonstop data availability."

Network connectivity options include 16 and 8 Gb Fibre Channel (FC), 8 GB Fiber Connectivity (FICON) or 10 Gb Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). On the security front, XP7 supports Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 encryption.

HP also pointed out that at 3 million IOPs, one XP7 can outperform three EMC EMC Symmetrix VMAX 40K systems. Data centers mulling making the switch to HP can reclaim valuable real estate, asserted the company.

"Consolidating multiple EMC disk arrays onto a single HP XP7 Storage system reduces data center floor space requirements by a total of 130 square feet and storage-related costs by more than $100,000 per year," estimated HP.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on April 24, 2014