HP Announces All-SSD 3PAR P10000 Storage Arrays

By Pedro Hernandez

HP is betting big on solid-state drives (SSDs) for clouds and virtualized environments -- 512 SSDs per array, in fact.

The company Monday unveiled an all-SSD configuration on the 3PAR P10000 storage system. A follow-up of sorts to the LeftHand P4900 SSD, the high-end 3PAR P10000 SSD puts flash storage at the forefront to speed workloads and leverage the low-power and space-saving benefits of the platter-less storage technology.

According to HP, P10000's flash friendly underpinnings will help data centers save big on energy costs, precious real estate and storage management overhead. By the company's estimates, the system can slash energy costs by more than 80 percent. And since each all-flash P10000 can accommodate 512 SSDs, IT shops have room left over for other servers and IT infrastructure.

Another bonus: low-touch storage management. In this departure from "tiered" approaches to improving input-output (I/O) rates, the all-SSD version of the P10000 can run full tilt, eliminating the need to manually move data between tiers to optimize service levels.

Can't go all-SSD? Don't sweat it, says HP.

The 3PAR P10000 systems can be configured with a mix of SSDs and Fibre Channel (FC) drives. To make up for performance gap between disk and flash storage, customers can deploy the company's 3PAR Adaptive Optimization software, which provides automated storage tiering.

SSD Paves Array-to-Server Fast Lane

HP used the all-SSD P10000 reveal to preview HP Smart Cache for ProLiant Generation 8 servers. Like PCIe cards from Fusion-io, Intel and EMC, HP's add-on board is intended to boost I/Os and reduce latency by placing frequently accessed data on fast flash chips in close proximity to a server's processor.

HP's take on server flash caching employs Smart Analytics technology. The software provides "workload-aware intelligence" that automatically identifies hot data and places it on the card's flash storage. The combo should yield up to a 6x improvement in transactional workload performance and a 50 percent boost in video streaming, according to HP.

Smart Cache-enabled ProLiant Gen8 systems get an added benefit when paired with 3PAR Storage. When linked, collaborative-caching technology automatically copies data from 3PAR arrays directly to Smart Cache cards for faster performance.

It's another example of HP's strategy of leveraging SSD for low-maintenance storage infrastructures, said David Scott, senior vice president and general manager for HP's Storage Division. "The ability to intelligently automate data mobility between HP ProLiant servers and HP 3PAR systems within array tiers fully actualizes SSD performance and efficiency so clients can focus more time growing the business instead of managing the back office," he said in a statement.

HP's all-SSD 3PAR P10000 is available today. Prices start at $350,000.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on July 30, 2012