HP Peer Motion Delivers Virtual Storage Mobility

By Sean Michael Kerner

Users of VMware's virtualization are usually familiar with vMotion which enables virtual machines to move from one physical machine to another. HP is taking the same basic concept and applying it to storage.

HP's Peer Motion technology is being expanded with new features to enable storage mobility and federation across devices.

"What Peer Motion gives is a way to totally, transparently and non-disruptively move data around your storage system within your data center or even a metro area," Craig Nunes, VP of Marketing at HP Storage told InternetNews.com. "Think of VMware vMotion as a storage system."

Nunes notes that Peer Motion is now being made available on HP's LeftHand storage devices. HP acquired LeftHand in 2008.

Nunes explained that Peer Motion is software that runs inside the LeftHand controller. The overall Peer Motion technology works within hardware families and as such Peer Motion for LeftHand works only within LeftHand models. HP is also enabling Peer Motion to work on their 3Par storage devices as well to work within that specific storage product family.

While Peer Motion only works across HP product families, the technology does not rely on specific applications or filesystems to be in place.

"Peer Motion occurs at a volume level and so there are no file system or application dependencies," Nunes said. "Part of the secret here is that the address of volume remains the same even though we're moving it across systems."

From an automated deployment perspective, the Peer Motion technology does not currently have a policy based capability for storage migration. Nunes said that the big use case for Peer Motion today is around handling unpredictable work loads

"So in response, it's a pretty simple click of a mouse to shift data," Nunes said. "But you could envision in the future some kind of policy mechanism based on performance or service, but that's not in place today."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

This article was originally published on August 30, 2011