Home Compute HP announces Hyper-Converged Systems based on StoreVirtual VSA

HP announces Hyper-Converged Systems based on StoreVirtual VSA

by Philip Sellers

HP unveiled the HP Converged System 200-HC StoreVirtual based on HP ProLiant SL2500 series of scalable computing servers and the HP StoreVirtual VSA today at VMworld in Barcelona.  The CS 200-HC StoreVirtual features VMware vSphere 5, the HP StoreVirtual VSA, and HP OneView for management.  The CS 200-HC StoreVirtual line comes in two different models – one with all SAS for higher capacity and one with a mix of SSD and SAS drives for better performance.

Four nodes of compute fit into just 2U of rack space, with shared redundant power for the unit.  From a physical size standpoint, these nodes fit somewhere between a Moonshot card and a BladeSystem blade in terms of sizing.  While they more closely resemble a blade, there is no shared interconnect back-plane.  Each node comes with dedicated 10Gb Ethernet and 1Gb Ethernet network ports and has 6 dedicated disks.

A new addition to the software mix for the Converged System 200-HC line is HP OneView InstantOn  – a streamlined deployment utility that lets customers spin up vSphere with StoreVirtual VSA in a matter of minutes.  According to HP, all that a customer needs to provide is IP addresses and basic license information in order to have a fully working system delivered directly from the factory.

CS 200-HC

A comparison of the hardware configuration shows just a few differences between the two initial StoreVirtual models:

CS 240-HC StoreVirtual System

  • 4 nodes, each with
  • 2 sockets, 8 cores each socket at 2.0Ghz
  • 128GB of RAM each node
  • 2 x 10GbE and 2 x 1GbE NICs per node
  • 6 x 1.2TB SAS SFF drives per node

CS 242-HC StoreVirtual System

  • 4 nodes, each with
  • 2 sockets, 10 cores each socket at 2.8GHz
  • 256GB of RAM each node
  • 2 x 10GbE and 2 x 1GbE NICs per node
  • 4 x 1.2TB SAS SFF drives per node
  • 2 x 400GB SSDs per node

In terms of scale, up to 8 of the CS 240-HC line units can be coupled together to form up to 32-node clusters and not all of those nodes need to be in a single site because of StoreVirtual’s native replication and multi-site capabilities.

StoreVirtual VSA features Autonomic Optimization, a fancy name for storage sub-lun tiering that the CS 242-HC StoreVirtual is using.  This allows for more often accessed blocks of data to be moved from SAS onto SSD and less used to be moved from SSD down to SAS yeilding greater performance from the storage subsystem.  StoreVirtual also provides a wide range of interoperability options for customers who have already invested in dedicated StoreVirtual 4000 hardware solutions or who have existing StoreVirtual VSA deployments.  In addition, native replication is available to any other StoreVirtual, regardless of form factor, and StoreVirtual offers support for vSphere Metro Storage Clusters, offering the ability to create multi-datacenter replication solutions around the technology.  Beyond native replication, HP StoreVirtual also includes Peer Motion capabilities to allow movement of data from one StoreVirtual environment to another for easy migration.

The advantage to moving to a Converged System solution, according to HP, is easier management and a better support experience for the solution.  The solution is tested and supported together as a package, offering customers a single point of contact for their support.  The firmware, drivers and software are all tested together and the will receive recipe updates so that known good combinations of the software can be run on the platform.

Choice is always at the forefront of HP’s strategy for customers and the hyper-converged system announcement is no different.  The HP Converged System 200-HC models are available in both a StoreVirtual VSA and EVO:RAIL configuration.  The primary difference between the two configuration is the virtual storage appliance, with the EVO:RAIL configuration coming with VMware’s vSAN, though I cannot find any specifics of the EVO:RAIL hardware configuration at this time.

When I was in Houston, TX, for a Converged Systems Tech Day last month, HP staff talked with me about the overall Converged System strategy and there were several key points to the overall strategy.  With all Converged Systems, there is an accelerated deployment timeline with the solution.  Since it has been tested and integrated, the product should deploy quickly so that customers realize faster time to value.  The second point is easy procurement, with a single SKU for the entire solution.  The single SKU also provides single solution support, with a specialized team that supports the entire solution rather than the individual components.  Customers who have built their own solutions from ProLiant and HP Storage have probably experienced the piece-meal support experience, even while in a single vendor. HP’s Converged Systems eliminates that problem by sending all support to a dedicated support team to team to troubleshoot problems and that team understands the entire solution, not just an individual component.

The new Converged System 200-HC StoreVirtual models will be available for purchase in December.  The Converged System 200-HC EVO:RAIL configuration will be available first quarter of 2015.

For more information, check out Around the Storage Block post and video on the CS 200-HC StoreVirtual solution and go to www.hp.com/go/hyper-converge.

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