Home Datacenter HP Storage is touting unified architectures for the future

HP Storage is touting unified architectures for the future

by Philip Sellers

Its all about unified approaches for HP Storage as they push forward into the future.  David Scott, senior vice president and general manager of HP Storage, has spent a lot of time during HP Discover talking about HP’s unified approach in storage architectures as opposed to competitor’s fragmented approaches.

In the StoreServe and StoreOnce product lines, HP has been working to create a full portfolio of product offerings based around a central technology – in the StoreServ’s case – the 3PAR ASIC,  in the StoreOnce, based around the HP Labs StoreOnce deduplication technology, and with the StoreVirtual with a pure software approach.  It has been working to deliver solutions of different shapes and sizes around these common architectures.  HP calls it Polymorphic Simplicity, or multiple solutions meeting different needs around a central architecture.


One of the key benefits of the common architectures approach is the ability to manage products with a common interface and management style, meaning less training and learning curve for administrators.  In the 3PAR StoreServ lines, administrators get the same GUI and command line interface, the same OS and feature sets across all levels of the product – spanning from entry-level to enterprise.  With its StoreOnce backup and recovery portfolio, HP has packed the same deduplication technology into its backup product and into its portfolio of disk to disk backup devices.  In addition, all of the devices run a common OS and have a common management interface. The other key in polymorphic simplicity is data portability between solutions – achieved through Peer Motion on the HP 3PAR arrays and through deduplicated replication on the StoreOnce.

HP’s New Product Announcements

In December, HP introduced the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 and 7400 at HP Discover in Frankfurt.  The 7200 and 7400 were meant to address customer situations “where value matters” and the existing 3PAR StoreServ 10000 class was meant for tier 1, mission-critical needs.  But, as Scott says, this left a gap in between “where performance matters.”  So, HP has introduced the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 – an all flash array to meet customer needs when performance is key.

The 7450 is capable of 554,000 IOPS (4K random reads) with .7 ms latency.  This is achieved through a specialized ASIC which takes into account flash characteristics.  The ASIC tunes IO and cache flushing specifically for flash. Thin provisioning and system-wide striping native to 3PAR help address flash wear issues to extend the life of the flash storage by saving writes that are unnecessary and by spreading necessary writes across all of the disks in the array.

In addition to the new hardware offering, HP also announced Priority Optimization being added to the 3PAR OS across the entire portfolio.  This feature will allow for guaranteed control of IOPS across a multi-tenant array.  IOPS can be allocated at the tenant and application level allowing for SLA-type guarantees or simply partitioning and isolation to occur within a single array.   The 3PAR line also received integration enhancements for Hyper-V and OpenStack Fiber Channel support.

HP also unwrapped the software-only StoreOnce VSA, marrying software defined storage with information protection.  The StoreOnce VSA allows customers to run the StoreOnce on virtual platform not exclusively dedicated to backup and recovery.  Like its dedicated hardware siblings, the StoreOnce VSA supports the StoreOnce Catalyst protocol and deduplicated replication across all of the product line. It is architected to be multi-tenant capable, allowing for backup and a service from service providers using the StoreOnce.  Some of the use cases include remote office and branch office deployments in the enterprise utilizing existing hardware and small-to-mid business who don’t want dedicated storage hardware but want to leverage standard servers with the StoreVirtual VSA and StoreOnce VSA for primary store and information protection.

Disclosure: HP sponsored my trip to HP Discover, covering all travel expenses, however HP does not control the content of the posts that I write based on my attendance to the show.  The thoughts, impressions and information contained in this post are my own. 

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