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Hurricane Meg unleashes storm of HPE storage updates

StoreServ’s on-premises storage array assault

After its SPC-2 benchmark-beating all-flash 3PAR array result, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has unleashed a storage hurricane of news announcements, with a VMAX and XIV assault and 3D NAND SSDs included, as it goes all out to expand its 3PAR on-premises array territory.

It is saying a StoreServ 20850 delivers 13 per cent better performance at half the price of EMC’s VMAX 400K. And, get this, it is offering a 3PAR array as a VMAX accelerator for Oracle databases. An all-flash StoreServ is located by the VMAX and, using Oracle ASM Preferred Reads, the Oracle database gets an up to a 75 per cent improvement in response times at less than half the cost of a VMAX upgrade.

Of course, once a 3PAR beach-head has been made into an Oracle VMAX account, HPE hopes the StoreServ can turn the VMAX into VMIN and shrink its role right out of the door.

Not content with this, HPE has also announced an extension of its 3PAR Online Import software to include XIV. Any new StoreServ array purchase includes a free 1-year license of this software which can import data from an XIV array, using the 3PAR array’s Thin Express ASIC to shrink imported volumes by avoiding zeroed-out data and deduplicating the rest.

The software also supports EMC VMAX, VNX, CLARiiON CX4, and Hitachi Data Systems Network Storage Controller (NSC), Universal Storage Platform (USC), and Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays. Will it be extended to NetApp’s ONTAP arrays? Seems logical.

The cost of all-flash storage on 3PAR arrays goes down 15 per cent or, compared to a 480GB SSD, so with 400GB 3D NAND SSDs supported. These effectively layer existing 2D or planar NAND chips one atop the other to increase storage density in the same chip footprint. There are 32-layer 3D flash chips available from Samsung.


HPE StoreServ 20000 bezel detail

Kaminario is using 3D NAND TLC chips (3bits/cell) and so is Dell with Samsung’s PM1633 SSDs.

HPE is now offering a StoreServ 8200 Converged File and Block Starter Kit and reference architectures. The 8000 is HPE’s entry-level StoreServ and the 8200 is a hybrid flash and disk product. It already has an 8200 all-flash starter kit starting at $19,000.

The new starter kit includes an 8200 Controller node pair with 4 x 16Gbit/s FC ports and 4 x 10GbitE ports, 8 x 600GB 10K 2.5-inch disk drives and 12 x 2TB 7.2K 3.5-inch disk drives. The software includes the 3PAR OS Suite, Replication Suite, and 16TB usable File Persona Suite.

The associated reference architecture covers:

  • VDI and SharePoint
  • SAP HANA Tailored Data center Integration (TDI) configurations where block access is required for node-based analytics and file access is required for scale-out clusters
  • Video surveillance from Genetec and Milestone, where block data can be housed on flash then moved to files on spinning disk for cost reduction

Data tiering is included with HPE Storage Optimiser, “which allows ageing data to be moved to lower-cost media over time for net savings”.

As far as HPE is concerned, the 3PAR StoreServ is the best on-premises mid-level and large enterprise array available. It wants to spread its use far and wide, with high SPC-2- benchmark validated performance, wide-ranging reference architectures, data-sucking import software to attack other vendor’s arrays, and low-cost starter kits. Using HPE’s flashy kit, HPE CEO Meg Whitman is opening up an on-premises array marketing war. ®


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