LAS VEGAS: HP has boosted its 3Par Storeserv range to offer an all-flash array with deduplication technology for the first time, as well as improvements to its OneView management platform.
The firm's 7450 all-flash storage array now includes the same dedupe technology that HP uses in its Storeonce backup arrays to allow federated dedupe, and brings the cost down to compete with hard disks. HP has also added a 99.9999 percent uptime guarantee.
"If you store a file over here and over there, the backup federated environment knows it's the same file, making a saving in terms of speed of backup," said Clive Freeman, UK&I chief technologist for HP's Enterprise Group.
"We haven't done deduping before, and we're doing it in the chips, whereas our competitors do it in the software, so there's no performance overheads. You get lower cost high-density flash drives. The 7450 is competitive with high-end spinning disks, it costs less than $2 per gigabyte making it the same price as spinning disks but with better performance as flash drives."
Freeman said the interest in flash storage is in part a reaction to the thirst for big data. "The flash stuff is almost about the opposite of the big data problem," he said.
"It's firms saying, I've got this big data and now I need to analyse it, now I need to get enough data close enough to the machines to be able to do that analysis on it. That maybe is what flash is about."
This shift has also driven HP to forge closer ties with SAP, spurred on by the 47,000 SAP customers HP has across the globe.
"We recently announced the all-memory SAP Hana environment where you can now get 12TB of memory in one of our converged systems dedicated to SAP HANA," Freeman said.
"That's reacting to the problem of ‘how do I analyse all that data'. SAP HANA is a brilliant technology for that. We've moved our converged system boxes to that."
However, this does not mean more traditional forms of storage are losing ground, according to Freeman.
"There's the really, really hot, high-speed storage which is effectively very close to the servers, and there's usually smaller volumes of that stuff, but the storage stretches from there down to cold archival storage like your old Facebook photos. That's the spectrum of storage," Freeman explained.
"We see activities all along this range, not just the high-end flash range but also at the cold end, that's what the Storeonce is more about. There's a huge amount of pre-IPO firms coming to market around flash storage, because it's a new thing. I saw a recent count of 25 pre-IPO firms all touting their all-flash arrays.
"It's great to see that kind of innovation in the market, but our customers want that integrated with all their other storage and that's what 3Par and HP gives you, they want integration from a stable long-term player."
Also on the storage front, HP has extended its Oneview management product so that it covers storage systems as well as servers. Networking support is planned for the future.
"Oneview is the front-end management interface for our converged system boxes," said Freeman.
"It's a single pane of glass for understanding and accessing and configuring and ongoing analysing servers and storage, and in due course the networking in converged system boxes.
"This could be either doing it yourself or through a third-party tool like VMware Operation Centre. It lets you be enormously more productive, can offer faster time to market for our customers and reduced management costs."
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