HP has unveiled a family of 3Par storage arrays aimed at helping customers transition to an all-flash data centre architecture, offering a storage cost of just $1.50 per usable gigabyte along with new capabilities to support speedier replication between data centres.
Announced to coincide with the firm's HP Discover event in Las Vegas, the updates to the 3Par portfolio include a new StoreServ 20000 family to replace the existing high-end 10000 family, plus new high capacity solid state drives and new capabilities in its 3Par Remote Copy tools.
The new HP 3Par StoreServ family initially comprises the StoreServ 20800 and StoreServ 20850 arrays. The first is designed as an all-flash system, while the second offers a more traditional mixture of flash and rotating media.
Both are intended to scale up to offer a large flash capacity. The 20800 is able to offer up to 15PB at a performance level of 2.5 million IOPS, while the 20850 scales up to 12PB.
"These are very large, very high-end systems, and with our new 3.84TB drive you can get enormous densities of flash at very high performance, and that's the bottom line here where we're moving to the next generation that enables people to think about all-flash data centres," said Clive Freeman, chief technologist for HP's Enterprise Group in the UK and Ireland.
The new 3.84TB SSD is key to delivering the performance and low cost per gigabyte in HP's new arrays, and Freeman told V3 that it had worked closely with several third-party firms to produce this, but declined to name names.
Part of the secret is that the drive firmware has been optimised to work with the capabilities of HP's 3Par platform. Specifically, the wear levelling features that are built into flash storage devices have been relaxed because the 3Par software already offers this support, so some of the storage capacity that is normally reserved for wear levelling can be used, Freeman said.
Thanks to this, HP is able to lower the cost of all-flash storage to $1.50 per usable gigabyte. While other vendors already quote a lower price point than this for all-flash storage, HP contends that in many cases this refers to the raw capacity and not the amount of storage available to the user.
However, the new StoreServ arrays also have an additional data validation feature, 3Par Persistent Checksum, which is implemented in the latest 3Par Gen5 Thin Express ASIC silicon.
This ensures end-to-end data integrity from the application server right through to the storage array for any workload while remaining completely transparent to the servers and applications, HP said.
The low latency of all-flash storage also enables enterprise customers to implement data synchronisation between data centres with a low recovery point objective time.
HP said it is helping customers with this with support for asynchronous streaming replication in its 3Par Remote Copy software and by providing customers with the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Services Switch in their data centres.
The combination enables high-speed asynchronous copying between data centres up to 130km apart, with in-flight encryption, Freeman said.
HP continues to target EMC customers with the new StoreServ 20000 family, claiming to offer an easy upgrade path via the HP 3Par Online Import tool introduced last year.
"Rather than looking at moving to XtremIO boxes, EMC users will find they can save significantly on space and power by moving to 3Par, and they can do that non-disruptively using online import," Freeman said.
In fact, reduced power consumption and greater density are advantages that all organisations will see from implementing an all-flash architecture, he added, which is why HP is encouraging customers down this road.
"If you're Facebook or Google, you're still going to need spinning disks for their sheer storage capacity, but if you're just looking at transactional data, I think all-flash is the way to go," Freeman said.
The HP 3Par StoreServ 20000 systems can be ordered worldwide now, but are set to ship in August. Meanwhile, the new 3.84TB SSD is available immediately, HP said.
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