HP unveils all-Flash 3PAR system, StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance


David Scott, senior vice president and general manager, Storage Division, HP 

LAS VEGAS – HP has made some significant announcements in its Converged Storage portfolio at its HP Discover event here. The highlights were a solid-state optimized all-flash HP 3PAR StoreServe system, and a new HP StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) that delivers performance and low latency without compromising enterprise resiliency or adding datacenter complexity.

“We believe that HP is leading the transformation of storage,” said David Scott, senior vice president and general manager, Storage Division, HP, pointing to these two products in particular. “Today’s announcements concentrate on two disruptive areas — Flash optimized storage, and software-defined storage.”

Scott says that the Flash marketplace has persistently suffered from the lack of a single ideal solution, so customers had to compromise. On the one hand, the other large vendors in the storage space have pre-Flash architectures, which are too fast for their arrays, so they responded by acquiring and bolting on startups designed expressly for Flash, thus creating new siloes. On the other hand are the many startups in the space, purpose-built for the problem, and they solve it, but Scott said at the cost of lacking the feature functionality of the big vendors and being less robust.

Scott said the new 3PAR StoreServe 7450 changes all that, that it’s the first no-compromise Flash solution in the industry today.

“Only 3PAR has the modern architecture to handle the performance demands of Flash,  and the system resilience for constant application access,” he said.

Scott said while the StoreServe 7450 uses the same architecture as the other 3PAR offerings, the Flash significantly boosts its performance.

“When performance matters, this has a staggering 554,000 I/Os per second, with under .7 milliseconds latency, which is what high-performance architectures need today,” he added.

In addition, Scott noted that the 7450 reduces capacity requirements by up to 50% and extends Flash lifespan, is bulletproof because it eliminates downtime, and is future-proofed to move data seamlessly to enhance performance and cost with HP’s federated storage capability.

The StoreServe 7450 is a good fit for organizations that need speed to handle transaction processes in particular, said  Sean Kinney, Director, Product Marketing, HP Storage.

“All-Flash is important to handle those mission-critical apps, or to deal with things like large numbers of virtual desktops,” Kinney said. “Businesses don’t have to be huge to have transaction processes.”

Kinney also noted that all-Flash should have innate appeal, because of that huge increase in business performance.

“So much of IT is around cutting costs,” he said. “Flash gives the ability to accelerate business performance to get more done.”

Scott also announced new software and SAN infrastructure for the entire HP 3PAR StoreServe family, not just the new 7450.

These include priority optimization which allows the splitting of  a single storage array by tenants to help deliver controlled SLAs in datacenters, support for data at rest encryption, the enhancement of  Recovery Manager to Hyper-V for snapshot based integration and rapid recovery, OpenStack FC support, and a new storefront mobile management application to monitor 3PAR assets. Scott also announced a new HP StoreFabric 16-GB SAN infrastructure that eliminates bandwidth bottlenecks to maximize the performance of flash-based systems.

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Storage systems are available now starting at $USD 99,000.

The other major announcement was the new HP StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA), a pure software incarnation of an appliance that has been on the market since 2007. This new HP StoreOnce VSA joins software-defined networking, server and storage as part of the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio.

“In software-defined storage, the difference between us and everyone else is we have real products in the marketplace,” Scott said. “To marry software defined storage to information protection, we are  announcing another breakthrough in software defined storage, with the HP StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance.” Onstage, he then pulled off the cover to reveal an empty podium — adjacent to the one containing the StoreServe 7450 he had unveiled earlier.

The on-stage sight gag emphasized that this is HP’s first software-defined backup product. It deploys as a virtual machine on existing industry-standard servers, eliminating the need for customers to purchase dedicated hardware. It enables backup as a service offering for hosting providers and lowers costs for enterprise remote office protection.

“It is virtualized, consolidated for central control, federated like the rest of the family to move data across the enterprise, and multi-tenant capable to enable backup as a service for service providers,” Scott added.

Scott identified three clear use cases for the VSA: service providers, ROBOs of large enterprises; and SMBs that want a converged infrastructure in a box.

While the appeal to service providers and enterprises is obvious, Sean Kinney explained why this will have appeal to SMBs.

“If you can run VMware, you can run this, because it’s just another VM,” Kinney said.

Kinney also indicated that this will also appeal to small and mid-sized service providers.

“Small and medium sized service providers now have an economic model that supports backup as a service here,” he said. “They can run VSAs in their data centers and be able to seed the services to every one of their customers. It’s a big winner for them because it’s so easy to implement,  without the upfront costs.  And it’s also a home run for channel partners looking to add their own services to it.”

HP StoreOnce VSA will be available on July 22 at $USD 3,500 for 10 TB of capacity. It will initially be available for VMware, but it will be rolled out to other hypervisors, starting with Microsoft Hyper-V.

Less sexy, but still significant announcements were made of several other storage products.

The HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library is pitched as offering enterprise-class features for long-term data protection at a midrange price, and is aimed at the entry and midrange markets. It starts small and expands easily to provide industry-leading performance, scale and density—up to 60.4 TB/hour and 3.5 PB—in a single library.

“Tape is not dead,” Scott said. “It  continues to provide the lowest cost, longest durability storage out there.”

Scott also introduced the new HP Data Protector 8 backup and recovery software for the Cloud and Big Data. It features active bandwidth throttling capability, and a highly scalable, underlying database that has been re-architected to support one trillion unique filenames  – which Scott emphasized was 200 times more than IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. He also said support for virtual environments  has been enhanced, so you can now recover virtual machines without overwriting other virtual machines.

The HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library is available now at an entry price of $USD 30,000.  HP Data Protector 8 is available now for a starting price of $1,238.

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