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HP lays out sketches of storage roadmap

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It expects unified (block and file), commodity-based storage to exceed proprietary enterprise storage shipments in 2012.

SAN virtualisation software

HP OEMs heterogeneous SAN management software, called the SAN Virtualisation Services Platform (SVSP) from LSI, who obtained the technology when it bought StorAge in 2006. This software can HP virtualise EVA and MSA arrays, plus certain EMC, IBM and Sun arrays into a common block storage pool. The XP can't be part of that pool, though. Also the XP, courtesy of HDS, virtualises third-party arrays connected to it as well. HP indicated that it is using the SVSP to compete with IBM's SAN Volume Controller. Since the SVC is a combined hardware and software platform with well-over 10,000 installations, HP has a mountain to climb.

Also the SVSP is a box sitting in front of the arrays with no performance-enhancing caching functionality. It could be that HP has a hardware platform refresh coming for the SVSP.

LeftHand Networks SAN software

HP also discussed its LeftHand Storage product, which is software running in Intel servers which virtualises a server's storage into a SAN. This scales linearly up to 30 nodes. The software can run as a VMware virtual machine in VSA (Virtual SAN Appliance) form. The scaling with LeftHand is to add more nodes and scale-out, whereas traditional storage scales-up, adding more performance inside the box.

HP also has its Ibrix scale-out NAS product which is called the Fusion Filesystem.

The LeftHand software supports thin storage provisioning and this is said to work well with VMware thin provisioning. We might expect it to be ported to the Hyper-V and XEN hypervisors in the next few months.

HP sees Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) becoming more and more influential. It will introduce its own branded FCoE CNA (Converged Network Adapter) within months.

HP also confirmed that an ESSN organisation will appear next year with its own leader. This was taken as a reference to Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networks, with David Donatelli, the recent recruit from EMC, running it.

Nothing was said about deduplication product futures or about the ExDS9100 extreme file storage product. Neither was anything said about the HP/Fusion-io flash cache-equipped ProLiant server demo recording slightly more than a million IOPS from its 2.5TB of Fusion-io flash storage. ®

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