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HP turns MDS into new small EVA array

Power-sipping system to target Cisco

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A source has revealed that HP will build a new small EVA array by combining MDS shelves with an XCS-running controller.

The MDS600 is "high-density, low-cost, external zoned direct attach storage for HP BladeSystem servers." The MSA is HP's low end Modular Storage Architecture drive array and the EVA (Enterprise Virtual Array) sits above that in HP's storage offering, running XCS software in its HSV controllers. The M6412 is an EVA storage enclosure and holds up to 12 drives, up to 1TB in capacity, connected to the single or dual controllers by Fibre Channel. A 70TB set up would need six of these enclosures.

The MSA range has an MDS600 enclosure which holds up to 70 drives in its 5U rack mount format. They connect via 3Gbit/s SAS to an HP SmartArray P700m controller. The drive choices are similar to the EVA with up to 1TB capacity drives. The controller can support up to six MDS600s, meaning a maximum capacity of 420TB.

The picture emerging is that HP will add a half rack format controller box to an MDS600 and have it running the XCS software on one or two controller blades. This would effectively turn the combination into an EVA personality array. A 70TB configuration would need just one enclosure, instead of six, with consequent reductions in cabling and power requirements.

There's no info available on what such an EVA box might be called. Maybe an EVA3400 will emerge?

A possible configuration would also have dual 10Gbit/s Ethernet pipes running up and down the rack, with ProCurve switches at the top of the rack. The rack could also hold BladeSystem servers.

It's thought that deployment of these type of EVA/blade server/ProCurve switch racks could cut costs compared to Cisco switched racks by up to 80 per cent. The racks could run in a fraction of the power needed by Cisco racks because of HP's smart power management and dynamic power capping.

HP wasn't immediately able to comment on this picture of its EVA development effort. ®

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