HP may replace 3PAR hardware
Rumour mill grinds out another one
Updated El Reg is hearing that HP will replace its flagship 3PAR T- and F-Class storage arrays with new, more powerful hardware next quarter.
HP 3PAR T-Class array
The current 3PAR arrays use X86 processors plus 3PAR's third-generation ASIC hardware to speed up array operations and increase the array's responsiveness and utilisation.
We understand that the new hardware will involve dual ASIC controllers plus support for SAS drives. The current InServe operating system will be used. There is a view that 3PAR's software is stronger than its hardware, and this refresh will remedy that imbalance.
This hardware refresh will enable the new 3PAR arrays to compete at higher levels within the enterprise and may take sales currently satisfied with entry-level P9000/XP arrays sourced from Hitachi.
Our understanding is the the new arrays won't impinge on P6000/EVA sales.
There will be an announcement in the fourth quarter of this year with products shipped in 2012.
Tom Joyce, HP Storage VP for marketing strategy and operations, said: "We do have an aggressive roadmap for 3PAR. We have executed against it very effectively since closing the acquisition and completing the integration. We have delivered a lot of new capabilities already this year. At this point in time I cannot comment on the information that you received, but I would like to make it clear that we do not have any plans to eliminate the F series or the T series." ®
Matt, over 90% of 3PAR customers thin provision everything, with the average customer presenting over 2.5TB to their server estate for every 1TB of disk in the array. We have customers who are still in their first 3PAR array but would be in their 3rd or 4th EMC array based on how they operated prior to 3PAR. Using thin provisioning, thin conversion and thin persistence HP will often guarantee that you will need an array 50% of the size of your existing array if you move to 3PAR. Can you not see a business benefit in having half the amount of storage bought and spinning? Yeah, there is a performance consideration in terms of number of spindles but with wide striping and multiple active controllers, 3PAR is the fastest performing array of its' class. Don't get bogged down in other manufacturer's clumsy and intricate implementations of thin provisioning which dilute the benefits and make it more effort than it is worth - 3PAR was built on thin provisioning and you genuinely would be a fool to have a 3PAR array and not be using it! Business benefits in terms of the absolute ease of management, zero reclaim (never even written, not even reclaimed) giving VMWare functionality and performance improvements, wide striping maximising performance, multiple controllers with persistent cache meaning you don't go into write through mode if you lose a controller, etc, etc. There is a reason why 3PAR were winning huge huge deals with massive names that as a tiny little company they probably had no right to win!!
RE: BUT ...
OK, I come from an engineering background, so I too like the idea of tailor-made tech. But I work for a business that says "Fudge the tech, if cheap'n'cheerful does the job for less than buy that". Businesses have business requirements, not requirements for fancy tech. If the "brute-force" generic CPU solution allows a product to be developed faster, at less cost to the end user, do you really think CIOs care how many levels of software need to be on top? If it works and does the job, all they will look at is the bottomline cost. Just look back a few years and see how surprised EMC were when NatApp filers started replacing EMC arrays in a lot of businesses, because a cheap'n'cheerful NAS actually started to offer many Windows users more for less than a traditional SAN array. I get that you think the 3PAR is great tech, I'm not arguing that point, but great tech is often not a winning selling point (think classic argument of VHS vs Betamax). Instead of telling me how great the thin-provisioning tech is, try telling me what business advantage it gives me (which will be hard as I think thin-provisioning is largely a waste of time, TBH, and far down the list of features I want in a storage device).
Nothing will be obsolete
Did you ask? Did he deny it? Chances are he will know for definite no more than the rumours and speculation floating around on this site. If you ask for a session under NDA, I am sure you will get it then you can stop speculating about what is or isn't included, when it will arrive and whether it is worth waiting for.