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3PAR goes all-flash, shaves hefty wodge off price tag

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HP has announced an all-flash version of its 3PAR P10000 single tier storage array delivering the same performance at 70 per cent less cost.

This configuration can have up to 512 solid-state drives, of unrevealed capacity, and should deliver the same IOPS performance as the P10000 V800 model with some 1,900 300GB 15K hard disk drives. The disk-based P10000 achieved $6.59 per IOPS, so the all-SSD one should do $1.98/IOPS. HP says its cost-per-kilowatt-hour is more than 80 per cent less than the V800's as well.

That level of SPC-1 performance by an all-solid-state storage array is overshadowed by today's news from Kaminario of a 1.2 million-plus SPC-1 IOPS rating by its K2 all-DRAM array.

Since the P10000 has 1,920 bays available for drive bays the restriction to 512 SSDS must be due to some other consideration than bay availability. One would think that, were the array's internal network or fabric able to take advantage of them, the P10000 could have many more than 512 SSDs. We've asked HP but it's not immediately able to respond.

For example, the P10000 system used in the SPC-1 benchmark run cost $2,965,892. An all-SSD P10000 which went faster than that and cost significantly less might be thought likely to cannibalise existing high-end P10000 revenues. Perhaps there is a technical limitation we are unaware of.

The ProLiant Gen 8 server's SmartCache feature will be ready soon. This caches hot data in a flash cache on the server to accelerate applications, up to six times for transaction-based workloads. HP will link 3PAR arrays and ProLiant Gen 8 server's SmartCache such that hot data will be transferred (copied) in real time from the 3PAR array to the flash SmartCache on the gen 8 ProLIant.

SVP David Scott, general manager of HP's storage division, said: “The ability to intelligently automate data mobility between HP ProLiant servers and HP 3PAR systems within array tiers fully actualizes SSD performance and efficiency so clients can focus more time growing the business instead of managing the back office.”

The all-SSD P10000 is available now. No dates were revealed for ProLiant SmartCache availability, though we think "soon" means within two months, or for the 3PAR-SmartCache linkage. Maybe that will be ready in time for HP Discover in Frankfurt in December. Perhaps HP will even deliver storage array-server cache linkage before HDS, EMC, Dell and IBM. ®

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