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Looking closely at HP's object storage: Questions Answered

Object of desire, or just access method?

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Q+A Looking closely at HP's StoreServ and StoreAll announcements at HP Discover we wondered if the object storage was simply an object access method layered on the base StoreAll file system. It isn't, being a real object deal as the Q and A session below shows.

We talked to Patrick Osborne, the Director of Product Management in HP's Storage Division, and asked him a set of questions to learn more about HP's new object storage capability.

El Reg: Is StoreAll object storage an object access method (StoreAll REST API) layered on top of StoreAll file storage?

Patrick Osborne: The StoreAll REST API is an object access layer that provides the ability to ingest and retrieve objects in 2 modes, file-compatibility mode and bucket/GUID mode.

El Reg: There isn't an object storage technology being used in StoreAll. Instead objects are stored in the file system as files or as parts of files.

Patrick Osborne: The StoreAll REST API in bucket/key mode is object storage technology. This allows a user to define an account, create buckets and “PUT” objects into buckets. After an object “PUT”, the web method returns a key or “GUID”, which is a unique identifier. This type of account/bucket/key technology is specific to object storage and allows applications to avoid optimizing hierarchical filesystem taxonomies.

El Reg: Does the StoreAll REST API enable object search to use the Express Query facility?

Patrick Osborne: The StoreAll REST API provides the ability to do many data services. In addition to using it for data ingest and retrieval for the Object API, it allows for the out-of-band query of the Express Query database, setting data retention properties and custom metadata tagging.

El Reg: I believe that the current StoreAll O/S is v6.1 and the REST API is coming in v6.3, two point releases away. When is v6.3 due please?

Patrick Osborne: The announcement today covered StoreAll v6.2 and v6.3. The v6.3 will be available at the end of February 2013 and includes some enhancements to the object API and Express Query performance improvements.

El Reg: Will the StoreAll REST API be extended to StoreServ so that the 3PAR systems can be used for object storage as well as block, and now file, storage?

Patrick Osborne: The convergence of block, object and file on HP’s primary storage architecture is a key requirement that we see for our customers. The StoreAll 9300 Gateway is available with all 3PAR models and will be able to provide object storage capabilities with [the] release of StoreAll v6.3.

El Reg: Will it be extended also to the XP (OEM'd Hitachi storage) and LeftHand P4000 storage systems?

Patrick Osborne: The current StoreAll technology is focused today on the StoreAll 9730, 9320, 9300 and 3PAR platforms. Future support for additional HP platforms is in the product lifecycle planning phase. ®

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