Feeds

With a few tweaks to 3PAR, HP might crash all-flash array party

StorFlashServery

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Blocks and Files Taking HP statements at face value, it would seem its flash array storage strategy is to extend its StorServe (3PAR InServ) disk-based storage arrays into the all-flash array world. This would mean taking on flash array start-ups like Pure Storage, SolidFire and Whiptail and facing down tech giant EMC - with its coming XtremIO product - and IBM, with its TMS RamSan line. Can this unique strategy work?

In October last year, HP said: "HP 3PAR is our strategic direction for solid state storage." At that time we commented "HP's strategy may involve extending the 3PAR array controller software to better manage a set of SSD resources." We now believe this to be pretty much a certainty.

The company already has an all-flash version of the 3PAR P10000 InServ array, which delivers P10000 model 800 performance in IOPS terms, based on using 1,900 300GB 15,000rpm disk drives, but using 512 solid state drives (SSDs) instead, and at 70 per cent less cost.

The 3PAR operating system is focused on storing block data on disk drives and does not contain facilities for storing data on SSDs unless the little beggars pretend to be disks. You can get much more performance, and endurance, from an all-flash array if you: a) treat blocks on flash as blocks on flash and not disk blocks and b) reduce the number of writes to delay the flash wear out point.

El Reg believes that HP is extending the StorServ OS to do this, to better use flash as a raw storage resource, also to be ready to use Memristor storage - which may be ready in 2014.

Recent statements by HP's storage head, David Scott, support this idea. In a TechTarget interview he said: "Today we have all-SSD solutions for StoreServ. In the future, we expect to seamlessly transition to all-flash and nonvolatile memory storage on 3PAR." The 3PAR ASIC uses a 16KB page or block size ands this means, Scott says, it's extensible to handling flash.

We're looking at a next-generation 3PAR ASIC that can handle solid state storage along with InServ OS extensions to do the same, with the aim of delivering comparable or better performance than start-up and/or stand-alone all-flash arrays. By having the StorServ OS extended to handle flash in its native state, the array uses will get all-flash array performance plus enterprise-class data protection and management facilities and, potentially, great connectivity to disk-based P10000 arrays for bulk data storage and data migration - with hot blocks sent to the all-flash product and cooler blocks (in data access rate terms) sent to the disk vault. HP's sub-LUN automated tiering could be used for this.

This is something that none of the stand-alone all-flash array products can do and is a beautiful strategy.

We expect HP to debut its flash-extended StorServ ASIC and OS some time this year. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?