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HP fleshes out faster, flashier 3PAR storage gear

Software speedup and bigger 7450 drives

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HP Discover conference HP is opening its Discover Conference in Barcelona today with a revved-up deduping backup array; a faster-searching array; and a faster flash 3PAR array: a StoreOnce, StoreAll and StoreQuicker, if you like.

We’ll look at the 3PAR arrays first with a second article looking at the updated StoreAll and StoreOnce products.

StoreServ 3PAR

Changing up to Gen 8 ProLiant servers take some of the performance-boosting credit across HP’s storage range as faster controllers crunch through data access requests faster.

But that’s not how the StoreServ 3PAR 7450 all-flash array gets its speed boost. The software has been upgraded and can do 60 per cent more I/O operations a second; magic. The 7450 was rated at 550,00 IOPS with an average latency of less than 700 microseconds. Now it can do 900,000 IOPS. We understand these are random reads of 4K blocks.

Along with this, the accelerated beast gets a new generation of SSDs, 480GB and 960GB MLC drives, with a 50 per cent lower cost/TB and a decrease in access latency of about 25 per cent. The 7450 can now have up to 220TB of capacity, which is 2.3 times more than the original 96TB at launch six months ago.

V3.1.3 of the 3PAR operating system will be available this month. Adaptive Flash software will be added to the OS in a future release. The updated OS includes uprated quality of service (QoS) functionality with has tenant access regulated by IOPS and bandwidth. Now it features minimum target goals for IOPS, bandwidth and latency. This will be available across the entire 3PAR array range.

The 7450 pitch from HP is that its customers can have all the benefits of speeded up data access from a flash array without foregoing the data management features that come with 3PAR arrays, such as tiering from flash to disk. If customers buy a new supplier's all-flash array, a relatively stand-alone one, then they have a new box to manage and operate – one that does not fit into their existing data management environment and procedures.

If there is no pricing or data access speed advantage from a stand-alone all-flash array, but it nevertheless comes with data management disadvantages, then customers will find that an impediment to purchase. Dell is of the same mind.

HP mid-range progress

HP storage head David Scott says HP is rapidly increasing its market share in the IDC-defined mid-range array market, with 296 per cent year-on-year growth. In the first 2013 quarter, IDC ranked HP number 6 in the mid-range Fibre Channel market. That jumped up to the number 2 position in the second quarter. Scott thinks having an up-to quad controller configuration is part of the 3PAR appeal – versus competing dual controller arrays, such as EMC's VNX and NetApp's FAS range.

He said there had been a 3X increase in the number of new 3PAR customers year-on-year and expects this momentum to continue.

HP says (based on the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, Q2 2013):

  • FC SAN is the the largest and fastest growing mid-range protocol
    • 50.4 per cent of the total
    • 49 per cent year-on-year growth (YoY)
    • 1.3 per cent sequential growth
  • NAS is second largest
    • 31.2 per cent of the total
    • 1.4 per cent YoY growth
    • 7.0 per cent sequential growth
  • Worldwide dollar values are overall $2.84bn, FC SAN $1.43bn and NAS $0.89bn

HP says it is gaining market share in the mid-range FC SAN market with 48.6 per cent growth YoY and 4.7 percentage market share points gain. It also kindly points out that EMC was down 7.9 per cent and 3.4 points YoY. The dollar values are:

  • EMC number 1 $351m (24.5 per cent)
  • HP at number 3 with $230m (16.0 per cent)
  • NetApp is number 4 (no figures supplied)

We're guessing IBM is number 2.

An HP spokesperson said: “Looking at products in the midrange FC market, HP 3PAR is gaining massive market share with 296.2 per cent growth YoY and a 9.1 per cent gain [while] EMC VNX down 3.8 per cent and 1.7 points YoY.”

In this area, HP’s 3PAR arrays have overtaken NetApp, rising from sixth in the first quarter to to second position in the second quarter. EMC is numero uno with $272m revenue (19 per cent share), HP is second with $178m (12 .4 per cent) and NetApp third (no numbers supplied).

The latest IDC Storage Tracker, the third quarter one, rates suppliers on total disk storage revenue market share percentage, and has:

  • EMC at 23.7 per cent
  • HP at 17 per cent
  • IBM at 12.9 per cent
  • Dell at 11.4 per cent
  • NetApp at 10 per cent

We haven't got any more detailed breakdown but, maybe, HP’s mid-range FC array momentum is continuing.

The 7450 480GB and 920GB SSDs are available for purchase this month and 3PAR OS v3.1.2 MU3 or v3.1.3 is required for them. ®

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