Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/30/hp_b6200_x5000/

HP shows off filer and dedupe monsters in Vienna

Powerful combos of scale-out hardware and filer software

By Chris Mellor

Posted in Storage, 30th November 2011 11:29 GMT

HP used its Discover event in Vienna to both broaden and deepen its core storage portfolio, strengthening its file and deduplication offerings to compete better with EMC and NetApp.

The headlines are:

The company has significantly strengthened both its filer and deduplication offerings and is emphasising scale-out hardware capabilities to cover a wider range of customer needs.

B6200 enterprise deduplicating backup product

The big news is the promotion of StoreOnce to the enterprise big time from the mid-range area with the B6200 product. StoreOnce is an HP Labs-developed deduplication technology.

B6200

HP B6200- deduplicating array

The B6200, a virtual tape library or straight backup to disk target, has from 48TB to 768TB of raw capacity (32TB – 512TB usable), using 2TB SAS drives, which HP contrasts to the 384TB of EMC Data Domain's 890, and has a scale-out architecture supporting up to eight nodes. There is both Ethernet and Fibre Channel host connectivity.

It can deliver a claimed 20:1 deduplication ratio or even higher but, of course, your mileage may vary. HP says "this lowers storage capacity requirements by up to 95 per cent and delivers rapid data recovery". It says its effective storage capacity is up to 10PB.

It can back up data 3.5 times faster than Data Domain and restore data at a 28TB/hour rate, claimed to be three times faster than Data Domain.

EMC staffer Mark Twomey said: "HP's StoreOnce numbers are for an 8-node system with four dedupe pools versus the two node [Data Domain 890] GDA with one global dedupe pool." Let competition be joined.

B6200 features include PredictiveAcceleration that uses "intelligent container matching technologies to accelerate data analysis." A Rapid Restore feature provides "an optimised data layout that enables files to be restored at 100 per cent of backup throughput, up to six times faster than alternative," according to an Evaluator Group report.

It also has Adaptive Micro-Chunking with which "the industry’s most efficient deduplication engine ... dynamically adjusts the size of matched data blocks averaging 4 kilobytes."

The B6200 has an autonomic restart feature as part of its high availability functionality, with HP pointing out that other deduplication systems require a manual reboot if they fail, which can take longer, and requires more admin resource.

The high availability features include built-in hardware redundancy with dual path disk arrays, a dual path internal network, dual power supplies, and hardware-based RAID 6. There is also dual fabric support via bonded Ethernet connections and dual Fibre Channel ports per node.

It supports more remote sites than Data Domain's 890; its maximum remote site fan-in is 384. HP says the Data Domain GDA's maximum remote fan-in is 270, 40 per cent less.

We could ask where all this leaves Sepaton, whose S2100 product HP OEMs as its high-end deduplication product – and which has, according to the Taneja Group, the only database-optimised deduplication in the industry. It seems fairly clear that the B6200 and the direction of StoreOnce could threaten Sepaton's position in HP's portfolio. Storage supremo David Scott said little to disabuse us of this thought.

Deduping Data Protector

StoreOnce deduplication capabilities are now included with Data Protector, HP's backup product. We're told that it uses up to 90 per cent less server memory than competitors' deduping backup products because it uses StoreOnce technology to accelerate data analysis and reduce memory and disk I/O requirements. The backup performance can be up to 1.8TB/hour.

HP sees this version of Data Protector being installed in remote and branch offices, and departmental servers, even as a virtual machine, as a result, sending deduped backup data to a central dedupe repository such as the B6200.

HP is embracing the idea of federated deduplication, with StoreOnce being used on backup and application servers, inline appliances and scale-out storage systems, and data being transferred between these systems without being re-hydrated. Presently deduped data cannot be moved between the B6200 and Data Protector but the capability will be delivered by HP.

X5000 NAS

The X5000 G2 networked storage systems is powered by Windows Storage Server 2008, with HP saying this means it can be managed and backed up by the same tools as Windows-based application servers and secured with the same malware programmes and procedures.

It is a converged NAS for mid-sized companies, meaning it is an app server, HP says, as well as supporting NFS and CIFS protocols, and SMB 2.1. It is also converged in the the sense of Windows Storage Server providing iSCSI black access as well as file access.

The system has a clustered, dual-node, active-active architecture with quick-start deployment tools. It provides 32TB of capacity in a 3U enclosure and can expand to 100TB, supporting up 10,000 users. This startlingly high number is based on the use of 16 x 600GB, 15,000rpm LFF SAS disk drives configured as two storage pools, one pool assigned to each of the two X5000 G2 nodes. Each storage pool is configured as an eight-drive RAID 1 LUN. HP notes: "Not all clients may achieve these results".

HP says it has a Windows Server BranchCache feature which provides local versions of frequently-accessed files, reducing WAN traffic. Snapshot and replication features are included in the X5000.

The X5000 can need around 60 per cent less electricity and cooling than HP’s previous offering in this space, the X3820 2-Node Network Storage System.

Huge potential

In general what we are seeing here is the filling out of HP's storage product line with a much-improved filer offering, the X5000, slotting below the Ibrix products, alongside the P4000 iSCSI and 3PAR/P10000 Fibre Channel block access storage, and both in HP's converged infrastructure scheme.

It has a greatly-expanded deduplication range that now broadly matches EMC's Avamar and Data Domain offerings, and is destined to provide a single dedupe pool embracing backup and archive.

HP is starting to produce interesting and powerful combinations of its scale-out hardware and filer software, along with its deduplication technology. It's also pouring its server technology into the mix and such converged IT stacks are going to feature more and more in its product development. One HP staffer said HP stands for Huge Potential these days, and very glad of it he was too.

The B6200 is available now on with a US list price starting at $250,000 for a fully usable entry-level system. The next release of Data Protector will contain the StoreOnce deduplication capability. The HP X5000 G2 Network Storage System is shipping immediately with a US list price starting at $30,229. ®