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HP is synonymous with a lot of things--printers, ink, laptops and computers. Yet it is also one of the giants of the storage world, where it offers a massive portfolio of products. In recent years, HP's range of offerings has been expanded by acquisitions of companies such as LeftHand Networks and 3PAR.
Let's take a look at the HP storage lineup.
HP 3PAR Utility Storage Family
HP 3PAR is positioned as a Tier-1 storage solution for virtual and cloud data centers. 3PAR gained much kudos for its cache-coherent, tightly-coupled and massively load-balanced clustered architecture. Added to a thin built-in ASIC, it copes well with mixed workloads and multiple tenants typically found in cloud computing environments.
"With HP 3PAR thin technologies, customers can expect efficient solutions with optimized capacity utilization," said Sean Kinney, director of product marketing, HP Storage. "The HP 3PAR Utility Storage family serves midrange to enterprise customers in a variety of vertical industries."
The 3PAR family includes the new HP P10000 3PAR Storage Systems, HP 3PAR F-Class Storage Systems and HP 3PAR T-Class Storage Systems.
It also consists of a series of software titles, the most significant of which are HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning Software, HP 3PAR Thin Conversion Software and HP 3PAR Thin Persistence Software. Additionally, HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization Software enables automated storage tiering.
HP recently augmented this product line with the introduction of a federated storage technology called HP Peer Motion. This helps to redistribute workloads transparently in response to an unpredictable environment and move data from retiring to new systems non-disruptively.
"HP 3PAR Storage Systems should be considered by customers who are adopting converged data center technologies and want to optimize their storage solutions within," said Kinney. "As they move away from traditional modular storage architectures, they should consider HP 3PAR solutions."
HP P4000 LeftHand Storage Systems
HP P4000 LeftHand Storage Systems are designed for a variety of virtual servers, client virtualization, database, email and business applications. Their core is the SAN/iQ storage software, which provides SAN management features, such as storage clustering, application integrated snapshots, thin provisioning, remote copy (asynchronous replication) and SmartClone Technology volumes. In addition, SAN/iQ includes a Network RAID capability, which protects against disk, controller, storage node, power, network or site failures while keeping data volumes accessible and applications online.
Kinney said that these LeftHand systems are best for virtualized environments or those with Microsoft applications.
"The P4000 is HP's lead-with product for virtualized, mid-market environments due to its integration with VMware and Microsoft as well as features that address the requirements of virtual server environments," said Kinney. "HP P4000 LeftHand Storage Solutions are also an ideal solution for environments requiring a solution that scales seamlessly and non-disruptively while providing an easy to use management interface that does not require storage expertise."
In late August, the company announced the latest P4000 software enhancements in its SAN/iQ 9.5 release. This included Application Managed Snapshots for ESX and Hyper-V, Peer Motion data mobility with Cluster Swap, Remote Copy performance improvements and HP Storage Replication Adaptor integration with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.
"P4000 customers can be up and running in under 20 minutes with its improved configuration wizards," said Kinney. "Management is easy thanks to its tight application integration with Microsoft and VMware and its centralized management for all P4000 nodes."
HP X9000 Network Storage Systems
The HP X9000 Network Storage Systems is HP's network attached storage (NAS) line. According to Kinney, HP X9000 Network Storage Systems scale-out beyond traditional NAS in terms of capacity and performance. He claims that its central management features allow administrators to manage multi-petabyte environments. The pay-as-you-grow architecture lets customers avoid storage over-provisioning and manage costs. With an all-inclusive feature set, there are no hidden or future costs of expensive add-ons.
The X9000 can be used for archiving, as a content depot, for digital asset management and Big Data. Data archiving features, for example, include file immutability, retention period at the file level, and data validation and verification.
The family consists of three items. The HP X9320 systems provides a smaller starting capacity, several capacity sizes, data tiering and support for 6Gb SAS. The HP X9300 gateway allows file services on top of block arrays and the HP X9720 for large capacity storage.
"Customers who have a smaller environment or are looking for some extra performance should look into the HP X9320," said Kinney. "Those looking to store large amounts of data in a cost-effective manner should go for the HP X9720. Though both can scale out, the HP X9720 can grow up to 16PB."
HP P6000 Enterprise Virtual Array Systems
The HP P6000 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) is a well known SAN product. The HP EVA family includes a lot of disk array management features. Built-in virtualization, easy provisioning and data protect are included.
"The P6000 EVA has a modular design, making it easy to select an affordable entry configuration while easily expanding later, with scaling up to 480 TB," said Kinney. "With new small form factor (SFF) disk drives, the P6000 EVA requires less energy per gigabyte compared to the previous generation array."
This is actually the fifth-generation EVA that now has an installed base of nearly 100,000 units. Its newest changes are more capacity (up to 480 TBs) and higher performance via 6 Gb/s SAS disk drives in 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch form factors. Other improvements include thin provisioning, dynamic LUN/RAID migration and expanded connectivity options, such as 8 Gb/s FC only or 8 Gb/s FC and 1 Gb/s iSCSI or 8 Gb/s FC and 10 Gb/s iSCSI/FCoE.
Two new models are available: P6300 EVA and P6500 EVA. The P6000 EVA family supports Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives with a range of SAS drive. The P6300 EVA can support up to 10 drive enclosures for a total of 120 large form factor (LFF) disks or 250 SFF disks.
"The P6500 EVA can support up to 20 LFF drive enclosures for a total of 240 LFF disks or 18 SFF drive enclosures for a total of 450 SFF disks," said Kinney. "Combinations of LFF and SFF drive enclosures, up to 20 drive enclosures, and up to 450 disks, can be supported."
The HP P6000 EVA is available now with a list price starting at $18,993.
HP P9000 Disk Arrays
HP P9000 Disk Arrays support Windows, Linux, Unix and mainframe servers. They serve the higher end of the storage market. As well as SFF SAS disk drives, they also come with Solid State Drives (SSD) for higher IOPs.
"This product is a match for customers' needs when data safety, data availability, as well as functionality are top priorities," said Kinney.
HP StoreOnce Data Deduplication Software
HP StoreOnce Data Deduplication Software HP StoreOnce Data Deduplication Software is a disk-based backup appliance with deduplication and low-bandwidth replication capabilities.
"This is one of HP's fastest growing product lines," said Kinney.
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).