HP was busy today, introducing a new SAN storage blade, a data deduplication system based on the company’s StoreOnce technology, a box for Microsoft Exchange, and a new approach to the cloud built around 3PAR technology.
For the latter, HP has completed the integration of what it is calling HP 3PAR Utility Storage with the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio as a means of providing cloud computing that is easy to set up.
“We are expanding the usability of 3PAR so it can be utilized by a lot more people,” said Lee Johns, director of product marketing for unified storage in HP’s StorageWorks division. “3PAR has an extremely efficient architecture with strong thin provisioning, multi-tenancy and storage tiering.”
Johns said that HP began hearing from its user base that they were interested in utility storage that could be applied to the private cloud model. Hence HP has integrated 3PAR storage systems with HP BladeSystem Matrix and HP CloudSystem. BladeSystem provides the means to put storage, server and networking blades into one enclosure in order to reduce cabling and implementation costs. The Matrix part is an orchestration engine which aids in rolling out IT as a service. CloudSystem extends the Matrix into the cloud.
While no new product was released, HP announced that 3PAR systems have been tested and certified with these other elements of the HP portfolio. Johns said that 3PAR helps HP to widen the scope of BladeSystem and CloudSystem.
“Users will be able to set up different classes of storage [solid state, high performance disk, and back-end SATA) and have it automatically provisioned,” Johns said. “We have also done a lot of certification work on 3PAR for HP-UX to widen the options available for UNIX customers.”
When 3PAR operates with the HPX9300 NAS gateway, for instance, it includes a one-button evacuation for data when moving to a storage platform during a migration. Users can keep multiple applications running on 3PAR arrays and give each of them the right level of storage resource using virtual private domains. Johns said HP had trained 10,000 people on 3PAR since its acquisition last year and expanded the 3PAR channel by 4X.
New SAN Blade
HP also introduced the P4800 G2 SAN aimed at virtual servers and virtual desktops. It has been designed as a blade which slides into the HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure. The idea is to cut down on networking and deployment costs. The SAN connects to an HP MDS600 JBOD enclosure.
“This leverages LeftHand iSCSI technology,” said Johns. “It’s the only SAN that fits inside a BladeSystem enclosure, and you can use the same slots to grow the SAN within the same environment.”
The P4800 G2 has a 6Tb backplane with low latency, and one admin is able to manage its networking, storage and server functions. The P4800 runs HP’s latest SAN/IQ 9.0 software, which includes enhanced support for VMware vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). Johns said this speeds cloning by up to 95 percent and reduces the load on VMware ESX servers by 94 percent. The HP P4800 G2 SAN starts at $148,000.
“The P4800 can scale up to eight nodes in a single BladeSystem enclosure, which leaves a further eight slots for blade servers,” said Johns. “You can also split the SAN across multiple BladeSystem enclosures.”
HP also introduced the D2S4324 Backup System. Based on HP’s StoreOnce deduplication technology, its 96TB capacity is double that of the previous system, the 4312.
For this release, HP has souped up the deduplication algorithms in several ways. For example, Johns said that it stores the index of deduplication files in both memory and disk, and lays out the data on disk better. Pricing starts at $149,999.
“Sometimes we don’t even dedupe as it is less efficient to do with certain types of files and degrades performance,” said Johns. “In those rare cases, we just compress them. The 4324 gives a 66% performance improvement over the 4312. At 4 TB per hour, it offers a performance advantage over the competition in this range.”
The final HP release was a system to unify the storage and server needs of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Known as the HP E5000 Messaging System, HP believes it speeds deployment by 75 percent and lowers TCO for Exchange. And HP sees a lot of market potential for the system: “70 million customers will be looking to upgrade to Exchange 2010,” said Johns.
The E5000 series comes in three flavors: The E5300 with 500 mailboxes starts at $35,900, the E5500 with 1,000 mailboxes starts at $41, and the E5700 with 3,000 mailboxes starts at $68,500.
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).
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