3PAR Soups Up Thin Provisioning

3PAR (NYSE: PAR) has upped the performance of its storage servers while boosting capacity utilization.

Craig Nunes, 3PAR’s vice president of marketing, said that by building thin provisioning into its third-generation ASICs, the company was able to boost performance while maintaining high capacity utilization.

“You don’t have to trade off performance for good capacity utilization,” said Nunes. “You can have both.”

The result, 3PAR claims, is record-setting performance for a single-system storage array in the Storage Performance Council Benchmark 1 (SPC-1), combined with capacity utilization of 83 percent, as much as 50 percentage points higher than other benchmarks.

What’s more, Nunes claims that 3PAR’s arrays are easy enough for anyone to duplicate that performance.

“Any storage admin on the planet is capable of getting that kind of performance,” he said.

The new 3PAR InServ T400 and T800 Storage Servers are built on 3PAR’s third-generation InSpire Architecture, which includes the Gen3 ASIC with integrated fat-to-thin processing, which keeps controller CPU and memory resources from being diverted away from application workloads to maintain performance. 3PAR is developing additional software functionality to make fat-to-thin volume conversions.

The SPC-1 results showed that the 3PAR InServ T800 achieved a total of 224,989.65 SPC-1 IOPS, an SPC-1 Price-Performance of $9.30/SPC-1 IOPS, and a total ASU capacity of 77,824 gigabytes. 3PAR said the results were achieved without complex configuration or performance tuning.

The Gen3 ASIC supports 3PAR’s Fast RAID 5, which the company calls “a unique capability through which 3PAR customers have reported achieving high levels of performance with 33 percent less storage capacity.”

3PAR said that “abundant” memory bandwidth and the built-in RAID 5 XOR engine makes for “performance levels comparable to RAID 1 without the higher data protection overhead.”

3PAR says its systems are ideal for cloud computing and utility computing models.

“With mounting interest in cloud and self-service computing as delivery models for enterprise IT as a utility service, it’s increasingly important for organizations to build cost-effective and sharable virtualized IT infrastructures based on utility computing architectures,” 3PAR CEO David Scott said in a statement. “With its unique ‘Thin Built In’ architecture, the T-Class is a storage building block designed to do just this.”

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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