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HP boxes clever in flash array fray with 3Par 7450

HP launches 3PAR StoreServ 7450 all-flash array, with operating system and controller hardware that provide flash performance to rival ground-up designed products

HP has launched a 3Par all-flash array, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450, with controller hardware and operating system (OS) that provide performance to rival ground-up designed all-flash arrays.

The company also announced a new virtual backup appliance and tape library at its HP Discover event in Las Vegas this week.

HP’s is the latest move in a storage array market that that seen the big suppliers scramble to put all-Flash arrays into their product ranges.

While other array makers have bought startups with dedicated all-flash storage (eg, EMC with Xtremio, IBM with Texas Memory Systems) or put flash drives into existing architectures (NetApp’s EF540, Dell’s Flash Optimised System), HP’s approach is slightly different because its 3Par architecture possesses some flash-friendly features already.

These include fine levels of granularity from the 3Par ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) that are suited to flash block sizes and striping of data across drives by the 3Par OS which helps reduce flash cell wear.

The 7450 – which is available now at a list price of $99,000 – also has a modified controller with Intel Sandy Bridge eight-core CPUs on board. This makes it 35% faster than other 3Par arrays, said Chris Johnson, VP and general manager with HP in Europe. Also controller cache size is doubled to 128GB.

The net result is that HP claims input-output (I/O) performance of 548,000 IOPS with 48 400GB multi-level cell (MLC) drives and latency of 0.6ms. Those IOPS figures appear to put the 7450 in a similar category performance-wise to all-flash arrays designed from the ground up.

The StoreServ 7450 is Fibre Channel connected with a base unit that can house up to 48 drives; MLC (400GB) or the better-performing but more costly (and falling from favour) single-level cell (SLC) in capacities of 100GB and 200GB. Capacity can go to 96TB with expansion units.

At the Las Vegas event, HP also launched the StoreOnce VSA (virtual storage appliance). This is a software product that can be installed on a virtual server platform and provisioned with disk to create a backup appliance. The product is the software version of HP’s existing hardware backup appliance.

HP’s Johnson said the VSA is aimed at SME or remote office users. In the latter case the product can be integrated and managed with existing StoreOnce backup instances at a central datacentre, with data deduplicated at the remote site before sending it across the WAN. The StoreOnce VSA will be available from 22 July.

Backup appliances have risen in popularity in recent years, especially for midmarket customers that want a backup system that will work out of the box with backup software pre-installed.

HP also launched a midrange tape library, the HP StoreEver MSL6480. It provides throughput of up to 60.4 TB/hour, has capacity of 3.5 PB in a single library and is available now.


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