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Architecture matters: Getting the most out of flash storage


PhillGilbert.jpgBy Phill Gilbert, UK&I 3PAR Flash Specialist


As a flash specialist in the UK, I spend much of my time with our customers talking about flash storage. During meetings, you often bring up independent reports as a way to validate what I’m saying. So you can imagine my interest as I read the recent Gartner Solid State Array Magic Quadrant report and how pleased I was with the results: HP 3PAR StoreServ is now a leader in all-flash storage.


With special mention to our common architecture across platforms, hardware-driven efficiencies and success getting this message out, I think we have earned a place in the leaders quadrant. After all, HP 3PAR StoreServ isn’t just another an all-flash array. It has unique features that stand out from the crowd.


How to get the most out of flash storage

As a technology, flash is well known for the increases in performance and low latency that can be achieved. But to get the most out of flash—including reductions in power consumption, heat output, infrastructure costs and data centre footprint—you need to deploy it using the right architecture.


HP 3PAR StoreServ sits in a genuinely unique position in the all-flash market: it’s a mature technology but it has a very modern architecture. The underlying HP 3PAR StoreServ technology is widely deployed in some of the largest, most highly respected organisations in the world. StoreServ storage is renowned for ease of use, scalability, performance and, perhaps most importantly, resilience. A full enterprise-class feature set developed over time, combined with flash-specific technologies like Adaptive Sparing, Thin Deduplication and more, mean that for the first time you can deploy flash in your environment without needing to compromise on features, functionality or availability.


Why flash is the future of storage

I can’t count how many times I’ve said this but I truly believe that flash is the future of storage. The only thing that causes some people to pause is cost—and that’s something that’s changing very rapidly, at least for us at HP.


All-flash arrays have traditionally been deployed by enterprises in point solutions to improve the performance of particular applications or to reduce the cost of a particular hosted application through increased density. While some smaller businesses have moved their entire storage infrastructure to all-flash, that’s not been possible for enterprises because of the cost and limited scale of flash arrays, until now. Our recent announcements at HP Discover—including the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 20000 arrays and a new, larger cMLC drive at 3.84TB—came after Gartner’s deadline to be considered for the Magic Quadrant, but these are going to entirely change the way large enterprises deploy flash.


With the ability to start at just eight flash drives and scale to over 1000 in the same array (and with 20850J.jpgno forklift upgrades, no disruption and in highly granular upgrade steps), the HP 3PAR StoreServ 20850 is the first array to ever scale to over 4PB of raw flash, 3m IOPS and offer a full suite of enterprise class features and data availability functionality. When you combine that with no up-front provisioning, massive flexibility and the excellent new 3PAR StoreServ Management Console (SSMC), the 20850 really is something different.


At the end of the day, flash is a new storage medium with many benefits, but it’s the technology in the array that makes the difference and that’s where HP 3PAR StoreServ really stands out.


When I speak to customers with existing enterprise storage products, you’re usually fed up with at least one of a number of things: complexity, constraints around configurations (having to put every disk in the same RAID group/level comes to mind), cost of upgrades, cost of support and datacentre footprint.


If I explain to you that HP 3PAR StoreServ 20000 arrays can solve all of these problems while offering you the same—or better—feature set and provide all-flash performance and consistency...I bet that’s when you’ll get excited.


Maybe it’s time to find out what HP 3PAR StoreServ can do for your business?

This data sheet on the HP 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage Family is a good place to start.

And check out this ChalkTalk for a comprehensive look at HP 3PAR StoreServ 20800 and 20850.


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