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HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450: marching on with all-flash success


By Priyadarshi (Pd), Sr. Product Manager, HP 3PAR Storage


PDbyline.jpegLast June we launched HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450, our all-flash array. The message was Performance without Compromises and rightfully so. At that time, HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 was the only all-flash that could deliver the performance (550K IOPS at or below 0.7 millisecond response time) AND all the rich data services like snapshots, replication, 3-data-center disaster recovery, vMSC certification, encryption and QoS. I was hoping that in the next six months, many of our competitors will catch up on the data services. I was wrong!


HP 3PAR StoreServ is still the leader of the all-flash pack

Today, HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 still leads the pack when it comes to offering a complete flash-based solution. What’s more , we have substantially increased its performance to 900K IOPS at or below 0.7 millisecond response time. As if 550K IOPS wasn’t enough. What is perhaps more useful is our relentless focus on driving cost of flash storage down. With the new SSDs we launched in December 2013, the price of the 7450 dropped by nearly 50% when compared to its June price for a like-to-like configuration. 


So what changed in six months to help drive flash costs down?

Oh, just a little innovation called 3PAR Adaptive Sparing. You see, SSDs are notorious for their poor usable to raw capacity ratios. An SSD that has a usable capacity of 400GB typically has 512GB raw capacity. That’s a 112GB of raw capacity (called overprovisioned capacity) that is not available to users because the SSD has to keep all that extra capacity for geeky things like garbage collection, avoiding write amplification et al. Who cares what it does internally, what it means that you as customers pay for 512GB of flash and yet get only 400GB to use, increasing your $/GB.


What did we do to lower $/GB on our SSDs?

Well, first, we worked with our drive vendors to lower the overprovisioned capacity on SSDs. As a result, instead of getting 400GB and 800GB SSDs, we got 480GB and 920GB SSDs. That’s 15% to 20% more capacity for customers to use.




The next logical question is if we decreased over-provisioning on SSDs, wouldn’t our SSDs have poor endurance? That’s where 3PAR Adaptive Sparing helps. To understand it, we have to look at how 3PAR sparing technology works. Unlike legacy architectures that typically have spare drives, 3PAR has spare chunklets in each of its drives. With Adaptive Sparing, 3PAR OS releases these spare chunklets to the SSD itself, so that the SSD can use them as its “over-provisioned capacity.” Adaptive Sparing ensures that SSDs still have the right amount of over-provisioned capacity to do their geeky stuff (er, garbage collection…) while you as customers get 20% more flash capacity to use, lowering your $/GB. Now that we have released our spare chunklets to SSDs, what happens if an SSD fails? And does this mean that we can’t handle any SSD failure? Of course we can. When an SSD fails, we take back our spare chunklets from the SSDs. Once that failed SSD is replaced by a new SSD, we release the spare chunklets back to the SSD.  Talk about having your cake and eating it too!


Five-year warranty on SSDs

There is more good news! 3PAR innovations around flash such as Adaptive Sparing not only bring the effective cost of flash media down but also enable us to offer a five-year warranty on our new 480GB and 920GB SSDs. What’s more, this five-year warranty on SSDs is available regardless of which 3PAR system you buy – 3PAR StoreServ 7450 (3PAR all-flash array) or 3PAR 7StoreServ 7000/10000 series (in all-flash or mixed HDD-SSD configurations). This is something where we can offer unique value to our customers with 3PAR architecture.


I know our competitors are working hard on maturing their architecture and catching up on their data services. I hope they make the all-flash array market more interesting in the months to come. For us, it feels good to see examples such as a customer buying  HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 systems continuously for three quarters (a purchase for every quarter since its launch). I sure hope that trend continues.  


Let’s dig deeper!

Want to know more about HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage? Here's a link to the HP 3PAR StoreServ product page where you can find white papers and even free assessments.  You’ll find it all here:

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You would be correct in that most manufacturers put a stated DWPD of around 1 to cMLC drives BUT that's not accounting the technologies themselves that go into the delivery of the DWPD.  The manufacturer is posting a DWPD based on standard usage of the standard size of the SSD.   But that's not what we do.


The generally accepted method of calculating DWPD within the storage layer is:


DWPD = Endurance in P/E * (1+OverProvisioning) / DaysPerLife * WriteAmplification.


An easier to use calculation, that more less gets you to the same number would be:


DWPD = Terabytes Written * 1024 / (Capacity * Warranty * 365)


No matter which calc you choose, it's easy to see that any vendor can manipulate the DWPD of any SSD by manipulating either the "DaysPerLife" or "Warranty" values.  (Some vendors, like HP, can manipulte the "Over Provisioning" and/or "Capacity" values too. Smiley Happy Lower the warranty, increase the DWPD or vise versa. 


Maybe this wasn't clear but coupling overprovisioning of the SSD with our patented Adaptive Sparing technology AND a 5 year warranty creates a return that is greater than 2 DWPD from cMLC technology. 

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