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HP 3PAR Wins All-Flash Array Product of the Year from TechTarget


By Calvin Zito, Blogger and Storage Evangelist

Wow - I'm a literally doing a happy dance now.  I'm a pretty good dancer too! (NOTE: if you watch the video, fast forward to 1:26 to get to the "good stuff.")


Today I learned that TechTarget named the HP 3PAR StoreServ All-Flash Array (AFA) the product of the year in the category of all-flash.

This is such a satisfying recognition for HP 3PAR AFA because in the early days of HP announcing our AFA product, several AFA start-ups claimed because our AFA wasn't built from scratch, it didn't qualify as all-flash storage. I even had one AFA competitor unfollow me on Twitter. He told me "your defense of HP is dutiful but you are displaying a lack of understanding." Well, I think HP and I have a very deep degree of understanding - thank you very much. This TechTarget recognition and many of the recent wins I've seen against the AFA start-ups are proof that the HP 3PAR AFA should be considered by any customer who is looking at all-flash storage.

What is it that is different about HP 3PAR that qualifies it to be considered as an all-flash array?  Here are a few key things to consider:

  • The performance of the 3PAR AFA is an industry leader, including start-up AFAs. A general guideline we've talked about is 900,000 IOPs at under .7 ms latency. Our read latency is as low as 300 micro-seconds and write latency as low as 200 micro-seconds.  Yes, that was MICRO-seconds.
  • Deduplication with 3PAR is done via our Gen4 ASIC. That means dedup happens at virtually "line speed". Most other AFAs dedup using the same CPUs that do other tasks and during heavy IO workloads, they turn off deduplication.
  • With the 3PAR architecture, we have a unique advantage with AFA. SSD vendors reserve space on drives to aid in ware management. HP 3PAR has a unique feature called Adaptive Sparing that allows 3PAR to increase the size of SSDs by 20% - so a 1.6TB SSD used by other AFAs is a 1.9TB drive with HP 3PAR.
  • Because HP 3PAR is an established array (not built from scratch AFA), it has a robust set of data services that no start-up AFA can claim. In fact, the start-ups are having to put some other engine in front of their AFA to provide the data services that 3PAR AFA provides natively.
  • Let me also touch on high availability. If you're going to use an AFA for critical data, you need a platform that has the chops to provide piece of mind. Not only can we do that with HP 3PAR but we back it up with our 6-nines guarantee program.
  • Our converged flash array, 3PAR 7440c, can drive several hundreds of thousands of IOPs at under .2ms.  This is notable as it shows that with 3PAR using HDDs and SSD, we're seeing better performance than the industry average for AFAs today.  

There is one thing in the TechTarget article that I want to address. It says "HP's 3PAR StoreServ platform wasn't built for flash but the vendor has tailored its thin technologies to develop an all-flash version of its 7450 array." This isn't exactly accurate. 3PAR wasn't designed for HDDs either. It was designed as an IO serving engine. There is a really good (with technical details) article on the blog titled Built for Flash that helps explain why 3PAR is so ideally suited for flash.

TechTarget is the media company behind - if you want to read the AFA Product of the Year award for yourself, you can find it here

By the way, HP StoreOnce was named product of the year in the category of backup systems and HP OneView for vCenter was name silver winner in the category of storage management software

And finally, to learn more about flash storage, go to

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About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.


The 3PAR story has not changed over the years. The array was designed to not depend on the speed of cache. Rather, the thing that was and still is important is the speed of the backend. One issue with spinning media is that over time the drive capacity grew but the interface speed/transfer rates remained the same. Looking at the ratio of capacity to drive speed the drive actually got slower in a logical sense as the drive size increased, you ended up with more capacity than you can realistically use.  SSD is a step in the right direction where the capacity you buy is actually usable. I suspect SSD will hold us over for a while but where do we go from there?  The modular design of the underlying 3PAR OS can easily be adapted to new backend technologies as they are introduced. The story has always been a good one – an architecture designed for high speed mixed workloads - and it just keeps getting better. If you take the time to understand the 3PAR design, you have to agree that it is the only mature, feature rich, all flash solution available. It is designed for the future.