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Simple. Scalable. Highly Available…and Fast. Meet the new StoreVirtual 4335 Hybrid


Headshot1.jpgBy Kate Davis, Worldwide Software-Defined Storage Marketing Manager  @KateAtHP


These days, you can’t talk about storage without talking performance. It’s easily argued to be a top concern for many customers. With the unpredictable workloads created from virtualized applications, an infrastructure must be put in place that can keep up with demand.


The price to pay for performance


So what storage do you choose to meet your performance requirements? Do you go middle of the road on expense with high counts of SAS spindles, or spend the money for an all-flash array? It can be a tough decision when part of it hinges on the fact that you don’t know what your exact requirements will be in the future. And the other part lies on the fact that you don’t have the budget to buy an expensive all-flash array.


For a number of years now HP StoreVirtual arrays have had the capability of Dynamic Optimization – a tiering structure that allows for manual movement of volumes to address performance requirements. Basically, you could set up two or three clusters each with a different drive type and move data to hot or cold tiers as needed. But what happens when you need a more intelligent system that can move data automatically, as needed?


Enter Adaptive Optimization (AO). AO is sub-volume auto-tiering that will automatically move page-level  data with the highest IO demand onto SSDs (hot tier), and the data with less IO demand stays on the lower cost HDD (cold tier) .


StoreVirtual4335_FT_small.jpgIt’s here: HP StoreVirtual 4335 Hybrid Storage appliance – with Adaptive Optimization


HP StoreVirtual Adaptive Optimization was introduced in the LeftHand OS 11.0 release as part of the latest StoreVirtual VSA launch. Now, we are happy to announce that we have an optimized StoreVirtual hardware appliance that takes advantage of the AO feature.


The new StoreVirtual 4335 Hybrid Storage appliance is a 1U box that contains 10 drives – 3 400GB Enterprise Mainstream SSDs and 7 900GB 15K SFF SAS drives for a total of 7.5TB RAW capacity. And just like all of our other appliances, it comes with the same all-inclusive feature set and can be clustered up to 16 nodes.


The magic behind the automation


Our Adaptive Optimization feature automatically moves blocks of data between two tiers based on access patterns. It maintains a “heat map” for blocks on all AO-permitted volumes. The workloads are continuously monitored and data is relocated transparently between tiers. Because changes happens automatically, data movement is continuous, ensuring that data is placed on the proper tier while it still makes sense, instead of on a schedule where the heat map data may no longer be valid.  AO responds near immediately to changes in workload, so that data is on the proper tier when it needs to be. And instead of moving data in large chunks, like some other systems do, StoreVirtual is set up to move data at a granular 256K page size.


Since the StoreVirtual scale-out architecture uses Network RAID replication you may be wondering how this works with the tiering capability. Network RAID is configured at the volume-level and AO operates at the storage node level. So if you think about a single volume living on the SAS disks, the replicated data lives on the SAS disks as well on a different node.



With Network RAID 10, you might think two times the data is on the SSD tier, which is very expensive. But we handle the movement of data pages to the SSD tier with a built-in technology called Preferred Pages. Preferred Pages ensures that subsequent read access to the same page of data will occur from the same storage node. This means that the replicated page of data will only be elevated to the SSD tier on a single storage node and thus making use of the higher tier more efficient while still maintaining data protection capabilities. For more info on AO, check out our technical white paper: Adaptive Optimization with HP StoreVirtual.


Management simplified


When it comes to management of any feature within the LeftHand OS we make simplicity a priority and AO is no exception. By default, AO is turned on and all volumes on that cluster are able to make use of storage tiering. If that’s not what you want, then volumes can be manually excluded from utilizing faster storage and will remain on the SAS tier. We’ve simplified tiering so that you don’t have to monitor the different tiers or create complicated rules. Instead, enable AO and get the benefits of AO so you can spend time where you’re needed most. For monitoring purposes, the new Performance Monitor in the StoreVirtual Centralized Management Console allows you to closely watch the tier utilization per volume and by storage system, how much I/O performance, latency and utilization per volume and tier, and how much data is migrated between tiers.


Why wait?


The StoreVirtual 4335 is available now with a US list price of $41,000 for each node with 3 years of support included.


Want to know more? Join the live ATSB podcast today at 3:00 PM EST either via the web on or dial in 724- 444-7444 and use Call ID: 69339.  If you can’t join live, the podcast will be available shortly after it concludes at the same URL.

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About the Author


I have been working across the HPE portfolio for over 12 years marketing hot topics including storage, software-defined, big data and hybrid cloud.


I haven't been following the updates to LeftHand OS, but I heard that it did not support Thin Reclaim (the way we can do it in the 3PAR).  Is this still true with the latest version of LeftHand OS?


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