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Welcome to SmartTopia: Where HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR Flash Storage Simplifies SAN Configuration

StorageExperts

Good news for SAN configuration: HPE Smart San for 3PAR offers a smart, simplified solution for all-flash deployments with Fibre Channel’s often complex, tedious configuration and administration.

Have you noticed that as technology gets more powerful and sophisticated, it tends to get more complicated? Developers go through extreme efforts to simplify technology, but they don’t always get it right. It makes sense, given that our smart phones, smart apps and smart technology span many industries. Still, we are reminded to work smarter, be smarter and look smart too.  Everything these days needs to be smarter!Smart Dog BLOG.jpg

This inspired me to create the concept of SmartTopia, a world where everything you do is smarter. In SmartTopia you are clever, bright, sharp-witted, astute, perceptive, well dressed, chic, cool and snazzy – no matter what you do! This now makes me think of Mr. Peabody in the movie my kids loved, Mr. Peabody and Sherman – where Mr. Peabody (yes, a dog) was smart, sophisticated and cool in everything he did. He even wore a bow tie. Do we all want to inhabit SmartTopia? Maybe. But let’s get back to technology...

There are many ways to be SAN smart!

The reality is, flash deployments are easier, but when you deploy more flash based storage in the enterprise, the majority of flash and SAN deployments are still FC-based. Flash and Fibre Channel (FC) pair nicely for many reasons, in part because FC technology is proven for its propensity to be high performance, reliable and low latency. FC is still the dominate protocol used in SANs for enterprise storage. It’s very reliable, high-performance, low-latency storage networking for HDD – and especially for flash-based storage with 16Gb/s FC or higher speeds. However, when I talk to SAN users and you describe your experiences with FC configuration and administration, you often use one word: complex.

Another FC aspect for discussion: tedious SAN zoning

SAN zoning allows storage administrators to partition a FC fabric into smaller chunks that restrict interference from other devices, making it more secure. When I asked storage administrators to describe your SmartTopis BLOG.jpgexperiences with SAN zoning, the most common word you used was: tedious.

This is primarily because most enterprises use the best practice method of one-initiator-to-one-target as a single zone, which is typically done through the switch software. Imagine having to create zones for multiple hosts and targets using the best practice I just described. Does the word tedious come to mind to you, too? 1:1 zoning is time consuming and human error prone, even with scripts.

Not to be undone in the world of smart technology, HPE 3PAR extends its leadership in flash storage to simplify the SAN tool by centralizing configuration and management tasks down to a few simple commands, which reduces the probability of errors through automation. It is a smart application embedded in HPE StoreFabric SAN hosts, switches and software on 3PAR. Smart SAN collects intelligence from the SAN and enables the array to orchestrate SAN zoning, configuration, settings and policies in a SAN. Through its Target Driven Peer Zoning (TDPZ) feature, HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR enables you to automate peer zoning, resulting in the creation of fewer zones and enabling the configuration of zones in minutes, not in hours or days as was the case traditionally.

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Why Smart SAN for 3PAR?

As storage transforms from mechanical media to flash, you should be thinking about accelerating the network to meet the demands of the flash transformation.  For example: 16Gb/s FC or faster speeds are proven to reduce IO bottlenecks. If flash is easier to deploy, why wouldn’t we assume the SAN gets easier too?  The answer is HPE 3PAR StroreServ all-flash storage and Smart SAN embedded in hosts, switches and storage. 

Smart SAN removes human error, increases uptime and automates SAN configuration and health management. As a storage administrator, you are always asked to do more with less, and time is not on your side. Regardless of what speed you choose, the complexities of technology such as FC configuration and the tedious nature of FC zoning still exist, no matter what speed or media you deploy. HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR takes the smarts from the fabric and organizes it on 3PAR with an intelligent storage view of the SAN to simplify fabric zoning with diagnostics for more predictable and resilient SAN outcomes with flash. Smart SAN benefits the experienced IT Generalist in smaller organizations who are dealing with less staff and resources, and the seasoned storage administrator in large enterprises who value SAN simplification through storage automation.  Flash and SAN deployments with FC transport are easier with Smart SAN.

But what about flash and iSCSI deployments, which can be more complex or tedious, does this sound all too familiar? Smart SAN with its protocol agnostic framework can address that, too, in a SmartTopia way.  We will talk about this in a future blog.

Get smarter on the topic: Enterprise Storage Group Lab Validation Report on HPE Smart San : Enterprise Storage Group Lab Validation Report on HPE Smart San

Go deeper on the topic with: HPE Smart SAN for HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage simplifies SAN zoning across the fabric in minutes, not hours technical white paper 

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 Meet Around the Storage Block blogger Gil Chacon, HPE StoreFabric, Storage Networking team lead, HPE Storage.

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StorageExperts

Our team of Hewlett Packard Enterprise storage experts helps you to dive deep into relevant infrastructure topics.

Comments
Reto Jossi

Great Blog!! Clrearly shows that HPE is offering the smoothest and most efficient Flash Storage/SAN infrastructure integration solution out there. HPE Smart SAN offers great value to customers, taking away a lot of manual work,hence a possible source of human errors, by creating automatical zoning and much more. 
Let's spread this message proudly across the field. Customers will appreciate HPEs visionary approach and will enjoy this unique Flash Storage & SAN INfrastructure solution.

 

HPEStorageGuy

Thanks @Reto - I think it's a pretty cool solution too. Gil Chacon, who wrote this blog, has worked with me in HP/HPE Storage since 1993 here in Boise. He's traveling but I'll pass on your feedback. Thanks again!

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