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MSA vs.. Storevirtual

Occasional Visitor

MSA vs.. Storevirtual



I am looking to buy my first storage device and was wanting to know the primary difference between the MSA and the Storevirtual devices (iSCSCI not Fiber channel). I was told by CDW that the MSA was being End-of Lifed and the Storevirtual product line was the replacement. However I have been unable to find a supporting statement on the HP site about phasing out the MSA product line.


Can any one tell me the advantages of one over the other?


P.S. This thread has been moved from Storage-General to HP StoreVirtual Storage / LeftHand. -HP Forum Moderator


Valued Contributor

Re: MSA vs.. Storevirtual

MSA is not end of life, matter of fact there is a very advanced new MSA2040 that can do FIBERCHANNEL or EThernet by simply switching SFP+(cheap) from 4/8/16gb (FC) to 1/10(ethernet) - and allows direct connect without switch! or with switch or both! There is also a SAS 12gbps/6gbps model that direct connects to servers. One SAS Connection is a QUAD so think (12gbps*4) or (6gbps*4) - That is faster than FC or ETHERNET but lacks ability to network (remote replication).


MSA is a traditional san, it is VERY fast and very Simple. The main benefit is cost. Want to skip that FIBER Switch? Want to Skip that 10gbe Ethernet switch? You can. For up to N (4/8) servers depending on model. It is a solid solution.


MSA is a SAN head with drives, that can be expanded with more drive bays. The MSA controller(s) however are limited to the head.


Storevirtual is a GRID clustered storage solution (FC/ISCSI) that is designed to be super resilient and since each unit is a Controller, the more units, the more power. Whilst you can add expansion bays to a Storevirtual, most people just add new servers so your processing power goes up with more storage. It will require that expensive switch(es) for no single point of failure.


Now the really nifty part of VSA (and you must try this demo!) is the fact you can use your own equipment, and the free HYPER-V or ESXI hypervisor to build your own Storevirtual.


Since it is designed to be no single point of failure - you do have to pay a penalty for this. Two Storevirtual units would network raid-1 onto each unit of RAID-5. This means you don't get the full storage capability. In this case HALF (2 VSA or physical). Ouch. 


But man, when I lost one unit - poof dead gone. I was still online.


I'd bet there is more profit for Lefthand. It is not for everyone.


Matter of fact you could run the storevirtaul VSA and attach an MSA (or 2) as core storage. :)


Both are quite simple to setup. 1 hour tops. Maybe 4 if you are doing a complex multiple site cluster.


I'd love to have a new MSA2040. There are times when you have 4 servers and just want shared FAST storage cheap. Those switches get real expensive!




Acclaimed Contributor

Re: MSA vs.. Storevirtual

Fully agreed.


The new naming is terrible - storeeasy (NAS), storeonce (D2D), storevirtual (P4000/lefthand), storeever (tape library), storeserv (3PAR), ...


same for MSA2000 naming:


MSA2000G1 (MSA20xx,...)

MSA2000G2 (MSA23xx,...)

MSA2000G3 (P2000G3)

MSA2000G4 (MSA2040)


However, the newest MSA2040 (G4) is brand new!


Hard to compare, since both (MSA and lefthand) can do iSCSI or FC meanwhile.


So it depends on your needs at the end ...

Hope this helps!

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