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Driving the shift to memory-driven storage


Advancing beyond all-flash by delivering data at the speed of memory: Introducing HPE Memory-Driven Flash, a new class of storage built with SCM and NVMe that accelerates application performance for HPE 3PAR StoreServ and HPE Nimble Storage.

HPE Memory Driven Flash_blog.jpgInnovation is the lifeblood of any business. In today’s connected 24/7 world, if you don’t innovate, you stand still or even regress as the world speeds ahead of you. Technology shifts and its consumption then generates market shifts. You can either disrupt or be disrupted. The choice is yours.

Here in the storage industry, the pace of innovation has never been faster. Ten years ago, going from 10K to 15K RPM spinning media was considered innovative. But that’s all changed now. And it’s why the last five years with HPE 3PAR StoreServ flash storage has been so exciting. We’ve seen a dramatic transformation in storage and I’m proud to say HPE has been leading the way. Today, we can now claim the world’s most intelligent storage.

HPE early on recognized the opportunity for flash-based NAND media, and we were the first company to deliver all-flash storage with no learning curve. That’s because HPE 3PAR was designed with investment protection from day one, with an architecture that can easily adapt to new technologies for always-modern storage. Because of these efforts, Gartner has named HPE a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Solid State Arrays for four years in a row.

Faster than flash

The next wave of performance disruption is now upon us. Once again HPE is leading the way. That’s because as crazy as it sounds, there is a need to go beyond all-flash—and for two good reasons:

  • The need for (more) speed—One example is analytics-oriented workloads that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). They are time sensitive for user experience and decision-making and they can’t afford latency. Other examples include transactional OLTP and database workloads that could benefit from a turbo boost.
  • Inconsistency leads to unpredictable outcomes—The number one concern of customers I talk to centers around performance predictability.They not only need to start fast with low latencies but stay fast as their environments scale. They crave that predictable low latency to meet their defined service-level agreements (SLAs).

To address these needs many vendors have gone “all in” with “100% NVMe” storage systems.  We applaud these companies for taking steps to improve the customer experience; however, we believe much more can and should be done. We’ve had our eyes locked in on a bigger prize—turning the dream of memory speeds from a vision to a reality.

In the spirit of a picture being a worth a thousand words, here’s why we believe NVMe alone is not enough to drive radical change.NVMe SCM_HPE_memory-driven flash_Discover annc.jpg

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that NVMe is bad. It’s a modern protocol but it’s also a half promise with NAND SSDs. That’s because it’s like changing all four tires on your car and expecting it to go faster without making any changes to the engine. You might see a little improvement in performance but the overall speed of your car is largely based on the engine. 

In technology it's all about bottleneck shifts. The physics of NAND SSDs inhibit the full potential of NVMe, which only can be unlocked by a new class of storage. 

The biggest breakthrough in storage in 25 years

Enter storage-class memory (SCM)—the media that closes the performance gap between DRAM and NAND. The problem with DRAM is that it’s volatile and far too expensive to scale.  And while NAND has the capacity and cost structure to scale, it pales in comparison to the performance of memory. As the above picture shows, SCM read-and-write speeds are over 10 times faster than flash. 

Intel® is the leading supplier of SCM with Intel Optane technology and HPE has been collaborating with them for years to make it ready for the enterprise.

Breaking through the performance barrier: HPE Memory-Driven Flash

This is why I’m so excited about our big storage announcement made this week at HPE Discover.   

HPE Memory-Driven Flash is a new class of enterprise storage beyond all-flash built with SCM and NVMe. I’m talking about never-before-seen application performance up to 50% faster than all-flash arrays with NVMe SSDs. Best of all, it can deliver ultra-low latency at scale with near 100% IO sub-300us, making it ideal for shared storage.

It’s built on the timeless architectures of HPE 3PAR and Nimble Storage. Remember when flash first hit the scene and a lot of the legacy storage systems retrofitted with SSDs choked on the additional performance? That’s why you need the intelligence built in to our platforms to get the most out of any media. HPE 3PAR and Nimble Storage have more than 20 years of experience optimizing tiered storage environments with intelligent software based acceleration. HPE has even enhanced our access patterns based on real customer data gathered through HPE InfoSight.

In this new white paper, IDC examines how enterprise storage is evolving beyond all-flash with SCM to unleash a new generation of innovation. (Registration is required to download the white paper.)

Making the speed of memory practical for everyone

Memory speed shouldn’t be just a dream or only available for the select few. We want to make it practical for any business looking to drive actionable insights to outpace their competition.

Existing HPE 3PAR and Nimble Storage customers can even take advantage of the speed of memory with a simple, non-disruptive upgrade to HPE Memory-Driven Flash by just dropping in SCM modules. In comparison to moving to NVMe, there’s no replacing media, no migrating data, no tuning or overhauling your system. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

Take a look at this new Chalk Talk video from my colleague Calvin Zito that offers a great overview of SCM and Memory-Driven Flash from HPE.

This is only the beginning

In the words of the great Puff Daddy, “Can’t stop, won’t stop.” That’s because innovation never sleeps. 3PAR is the first enterprise storage platform available with SCM and NVMe. And this marks the beginning of an industry shift to memory-driven storage. Rest assured, HPE has your back and will be leading the way to empower data at the speed of memory with HPE Memory-Driven Flash.

Matt Morrissey_HPE.jpg

 Meet Around the Storage Block blogger Matt Morrissey, 3PAR Product Marketing Manager, HPE.








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