Attendees at HP’s Discover event in Barcelona this week are getting a bumper crop of StoreServ hardware and software announcements, expanding the HW range and adding object access and better data protection.
They'll hear about:
- Enhanced 7200, 7400 and 7450 StoreServ arrays
- New 7440c array
- Expanded data import sources
- Converged block, file and object access with no separate hardware
- New snapshot-based data protection scheme
- StoreOnce Backup 6500 gets boosted
HP has essentially a four-product StoreServ range; 7200, 7400, all-flash 7450, and 10000. The 7200, 7400 and 7450 (all-flash) products have been upgraded and a 7440c model added. All the new models have a “c” suffix.
Here is a table using partial information from HP about the new “c” arrays. It shows the positioning of the StoreServ 7000s at a basic level as we understand it:
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HP StoreServe 7000 series array details
The 7400c might be positioned to compete with EMC’s VNX 5600. We can think of it as a 7450 with the all-flash requirement removed.
This is called a 'converged flash array' and has a rather large 3.6PB usable capacity (understood to be 2PB raw), 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel support, and a claimed more than 900,000 IOPS, like the all-flash 7450. Unlike that one, it can have both SSDs and disk drives with, and HP says is an effective cost of $1.70/usable GB.
A field integrated base unit consists of “3PAR StoreServ 7440c 4-node 4U field integrated base with two 2U enclosures, four controller nodes, 192GB cache, eight 8Gbit/sec FC ports, four adapter slots, and 48 SFF drive bays.”
The StoreServ 7200c, 7400c and all-flash 7450c all have have more processing cores and larger memory caches than the 7200, 7400 and 7450. They also have support for block, file and object-access, as does the 7440c with File Persona software.
This is a cache-boosted 7450, with 192GB of cache instead of 128GB. Here's HP's list of what else is new:
- 2-port 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel Adapter
- Thin Deduplication Software provides efficient, silicon-based inline deduplication that increases capacity efficiency, protects flash performance, and extends flash media life
- Thin Clones Software increases capacity efficiency for server virtualisation environments by instantly creating virtual machine clones without increasing storage capacity consumption
- Lower cost 480GB cMLC SSD available
- 920GB FIPS Encrypted MLC SSD available
- Accelerated writes with 3PAR Express Writes
- FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption with enterprise key management for high-availability data protection
Convergence and File Persona software
StoreServ arrays have always had block-level access and users can have file access as well through 3PAR File Services using a StoreServ File Controller. This is a separate hardware which comes in a clustered gateway configuration and runs Windows Storage Server 2012.
File Persona software provides NFS and CIFS access plus object access as well on the new StoreServ systems, the ones with a “c” suffix. It looks like the “c” stands for "convergence".
Instead of the file services running on a separate controller they now run directly on the StoreServ array and its storage operating system.
3PAR StoreServ Array: File Persona software provides NFS and CIFS access plus object access as well on the new StoreServ systems
HP says it features “file specific features such as access controls, quotas, file snapshots with end user based recovery, and anti-virus scanning".
HP says File Persona is the first example of a move of “storage-affinity related workloads such as data access, protection and analytics directly into the storage operating system and controller".
Block, file, and object-access management is performed from a new StoreServ Management Console. It has a search-enabled dashboard and OneView is used for converged infrastructure (server, networking and storage) management.
StoreServ object storage
HP’s StoreAll product provides object storage via the 8800 array, which uses acquired Ibrix technology. HP’s server group has a couple of deals to resell Cleversafe and Scality object storage but David Scott’s storage part of HP’s Enterprise Systems business stresses the StoreAll 8800 line is strategic and has end-to-end HP support.
Moving on there is an 8200 Gateway Storage product which uses StoreServ 3PAR arrays for file and object storage instead of the 8000 array.
The StoreAll 8800 supports "NFS, CIFS and SMB, NDMP, HTTP and HTTPS, WebDAV, FTP and FTPS, StoreAll REST API File Compatibility Mode and Object Mode." Native OpenStack Swift and Keystone are also supported.
File Persona and StoreAll
The 3PAR File Persona features a HP unique Object Access API that enables REST API-based access to files over HTTP for custom cloud applications. It includes a full set of operations to create, retrieve, and delete files/directories as well as to set attributes and custom metadata (Stephen Bacon)
We asked HP some questions to understand File Persona's positioning better, and Stephen Bacon, Senior Manager for File and Object Storage Product Management and Marketing, provided the answers:
El Reg: How does this relate to the StoreAll software from the 8800 which supports NFS, CIFS and SMB, NDMP, HTTP and HTTPS, WebDAV, FTP and FTPS, StoreAll REST API File Compatibility Mode and Object Mode. Native OpenStack Swift and Keystone are also supported.
Stephen Bacon: HP StoreAll Storage and the StoreAll OS is intelligent archive storage for established and new generation archive applications. HP StoreAll is a sibling of HP StoreOnce Backup. HP StoreAll Storage and HP StoreOnce Backup are both built from a single BURA-optimised architecture. [BURA stands for BackUp, Recovery and Archiving.]
In comparison, the HP 3PAR File Persona, a new licensed feature of the 3PAR OS, extends the primary storage workloads natively addressed by HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage to now include client workloads such as home directory consolidation, group/department shares, corporate shares, and custom cloud applications.
El Reg: Is File Persona based on the StoreAll software?
Stephen Bacon: No. The HP 3PAR File Persona is based on a new generation codebase designed for client workloads that is implemented as a licensed feature of the 3PAR OS.
El Reg: If not, where does the object storage come from and what is its feature set?
Stephen Bacon: The 3PAR File Persona features a HP unique Object Access API that enables REST API-based access to files over HTTP for custom cloud applications. It includes a full set of operations to create, retrieve, and delete files/directories as well as to set attributes and custom metadata.
El Reg: Does it use erasure coding for example?
Stephen Bacon The Object Access API provides REST API-based access to files. It does not store data as objects.
El Reg: Does HP still need the 8200 Gateway storage product which adds a 3PAR backend to StoreAll?
Stephen Bacon Yes.
El Reg: So if it does, then how is it positioned in comparison with the File Persona software?
Stephen Bacon: The 3PAR File Persona extends the primary storage workloads natively addressed by HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage to now include client workloads such as home directory consolidation, group/department shares, corporate shares, and custom cloud applications.
HP StoreAll Storage, in comparison, is intelligent archive storage for established and new generation archive applications. Customers seeking to leverage 3PAR StoreServ Storage for their archive requirements, in part or in whole, can do so leveraging the HP StoreAll 8200 Gateway. The HP StoreAll 8200 Gateway can be seamlessly clustered with HP StoreAll Storage as part of a scale-out archive storage infrastructure.
Two File Persona points
In the use cases where File Persona renders both the 8200 Gateway Storage HW/SW and the 3PAR File Services HW/SW redundant then, indeed, quite a degree of convergence has been achieved.
One thing to note with HP adding object storage access to StoreServ is that this is something that NetApp has not been able to add to its ONTAP arrays, having a separate StorageGRID product (like the StoreAll 8800) instead. EMC can add object storage to its VNX and VMAX arrays by using its ViPR product which comes with an object data service. Neither Dell nor IBM have in-house object storage technology.
Import software extension
The 3PAR Online Import software aids data migration from EMC VNX and CX4 CLARiiON arrays. It features “self-managed platform migration and inline thin volume conversion without requiring professional services engagements or external hardware appliances". HP has gone and extended this to support importation of data from VMAX arrays; a cheeky move and one reflecting its view that the StoreServ 10000 systems are high-end arrays.
StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central
The Recovery Manager Central (RCM) software enables point-in-time “application-managed snapshots” on StoreServ arrays and automatic movement of changed data to a disk-based HP StoreOnce Backup target. Snapshot data can be moved in deduplicated mode directly from the StoreServ array to StoreOnce Backup.
HP says this provides more protection than snapshots on their own. It is, were told, a faster, simpler, lower-cost alternative to traditional backup infrastructure. The product initially supports VMware’s vSphere and provides VM-level backups. Might we see Hyper-V support coming along in the future?
HP adds that “flat backup topology is enabled by StoreOnce RMC’s Express Protect feature and offers 17x faster data protection than traditional backup". A flat network topology is one where traffic flows directly between two nodes rather than going up a network hierarchy and travelling back down again to the target node. It is generally estimated to be good for smaller networks.
We might think that with RCM HP is mounting an attack on Veeam and its success in backing up virtualised server environments.
StoreOnce VSAs and Backup 6500 gets boosted
There is a 50TB capacity StoreOnce VSA (virtual storage appliance option) which HP says will enable Backup-as-a-Service consolidation. There is more support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine as well as vSphere and Hyper-V Server support.
The Backup 6500 with Federated Catalyst supports systemwide (or global) deduplication across 8 nodes. Its ecosystem has been enlarged and includes Microsoft SQL Server and Symantec’s NetBackup AIR and Accelerator. There are enhancements for the existing database backup manager.
HP’s rate of storage announcements is high and the 3PAR StoreServ arrays are steadily getting more and more capable. It’s started bring some compute to StoreServ. How far it can go in this direction will be interesting to see.
Pricing and availability
- StoreServ 7440c Converged Flash Array is immediately available through HP and worldwide channel partners starting at $78,000.
- The StoreServ Management Console is available 15 December at no additional charge as a part of the 3PAR Operating System version 3.2.1 MU2.
- The File Persona Software Suite will be available for production deployments in limited geographies starting January 2015 at $129 per usable TB.
- StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central for VMware will be available worldwide January 2015 with prices starting at $2,500.
- OneView for VMware vCenter 7.5 is a free download when managing HP storage. HP Server and converged management features are licensed with HP OneView.
- OneView Advanced version 1.20 for converged management is currently available starting at $799 per server.
Let's see what Barcelona brings.®