3PAR Introduces Autonomic Storage Tiering for High-End Arrays

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-03-09

3PAR, which has established much of its identity around the idea of thin provisioning for data center storage, has brought to reality another concept: autonomic storage tiering. The company introduced its  newest software feature, Adaptive Optimization, which does this tiering, on March 8.

IBM has championed the concept of autonomic computing for about a decade. Autonomic computing is a self-management mechanism for a system or systems that can make preprogrammed "decisions" for themselves to solve problems-then solve them very quickly-to keep the data center operational.

At its optimum, the process actually prevents problems from happening in the first place through a combination of business and operational intelligence, gained by a constant collection of data.

3PAR Adaptive Optimization follows this concept to enable high-end-type storage systems to achieve an efficient distribution of data over the application lifecycle-without needing intervention by an administrator.

The software intelligently monitors subvolume level performance, then applies user-created policies that autonomically and nondisruptively rebalance a workload across tiers to continually and flexibly meet changing application demands, 3PAR Vice President of Marketing Craig Nunes told eWEEK.

"At the same time, Adaptive Optimization minimizes the risk of user-level impact through nondisruptive subvolume data movement technology, which has been proven over years of use, coupled with administrator controls that incorporate additional policy override mechanisms," Nunes said.

Nunes also said 3PAR has added support for solid-state drives (SSDs) in its InServ storage arrays.

3PAR's software will support units of eight 50GB STEC Mach8IOPS single-level cell SSDs in its T Series high-end disk arrays and F-Class midrange disk arrays beginning in the second quarter, Nunes said.

Several storage vendors with support for SSDs now use 100GB ZeusIOPS SSDs from STEC. Nunes said 3PAR decided to go with the smaller-capacity drives because 3PAR's systems stripe data chunks across all drives in the array and that 50GB drives are easier to replace and are less expensive. Pricing for each set of eight SSDs will start at $22,400, he said.

3PAR's autonomic approach to service-level optimization was designed to reduce enterprise and cloud data center costs by delivering more efficient service to the right data at the right time-nondisruptively and on an ongoing basis, Nunes said.
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