HP Unveils Storage Tiering, Thin-Provisioning Services

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-09-01
 
 
 

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hewlett-Packard apparently is setting the table for its presumed incorporation of scale-out virtualized storage maker 3PAR, which could happen as soon as today.

Although its bidding war with Dell was not a done deal by midday Pacific time on Sept. 1, HP held the upper hand with a "superior" -- according to the 3PAR board of directors -- $2 billion offer. Dell had until end of business Sept. 1 to increase its current $1.8 billion bid in an effort to supercede HP.

In apparent anticipation of the addition of the 3PAR intellectual property and engineering staff, HP Enterprise Services announced new services around storage tiering and thin provisioning for its product line. This is all aimed at better organization and management of virtualized storage environments.

HP currently does not offer second-generation storage software management controls that include these two key features -- thus the heavy-duty play for 3PAR.

Tiered networks, in addition to filtering out unnecessary data and files that slow up traffic, allocate business data and files to the most efficient layer of storage available: Tier 1 (on-demand data), Tier 2 (not-as-critical but still timely), and Tier 3 (archive).

Tiers also provide immediate access to timely business data so it can be used for internal corporate analytics if needed.

Thin provisioning is a method of storage resource management and virtualization that lets IT administrators limit the allocation of actual physical storage to what applications immediately need. It enables the automatic addition of capacity on demand up to pre-set limits so that IT departments can avoid buying and managing excessive amounts of disk storage.

Storage tiering and thin-provisioning are not new features; many other companies -- established and second-generation -- offer them.  NetApp, EMC, Compellent, Xiotech, Dell, 3PAR and several others have been selling tiering and thin-provisioning for several years.

HP's Virtualized Storage Service can save clients up to 30 percent in costs by maximizing utilization and moving appropriate data to less expensive storage tiers,  said Jeff Moyer, HP's Director of Storage Services.

"As virtualization moves to new areas in the data center, clients are beginning to realize its improved performance and cost benefits when applied to data," Moyer said.

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