HPE Flash Storage Initiative Includes Lowered Pricing

"We're looking at a third wave of flash storage, and at HPE, we're calling it the 'Flash Now' wave," the company said.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise thinks that all-NAND flash data centers are the wave of the future, no matter how long that future takes, so it is sparing no cost or effort to become the No. 1 go-to vendor in that storage sector.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based IT supplier, which has pared down its overall set of offerings to focus almost exclusively on new or refreshed data centers, has introduced an initiative to address increased demand for: a) flexible storage consumption models; b) accelerated all-flash data center adoption; and c) helping customers transform to a hybrid IT infrastructure.

The announcement was made Nov. 28 at the HPE Discover Conference in London. There was a minimum of new-product news at the show.

Even enterprises that are seemingly satisfied with the speed, security and reliability of their current data centers still have to think about the future. Inevitably, hardware starts slowing down, red lights start popping on more often and at inopportune times, firmware goes out of date and internal and external users start increasing call center complaints.

'Third Wave of Flash Storage'

"We're looking at a third wave of flash storage, and at HPE, we're calling it the 'Flash Now' wave," Vish Mulchand, Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing at HPE Storage, told eWEEK. "This will be characterized by four things: 1) a focus on applications and their acceleration; 2) simplification; 3) better management of risk in your data; and 4) how to make better [storage] investment choices."

Mulchand described Wave 1 of the flash storage revolution to have taken place in and around 2009-10, when first movers such as EMC, HPE, Pure Storage and a few others started offering flash for niche applications at relatively high prices. Wave 2 happened in about 2012, when flash pricing started becoming much more competitive and apps were more spread out around the data center. A bevy of smaller players also came into the market.

Starting with its frontline 3PAR StoreServ Storage platform, HPE is putting renewed focus on its pricing model. "We're looking at a starting enterprise flash storage price [depending upon individual use cases] of 3 cents per gigabyte per month," Mulchand said. "Do the math: This is even more cost-effective than most public cloud storage."

Not Simply a Financing Program

This is more than simply a financing program, Mulchand said.

"HPE 3PAR Flash Now does a lot. It accelerates all-flash data center adoption, simplifies migration from legacy storage, reduces risk and provides a seamless growth path for customers to manage future technology transitions," Mulchand said. "In addition to bringing the performance of HPE 3PAR StoreServ all-flash storage, the initiative brings together technology innovations, programs and services such as HPE Flexible Capacity and Pre-Provisioning."

Business benefits, according to Mulchand, include:

--optimization of cash flow by deferring payments until their new all-flash array is up and running or injecting cash via asset trade-in;

--acceleration of service delivery by taking advantage of automated data migration tools at no cost or opt for tailored migration services;

--improvement of service levels through HPE's 99.9999 percent availability guarantee, and by including flash-optimized networking and data protection;

--minimization of refresh risk with built-in non-disruptive upgrade to next-gen technologies such as storage class memory and NVMe; and

--maintaining control over data locality, avoid long-term lock-in and eliminate the costs and complications of reclaiming data from the cloud.

Other news from Discover London:

--HPE StoreFabric 32Gb (Gen 6) Fiber Channel: Part of HPE 3PAR Flash Now, this updated portfolio features HPE Smart SAN technology for fully automated orchestration directly from HPE 3PAR StoreServ flash storage arrays. This capacity reduces provisioning time by 90%, lowering risks due to human error or network changes.

--New storage reseller partnerships: For flash-adjacent archiving and web-scale digital asset management, HPE is extending its high-end tape portfolio to drive down long-term storage costs to under $0.01 per GB via a new reseller partnership with Spectra Logic.

--HPE Rack and Power Infrastructure updates: Portfolio of infrastructure management and power management solutions for mid-size businesses, including the next generation of Advanced Racks ad Standard PDUs, as well Infrastructure Architect (blog), a new app designed to help customers determine the right infrastructure equipment. In addition, HPE is extending its warranty for Advanced and Enterprise racks to 10 years.

--A Memory-Driven Computing architecture proof-of-concept: HPE also demonstrated the world's first Memory-Driven Computing architecture, a major milestone in The Machine research program the company announced just over two years ago. With this achievement, HPE unveiled a proof-of-concept prototype that demonstrates the fundamental building blocks of this new computing architecture working together.

--Looking ahead, HPE's DCIG business intends to integrate the technologies developed under The Machine program into its product roadmap. In fact, HPE is rapidly commercializing Memory-Driven Computing technologies, many of which are related to The Machine project, into new and existing products. These technologies fall into the following categories: Non-volatile memory (NVM), fabric (including photonics), ecosystem enablement and security. See separate story on eWEEK.

Pricing and Availability

HPE 3PAR Flash Now is available worldwide now. HPE StoreFabric 32Gb (Gen 6) Fibre Channel portfolio is available worldwide now. HPE currently offers a full line of tape libraries and tape media under the HPE StoreEver portfolio.

The new Spectra Enterprise Libraries utilizing LTO, TS and T10000 tape technologies are available as of Nov. 28, starting at $112,000 list price for the zero drive library option.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...