3PAR Powers on Utility Storage for High-Availability IBM AIX

By extending new support for IBM high-availability arrays, utility storage company provides a lower-cost alternative for enterprises looking to curb storage expenses.

Utility storage vendor 3PAR announced Jan. 31 that new support has been added to its InServ Storage Server to enable IBM High Availability Cluster Multi-Processing for AIX, enabling a lower-cost, high-performance storage alternative to Big Blues high-end line of arrays.

High-availability clustering is IBMs flagship high-availability technology that provides monitoring, failure detection and automated recovery of business applications on IBM AIX servers, a 3PAR spokesperson said.

The new support allows users of IBMs high-availability clustering to deploy it for the first time as part of a utility storage system—a massively scalable storage platform—to complement their mission-critical AIX environments.

"Any IBM enterprise data center running HACMP on a System p server is encouraged to use an IBM DS system, i.e. DS4000 or DS8000," David Reine, director of enterprise systems at The Clipper Group in Wellesley, Mass., told eWEEK.

However, the 3PAR InServ storage array—with its high performance rating (as per SPC) and thin provisioning—allows that HACMP data center to lower not only acquisition costs, but more significantly, the total cost of ownership of the array, Reine said.

By reducing the amount of media actually spinning in the rack, the data center staff can save on floor space and energy costs, improving the price/performance scenario for their mission-critical, high-availability environment, Reine said.

"With this announcement, 3PAR offers a compelling storage platform for high-availability AIX customers," said Reine. "For anyone considering high availability for AIX, the benefits of combining IBM HACMP cluster technology with 3PAR Utility Storage should not be ignored."

IBMs AIX operating system is the strategic platform of choice for many enterprises with production environments where downtime can mean lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction and reputation damage.

To avoid these issues, enterprises often deploy high-availability cluster technologies such as HACMP in conjunction with highly available, high-end storage systems. However, even though these storage systems can offer high levels of storage performance, scalability and high availability, they are costly to implement and can be complex to administer.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about 3PARs "green storage" initiative.

As an alternative, enterprises may opt for more affordable dual-controller, midrange storage—but in doing so they compromise availability and face increased downtime risk, the spokesperson said.

3PARs utility storage aims to resolve this by offering a highly available, massively scalable, clustered architecture that delivers high and predictable levels of performance—even under failure conditions—for dramatically less cost than high-end arrays, the spokesperson said.

This includes robust remote replication capabilities—via 3PAR Remote Copy—for disaster recovery of AIX environments. Additionally, 3PAR Multipath I/O (MPIO) for IBM AIX provides path failover and recovery for high-availability environments.

3PARs utility storage brings new efficiency to highly available AIX environments, the spokesperson said. For example, the Fremont, Calif.-based companys Thin Provisioning enables one-time provisioning of logical storage to AIX systems while reducing deployed physical capacity by 50 percent or more, the spokesperson said.

3PAR Virtual Copy, built on Thin Copy technology, allows users to take hundreds of reservationless, non-duplicative snapshots of mission-critical data sets, providing cost-effective access to many possible recovery points, the spokesperson said.

"With 3PARs support of IBM HACMP technology, AIX customers can now combine the benefits of highly available server clustering with the simplicity and efficiency of 3PAR Utility Storage," said David Scott, 3PAR President and CEO.

"Our joint customers get to achieve more with less, now with added resilience and less risk. Whats not to like?"

3PAR InServ Storage Server support for IBM HACMP technology is currently available with IBM System p5 servers.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...