Lower Flash Costs Enable New Features for HP 3PAR Storage

HP wants to enable users to buy more flash for their 3PAR systems without having to do forklift-type hardware replacements.

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage

Hewlett-Packard, whose storage division has been among its best-performing businesses for the last several fiscal quarters, rolled out improvements to its 3PAR StoreServ Storage Nov. 5 that enable users to add NAND flash-based capacity to their systems yet maintain legacy infrastructures.

Because the price of flash storage is now down to roughly the same as that of high-performance spinning disk drives, IT managers are more inclined to buy flash arrays in order to accelerate the speed of mainstream applications. However, enterprises want to add this fast new storage without having to rip and replace existing infrastructure.

To have a greater impact in this hot IT business trend, HP is aiming to satisfy both of these needs. It has lowered the cost of usable flash storage using HP 3PAR Thin Deduplication software across solid-state drive (SSD) tiers on all new and existing HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 and 10000 models.

Also, all HP 3PAR StoreServ systems gain acceleration benefits without additional hardware or software licensing by using the new 3PAR Adaptive Flash Cache and Express Write features.

The two new software features improve application performance without hardware changes, including online transaction processing workloads and databases, thanks to random read acceleration with Adaptive Flash Cache and write acceleration with Express Writes, HP Director of Storage Product Management Vish Mulchand told eWEEK.

"Adaptive Flash Cache is now available at no charge as a part of the 3PAR OS v.3.2.1," Mulchand said. "Essentially it is software that allows you to accelerate reads by extending the DRAM cache to an SSD."

As a new standard feature of the HP 3PAR operating system, Adaptive Flash Cache uses flash capacity to extend storage system cache—selectively or across the entire array. It allows users to accelerate applications by adding SSDs to the HP 3PAR StoreServ array, thereby avoiding "rip-and-replace" upgrades, Mulchand said.

Adaptive Flash Cache can potentially double the rate at which data can be read from a disk, and reduce latency by up to 70 percent when used with SSD capacity, he said.

Express Writes gives HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage users an additional performance boost without hardware changes by lowering storage write latencies by up to 10 percent and helping increase overall write throughput, Mulchand said.

HP also made available on Nov. 5 a 3PAR Flash Advisor toolset that uses analytics and reporting to help users determine how to best use flash storage to increase efficiency, improve service levels, and lower costs.

Users who are modernizing deployments of SAP solutions on HP hardware also can take advantage of a new configuration for SAP HANA that includes all-flash arrays for HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, Mulchand said.

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...