HP's New 3PAR Storage Now Extends From Midrange To Enterprise, Targets EMC's VNX/VNXe4:08 PM EST Mon. Dec. 03, 2012
Hewlett-Packard on Monday expanded its 3PAR storage portfolio with new midrange models that now give HP a single storage architecture, serving midrange- to enterprise-level customers.
The Monday introduction of the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 series storage solutions brings the starting price of the HP 3PAR storage family down to the $25,000 range, giving HP its first storage architecture that helps customers and channel partners scale from the midrange to the enterprise.
"This is the biggest thing we've done for storage for years," said Craig Nunes, vice president of worldwide marketing for HP storage. "And it marks a milestone for us."
That milestone is the unification of HP's storage on a common architecture from the midrange through the enterprise on 3PAR, a move that comes two years after HP closed its $2.35-billion acquisition of 3PAR.
Prior to the release of the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 series storage solutions, HP covered the range through multiple lines, including its MSA, EVA and LeftHand lines at the midrange and 3PAR and the Hitachi Data Systems-manufactured XP at the enterprise.
In that aspect, HP has been very much like nearly all its primary competitors in that their storage lines include products ranging from midrange to enterprise market but are not compatible with other lines from the same vendor. The only real exception has been NetApp, whose FAS line of storage solutions uses that company's Data Ontap operating system, making the arrays all compatible with each other.
Lack of compatibility within a vendor's own product lines has not gone unnoticed by customers, Nunes said. "To get the job done in large enterprise, they're probably slogging through 10 different platforms for storage," he said.
He cited arch-rival EMC as an example. "EMC's VNXe has a different architect from the VNX, or the VMAXe at the high end," he said. "And if you want to move live data between them, you can't without multiple manual operations."
HP's channel partners praised HP for centering its storage strategy on the HP 3PAR line.
NEXT: HP VARs Praise HP 3PAR Storage Line
Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner, said his company already sold at least two of the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 arrays prior to the products' unveiling, including one to a major law firm and a second to a major utility that used it to displace and EMC array.
Baldwin, which has been working with 3PAR storage just prior to that vendor's acquisition by HP, said the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 arrays will cover the vast majority of his company's customer requirements.
"In our history, we have not sold more than four controllers with a 3PAR storage array," he said. "I suppose we could sell eight controllers for a few applications. But, I believe the 7400 will become the sweet spot in performance, scalability and capacity with our customers."
Nth Generation has had good luck competing against EMC using HP 3PAR storage, and the new models will make it even easier to compete going forward, Baldwin said. "Before, the 3PAR sales started at six figures," he said. "But now we can compete against the VNX and VNXe. We can start at the same price as the HP MSA and EVA, and scale up to the XP level. So this is a dream come true."
Gary Johnston, president of IT Partners, a Phoenix-based solution provider and HP partner, called the new HP 3PAR storage a game changer for customers with its new efficiency, scalability and multitenancy features.
"Now I have a tier-one storage platform I can bring into entry-level storage opportunities," Johnston said. "Watch out storage world. We've been waiting for this."
HP 3PAR has always been amazing technology but too expensive for most customers, he said. "Now HP is bringing the price down without scaling down the features," he said.
EMC's big share of the market for storage attached to HP's huge ProLiant server business will be a big target for the new HP 3PAR storage, Johnston said.
"HP is a leader in the x86 server market," he said. "There are a lot of environments where HP servers are connected to non-HP storage. There are lots of reasons people bought non-HP storage in the past. Now we can address those reasons."
NEXT: More Details On The New HP 3PAR Storage
New from HP is the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200, the company's new entry-level midrange storage array. This 2U array comes with two storage nodes and a 24-GB cache, and it can be configured with up to 144 hard drives and 120 SSDs.
It is joined on HP's product line card by the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400, which can be configured with two or four controller nodes, 32 GB or 64 GB of cache, and up to 480 hard drives and 240 SSDs.
HP also unveiled new HP 3PAR StoreServ file services to go with its new hardware, including primary deduplication with autonomic capacity reclamation, policy-based tiering at both the block level and the file level, increased performance in mixed block and file workloads, encryption at rest and in-flight, and eight-way clustered services either locally or over distance.
Both include advanced high-availability software that allows customers to provide a quality of service guarantees either on an application or per-tenant basis, HP's Nunes said.
They are also both available in all-SSD configurations, he said.
With the introduction of the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 at a $25,000 starting price, HP's 3PAR storage is now priced starting about the same as its older EVA line.
The EVA, which was first introduced in 2001, will still be available on HP's line card, but new orders will likely be focused on the new 3PAR arrays, Nunes said.
"We have no end-of-life plans for the EVA through 2013," he said. "We still have engineers on the platform, and we have new software coming. But, we want partners to tell EVA customers about 3PAR. We have software called Online Import for easy, risk-free migration of EVA data to 3PAR."
Johnston at IT Partners said HP had done a good job of making it easy to migrate customers from EVA to 3PAR. "HP has some really slick software technology to automate the migrating of data from EVA to 3PAR," he said. "It's not completely seamless. But, it's not a big data migration project."
NEXT: The New HP StoreAll Search Appliance For Large Data Stores
In addition to the new HP 3PAR storage arrays, HP on Monday also unveiled a new storage platform, the HP StoreAll, which uses the company's IBRIX software to build an appliance dedicated to offering high-performance search of multi-TB or petabyte-sized file stores without scale-out issues, HP's Nunes said.
The HP StoreAll takes advantage of the company's StoreAll Express Query, a technology developed by HP labs that speeds up the search performance in large data sets. Nunes said the company has found it could search through 500 million files in 1.4 seconds vs. 42 hours using traditional file systems.
The HP StoreAll system is fully integrated with the HP Autonomy IDOL search technology for finding and filtering data, he said.
PUBLISHED DEC. 3, 2012