HP Boosts 3PAR Storage With All-SSD Option

Hewlett-Packard this week offered new SSD configurations for its 3PAR P10000 storage array, including an all-SSD option and a doubling of the maximum number of SSDs that can be used alongside spinning disks.

The company also introduced a new SSD-based cache offering for its ProLiant servers that can be extended to the SSDs inside a 3PAR array.

The 3PAR P10000 array has become HP's flagship storage offering since HP's late-2010 acquisition of 3PAR

[Related: HP's 3PAR Storage Connects To Blades Without SAN, Targeting Cisco, EMC Offerings ]

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Vish Mulchand, HP's director of product management for 3PAR products, said enhancing the SSD capabilities of the P10000 gives customers flexibility.

"Customers can either choose all SSDs, or a mix of SSD and spinning disk," Mulchand said. "For applications requiring high performance with relatively low capacity, they can trade capacity for performance."

The 3PAR P10000 can now be configured with up to 128 SSDs per node pair, or a maximum of 512 SSDs, Mulchand said. Prior to this week, the P10000 could be configured with up to 32 SSDs per controller pair, or a maximum of 128 SSDs.

Total capacity for the 3PAR P10000 is a maximum of 1,092 drives, including spinning disks and SSDs. However, a maximum of 512 SSDs is set because more than that would saturate the controller's performance, he said.

Dhruv Gulati, executive vice president of Lilien Systems, a Larkspur, Calif.-based solution provider and long-term HP partner, said the new SSD configurations for the HP 3PAR P10000 array should result in impressive performance, although it may not be obvious where such performance is required.

"I'm not sure what the use case will be," Gulati said. "An all-SSD array will be very expensive. But, maybe it can be used with ProLiant servers to create an appliance that can compete with Oracle's Exadata or IBM's Netezza."

HP has significantly enhanced its 3PAR storage offering since it acquired 3PAR. For instance, HP in June made it possible to connect 3PAR storage directly to its HP BladeSystem chassis without a SAN in a move to steal some thunder from Cisco's and EMC's converged infrastructure offerings.

NEXT: HP Introduces New Host-based SSD Cache

Also new this week from HP is the new HP Smart Cache, a host-based caching adapter for its new ProLiant Gen8 servers.

The HP Smart Cache uses SSDs inside the servers to accelerate workload performance by keeping frequently-accessed data on the SSDs. They provide higher capacity than PCIe-based flash storage and allow the use of RAID to protect from accidental data loss, HP's Mulchand said.

The HP Smart Cache can also be used with the HP 3PAR storage arrays as part of a converged solution that allows data to be copied in real time from the array to the SSD cache.

The HP 3PAR P10000 configured with all SSDs is currently available with a starting price of $350,000.