HP Expands Virtual Storage For OpenStack, Intros Entry All-Flash 3PAR Arrays

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Hewlett-Packard expanded its software-defined storage strategy Friday with several additions to its storage lineup targeting virtualized and cloud environments, with a particular emphasis on OpenStack cloud implementations.

HP unveiled enhancements to its StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance and its StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance, as well as introduced a lower-cost version of its all-flash 3PAR storage array.

Together, they help prepare customers and partners to deploy software-defined data centers, said Dale Degen, category manager for HP's software-defined storage technology.

[Related: Dell's Two-Part Plan: Merge Storage Platforms, Develop 'Blue Thunder' Software-Defined Storage]

"We've been bringing together a lot of investments in software-defined data centers, and preparing them for next week's VMworld," Degen told CRN.

The idea of a software-defined data center is not just another marketing acronym, said Steve Lankard, CTO and vice president of technology solutions architecture for OnX, a Toronto-based solution provider and HP channel partner.

"The industry has seen the advantage of using industry-standard hardware with compute resources, and is looking to do the same with storage and networking," Lankard told CRN. "They see the advantages that come from standardization of components, a move away from vendor lock-in, and a faster speed to deploying assets."

HP has become a leader when it comes to technology for building OpenStack-based clouds and has been making big bets on that technology with its own HP Helion OpenStack cloud, Lankard said.

"We see a lot of opportunities to provide the technology and services for OpenStack using HP," he said. "We're doing it now."

HP is using next week's VMworld conference to introduce several updates to its virtual storage arrays, or VSAs, to make them more compatible with virtualized and cloud environments, Degen said.

For the StoreVirtual VSA, which is a virtual array for primary storage based on HP's acquisition of LeftHand, HP is adding KVM to its list of compatible hypervisors which, until now, included VMware and Microsoft's Hyper-V, Degen said.

The company also added space reclamation based on the industry-standard T10 UNMAP iSCSI command to reclaim space opened up as virtual machines migrate to new hosts. This quickly makes such space available for other uses, Degen said.

Also new is a multi-pathing extension for VMware vSphere environments, which allows every host in a cluster to know where every bit of data resides in order to more efficiently migrate virtual machines.

"This hasn't been an issue with spinning hard disks, but is becoming an issue with the use of low-latency flash storage," he said.

Both the StoreVirtual VSA and HP's StoreVirtual physical appliances have also been given an updated Cinder interface to support OpenStack management and also now have a full suite of RESTful APIs, Degen said.

NEXT: More Opportunities For Virtual Storage Appliances, All-Flash 3PAR Arrays

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