Please welcome baby 3PAR!

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Rebranding the ‘future’ story:

I’ve said it a few times in the last 2 years (actually since the acquisition of 3PAR) that HP should have replaced the EVA with ‘newer’ technology. FINALLY they made it there. So please welcome the new baby 3PAR: HP StoreServ 7000 series. You’ll see a lot new rebranding stuff going on at HP storage. Let me give you a small rundown:

  • HP StoreOnce: deduplication appliances (HP labs)
  • HP StoreVirtual: fka Lefthand. Lefthand is now only used as the Operating system
  • HP StoreServ: 3PAR
  • HP StoreAll: IBRIX + Object (HP labs)
  • HP StoreEasy: Windows Storage Server
  • HP StoreOpen: HP LTFS
  • HP StoreEver: HP tape robots and libraries

If you read well through this list you’ll see that a few products are not being rebranded. It’s P2000 (MSA) and P6000 (EVA). This has a very good reason. They are already calling it yesterday’s products and guess what; they’re not making it in the future. My point last year was that HP should not have brought out the new P6000 because the only thing that was new there was the SAS backend instead of FC backend technology. There was no new things in the software what so ever. So yes, finally the EVA can go to sleep.

So what’s new?

The new HP StoreServ comes in 2 models: the StoreServ 7200 – dual controller – and the StoreServ 7400 – dual or quad controller with full mesh connectivity. There have been some changes in the 3PAR technology that enables this to go to a much lower granular model than before. The problem getting the 3PAR to SMB market was the large granularity with its 4-disks drive magazines which also had to be vertically aligned throughout the array. I did a blogpost on that in december 2010. Now you can buy the smallest dual controller box with a minimum of 8 disks and upgrade per 2 additional disks. The only exception is on Nearline Disks where you’ll need a 12 disks minimum because the best practise is to put RAID6 on it. So how’s that for some granularity? And the official word this week is that the StoreServ 7200 comes in already at $25.000 list price.

A second issue HP 3PAR has been struggling with is the sprawl of licenses that go on top it. It still looks messy but at least they did a big effort in simplifying the story. So what happened? HP bundled licenses that are in a similar solution type into licensing suites. Here is an overview and some details on the new suites.

So let me help you to find a few important details in here:

  • There is a CAP on the disk based licenses and the cap is pretty low (for 7200 just 2 disk shelves already)
  • All the THIN licenses are now included in the Operating System Suite!
  • There is a license called Online Import License with a 180 days expiration. Actually this is a temporary license for the Peer Motion technology which is otherwise licensed in the Data Optimization Suite.
  • ALL licenses are still available in a single sale but the message here is that you get more profit of buying them in a suite.

So how about my grandpa’s EVA now?

HP made the transition from EVA to 3PAR going really slick with that Online Import feature. Calvin Zito (@HPstorageGuy) made a nice video on it that he will publish anytime now so I’ll make sure it get’s in this blogpost.

Interesting Links:
Bart Heungens: New Features in 3PAR Operating System 3.1.2
Nate – TechOpsGuys: 3PAR: the next generation – good overall tech deepdive 
Chris Evans – The Storage Architect – HP Storage bets on 3PAR
Robin Harris – StorageMojo – The Stovepipe vs The Grid – “the only credible challenge to EMC in the last 15 years.”

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