In a world of converged IT stacks the standard interfaces on which external storage depends are threatened. External storage depends upon standard interfaces: Ethernet and NFS/CIFS/TCP/IP for filers and iSCSI and Fibre Channel for block access. We have a layered approach to connecting servers and external storage, and also …
I might be vertical but what's the BMI?
HP (& its server selling competitors) are addressing a problem. In a virtualised environment the world needs less servers. So the answer is: make all those servers into something else, like... storage.
Take Left Hand as an example: you want storage that comprises, say, 72 physical drives. You get something in the order of 12 CPUs and 24GB of memory along with your drives all stuffed into 6 storage units (good job I didn't say servers). A typical mid-range, dual controller storage array does that with a couple of CPUs & maybe 8GB memory, tops.
Looks like EVA technology is also due for server fattening if El Reg's recent notes are accurate.
HP's might be a vertically integrated model but it sure gets lardy around the bottom.
Dual controller arrays are dying
The legacy dual controller model is going away. You talk about the fact that the Left Hand solution comes with each node tuned to deliver the best performance from its' 12 drives? You say a dual controller array 'does that' with less, but as you add more drives you don't add memory or controllers so the controllers become more burdened. The Left Hand solution scales performance as you scale capacity, without a controller swap. So how is that a bad thing?
Without control over software the stack can't be said to be integrated. The biggest optimizations are giving the filesystem/buffer cache layer visibility into the interconnect and disk/SSD hardware, as NetApp did with ONTAP and Sun with ZFS. From that point of view the only fully integrated stack is the Oracle/Sun one There is no reason why HP or Cisco couldn't make equivalents by making enhanced versions of the ext4 and btrfs filesystems optimized for their hardware or virtualization, but they have shown no inclination to do so this far.
ATA over ethernet
I noticed how that one was missing. A converged stack and open source.