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back to article HP 3PAR flattens the SAN

HP announced a direct Fibre Channel connection at its Discover event in Las Vegas on Monday, between a 3PAR array and BladeSystem servers using Virtual Connect. This simplifies the storage area network (SAN) fabric enormously and saves a ton of cash. A BladeSystem is up to 16 servers in an enclosure that plug into a high-speed …

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Infiniband

Does 3Par even have infiniband connectivity? I don't see why that would be lower latency than FC directly connected, light will only go so fast!

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Re: Infiniband

Well, i think until now you couldn't connect a storage array directly to Virtual Connect Module. At least that was the case with EVA arrays. So you had the VC module and a FC switch between blade and array. Getting rid of a switch should improve performance.

But since they say other arrays can be plugged in the VC as well, the 3PAR in the name is marketing :)

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Would be useful if they could do the same thing for Virtual Connect on the Ethernet side - allowing routers to be plugged straight into it instead of having to go through an additional switch.

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Anonymous Coward

VC

Too bad VC is such a buggy reliable POS!

The Brocade FC & ProCurve Ethernet switch modules are much more reliable!

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DC not possible before

direct connect wasn't possible before w/3PAR because virtual connect uses NPIV and 3PAR did not support NPIV till now.

As for the # of VMs a direct connected 3PAR can support it really depends on what the VMs are doing. With ~450k SPC-1 IOPS that's roughly 18 IOPS/VM with a fully loaded V800 and 25,000 VMs. My company's VMs average around 10 IOPS/VM at my last measurement. With some VMs doing quite a bit more, and even more VMs doing almost nothing.

I just don't get where folks come off saying that X system will support X number of VMs (from a performance standpoint anyways) when the workloads vary wildly. User A may only be able to run half the number of VMs because of their apps, User B may be able to run 5 times more VMs since they have less work per VM.

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Anonymous Coward

Why..?

So what type of a Customer would go for this? Where's the catch, outside of going back to a DAS type solution? What are the port count limitations? Upgrade path? Looks like a niche product to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Why...not ?

Well with a 3PAR V800 you could connect > 1500 physical dual pathed blade servers, whether that's applicable to every environment is a different matter. But potentially it could save some businesses (SP's and large scale consolidation shops) millions of $$$ by removing the external fabric connectivity requirement for all of those hosts, and the CNA's are already on the blade motherboard.

So really all you need is to add VC to the blade enclosure in place of a passthru and external fabric or some other connectivity combo. It's not one or the other either, you can still decide to mix VC direct connect and a standard fabric on the 3PAR, just depends on what you're estate looks like and what you're trying to achieve. TBH it sounds like a pretty flexible option given you can start with a single blade chassis and continue scaling them out or mix and match with traditional fabric.

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