back to article 3PAR goes all-flash, shaves hefty wodge off price tag

HP has announced an all-flash version of its 3PAR P10000 single tier storage array delivering the same performance at 70 per cent less cost. This configuration can have up to 512 solid-state drives, of unrevealed capacity, and should deliver the same IOPS performance as the P10000 V800 model with some 1,900 300GB 15K hard disk …

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Bronze badge

i/o limits

the reason for "only" 512 SSDs is that is the i/o limit of the system. 3PAR doesn't want customers to be able to oversubscribe the controllers/ports with more I/O then they can handle.

The limits have been well documented by them ever since SSDs were announced, though made more public since HP bought them since HP publishes the specs on the interwebs

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14103_na/14103_na.html

"What's New

Increase in maximum number of solid state drives (SSDs) in HP 3PAR P10000 Storage:

* The maximum number of SSDs has been increased to 128 per node pair

* This translates into a maximum of SSDs of 256 for the V400 and 512 for the V800"

For the older T-class

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13883_na/13883_na.html

"* Minimum of 2 SSD magazines (8 drives) spread across a minimum of 2 drive chassis on a given node-pair

* Maximum of 8 SSD magazines (32 drives) on a given node-pair

* Minimum of 1 SSD magazine (4 drives) per drive chassis

* Maximum of 2 SSD magazines (8 drives) per drive chassis"

The all SSD offering is interesting, since before it was not a valid configuration(not sure why other than probably no customers would get it). Though interesting to see the results, wonder when they will get officially posted.

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Silver badge
Meh

"....up to 512 SSDs, of unrevealed capacity...." 100GB or 200GB SSDs looking at the Quickspecs site. I would suggest they used the 100GB ones as this looks like a typical marketeering exercise in short-stroking unlikely to be practical in 99% of customer applications. I'm much more interested in the price-cuts, TBH.

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Today's traditional Storage does not have the Backend BW or the architecture to support as many SSD as traditional spindle based disks, this I presume is well known fact.. Having said that, 512 SSD vs. 1900 traditional disks is commendable, though with fewer SSD, HP may have been able to deliver "More IOPS per GB".

I presume all Storage from any vendor will max out with 128-256 SSD with current Interconnect architectures available today.

Having said that, How you look at these statistics is important.

Also, it's usefulness in terms of practical use of such a Storage with SSD configuration, would be:

1. While 100/200GB 512 SSD disks it gives 6-11X less Storage Capacity, it also translate to 6-11X faster IOPS to application using "SSD only 3PAR" -- Which is useful for application that needs such Performance from an Enterprise Class Storage; Flash storage can deliver even faster IOPS, but they don't have the features required for Mission Critical Data.

3PAR with 1900 * 300GB Disks -- 0.78 SPC-1 IOPS/GB

3PAR with 512 * 100GB SSD -- 8.79 SPC-1 IOPS/GB (Assuming HP used 100GB SSD)

3PAR with 512 * 200GB SSD -- 4.39 SPC-1 IOPS/GB (Assuming HP used 200GB SSD)

2. Doesn't make any sense to say, "70% less cost with this SSD based configuration" -- As "Cost per GB" is much higher (would be the case for any Storage with SSD) -- Who needs 6-11X Performance will pay for it.

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I don't think these pure SSD arrays, or tiers of SSD, are practical for most people. Most people don't have workloads that require 500,000 IOPS, but they have a bunch of workload that requires 40-50,000 IOPS. If you spread all of that SSD out in a modular format, everything is fast without any tier being super high performance. A dab will do you with SSD. All of the studies show the diminishing returns as SSD is added. If you spread SSD and cache in a modular architecture, you also don't need to worry about the tiering software and management of pushing hot volumes into SSD and then pulling them on to disk when they are less utilized. Saves a bunch of software costs and makes everything much simpler. It will also cost a lot less.

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Silver badge
Happy

Re: Wunderbar1

So, all-SSD arrays are pointless except for generating benchmark figures? I expect they'll be starring in IBM Power benchmarks any day now.

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Re: Wunderbar1

They already are -

http://c970058.r58.cf2.rackcdn.com/individual_results/IBM/IBM_780cluster_20100816_ES.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

This isn't about HP innovation, it's about the utter lack of HP innovation. They're still shipping EVA and the ancient 3PAR F-series after innumerable delays. Sometimes I think there's an alarm clock in the HP Investor Relations office and when it rings, it's a signal to take a 'memristor' release off the pile and send it or announce a color or configuration change. What's next, shoving a pile of SSDs into the back of Meg's armored Range Rover and doing an SPC-1 run?

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with the memristor comment. HP brings it out whenever anyone calls them a PC gray box and ink pusher to demonstrate that they do real tech work... despite working on it for a decade and having nothing to show. Nothing has come out of HP Labs in a long, long time. They have relied on overpriced acquisitions, e.g. buying 3PAR because EVA and XP are no longer competitive.

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Silver badge
Stop

"I agree with the memristor comment....." You must have missed this El Reg article whilst you were frothing on about hp releases: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/09/hp_memristor_and_photons/

".....They have relied on overpriced acquisitions, e.g. buying 3PAR...." Dell employee maybe, still bitter that hp outbid you for 3PAR? Like hp are the only player buying storage companies. IBM badge the NetApps and bought the XIV tech from an Israeli company. Dell bought Compellent. Oracle bought Pillar and Sun (which used to badge storage gear from Hitachi amongst others).

<Yawn> Back under your bridge, little troll, the adults are talking here.

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Linux

Tuff to Say

Project Sage - Hot Cache was tried and dismissed as not effective. EMC Thunder has is still a bit of drizzle, just not enough energy to create a critical mass to drive a storm.

The old HP Embraced EMC Symmetrix and helped them become the storage company they are. After a few courthouse meetings, HP shuns EMC and Turns Eastward (westward depending on your location) and embraces Hitachi. Including a Deep co-engineering/development effort.

Then as with most things (for go the flames etc), DEC (creator of some cool technology much like Sony) is acquired by Compaq and then later ingested by HP with a little pepto-bismal and bit of pixie dust to boot. The Compaq EMA becomes the EVA....

Then when no-one is looking HP hires people from EMC that have no future growth to shape the future at EMC so the move out - to move 'cept. They cannot seem to determine a direction.... a Vector if you will.

Let's see. ( a short list of technology owned or OEMed by HP)

PolyServe

Ibrix

Veritas (no HP didn't buy them nor did they think to buy them)

LSI

Fusion IO

Violin

TMS

Hitachi

Outerbay

OCZ

..

The engineers at HP came up with a partial Flash Array technology (yep partial if you have 1900 slots but can only fill 512 that is not a full anything..)

HP needs to set a direction or maybe they should get out of the storage business they never clearly understood.

Though I did like the AutoRaid 12H. It was fun to watch it rebalance itself once you set up AutoRaid and then pulled out a disk and re-inserted it before the rebuild was done....

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