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HP 3PAR gets a boost with SSD

Headshot 100X100.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vexpert 2012 logo.gif


Today we made a couple of announcements focused on solid state technology.  There are two pieces of the announcement - one focused on HP 3PAR and the other on HP ProLiant Gen8.  Let's take them one at a time.


HP 3PAR P10000

We announced an all-solid state drive (SSD) configuration for 3PAR.  It's a pretty straight forward announcement and here are a few things to look at:

  • The all SSD system supports up to 512 SSDs per array - that is 4X more than previously
  • The P10000 lowers cost per IOPS by 70%
  • One of the benefits of SSD is of course energy savings - this all SSD 3PAR P10000 reduces cost per kilowatt hour by more than 80%

All this adds up to a great solution for performance-driven applications. 


HP Smart Cache for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers

The other piece of the announcement today was around HP Smart Cache for the HP ProLiant Gen8 servers.  It's server-based caching to accelerate performance.  Smart Cache will use technology called Smart Analytics that will put the hot data into high-performing SSD.  Our estimates are that customers can see  up to 6X higher performance with transactional workloads and 50% higher performance for video-streaming applications compared to ProLiant G7. 


Putting Smart Cache and 3PAR together

We've been talking about Converged Infrastructure for a couple of years at HP and personally I believe that HP is in a unique position to integrate across storage, servers, and networking.  Imagine extending the Smart Cache functionality in a converged solution with HP 3PAR and you can start to see why I'm so enthusiastic about the future. 


This collaborative-caching solution with Smart Cache and 3PAR will autonomically copy data in real time from the HP 3PAR array to the HP Smart Array SSD cache on a ProLiant Gen8 server.  I love the word autonomic and its derivations.  Its a word that we've used to describe 3PAR but it gets dangerously close to being "marketing speak" - especially now that I've seen competitors steal the term.  Autonomic means means when a system can automatically adjust and adapt to its environment.  I've heard our Sr. VP and GM of HP Storage David Scott give the example of how the human heart will start to pump faster as you get up and start to move.  That should help paint the picture of what we mean by autonomic.


Along with our press release on the news, I've seen a few stories in the press talking about our announcement today.  Here are links to a couple:

  • via Chris Mellor at the Register, 3PAR goes all-flash, shaves a hefty wodge off price tag.  Can one of my Brit friends tell me what a hefty wodge is?  Chris mentions that the all-SSD P10000 is available now and no dates were revealed for Smart Cache.  Chris ends the article by saying "perhaps HP will even deliver storage array-server cache linkage before HDS, EMC, Dell and EMC."  The race is on!
  • via, "HP makes double-impact 3PAR SSD play".  It says that "HP has placed a major bid on SSD storage technology. The story also includes a quote from 3PAR customer 
  • via IDG News, "HP unveils all-SSD option for 3PAR storage array".  This article quotes my colleague Vish Mulchand who manages our product management team - I wanted to do a podcast with Vish but didn't get it done for the announcement today.  I'll get Vish on a future ATSB podcast. 

If you'd rather listen to this blog post, you can here:



If you rather download this as a podcast, right click here and save the MP3 file. You can also subscribe to my podcast on iTunes - go to the iTunes store and search for "Around the Storage Block" or you can open this link and click on the "View in iTunes" button under my picture.

Sam Routledge | ‎07-31-2012 08:59 AM

Hi Calvin,

A 'hefty wodge' would probably be accurately translated as 'a fair chunk' or 'a decent amount'. It may not be the dictionary definition, but to me a wodge would be the maximum amount of pie, stew, mashed potato etc that you could get out of the dish and serve yourself in a single scoop with whatever implement you are using. 


I hope that helps your American readership!


| ‎07-31-2012 02:54 PM

Thanks Sam! Hope you are well and hope you make it to HP Discover in Frankfurt.  I'm really looking forward to it!

nate | ‎07-31-2012 09:44 PM

I assume the all SSD option is mainly a marketing thing since I can't think of anyone in their right mind that would go with such a configuration Smiley Happy


Given what I read on The Register I was expecting formal SPC-1 numbers and was mostly curious as to whether the system could match the spinning rust performance by using RAID 5 on SSD insead of RAID 1 on rust, thus dramatically increasing usable capacity given the small size of SSDs. Also would be interested to see the latency.


But based on what I've seen here it doesn't look like formal testing was done just a basic assumption that 512 SSDs can tap out the controllers. I'm sure it's a safe assumption but I like more details Smiley Happy


Also to note that 512 SSDs on a 3PAR platform would still require 16 drive chassis, which I believe, with controllers means 3 full size cabinets (and thusly I believe 30kW of power provisioned - even though I'm sure nowhere near 30kW would be used - many facilities charge based on circuit size regardless of usage). As much as I like, use and admire the 3PAR architecture - this configuration isn't a key selling point! Much more useful to have a mix of SSD and spinning rust and use Adaptive Optimization - or hopefully some sort of SSD-based, array-based read and write cache (in addition to those that wish to rely on server-based SSD-caching). Of course the SSD-based caching doesn't yet exist on 3PAR, hopefully sometime soon.......


It's nice that the density has been significantly increased, perhaps someone can answer whether or not the drive chassis in such a configuration is using 4 FC ports per drive chassis instead of the standard two ? My T400's chassis just used two FC connections, though there were two more available (originally used for daisy chanining I believe but that practice was stopped many years ago). I would assume using the second set of FC ports on the chassis would allow 3PAR to drive double the I/O to the chassis. Add the boost of speed from 4Gbps(T-class) to 8Gbps(V-class) could potentially double the performance there again.


T-class had a max of 8 SSDs (2 mags) per chassis, V-class goes to 32 (8 mags)..


Come on 3PAR^H^H^H^HHP let's get some array-based SSD caching technology going here! Smiley Happy I envision some really high performance SLC SSDs for the caching (since only a small amount would be needed say a few TBs on a bigger system), combine that with AO and other drive types along with the slower more cost effective SSDs that 3PAR uses now (or last I recall they used, maybe it's changed recently) for tiering.

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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..

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