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Set internal disk capacity free with HP StoreVirtual VSA

Kate_head2_reasonably_small.jpgBy Kate Davis, @KateAtHP, HP LeftHand product marketing, HP Storage


In the beginning…the evolution of LeftHand VSA

VMworld is drawing near and all that anticipation of discussing virtualization makes me think back. Five years ago, LeftHand Networks, which HP acquired in 2008, centered its VMworld news on the announcement of its VSA product. This release marked the start of a new category of products – virtual storage appliances. LeftHand started creating storage products about 10 years ago and some of the engineers created a virtual machine (VM) version of the SAN/iQ software (LeftHand’s OS) so that they could test it more easily and voilà, a star was born.

The next generation . . . new horizons for VSA

GalleryStock_00084172 med.jpgToday starts the next phase of life for LeftHand VSA. As with many things in life, it begins with a name change – we now pronounce you HP StoreVirtual VSA – a storage platform, born out of and optimized for virtualization. In addition to the new branding for VSA, we have decided it’s time to lower the base pricing. The new US list price of $3500 includes a newly extended support contract for 3 years. Total savings for customers is over 35%. Not a bad deal, if I say so myself.




But that’s not all

As your infrastructure evolves with virtualization, you’ll see more opportunities where VSA can play a part. In its beginning, VSA was positioned for small environments or test/dev applications. Then as things changed, SMB and ROBO customers benefited from virtual storage. And now, we see an opportunity to add Independent Public Cloud Provider to that list—businesses with large amounts of virtualized servers but typically with no integrated storage. Just think about all those servers…with un-used disks or empty drive bays, just waiting to be used. For you, we’d like to announce the new StoreVirtual VSA license multi-packs in quantities of 15, 60 or 1000 with a volume savings of up to 80% off the new list price. This makes for quite affordable storage for hardware you already own.

What makes this a good opportunity for service providers is the service part. VSA doesn’t just have to be a way to get affordable shared storage. It could also be a way to add a new service to your infrastructure without adding hardware. For example, if you are a business that offers a dedicated server service you could add a dedicated storage service option to the menu by including VSA as an option to add to that server. It’s the same server, footprint, power, cooling, etc but you have just doubled the number of services you can offer. That’s what I like to call “footprint optimization”.

The road ahead

HP-Storage-Icons VSA-Final.jpgOver the next few months we are going to be releasing a couple more updates for VSA. First up is support for 2 virtual CPUs and then to follow, the 10TB capacity limit will be raised. We haven’t finalized on the new capacity point so if you have a request please post it in the comments section. After this, you will continue to see more features being added to the LeftHand OS that specifically benefit the VSA product as we continue to invest in this space. And to look even further in the looking glass…StoreVirtual VSA is just the start to the virtual storage appliances that you’ll see from HP Storage. Smiley Happy

For a little outside perspective we worked with Mark Peters from ESG. He put together a great report on the VSA market and also spent a few minutes chatting with Calvin on the subject. There’s more to talk about but I think I’ll save that for another post.



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>> Learn more about the HP StoreVirtual product family

John White | ‎08-14-2012 06:38 PM

Didn't the $8K price point get the user a three host license?  Is $3.5K for a single host?

AlaricT | ‎08-14-2012 09:22 PM

the ability to make use of flash drives in the array woudl be great (some form of tiering?) capacity wise, 8 drives @ 4Tb each suggests around 28Tb :-)

katedavis | ‎08-14-2012 09:52 PM

Hi John,

I think you are confusing us with VMware's pricing on their vSA product.


PatrickG | ‎08-15-2012 02:02 PM


30TB+ single VSA sizing, Dead Space Reclamation, and larger than 2TB volumes presented on the back end without getting console warnings every few seconds


A standalone DR node by itself in it's own "Cluster" always shows alarms....why must DR require multiple nodes to keep the alarms quiet?

John Long | ‎08-15-2012 09:56 PM

Earlier this year I purchased a 2 node license with 3 years support for $6,200 from CDW.

Maybe I am missing something else but I already have 3 vcpu's assigned to my P4000 VSA.

katedavis | ‎08-15-2012 11:09 PM

Hi Patrick,


Re: A standalone DR node by itself in it's own "Cluster" always shows alarms....why must DR require multiple nodes to keep the alarms quiet?


Per best practices for HA, we require a minimum of 2 "nodes" in a cluster. We put those alarms in to let you know that if that single node goes down for some reason your users will lose access to the data.

katedavis | ‎08-15-2012 11:12 PM

Hi John Long,


You're right, you can set up your VSA with multiple vCPU's today. What we are adding to the software is the ability to multithread so that the VSA can make use of the multiple processors at the same time. And truely boost the performance of the storage.

Bill Allan | ‎08-24-2012 06:22 AM



 -  BladeSystem Starter Kit using D2200SB.   Create Blade equivalent to P4300 BK716A


-   E/X-5000 hardware platform for SMB and remote office cluster-in-a-box


-  Gen8 with Smart Caching enabled and certify PCI-X Flash and SSD to SAS/SATA operations and tiering

Kevin Bugg | ‎09-21-2012 05:09 PM



We are using 5 hosts clustered together to provide our central storage running VSA 9.5 and its great.  However , a third party system (HP Autonomy) now has a requirement of a throughput of 140MB/ps for a server which the VSA environment cant meet due to 1gb network limit on the VSA's.  Can this be lifted to use 10gb physical cards otherwise our recent investment has stopped at the first hurdle Smiley Sad 


I have had a call logged with support who also came to this conclusion as nic bonding and 10gb is not currently supported so hopefully these facts are right!

| ‎09-24-2012 06:54 AM

Hi Kevin - I don't have the depth to give you a different answer but will ask the product manager for his input, but I've got to believe what support told you is right.  If I find something different, I'll let you know.  If you have a case ID, that might make this go a bit smoother.  Feel free to email it to me at hpstorageguy at

| ‎09-24-2012 05:44 PM

Hi Kevin - VSA DOES support 10GbE; our team is working to correct the misinformation from support. Thanks for asking (and helping us to get a miscommunication corrected).

TomMLS | ‎10-02-2012 05:25 PM

Feature requests:


1) Multi-packs of 2, 3, 5, 7, 10...minimum 2 vCPU


2) An EASY to find storage calculator so we can figure out, say, 3 VSAs, one per ESXi server, how much usable storage do we get with X disks and what kinds of network RAID are available??


If the VSA supports 10 GbE then one would put one's VMware production vSwitch to 10 GbE connected to 10GbE switches??


Thank you, Tom

| ‎10-03-2012 06:38 PM

Thanks - I'll be sure that the product marketing and management teams see your input.

Johnkad | ‎12-22-2012 09:58 PM

Now that the new StoreVirtual VSA is available with SAN/iQ 10.0 and the new pricing model is in effect...what has the capacity been raised to ?


...from all appearences, it appears to still be limited to 10TB.


Additionally, is the current 10TB capacity limit only looking at local storage (directly connected to the node it's installed on) or is it looking at the entire cluster ?


For example: a four-node cluster, where each node contains 10TB of raw storage capacity….would four (4) StoreVirtual VSA Licences cover this scenario ?

| ‎02-22-2013 01:05 AM

Hey @Johnkad - sorry I missed your question and just noticed it.  The hooks are in place to increase the size but that hasn't happened yet.  Kate was looking for input on what size folks wanted (not sure if she's still taking that input or not) - but the capacity increase should hit later this year.  The 10TB capacity limit is a node limit, not cluster. 

StefanoG | ‎03-28-2013 11:25 PM

If I have 3 physical esxi hosts with 2 GB of storage each (total 6TB of storage)

I need one VSA License or 3 VSA Licenses to build a VSA cluster on the 3 nodes?

‎04-01-2013 05:15 PM - edited ‎04-01-2013 06:12 PM

@StefanoG - Our VSA uses a capacity based license. Each license is loaded into a VM and can consume 10 TB of internal or external capacity. We suggest that you install only 1 VSA license per host for HA reasons. When you create the VSA storage pool any host in the infrasture can save to it as it sees it as an iSCSI storage target.  We suggest a minimum of 2 VSA licenses so that you have HA and fault tolerance.  


You can try it with a free 60 day full featured trial:

Mente | ‎04-01-2013 08:36 PM

We currently use our old EVA as a disk based backup target for Veeam.  We are looking to replace this system with VSA storage.  We don't need a whole lot of performance, we just need big disks.  We are fine with 2vCPU and 32Gigs of RAM as limitations, but we would really like to see something like a 48 TB disk limit or more.  For example, limiting myself to even HP Proliant hardware, I could buy a fully populated DL380p with 25-1.2TB drives.  If you are looking for guidelines on how to limit diskspace in VSA, I would use the "Proliant Method".  If I can spec out a proliant server, the VSA should be able to utilize all of the available storage.  So atleast 30TB.  I shouldn't be able to buy a Proliant server that a VSA couldn't utilize all of the internal storage.  However, if we want to stick to mutliples of 5 that make sense, being able to utilize 5-10TB volumes would be nice.

katedavis | ‎04-02-2013 10:33 PM

Hi Mente,

Thanks for the comment.

When the VSA was first launched, few servers had more than 10TB capacity in them, so 10TB was rarely a limiting factor.  You're absolutely right that as drive densities increase, it is much easier to configure a server that has more than 10TB of capacity.  We are considering options around increasing the 10TB limit on the VSA, and input like yours is very helpful in determining what that new capacity limit should be. 



James Merfeld | ‎04-24-2013 07:30 PM

Any new updates on this?  

Marcel | ‎04-24-2013 07:36 PM

Hi Kate,


I think 24TB vsa limit is nowadays a nice value (12x2TB)

Really looking forward to the change.


Any idea when we could expect a change?


Best regards,


Marcel | ‎05-15-2013 08:25 AM

Seems like this thread isn't monitored anymore Smiley Sad




Best Regards,


| ‎05-20-2013 05:44 AM

Hey Marcel -


We can't comment publicly about futures - all I can say is "stay tuned".  If you have an HP account manager, talk to them about futures.

Thanks, Calvin

Bryan | ‎05-23-2013 05:36 PM

It would be great to have the ability to enable jumbo frames with the VSA software.

katedavis | ‎05-28-2013 04:49 AM

Hi Bryan,


We included support for jumbo frames starting with SANi/Q v9.5.



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