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Virtual Connect with 3PAR with Flat SAN technology podcast

NOTE: This post was published in 2012 but was updated September 2015 to remove links no longer available and in preparation for the coming HP separation.


Part of our announcement at HP Discover on Monday was around the new HP Virtual Connect Direct-Attach FC for 3PAR with Flat SAN technology. This is pretty cool stuff - as I said yesterday, it reduces complexity and cost with while reducing latency between servers and storage by eliminating the need for multi-tier SANs.


I have a GREAT podcast with Alex Kramer.  Alex is on the Virtual Connect engineering team in our ProLiant software team and he really helped me to understand exactly what we announced.  Here's my podcast with Alex:




You can download this podcast by doing a right-click and "Save as" here. You can 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.



Dig deeper

There's FC Cookbook for Virtual Connect white paper and starting on page 79 there is a technical description of the Flat SAN technology.


There have also been several press articles that have focused on this - here's a link to a few of them:

If you have any comments or questions about our news on Monday, don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me a Tweet.


About the AuthorvExpert 5 years.png

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I'm Calvin Zito, a 33 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for 25 years. I have been a VMware vExpert for 5 years. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 7 years. I started my "social persona" as HPStorageGuy but with the coming HP separation, you can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. You can also contact me via email.


sgunelius | ‎06-06-2012 02:39 PM

I work for an SMB-sized, quasi-governmental entity that has already made an investment in the HP blade infrastructure, but this announcement while interesting, may not be a cost-effective solution as I would need to replace my existing 4gbps VC-FC modules with the new FlexFabric modules, probably using the HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10/24 Enterprise Edition BLc7000 Option (2 x HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-port modules plus 1 x VCEM BL-c7000 enclosure license) for each enclosure.  Am I missing something here?  How would Flat SAN benefit a business my size?

john.joyal | ‎06-08-2012 06:12 PM

Thanks for your question about the new Virtual Connect Direct-attach Fibre Channel feature we announced at Discover 2012 this week.  Customer requirements, and what infrastructure makes sense to deploy, will vary from customer to customer.  In your case, you describe that you already have a current Virtual Connect FC Module in place.  I’m assuming that’s paired with a VC Ethernet module – maintaining separate fabrics.  This feature does require the VC FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port module as you mentioned, so the expense of moving the Converged Networking model probably won’t make sense for you at this time.   When it’s time to refresh your infrastructure, you could consider converging your fabrics into one VC Module, eliminating the need to refresh your VC FC modules – since you would eliminate the SAN Fabric infrastructure too.  If you were to add an enclosure (with new interconnects), you may find it an option as well.  It will also give you faster provisioning, and reduced latency in your SAN Fabric infrastructure.  Fewer components to set up, configure, maintain, and even stock as spares, is always a good thing.

sf | ‎08-17-2012 08:36 AM

what about F-class and FLAT SAN?

| ‎08-17-2012 09:34 PM

@sf - its supported on F- and T-class 3PAR systems.

Kirk | ‎09-24-2013 04:28 AM

Has anybody implemented Boot from SAN in a FLAT SAN environment? I was in a Matrix planning session today and heard it was not possible. We are using FlexFabric modules and 3PAR 7200's.


The HP Boot from SAN Configuration Guide pg 15 states is supported.







| ‎09-24-2013 07:07 PM

Boot from SAN definitely works and is supported with Flat SAN. However, Flat SAN is only partially supported in a CloudSystem Matrix environment, specifically as a VM backing store. It is not supported for physical server provisioning. One of the difficulties is that the boot target WWN that needs to be configured in the Virtual Connect server profile may be different from one enclosure to another. 


Here's a technical white paper that you'll find helpful, Implementing HP Virtual Connect Direct-Attach Fibre Channel for HP 3PAR StoreServ Systems.  (PDF)


Hope that helps!

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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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