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Why HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 is getting more attention than usual

Ivan.jpegBy Ivan Iannaccone , HP 3PAR StoreServ Product Management

 

In June at HP Discover, HP announced that we lowered the cost of the all-flash HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Storage array to less than $2 per usable gi.... This news has been very well received by customers and the industry. Coincidentally, Pure Storage subsequently published a blog post containing a comparison table demonstrating perceived advantages of its all-flash array over HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Storage system. We think this deserves a response.

 

So why has HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 been getting so much attention lately?

The table included in the blog post, as its footnote states, provides information based on the “best of Pure Storage’s knowledge.” We get that. We don’t feel that Pure Storage is deliberately misrepresenting our technology. But it’s pretty clear to us that they don’t have a thorough understanding of the HP 3PAR StoreServ architecture and how we are addressing customers’ requirements. So we’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

 

We welcome the opportunity to talk more about how HP 3PAR architecture is flash-optimized and what that means, and agree with their assessment that the all-flash HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 is a competitive threat for Pure Storage. Now let’s take a closer look at some of the claims that Pure Storage is making and why we take issue with them.

 

Claim #1: HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 cannot deliver “HA with no performance loss” but Pure can

To understand what it means to have high availability (HA) without performance loss, it’s first important to understand what HA is. With primary storage, high availability (and resiliency) is a given. Storage is where data resides. There is no debate on whether the availability of that data or the resiliency needed to access that data 24x7 is critical. To this point, HP 3PAR StoreServ arrays offers not just hardware and software redundancy and fault tolerance, but also a rich set of high availability features:

 

Table1J.jpg

 

But since Pure Storage’s claim isn’t just about HA itself but actually about performance, let’s take a look at some additional features that our HP 3PAR StoreServ customers enjoy today in the context of HA and performance:

 

T2ReduxJ.jpg

 

With its unique combination of persistent technologies and other HP 3PAR features listed above, HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 not only offers a superior HA architecture when compared to the competition, but it also meets a broader set of use cases when it comes to “HA with no performance loss.”

 

Claim #2: Pure Storage couples deduplication with compression (To what end?)

The second point we’d like to examine is Pure Storage’s claim around the superiority of pairing deduplication and compression for price reduction. Pure does have half of this equation correct: what matters to you is indeed the cost of the solution. But when it comes to calculating storage efficiency, HP takes into consideration a number of factors, such as the $/GB usable, $/GB raw, customer provisioning behaviors and capacity reclamation cycles. This may be achieved via compression, deduplication and intelligent use of SSDs. The reality is that in environments suitable for compression techniques like databases, we can achieve on average a 2:1 compaction ratio. In environments suitable for deduplication techniques like virtual servers, and we can achieve 4:1 to 10:1 or higher. The bottom line is: when it comes to capacity reduction technologies, HP 3PAR StoreServ offers solutions at less than $2/GB usable—which is significantly lower than what is advertised by Pure Storage.* This economic advantage makes any technology claims about the availability of deduplication and compression irrelevant.

 

Claim #3: Pure questions whether or not the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 delivers flash-optimized data and metadata

The HP 3PAR StoreServ architecture features a Mesh-Active cluster and a highly virtualized operating system that make the optimal use of flash-based media. We have been working on flash-optimization and optimized data layout since we first supported flash in 2009. Since then, every new hardware generation and OS version have benefited from new features and innovations.

 

 

We’ve even dedicated an entire technical white paper on this topic: HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage: optimized for flash. We also have a technical white paper on the array architecture as a whole: HP 3PAR StoreServ Architecture.

 

We (and many other storage geeks) have been looking for a publicly available technical architectural white paper from Pure Storage, but have been unable to locate it among the collateral on the Pure Storage website. Perhaps it got lost in their marketing department?

 

Claim #4: All-Inclusive software pricing is a competitive advantage for Pure

The response to this claim is similar to that of the compression/deduplication claim. What is important is the overall cost of the solution. Does all-inclusive software pricing matter if the overall Pure solution is 2x the price of the 3PAR StoreServ? When we state $2/GB Useable, it includes a comparable software configuration to Pure’s all-inclusive. For example, we include licenses for replication software, snapshots and much more in the $2/GB Useable configuration.

 

Setting the record straight

If after reading this post, anyone still has further doubts, we will be happy to speak with you directly at the Flash Memory Summit or at VMworld, where we will be announcing more game-changing news for new and existing HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage customers. We would especially like to hear from Pure Storage customers, so come join us at the HP booth to talk more about high availability, data efficiency and flash-optimization!

 

Can’t wait? You can also reach out to us directly via Twitter: @ivaniannaccone and @Priyadarshi_Pd. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you have and explain how HP 3PAR StoreServ architecture makes the most of flash.

 

 

* http://www.purestorage.com/company/pure-storage-rolls-out-new-flasharrays-and-feature-rich-purity-4....

Comments
65wz a week ago

Good morning,

 

There is no argument when comparing the uptime of SSDs to HDD in a production environment.

 

SSDs use NAND flash memory, and NAND flash memory of the single-level cell variety generally delivers 50,000 program/erase cycles. Flash of the multi-level cell variety -- the kind used in consumer-level products -- wears out after about 5,000 cycles. What level of MTBF should we expect from the SSDs deployed with the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450?

 

I'm only asking to conclude my overall calculations and contengencies.

 

Thanks,

Waleed Alzuhair

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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