Around the Storage Block Blog
Find out about all things data storage from Around the Storage Block at HP Communities.

The top Around the Storage blog posts

I have several lists of "best of" Around the Storage blog. I was motivated to do this because of our migration to the new blog platform and some initial challenges we had with URLs to the old posts on the other platform.

No more bottlenecks: Accelerating real-time data access in blades the solid state way

By Tim Ellerbe, Product Manager

Wouldn't it be nice if we could eliminate applications and database performance problems by running them 100% in DRAM? RAM's nanosecond latency makes it ideal as a temporary workspace for operating systems and applications. However, its volatility makes it unsuitable for applications that need to persist data. It's also difficult and expensive to cram enough DRAM into a server. Additionally, its expense makes it impractical to purchase the capacities most applications need. 

Consider this...

The HP StorageWorks IO Accelerator brings high I/O performance and low latency access to storage, with the reliability of solid state. It's a mezzanine card for HP StorageWorks BladeSystem c-Class servers (and soon to be released PCIe version for selected ProLiant DL/ML servers) that provides the performance boost that IO-starved applications need without sacrificing reliability. These NAND Flash-based cards add terabytes of DRAM-like acceleration to blades in a new persistent memory tier with advanced error checking, self-healing and RAID5-like redundancy.

But isn't a persistent and reliable memory tier with RAM-like speed even more expensive than RAM? The IO Accelerator costs roughly $48/GB.  Compared to DRAM (roughly $125/GB MSRP), it's a bargain.

The benefits added up for one BladeSystem customer who added IO Accelerators to its MySQL database clusters to get the following benefits:

  • 30x faster database replication-during testing, a new read database caught up to the master in 12-1/2 minutes compared to 6-1/2 hours for a standard serve

  • 6x faster complex query processing, from 2700/sec to 350/sec per blade

  • 30% faster query response times

  • 8x faster worst-case disaster recovery

Any other solid state storage success stories to share? Let us know. In the meantime, catch the latest views on the state of solid state storage-and other StorageWorks products supporting solid state.

(Editor's note: You can follow HP StorageWorks on Twitter here)

Optimizing infrastructure with VMware and the EVA

By Calvin Zito

In early March, we announced the new EVA6400 and EVA8400 - we talked about that on this blog (see my post titled Storage Virtualization and the new EVA).  The EVA is really a great match for virtual server environments.  Here's a video that includes our Senior VP and GM of HP StorageWorks Dave Roberson and Parag Patel, VP of Alliances, ISV and Storage Ecosystem at VMware. 

There's also a video I've seen with Paul Maritz (President and CEO of VMware) talking about the HP BladeSystem Matrix and our HP LeftHand Network products - unfortunately, I can only find it on a server inside the firewall .  As soon as I can get a version that for you to check out, I'll add it too.

And have I mentioned lately that the EVA has solid state storage technology... and that's about 12 months sooner than some of the FUD a certain competitor was spreading in their blogs.  

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter.  Go to  I won't ever tell you what I had for breakfast!

Tweet this! 

1 Million IOPS with solid state storage technology

By Calvin Zito

One thing I wanted to mention last week and I forgot was the results of some performance testing our partner Fusion-io and HP did.  We were able to achieve over 1 million IOPS in a single HP ProLiant Server running four Quad-Core processors and with Fusion-io solid state storage technology.  There's an article in eWeek that does a good job describing the test that you can read here:  I'm guessing you'll hear more about this kind of technology with our recently announced HP StorageWorks IO Accelerator and HP BladeSystem in the near future. 

While EMC has been running around claiming market leading innovation with SSDs (or whatever name they came up with to give the appearance of leadership), HP was proving leadership with this testing.  It also goes to the point we've made in this blog that solid state technology is an end-to-end system play and that storage only vendors like EMC are at a big disadvantage in helping address that end-to-end system.  It explains why EMC is so keen to partner with Cisco on storage and blade servers but don't expect them to catch up anytime soon.

One last thing on a totally unrelated subject.  A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my spring break trip to Juarez, Mexico on this blog.  It was an amazing trip that I find myself thinking about often.  One of the places we visited in Juarez was the Colonia Campesina.  A colonia is like a shanty town with houses built from cardboard, wooden pallets, plywood, and/or cinder blocks (here's a link to a picture of a house on a personal blog about the trip to give you an idea of what I mean).  Our team had just finished serving a hot lunch (another link to a picture) to about 300 people when I noticed a woman leaving.  My eye quickly zoomed to a plastic cup she was carrying with an HP logo on it.  As I looked closer, I could see that it said HP SureStore.  SureStore was our sub-brand for HP storage prior to joining forces with Compaq.  I wanted to go ask her how she got an HP SureStore cup in the Mexican colonia.  I was talking to someone at the time and before I could finish the conversation, I lost sight of her.  While I didn't find out where the cup came from, it was a reminder to me just how blessed we are even in tough economic times. 

Solid State Smack Down

By Calvin Zito

I always enjoy a good laugh and thought I'd have to share this video clip I found yesterday.  But first you need the back story. 

If you've read this blog or other storage vendor blogs, you know that many have had issues with the hype EMC was trying to create around solid state drives.  In typical EMC fashion, they announced solid state technology well before they could ship them in volume (and BTW they OEM from one of the partners that HP uses for solid state drives) and then tried to claim some great innovation around being first with SSD's.  They have gone so far to rename solid state drives which in my opinion was another vain attempt at demonstrating innovation.  Chuck over at EMC went on to predict that HP would not have SSD's in the EVA until 2010 if ever (which by the way we announced in our latest announcement). He's tried to use this as a proof point for some whacked out thesis that HP is a server company and not a storage vendor.  Chuck's poking at us is all kind of ironic because he knew all along that they had a big issue with the emergence of blade servers and without a server business, EMC was in trouble.  They knew they had to to find a partner that is looking to enter the server business but didn't have a storage business (see Lee John's post titled "What constitutes brave new thinking?").  Thanks Chuck for confirming that HP's direction of having storage and servers tightly linked really does make sense.

But I'm a bit of track so let's get back to the solid state video.  I am up for a smack down any time a competitor's blog misrepresents HP or what we are doing (which is often the case with Chuck).  So with no apologies, I'll point you to this video that Marc Farley over at 3Par created when he saw a post I had left on another blog around the topic of over-hyping SSD's.  Here's the URL for Marc's post and be sure to check out the video:  Yesterday was my birthday and seeing this video made my day!

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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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