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Exciting New Innovations in HP Smart Array controllers: HP SmartCache and HP SSD Smart Path




HP works hard to continuously provide customers with new technology advancements and today we will look at two exciting innovations in the HP Smart Array RAID controllers, HP SmartCache and HP SSD Smart Path. Available with HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, these features offer your customers unique ways for optimizing their solid state drive performance. Both HP SmartCache and HP SSD Smart Path operate outside of customer’s application to dynamically monitor storage workload and boost performance.


HP SmartCache is a controller-based read caching solution in a DAS environment. This solution caches the most frequently accessed data (“hot” data) onto lower latency SSDs to dynamically accelerate application workloads. This flexible architecture is compatible with HP Smart Array P-series P420i, P420, P421, P822, and P721m controllers for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, and supports any HP ProLiant Gen8 supported HDD for bulk storage and any HP ProLiant Gen8 supported SSD as an accelerator.


The basic HP SmartCache architecture is comprised of three elements:

-          Bulk storage: The first element is the bulk storage device, which is any supported HDD attached to the HP Smart Array controller

-          Accelerator: The second element, the accelerator, is a faster/lower latency SSD device that caches data

-          Metadata: The final element is metadata, information held in a relatively small storage area that maps the location of information residing on the accelerator and bulk storage devices.


These elements work together to give users many different features and benefits such as: workload acceleration, simplified deployment, unified management, and efficient operations.



HP SSD Smart Path, included in the Smart Array software stack, improves Solid State Drive (SSD) read performance by bypassing the Smart Array firmware for the optimal performance path to the SSD. This tool gives users up to 3.5x better SSD read performance, accelerates reads for al RAID levels and RAID 0 writes and is ideal for read intensive workloads. As with HP SmartCache, HP SSD Smart Path is compatible with HP Smart Array P-series controllers on HP ProLiant Gen8 servers.


In addition to better SSD read performance, users also get better performance improvement on Large Form Factor (LFF) configurations with five SSDs or more, and improvements to Smart Array controller efficiency to better match SSD performance. This adds incremental value to their investment in SSD technology.


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