Reality Check: Server Insights
Get HP server news, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the server world.

Will 6Gb/s SAS make a difference for you?

Some of you read my post on drive performance, 'How fast are your drives?,' and have wondered if investing in a 6Gb/s SAS storage infrastructure makes sense for your environment.  Traditional SAS systems have a transfer rate of 3Gb/s, so the new HP 6Gb/s SAS drives and Smart Array controllers have doubled the available bandwidth of storage subsystems.

Given that 6Gb/s refers to the system throughput or the speed at which data travels among the components of the storage subsystem (the drive, controller, server backplane, and/or SAS expander and JBOD), will your system performance really improve?  Well, if your environment consists of a small number of storage devices and your I/O workload is 40% or less, you probably won't see any benefits beyond generational improvements (e.g. performance and technology improvements that happen over time).  In such environments, the bottleneck may actually be the speed at which bits can be moved to (from) the hard disk platters from (to) the hard disk's integrated controller and the fast transfer among storage devices may be "wasted."

However, if you're running multi-device, storage-intensive applications, such as video streaming, server virtualization, or real-time backup systems, you'll want to make sure your system doesn't saturate as often and pumping data through the system faster will help keep up with your heavy I/O demands.

If you're running a ProLiant G6 server and have a 6Gb/s SAS storage infrastructure, let's hear what kind of application you're running.

The drives matter: HP G6 server benchmarks

Have a high performance environment?  Are you trying to create a green data center.  The drives matter!  Choosing a drive isn't all about capacity.

In his blog "For HP servers, what a difference a drive makes!", Pete Steege comments on the HP DL370 G6 and HP DL380 G6 benchmarks and how the choice of drives can affect system metrics.

Click here to read Pete's blog.

Labels: G6| hard drive

Business data continues to grow

Many customers are seeing IT spending cuts nowadays, but business hasn't stopped even if it isn't growing. Your company may have slowed down on purchasing computer hardware, but for most HP customers, storage needs have continued to grow despite the economic downturn.  Jimmy Daley, manager of the Server Options Marketing Team at Hewlett-Packard talks about this growth trend in an interview with Pete Steege from Seagate Technology.  In this interview, Jimmy talks about 

  • Virtualization as a driver for increased storage capacity

  • Increased drive count per server

  • Customers segmenting their data storage needs between performance and bulk storage

  • HP's move towards blade servers and how 2.5inch drives are a key component for space consolidation and power reduction efforts.

See the interview posted on YouTube:

Labels: hard drive| storage

Why HP Drives? The proof is in the pudding...

By Stephanie Whalen.  At HP we believe business success is all about your data. One of the most important investments you can make is in your drives. A common question we get is "isn't your drive the same as what I can buy through a retail chain?"  The answer is a resounding NO.

There are several differences and reasons why HP drives are the best choice for your HP ProLiant, Integrity and StorageWorks platforms. First and foremost is the rigorous HP qualification process known as the Hard Disk Drive Qualification (HDDQ) system. HDDQ covers a multitude of design aspects, such as, drop tests, random vibration, temperature testing, signal integrity, power, performance, rotational vibration and the list goes on and on.  If the drive doesn't pass any part of the test, corrective measures are taken to fix anything out of spec before the drive is released to production - OR the drive gets the boot.  By the time all required testing is completed, HP drives have endured in excess of 2 million drive test hours. Second, HP and our drive suppliers walk hand-in-hand throughout this process to ensure the best possible drive is delivered to our customers. We continue to do so even after the drive is in full production. It is through the HP Hard Disk Drive (HDD) closed-loop quality system where we and the drive suppliers ensure all quality metric goals are achieved and continues to do so throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Our drives have been tested to ensure compatibility and optimized to work with our servers and storage enclosures. Through the combination of server chassis design, qualification testing, HP drive firmware, and drive technology, HP drives provide better performance, less downtime and increased data integrity than third-party drives. Without proper engineering, drive performance can suffer from 25% to 50% due to vibration and retries, however with the right chassis design and drive trays and correct type of drives, HP drives operate at optimal performance level.

The proof is in the pudding. Based on vendor statistics our HP drives for enterprise applications have up to 50% less return rate compared to drives sold in the retail space.

Makes you wonder what you get when you buy off the shelf. 

For more info, see or the whitepaper HPHDD Quality System – The Driving Force of Reliability at

Labels: hard drive| quality

2.5-inch Drives vs. 3.5-inch Drives

While the majority of the internal and external systems use 3.5-inch drives, HP has lead the path to 2.5-inch drives through its server and storage offerings.  Some would argue that the lower cost per GB is the reason why the 3.5-inch drives have remained so popular; others would point to the capacity gap - 2.5-inch drives offer about half the capacity of 3.5-inch drives.  However, there's a growing number of people who have realized the energy costs need to be considered as well as the acquisition cost per GB.

IDC discusses the capacity gap, the cost to power and cool storage, as well as the industry transition to 2.5-inch drives in a whitepaper available at:

In the paper, IDC states:

The 2.5inch SFF performance-optimized HDD is already well-recognized for providing greater storage density and higher IOPS per U in server and storage systems as well as consuming less power. But a 2.5inch form factor HDD carries a capacity penalty of roughly half that of a similar-generation 3.5inch HDD. The reason is simple: 3.5inch HDDs can have a maximum of four platters per drive, while current performance optimized 2.5inch HDDs have a maximum of two platters per drive. However, this is not a fixed rule, and HDD configurations are about to change.

IDC goes on to predict that "the HDD industry's last generation of 3.5inch performance-optimized HDDs will be launched in 2009."

Do you agree that the server and storage industry will transition to 2.5-inch drives faster than before?

Labels: drives| hard drive
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About the Author(s)
  • I am part of the embedded software management team doing UEFI, HP RESTful API & Scripting tools (STK, PowerShell, HP RESTful Interface Tool), etc
  • I am part of ISS Product Marketing, currently managing couple of dual processor ProLiant servers.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • Delisa Johnson currently leads successful, corporate events for HP Servers and is established as the go-to person for business unit communications regarding launches, executive meetings, wins and business updates.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Lead architect for Intelligent Provisioning and related HP products.
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • I work in the HP Servers marketing group, managing a marketing team responsible for marketing solutions for enterprise customers who run mission-critical workloads and depend on HP to keep their business continuously running.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • I am a Senior Manager managing external content & social media for HP Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise & SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data & HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyDatHP
  • I am a member of the HP Servers Product Marketing Group blogging on topics of interest for HP Server Options and Smart Storage products.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • HP Servers, Global Product Marketing
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