HP Discover: Enterprise Flash At Less Than $2/GB

HP has launched a 3Par storage array with a cost-per-usable-Gigabyte which it says will shift the balance away from hard disks to solid state drives in enterprise storage.

The 3Par StoreServ 7450 array holds up to 1.4 Petabyte, and costs less than $2 per usable GB of data it holds, HP storage boss David Scott told HP Discover conference in Las Vegas. It reaches that figure through clever tweaks such as thin cloning and deduping, and will be sold with a guaranteed “six nines” (99.9999%) thanks to the increased reliability of NAND-based storage.

Flash to wipe out high end arrays

“When will flash get out of its niche?” asked Scott, before announcing the 7450, describing the moment as “a turning point in the history of enterprise Flash.”

Enterprise hard disk-based storage costs around $2 per GB, he said, and then gave a detailed list of the software features applied to bring Flash storage down to this cost in the 7450.

Among other things, the system uses adaptive sparing to squeeze in 20 percent more data, by agreement with the SSD vendors to reduce the amount of storage reserved for overheads.

The product uses “thin deduping” and “thin clone” tech to reduce the amount of duplicated data and the time to remove it.

In sum, the features give between four and ten times better compaction, but don’t affect the reliability of solid state, Scott said.

Dissing the opposition’s solid state efforts, he said EMC’s products applied a “VMAX tax” which he said multiplies the cost per Gigabyte by four and the space by 25… “to give a less predictable performance.

“The last time you had this sort of comparison was at the start of the 20th century, between the buggy whip and the automobile.”

All-Flash start-ups such as Pure Storage and XtremeIO, by contrast,  are not yet ready for the enterprise, he said, waxing lyrical on the management and control features.

Jim Madeiros from delivery firm UPS said the new HP storage product was rolled out in 1100 of its US offices, and set to go to another 2000 worldwide, with the bulk of the setup done by software: “We plug in the equipment and ten hours later, it is fully provisioned. We see ourselves managing more and more of the global enterprise from a single point.”

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Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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