I’m sitting in the HP Discover blogger lounge trying to focus on what I’ve learned in the last two days, but my Jet lag isn’t helping much. In any case, the most interesting announcement of the week is the one that came from HP 3PAR (from the storage POV, at least).

The story

In a single word: deduplication. The HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Arrays, by means of a software upgrade, can now enable deduplication and thanks to the ASIC, with no visible performance impact.
The feature will be released later on other arrays of the family (and hopefully for spinning disks). The sum of deduplication with other features already in place (and newer denser drives) allows the 7450 to reach this new record in the $/GB contest.

Another good piece of news for the end users, which has always been consistent with HP 3PAR, is that this feature will be available to all owners of 4th generation ASIC models. (that’s because deduplication leverages some hashing functionalities present in that chip).

Beyond the $2/GB

The $2/GB is only a part of the story. If we look at the overall picture, HP 3PAR has been confirmed to be one of the most comprehensive enterprise storage platforms out there with a broad range of options, a single operating system and an easy to use management platform.

No one is perfect and HP is not an exception. They are lacking a few things at the moment: a VSA and better NAS options are the most obvious to me.
But I also have to say that they are working on an integration between StoreVirtual (which is also available as a VSA) and 3PAR to build common data replication and management layers. In a future release StoreVirtual will probably be able to replicate its data volumes to 3PAR and management of the two systems will be possible with a single tool (and if this also means a new management tool for StoreVirtual, then it has to be considered good news per se!).
This is not the first time I hear talk about such intentions from a vendor but if they can realize a similar functionality (at the HW level), this would be an industry-wide first.

On the NAS side of things it looks like we will have to wait but HP already has a roadmap regarding this.

And there’s more….. HP is working on an integration between 3PAR and its StoreOnce backup appliances and, in the near future, it will be possible to do things like take a consistent snapshot on the 3PAR and make a backup of it without needing external software. This and other announcements (like appliances federation for example) about StoreOnce scalability options are of a great interest for large sized environments.

Why it is important

As I’ve said before, HP 3PAR is one of the most interesting enterprise storage platforms out there and the new enhancements to the OS are making it look even better.
I also hope to be getting some news about HP StoreVirtual (especially about the VSA) soon.
The effort to integrate various platforms is commendable and I hope to see the fruits of the effort sooner rather than later…

Although there are some dark areas, like the lack of clear vision on Object Storage and StoreAll, HP’s storage lineup and strategy look strong and the roadmaps seem consistent.