New MSA 2040 firmware upgrade, bundles, highlight HP storage announcements

Other improvements to HP’s SMB-focused MSA line include new SAS connectivity for MSA 1040 and EnergyStar certification for the 2040.

Vish Mulchand 300

Vish Mulchand, Senior Director, Product Management & Marketing, HP Storage

Today, HP is announcing several enhancements to its SMB-focused MSA storage line. They include new firmware enhancements for MSA 2040, which accelerate applications as much as 45 per cent, new 2040 bundles, new SAS connectivity for MSA 1040 Storage, and ENERGY STAR certification for the 2040.

“The HP MSA is an important element of HP’s storage portfolio, which is used by SMBs, often customers with their first SANs,” said Vish Mulchand, Senior Director, Product Management & Marketing, HP Storage. “MSA also serves the remote and departmental needs of enterprise, which is really the lion’s share of its sales. It also is used for very specialized apps that need fast, low cost storage.”

Now in its fourth generation, HP MSA storage recently introduced new virtualized firmware last December. The latest wave of enhancements cover both the 1040 and 2040 families.

The new firmware enhancements optimize application access to flash-based, solid-state media in hybrid storage configurations. They allow up to 45 per cent higher random read performance with SSDs, and 19 per cent higher random write performance.

“The improvements have come from three key areas,” Mulchand said. “First, they are more effective using controller CPUS, with optimized data paths that maximize the effectiveness of controller CPU cache through built-in performance monitoring algorithms. Secondly, there are improvements in the I/O stack, as we have optimized how we handle the PCIe stack by reducing the number of transactions needed for each I/O request. Third is some new cache lookup techniques, like reading blocks more directly.”

Mulchand said that in addition to improved application performance and lower I/O latencies, the firmware upgrade should increase the lifespan of the hardware.

“It provides investment protection, as they get this enhanced performance from the same hardware,” he said.

The MSA 1040, which has a significantly lower price point than the 2040, also has a tech upgrade. It now has support for high performance 6Gb/12Gb SAS direct host connections. This makes it possible to eliminate SAN switching infrastructure and directly connect up to four application servers and up to eight host connections, to create a fully redundant shared pool of capacity that can scale up to 384 TB.

“We had this support on the back end of the array before, and now we have support for direct hosts,” Mulchand said. “A quarter of MSA customers connect from SAS directly to host to get access to shared storage at a lower price point. These are predominantly in specialized applications like video editing and video streaming, and SMBs who want to limit cost.”

New hybrid flash MSA 2040 bundles have also been announced.

“These bundles for hybrid array configurations offer up to 45 per cent savings over list, and incrementally between 10 and 15 per cent over existing bundles, as they SKU together,” Mulchand said. “They make it simpler for channel partners to order and consume by reducing quote and pricing approval times.” The new bundle pricing begins at $USD 13,300.

Finally, HP is announcing that the MSA 2040 family has been certified in the ENERGY STAR program to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint.

“ENERGY STAR for servers has existed for several years, but it is newer for storage,” Mulchand said. “It was finally agreed how to do this across the vendor landscape, and we have had the definition for a year and a half. This gives a stamp of approval that it is power efficient.”

Firmware upgrades to HP MSA 1040/2040 are available via support pages on www/ and are free of charge to existing customers on warranty or support contracts. The latest version, GL210R004, is available now.

HP MSA 1040 SAS arrays are currently available and shipping worldwide starting at $USD 7000.

The new single-SKU, worldwide and regional MSA hybrid flash bundles are available now.

New MSA 2040 ENERGY STAR certified SKUs are now available worldwide with a starting price of $USD 10,970.

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