HP announces second generation of hyperconverged StoreVirtual appliances

The new CS 250 is a much-enhanced followup to the appliance HP first announced in December at HP Discover, and which came to market earlier this year.

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The HP StoreVirtual CS 250HC

Today, HP is announcing the new HP 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS 250), the first of their hyperconverged offerings to be available on their ProLiant 9 architecture.

“Our first hyperconverged product, the StoreVirtual CS200, was announced in December and shipped in February,” said Rob Strechay, Director, Product Marketing and Management, Software-Defined Storage, HP. That one was built on the Gen 8 platform. This one is built on the Gen 9.”

The CS 250 is a 2 U appliance, with 4 server nodes inside and up to 24 disks, for a maximum of up to 96 processing cores. It also has the new Intel Haswell processors, up to 2TB of memory per 4-node appliance, double the 1 TB of the last generation. The 4 node version will ship on August 17. A 3 node version will ship on September 28.

“Not only do we have new hardware, but we have the only product in the market that can go all SAS drive because of our StoreVirtual technology,” Strechay said.

September 28 will also see the CS 250’s disaster recovery capability enhanced.

“As of that date, it will come with a three-pack of 4 TB StoreVirtual licenses, which can be deployed on another cluster of x86 running VMware, to make it a replication target,” Strechay said. “That’s included in the price we sell the product for.”

The CS 250 is also qualified on the HP Helion CloudSystem 9.0, an open, enterprise-grade solution that provides an easy path to the hybrid cloud for both midsize and enterprise customers who want an efficient and cost-effective cloud entry point, the new. It leverages the clustered compute and storage resources of the CS 250 for on-premise workloads but adds self-service portal provisioning and public cloud bursting features for those moving beyond server virtualization.

The inclusion of three 4TB StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) licenses delivers multi-site business continuity by leveraging the system’s ability to flexibility replicate data to any other HP StoreVirtual-based solution. This means that customers can leverage their existing infrastructure as a replication target at no additional cost.

Strechay said that these appliances are intended to be sold well beyond HP deployments, with their target market being the Nutanix 3000 space.

“We are seeing a lot of Nutanix and other server vendors out there, and are winning in more non-HP accounts than HP,” Strechay said. “One recent win had about one per cent HP on the floor and 99 per cent someone else and we were able to win that hyperconverged business.”

The CS 250 comes pre-configured for vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 and HP OneView InstantOn to enable customers to be production-ready with only 5 minutes of keyboard time and a total of 15 minutes deployment time, with daily management from VMware vCenter via the HP OneView for VMware vCenter plug-in.

“We have continued to work on price we sell this to the channel at, so it has attractive margins,” Strechay said. “Being based on Gen 9 is also important since they are selling that. It’s no longer an older server that they have to sell.”

To help meet the growing interest in software-defined technologies, HP is also announcing that it is enhancing its “Nitro” partner program and opening it up to distributors worldwide, starting with Arrow Electronics in the U.S. and Canada.

“We started Nitro with Intel over a year ago, which allows our StoreVirtual VSA to be placed in anyone’s Intel x86 server and serve up 1 TB free,” Strechay said. “Now Arrow has the VSA on their download site. This gives them more control over the leads. We will be working with channel business managers to bring others online, who also want to have a web presence and a landing page they want to drive and personalize.” The enhanced program also empowers distributors to provide face-to-face reseller training, web content support, and customized demand generation materials to HP solution providers. Strechay noted that the distributor does have to make an investment in the web presence and handle the lead generation, so it’s not free for them.

The least expensive model, the 3-node CS 250-HC StoreVirtual that is available on September 28th, lists at $USD 121,483. That includes Foundation Carepack and VMware vSphere Enterprise. 

“The price makes this extremely compelling to get into,” Strechay said.