HPE takes flash beyond the array with new 3PAR OS

As all-flash grows in importance, HPE is emphasizing the importance of how the infrastructure beyond the flash array itself impacts orchestration and protects data.

Brad Parks, Director, GTM Strategy and Enablement, HPE Storage

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced what it is terming its most significant set of 3PAR innovations to date. The highlight is a new version of the HPE 3PAR Operating System, designed to build on the mainstreaming of flash by extending flash capabilities beyond the array.

“With this, we are really talking to the market about the altitude at which they engage in all-flash,” said Brad Parks, Director, GTM Strategy and Enablement, HPE Storage. “In the last several years in all-flash, the focus has been on the features within the all flash arrays, and over that time, all-flash has evolved from being expensive and limited to mission-critical application, to being more mainstream because of the lower cost. All-flash has now become the default tier for new applications. As such, customers need to evaluate not just the performance and cost of the all-flash array itself, but the surrounding components. Our announcements today go beyond the flash array in how they impact orchestration, protect data in remote sites and handle cloud-native applications.”

A key new feature of the OS is 3PAR Adaptive Data Reduction (ADR), which provides comprehensive data compaction to lower capacity costs.

“This goes far beyond traditional compression and data reduction, which leave a lot of garbage in because of the architecting,” Parks said. “ADR has four key features. Two of them, Zero Detect, and deduplication, are not new, but the other two are – compression, and data packing. They see the data put into efficient blocks to be written to disk. Our data packing algorithm is probably the most efficient method of writing to disk in the industry. In addition, as flash media evolves from NAND flash to storage class memory, any inefficiency in the algorithm will hurt the ability to get extremely low latency.”

Parks said ADR has gotten a very strong response so far.

“We have had very strong feedback from partners,” he stated. “We are pretty excited about this.”

Another innovation in the operating system sees 3PAR Peer Persistence enhanced to enable disaster recovery across greater distances.

“This is a very popular feature for real-time failover,” Parks said. “Some customers want to do it beyond the distance supported by synchronous replication. Adding asynchronous replication allows users to add a third data centre.”

The new 3PAR OS also allows the acceleration of applications running over iSCSI to reduce latency by up to 40 percent via 3PAR Express Writes optimization. It also better supports cloud computing deployments with iSCSI updates that include expanded host connectivity and multi-tenant IP networking. More workloads can also be served with 3PAR File Persona updates that double scalability, automate provisioning and enable cross-protocol file sharing.

“For the channel, another significant element is that we are changing how all these features are licensed by moving to an all-inclusive licensing model for our 3PAR 8000 and 20000 series arrays,” Parks said. “Things like the File Persona license – all the value – is now in the in base purchase of array, and it will reduce costs per GB by up to 30 per cent. For partners, including all the features will increase the deal size.”

Another feature now included in the base price is HPE Recovery Manager Central (RMC), which extends data protection beyond the array with seamless, application managed snapshots and data movement from 3PAR to secondary HPE StoreOnce Systems.

HPE also announced Peer Copy, a copy management feature within RMC that enables bi-directional movement of snapshot data between StoreVirtual VSA and 3PAR arrays.

“The federation of StoreVirtual VSA with 3PAR allows the StoreVirtual data to be replicated data from this to 3PAR,” Parks said. “This is something the channel has been very interested in. It lets them bridge into software-defined storage with their all flash array portfolio.”

Expanded automation capabilities for the 3PAR StoreServ Management Console include the ability to automate and schedule large-scale data migrations of up to twenty-four 3PAR or supported third-party storage systems.

“All these new features would be for naught if they weren’t easy to manage,” Parks said. “Customers can easily set policies and schedule them using the Management Console, taking advantage of the data federation capabilities of 3PAR.”

Data protected on HPE StoreOnce Systems can now be replicated to the cloud through Microsoft Azure support for HPE StoreOnce VSA software and existing StoreOnce Catalyst integration into HPE Data Protector

“As customers increasingly apply the 3-2-1 rule for data protection — 3 copies, on 2 media with 1 offsite – letting the customer move the data off the array provides more flexibility,” Parks said.

In sum, Parks said that this is an extremely significant set of announcements.

“These new capabilities provide significance cost and risk advantages to customers today while also providing a foundation that will sustain them as the media technology changes over time,” he stated.

The HPE OS 3.3.1 operating system will be available in Q1 2017 at no additional charge for 3PAR customers with valid support contracts.