MSA refresh, Nimble availability highlight HPE storage portfolio update

HPE also announces a replacement for its mid-range 3PAR 8450 all-flash array, a Nimble secondary flash array and both new and enhanced storage software.

The HPE 3PAR StoreServ 9450

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced a significant update of its flash portfolio, with a new 3PAR StoreServ 9450 all-flash array, a new Nimble secondary array, new StoreOnce CloudBank long-term data retention software, an enhanced HPE Recovery Manager Central solution, and the ability of HPE partners who were not previously Nimble partners to sell some of the Nimble offerings. HPE also announced a refresh of a less sexy product that will still move in large volumes – the fifth generation of its entry MSA SAN platform, with HPE MSA 2050 and 2052 models.

“The HPE MSA 2050 and 2052 replace the MSA 2040 and MSA 2042, and deliver 2x the performance of the prior generation,” said Patrick Osborne, ‎Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing at HPE. Even as the cost of flash continues to drop, the MSA models and their 1.6 TB of SSDs still have a significant price premium over even hybrid flash – approximately 40 per cent. Both are priced starting under $USD 10,000, with US street pricing for the MSA 2050 starting at $7750 and the HPE MSA 2052 starting at $9600. Both are scheduled to be available in June.

Another element of the HPE announcement that will also be of more interest in the lower regions of the market is the availability of certain primary and secondary flash arrays from the acquisition of Nimble Storage to the broader HPE channel.

“We just closed the Nimble acquisition, and it takes some time in terms of how fast cross-selling of the new solutions among our old sellers takes place,” Osborne said. “The internal and HPE channel sellers who were not Nimble partners before the acquisition have now been given quick access to sell to some of the higher performing Nimble arrays to expand their market. This will have the most impact on the  entry to mid-size parts of the market.”

The Nimble availability also includes a new Nimble Secondary Flash Array [SFA], which is now available with US street pricing starting under $40,000.

“This new array is a cost-effective platform that lets you run hybrid flash as a secondary array,” Osborne said. “It’s not as scalable as HPE StoreOnce, but it is ideal for customers doing a lot of snapshots.”  The SFA brings together always-on deduplication and compression to lower capacity costs for backup with flash-optimized performance and zero-copy cloning.

For the enterprise segment, the new model is the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 9450 all-flash array, which fits into the mid-range of the 3PAR lineup. It will be available in June.

“This is the replacement for the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450, our highest selling all flash array,” Osborne said. “It has an 80 per cent increase in performance over its predecessor.” The 9450 has close to 2M IOPs at less than 1ms latency, doubles the scale of the 8450, to 6PB, and has 3X the front-end connectivity with 80 host ports.

HPE’s new StoreOnce CloudBank, a long-term data retention solution that provides significantly lower cost protection on multi-cloud destinations such as AWS, Azure or on premises object storage, will also have enterprise appeal, although its market is broader than that. Designed for customers exploring public-cloud tiers for secondary data, it has been architected to reduce bandwidth requirements by over 99 per cent, helping to lower costs of cloud-based storage to just $0.001 per gigabyte per month. The solution also supports the full set of on-premises StoreOnce features including 3PAR integration.

“We found there are a lot of customers who want to tier long-term backup to the cloud,” Osborne said. “StoreOnce Cloudbank is available on all models, and based on policies, will tier off less frequented or unused data to an Azure Blob or Amazon S3.” HPE StoreOnce CloudBank is available now as part of an Early Access Program to qualified partners.

HPE also announced that  HPE Recovery Manager Central (RMC), which already connects to secondary StoreOnce data protection systems through patented block-level integration, has been enhanced with a new Express Restore feature.

“RMC allows you to take application consistent snapshots from the primary array and back up directly to StorOnce,” Osborne said. “The new 4.1 version allows for fast efficient backups between primary and secondary storage –– 23x faster then before. It has the same capability in reverse for restore, which is now 15x faster.” RMC 4.1 is included as part of the standard all-inclusive 3PAR StoreServ licensing package and will be available from September 2017.

As part of HPE’s expanded partnership with Veeam – which was highly visible at Veeam’s annual customer and partner event last week – RMC has also now been integrated with Veeam Explorer so customers can recover application items such as e-mails, documents and database schemas directly from RMC-V Express Protect backups.