HP Storage Announcement – Trying to Catch Up, Still Not There

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Yesterday, HP announced a refresh to their EVA storage line, which sounds new to those who haven’t been following the evolution of storage solutions over the last few years. For those in the business, it is seen for what it is: an attempt to catch up to what Dell and others have been doing for some time now. It is an attempt because, while the “new” EVA arrays have added some additional features – some that Dell has had for almost three years – they are still noticeably missing many that customers are looking for to help solve their storage problems and simplify their IT.

Catch up:

Still not there:

  • Increased capacity, ports and cache that doesn’t approach the levels available on Dell/EMC arrays: 960 drives, 32 ports, 32GB cache;
  • No ability to add additional ports or new network technologies like FC8 and 10Gbit iSCSI to an existing array;
  • No native support for iSCSI – only through an expensive FC-to-iSCSI bridge;
  • No data-in-place upgrades from previous generations of arrays;
  • No native thin-provisioning ability like what is available on Dell/EMC and Dell EqualLogic arrays;
  • No support for low-power SATA;
  • No announced support for drive spin down. 

 

In today’s environment, features that save money or extend a product’s useful life are essential. Dell includes them because we listen to customers who tell us how they need to extend the life of their storage, consolidate it on intelligent SAN platforms and manage it more easily as their businesses grow and evolve. This is revolutionary and dynamic. We have been consistent in our approach since the beginning that we will continue to drive customer-centric innovation and make storage simple, capable and affordable. In the dynamic data center, Dell’s storage products will continue to help our customers grow.

We’ll also look forward to giving HP more targets to shoot for as they plan out their next generation of storage products a few years from now.

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2 thoughts on “HP Storage Announcement – Trying to Catch Up, Still Not There

  1. 32GB cache is not correct. Each storage processor on a CX4-960 has 16GB in memory. So the array has 32GB of total memory, but that's not the same as 32GB cache.

    The OS on each storage processors takes a decent chunk of this leaving about 12GB for other things. Then there's the write cache design that's mirrored between the 2 storage processors. The max write cache you can allocate is ~12GB (and read cache gives much less of an impact on the array's performance, so that one is recommended to kept 'low' (but not 0).

  2. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, a more generic term would be “system memory”, which as you described supports a  wide variety of activities in the array, from management software, read/write cache, cache mirroring, as well as other array applications like snapshotting, thin provisioning, remote mirroring, etc.

    On the whole, I would assume that most mid-range storage controllers would divvy up system memory in a similar fashion. The more system memory available in an array, then the more effective the array may be at supporting caching and other applications that customers care about.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss further.

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