Next Gen #3PAR What you need to know #HPConverge #HPStorage

March 28, 2013

Came across this good blog Courtesy of techopsguys.com

Below are a few extracts and full article here: http://bit.ly/YyAT9G

Some extracts:

  • Renamed Products:

    There was some basic name changes for 3PAR product lines:

    • The HP 3PAR InServ is now the HP 3PAR StorServ
    • The HP 3PAR V800 is now the HP 3PAR 10800
    • The HP 3PAR V400 is now the HP 3PAR 10400
  • The 3PAR 7000-Series mid range done right :

    • The 3PAR 7000-series leverages all of the same tier one technology that is in the high end platform and puts it in a very affordable package
    • The 7200 & 7400 represents roughly a 55-65% discount over the previous F-class mid range 3PAR solution
    • The 7000 series comes in two flavors – a two node 7200, and a two or four node 7400.
    • Note that it is not possible to upgrade in place a 7200 to a 7400. So you still have to be sure if you want a 4-node capable system to choose the 7400 up front (you can, of course purchase a two-node 7400 and add the other two nodes later).
  • Dual vs Quad ControllerThe controller configurations are different between the two and the 7400 has extra cluster cross connects to unify the cluster across enclosures. The 7400 is the first 3PAR system that is not leveraging a passive backplane for all inter-node communications.

    A unique and key selling point for having a 4-node 3PAR system is persistent cache, which keeps the cache in write back mode during planned or unplanned controller maintenance

  • Basic array specifications
    Click to see Bigger3PAR Array Specifications

    (Note: All current 3PAR arrays have dedicated gigabit network ports on each controller for IP-based replication)

  • Dual vs Quad controller:

    In a nut shell, vs the F-class mid range systems, the new 7000…

    • Doubles the data cache per controller to 12GB compared to F200, almost triple if you compare the 7400 to the F200/F400)
    • Doubles the control cache per controller to 8GB, The control cache is dedicated memory for the operating system completely isolated from the data cache.
    • Brings PCI-Express support to the 3PAR mid range allowing for 8Gbps Fibre Channel and 10Gbps iSCSI
    • Brings the mid range up to spec with the latest 4th generation ASIC, and latest Intel processor technology.
    • Nearly triples the raw capacity
    • Moves from an entirely Fibre channel based system to a SAS back end with a Fibre front end
    • Moves from exclusively 3.5″ drives to primarily 2.5″ drives with a couple 3.5″ drive options
    • Brings FC0E support to the 3PAR mid range (in 2013) for the four customers who use FCoE.
    • Cuts the size of the controllers by more than half
    • Obviously dramatically increases the I/O and throughput of the system with the new ASIC with PCIe, faster CPU cores, more CPU cores(in 7400) and the extra cache.
  • Persistent Ports

This is a really cool feature as well – it gives the ability to provide redundant connectivity to multiple controllers on a 3PAR array without having to have host-based multipathing software. How is this possible? Basically it is NPIV for the array. Peer controllers can assume the world wide names for the ports on their partner controller. If a controller goes down, it’s peer assumes the identities of that controller’s ports, instantaneously providing connectivity for hosts that were (not directly) connected to the ports on the downed controller. This eliminates pauses for MPIO software to detect faults and fail over, and generally makes life a better place.

HP claims that some other tier 1 vendors can provide this functionality for software changes, but they do not today, provide it for hardware changes. 3PAR provides this technology for both hardware and software changes – on all of their currently shipping systems!

  • Virtualized Service Processor

All 3PAR systems have come with a dedicated server known as the Service Processor, this acts as a proxy of sorts between the array and 3PAR support. It is used for alerting as well as remote administration. The hardware configuration of this server was quite inflexible and it made it needlessly complex to deploy in some scenarios (mainly due to having only a single network port).

The service processor was also rated to consume a mind boggling 300W of power (it may of been a legacy typo but that’s the number that was given in the specs).

The Service processor can now be deployed as a virtual machine!

  • Thick Conversion

I’m sure many customers have wanted this over the years as well. The new software will allow you to convert a thin volume to a thick (fat) volume. The main purpose of this of course is to save on licensing for thin provisioning when you have a volume that is fully provisioned (along with the likelihood of space reclamation on that volume being low as well). I know I could of used this years ago.. I always shook my fist at 3PAR when they made it easy to convert to thin, but really impossible to convert back to thick (without service disruption anyway).

  • Easy setup with Smart Start

Leveraging technology from the EVA line of arrays, HP has radically simplified the installation process of a 7000-series array, so much so that the customer can now perform the installation on their own without professional services. This is huge for this market segment. The up front professional services to install a mid range F200 storage system had a list price of $10,000 (as of last year anyway).

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