While the overall economy and even the broader technology sector largely boom, the enterprise storage space is feeling the pinch. As storage revenues level off and even drop, many people with whom I spoke at this past week’s HPE Discover 2017 event shared their thoughts as to what is causing this situation. The short answer: there does not appear to be a single reason for the pullback in storage revenue but rather a perfect storm of events that is contributing to this situation. The good news is that this retrenching should ultimately benefit end-users.
Almost any hybrid or all-flash storage array will accelerate performance for the applications it hosts. Yet many organizations need a storage array that scales beyond just accelerating the performance of a few hosts. They want a solution that both solves their immediate performance challenges and serves as a launch pad to using flash more broadly in their environment.
During the recent HP Deep Dive Analyst Event in its Fremont, CA, offices, HP shared some notable insights into the percentage of backup jobs that complete successfully (and unsuccessfully) within end-user organizations. Among its observations using the anonymized data gathered from hundreds of backup assessments at end-user organizations of all sizes, HP found that over 60% of them had backup job success rates of 98% or lower, with 12% of organizations showing backup success rates of lower than 90%. Yet what is more noteworthy is through HP’s use of Big Data analytics, it has identified large backups (those that take more than 12 hours to complete) as being the primary contributor to the backup headaches that organizations still experience.
Scalable. Reliable. Robust. Well performing. Tightly integrated with hypervisors such as Microsoft Windows and VMware ESXi. These attributes are what every enterprise expects production storage arrays to possess and deliver. But as enterprises grow their infrastructure, they need to manage more storage arrays with the same or fewer number of IT staff. This requirement moves storage array manageability center stage which plays directly into the strengths of HP 3PAR StoreServ storage arrays and HP 3PAR StoreServ Management Console (SSMC).
VMware® VMmark® has quickly become a performance benchmark to which many organizations turn to quantify how many virtual machines (VMs) they can realistically expect to host and then perform well on a cluster of physical servers. Yet a published VMmark score for a specified hardware configuration may overstate or, conversely, fail to fully reflect the particular solution’s VM consolidation and performance capabilities. The HP ProLiant BL660c published VMmark performance benchmarks using a backend HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 all-flash array provide the relevant, real-world results that organizations need to achieve maximum VM density levels, maintain or even improve VM performance as they scale and control costs as they grow.
Delivering always-on application availability accompanied by the highest levels of capacity, management and performance are the features that historically distinguish high end storage arrays from other storage arrays available on the market. But even these arrays struggle to easily deliver on a fundamental data center task: migrating data from one physical array to another. The introduction of the storage virtual array feature into the new HP XP7 dramatically eases this typically complex task as it facilitates data consolidations and migrations by migrating entire storage virtual arrays from one physical array frame to another while simplifying array management in the process.
ITaaS is the new Holy Grail with 75 percent of IT managers saying ITaaS aligns with their organization’s philosophy and needs. Accustomed to living in a world where each application had dedicated servers, networking and storage, ITaaS eliminates this issue. It aggregates these resources into a common pool that is accessible by all virtual machines (VMs) and their hosted applications that may be owned by multiple different departments or even different organizations. These resources may then be allocated to them at any time.
Flash memory technology can deliver transformative application performance improvements that lead to results that matter to business—like faster decisions and the ability to serve more customers more quickly. But the cost of flash memory arrays and the technical know-how required to integrate them into the data center have thus far put them out of reach of many small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).
Hybrid storage arrays utilize dynamic data placement in a storage pool that combines flash memory and HDDs to deliver the exponential improvements in storage performance associated with flash memory arrays at a cost that makes sense to a broader range of organizations. Now HP has introduced a preconfigured hybrid storage appliance specifically designed for SMEs–the HP StoreVirtual 4335–that enables smaller IT departments to deliver the performance boost businesses want while also giving lean IT departments what they need–affordable technology that just works.
The promises of storage consolidation and simplified management are attracting many midsized organizations to converged storage systems. But standardizing on a single storage platform can result in unexpected trade-offs – such as their need to compromise on certain features or sacrifice performance. Using the new HP 3PAR StoreServ File Controller, organizations can trade up to the benefits that converged storage systems have to offer without needing to trade-off on either features or performance.
Converged storage systems are nothing new. They offer both file (CIFS and NFS) and block (FC, FCoE and iSCSI) storage networking services and can support multiple tiers of storage with the largest of these systems scaling to hold petabytes of data. What is new is their sudden allure to midsized enterprises with three factors driving their increased interest in these systems
OpenStack has caught the fancy of enterprise data centers (EDCs) as they look to move their virtualized applications in and out of the cloud. However when it comes to storage and enterprise storage in particular, OpenStack still lacks a number of block-based storage capabilities which it must offer in order for enterprise data centers (EDCs) and service providers to view it as a viable cloud option. The availability of OpenStack block storage services in HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage alleviates these concerns as they pave the way for EDC OpenStack adoption.
The value of HP 3PAR StoreServ’s mesh active controller architecture and its ALUA support come into focus as enterprises look to deliver a “higher” form of HA. Since the HP 3PAR StoreServ does not need ALUA to identify the best or “active” path to the backend LUNs on a single array as all of its LUNs are “Active” on all of controllers, HP 3PAR StoreServ repurposes ALUA to deliver a “higher” form of HA.
Business continuity planning (BCP) is already a mainstay at many midsized enterprises. An AT&T 2012 online survey of IT executives from organizations throughout the United States found that over 80% of them, to include businesses with revenues of no more than $25 million, have BCP in place. The ready availability of cloud technologies means that almost any size enterprise can realistically implement and maintain this environment – potentially more affordably and easily than BCP. Yet to achieve this higher form of HA for all of their applications requires they first put in place the right set of technologies.
Flash’s high performance and low power consumption makes it almost an inevitable replacement for hard disk drives (HDDs) as a primary storage technology. Yet deploying flash on storage arrays throughout the data center is more than a technology choice; it is becoming a “bet the farm” type of decision. In this second part of my two-part blog series, I examine how the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 delivers the underlying technologies that an all flash array requires and complements them with a mature, proven architecture which makes selecting this HP storage system an easy choice.
Many analyst firms have for a number of years acknowledged that flash will rise to prominence in corporate data centers and likely replace HDDs as the primary storage technology in production storage arrays. As far back as 2009, the Gartner analyst group described flash as “one of the most important technologies in future data centers.” More recently in 2012 the analyst firm IDC forecast that worldwide solid state disk (SSD) shipments would increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.5% from 2010 to 2015.
There is no dispute that whether one operates in the physical or virtual world, neighbors impact one another when sharing the same resources. However unlike the physical world where unwritten ground rules exist that govern such interaction no such rules exist in the virtual world. This is why organizations want some assurances that virtualized mission critical applications get the resources they need when they need them. Using HP 3PAR StoreServ’s Priority Optimization software, virtualized mission critical applications get access to the resources they need when they need them.
Corporate interest in data encryption grows with each passing day as companies fret over third party attacks and stricter regulations. But a set of data that organizations may fail to encrypt – and which may be the easiest to access – is data stored on storage system hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). By using encrypted drives on the HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, organizations close this security loophole while ensuring data stored on these drives remains safe from prying eyes.
Deduplicating backup appliances have revolutionized backup. They work with most backup software, increase backup success rates, shorten backup windows, reduce backup storage footprints and help centralize data protection. But these appliances sometimes exceed the budgets and capabilities of remote and branch offices (ROBOs), small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and service providers to install and support them. The HP StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) brings deduplication to these size offices in a new virtual form factor that better fits their specific needs.
The allure of client virtualization is the promise that it can deliver a robust corporate desktop experience to any user at any time or place using any device. The reality is that to date client virtualization deployments pretty much required rocket scientists to configure, implement and manage them, especially when it came to the underlying storage architectures upon which they are based.
When it comes to hosting Microsoft Exchange 2010, small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) have many if not all of the same performance requirements of a storage system that hosts Exchange that large enterprises have. What these smaller companies do not possess are the deep pockets that enterprises have and which are typically needed to acquire such a storage system. Using the latest midrange HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 storage system, these organizations can get the storage performance attributes that they need while staying within their budget constraints.