As per the previous Discover, HPE have pre announced all the major storage news before the event starts. I think this is quite good, as it gives people the opportunity to read and digest the news so they can then investigate the areas they wish to at Discover. There is no one mega product announcement but rather a number of announcements which taken as their sum are significant. The following is a summary of the announcements, I will aim to bring you more information on each as it is released during the course of the show.
I think it’s fair to say the theme of the announcements aims to compete with public cloud by providing flexibility, performance and automation. All traditional vendors such as HPE not only have to compete against their traditional competitors but also against the cloud. Whilst many organisations are not yet ready to move fully to the cloud they have seen what it offers, and want that flexibility in their data centre.
The headline news is there are new options to how you own a 3PAR. Until now if you wanted a 3PAR you had to go ahead and buy it in a traditional manner paying upfront i.e. capex. Again cloud has pushed a move towards an opex model, this allows businesses to have predictable costs and flex up and down more easily in line with business needs. The three options that now exist for owning a 3PAR are displayed below, the graphic is taken from a video Calvin Zito has done explaining the options. Ownership option one is the traditional outright purchase of kit. With option 2 pre-provisioning you have a preconfigured capacity on site but you only pay for as much as you use. Option 3 is the opex option, you don’t own the hardware and pay a monthly fee based on an average of how much was used during the month.
This flexible ownership option is part of what HPE are calling it’s 3PAR flash now initiative, this is where a number of components including flash storage, fabric, backup and services including a refresh program are bundled together to form a solution. Part of the initiative is in line with what some start-ups have been offering for some time now, a refresh option for the hardware after a number of years of ownership. The flexible ownership option is not unique to storage it is also available to servers and networking under the flexible capacity programme.
Faster & Smarter fabrics
Gen 6 fibre channel is now available. This comes under the HPE StoreFabric brand name and Gen 6 represents the next wave of fibre channel technology delivering 32 Gb performance. The bottleneck in the network, storage and compute stack has traditionally been storage. But flash has changed this dynamic, leaving the network as a potential bottleneck for demanding workloads. Gen 6 kit aims to meet the needs of these demanding workloads.
The StoreFabric Gen 6 range Support the Smart San functionality, this is HPE’s software defined solution to eliminate the complexity of zoning. It uses the concept of target based zoning which means when you create your host relationship the zones associated with it are automatically created for you. The functionality is currently CLI based but future plans are to integrate it into SSMC. Further future planned enhancements include support for iSCSI, plus displaying the fabric and reporting on health natively within SSMC.
Other 3PAR related news included 3 PAR 3D cache technology with Intel, more on this during the show. Further storage related news included closer working relationships with Veeam. Veeam are now part of what HPE are calling the HPE complete program which means that partners can deliver a complete solution including the ability to perform assessments of customers environments using the existing ninja tools. Also announced was the ability to use Recovery Manager Central to protect SAP HANA workloads.