News Advisory: November 18, 2014

HP Brings Advanced Virtualization Capabilities to HP MSA Storage

Industry’s #1 entry-level Fibre Channel array now simpler, faster, and more economical for budget-conscious small and midsize customers

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2014 — HP today announced updates to HP MSA Storage that bring data tiering and advanced storage virtualization capabilities to the platform to further reduce the cost of storing data, boost business productivity, and simplify management for small and midsize businesses (SMB).

Like large organizations, SMBs are under many of the same pressures to do more with less. Over the last decade, storage technologies such as automated sub-LUN tiering and thin provisioning have revolutionized efficiency and agility. However, these advanced capabilities have often been limited to midrange and high-end disk arrays that place efficiency-boosting benefits out of reach for many SMB customers.

To close this gap, the new advanced capabilities for HP MSA Storage are aimed at organizations with limited resources. These software features include new data tiering options, flash-based performance enhancements, and intelligent storage automation that take advantage of the fourth-generation HP MSA Storage hardware architecture. HP also announced enhancements to HP Simply StoreIT, the SMB-focused co-marketing program for HP channel partners launched in 2013. As of the second quarter of this year, worldwide revenue generated by sales of fibre channel attached HP MSA Storage—the industry’s top ranking entry-level Fibre Channel disk array(1)—were up 45% year-over-year.(2)

“SMB customers are facing many of the same challenges as larger enterprises, meaning they are looking for advanced storage features to help them boost efficiency and simplify their operations,” said David Scott, senior vice president and general manager, Storage, HP. “The latest enhancements to HP MSA Storage enable customers with tight budgets to benefit from the simplicity, cost savings, and increased application performance that advanced storage features make possible.”

Reduce cost of storing cold data by 75%
Two new data tiering capabilities added to HP MSA Storage—Archive Tiering and Performance Tiering—boost performance on frequently accessed data while lowering the cost of storing infrequently accessed data. Data tiering continually balances storage costs and performance by moving data between storage tiers composed of different media types—automatically, and without administrator intervention. The ability to respond in real-time to the changing performance requirements of application workloads ensures that system resources are continually put to optimal use based on data access patterns. Automated data tiering delivers more value for businesses that need high performance for their business-critical applications and are also looking to lower overall storage costs.

Archive Tiering, a new feature provided at no additional cost with the MSA 2040, dynamically and automatically moves data that has not been recently accessed onto lower-cost midline SAS drives from higher-performance SAS drives. In a world where data is growing yet seldom deleted, Archive Tiering frees up higher value capacity for more active workloads, thus optimizing performance and lowering the cost per gigabyte of data that is moved to the archive tier by 75% or more.(3)

Performance Tiering, a new optional feature for HP MSA 2040 Storage, accelerates workloads by automatically monitoring I/O patterns and dynamically escalating frequently accessed data onto high-performance Solid state drives (SSDs) to respond to workload fluctuations and accelerate demanding workloads.

Boost business productivity and application performance with SSD acceleration
SSDs offer massive performance benefits and dramatically decrease latencies. However, the price associated with flash media still poses a barrier for many small and midsize companies. Enhancements to the HP MSA 2040 Storage platform—including the Performance Tiering feature introduced above and a new SSD Read Cache feature discussed below—allow SMBs to cost-effectively take advantage of flash storage.

The new SSD Read Cache feature for the MSA 2040 provides a predictive algorithm that dynamically leverages SSD capacity to extend controller read caching in order to maximize read I/O performance. This feature provides an easy, low-cost way to experience SSD performance benefits across common, read-intensive workloads such as Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange, CRM, Oracle Database, and SAP. SSD Read Cache acceleration delivers latency improvements of up to 70 percent to applications on the hosts.(4)

Reduce administrative overhead and risk
Intelligent storage automation and advanced storage capabilities added to MSA 1040 and 2040 Storage help customers simplify storage management and reduce risk of errors associated with manual administration tasks. These new features enable customers to “right-size” their entry storage array while also leveraging advanced storage virtualization and automation to extend their IT capabilities and derive more value from their storage resources.

  • Simplified volume expansion and rebalancing eliminates tedious manual volume layout and redistribution tasks required to make the most efficient use of additional storage capacity, thus saving storage administrators time and ensuring immediate and efficient utilization of storage resources as they are added.
  • Thin Provisioning lets customers purchase storage as needed, lowering up-front costs and eliminating the need to purchase disk capacity that may never be used. Configurable capacity alerts indicate when more capacity is needed to store physical data. To support business continuity, thin provisioning enables “thin rebuilds” that accelerate RAID reconstruction by only rebuilding storage blocks used to store data.
  • Seamless, automated capacity reclamation with thin-aware host operating systems such as Linux and Windows as well as hypervisors from VMware and Microsoft help customers achieve greater capacity efficiency by reclaiming deleted file space without manual administrator intervention, ensuring greater capacity utilization while simplifying management.
  • Wide Striping delivers increased array efficiency and lower latencies by distributing data across all disks in a storage volume.
  • More efficient snapshot capabilities deliver simplified management and improved snapshot performance—enabling new, more complex disaster recovery use cases.
  • A new, highly intuitive Web-based user interface simplifies and expedites administration—particularly in server virtualization environments, where management can be complicated by virtual machine proliferation. This new management interface reduces opportunities for user error and streamlines storage administration.

Take the stress out of storage with enhancements to the HP Simply StoreIT program
The latest enhancements to HP MSA Storage are reflected in the latest HP Simply StoreIT program assets, designed to accelerate partner sales to small and midsized businesses. With this program, HP channel partners can help their SMB customers accelerate time to revenue with HP storage solutions by connecting them with the right solution based on specific business requirements. Program assets and tools include quote and configuration templates, co-branded lead-generation assets, training materials designed to increase sales opportunities, and a new Quick Start guide for partners.

"The sales enablement tools offered through the Simply StoreIT program allow us to recommend storage solutions for our clients up to two times faster than before,”said Raymond Tuchman, CEO, Experis Technology Group.

Pricing and availability (5)

  • The new MSA 1040/2040 firmware is currently in controlled release and is expected to be generally available in December 2014.
  • For current MSA 2040 customers, all new features except Performance Tiering, will be available through a free firmware upgrade from the hp.com MSA support page.
  • Performance Tiering is only available on the MSA 2040 and is priced at $3999.
  • MSA 1040 customers will need to upgrade their firmware and purchase the MSA 1040 Advanced Virtualization Upgrade to take advantage of the new features. This upgrade is priced at $3500.
  • All features and their associated SKUs will be available on hp.com or through authorized HP resellers beginning December 1, 2104.

(1) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, Q2 2014, external disk subsystems, entry storage category, SAN attached (FC protocol), by Factory Revenue.

(2) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, Q2 2014 comparing HP’s MSA factory revenues between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014.

(3) Based on HP internal testing using Archive Tiering capabilities to store infrequently accessed data from Enterprise SAS (10k/15k) drives to Midline SAS (7.2k) drives. Comparing current HP List Price ($) per GB of the latest 6TB, 7.2k RPM SAS HDD ($0.21/GB) and the currently shipping 10k and 15k Enterprise SAS HDDs ($2.53 to $0.82/GB).

(4) Based on HP’s internal testing using a single 200GB SSD configured as Read Cache, accelerating a combination of workloads on a 2TB 15K Enterprise SAS Volume with a 60 percent read/40 percent write and a 90 percent read/10 percent write workload.

(5) U.S. list prices where indicated. Actual prices may vary.

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