HP helps Software-defined storage customers maximise server investments with data tiering

 HP recently announced new HP Converged Storage innovations that enable customers to maximise the return on investment (ROI) of their virtual infrastructure by lowering costs while increasing agility and capacity utilisation.

Extending its six-year leadership in software-defined storage,(1) HP announced new HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) software functionality. These new features include automated sub-LUN (logical unit number) storage tiering and increased VMware and Microsoft integration to improve efficiency and performance. New licensing options provide deployment flexibility to support current workload requirements and future growth needs.

HP also introduced two software plug-ins for HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, one for use with VMware, and the other for use with SAP®. These plug-ins help customers simplify management of complex application deployments.

Organisations with virtualised environments that range from small sites, to enterprise branch offices, and even public cloud providers, are turning to hardware- and hypervisor-agnostic software-defined storage to cost-effectively provide high availability and other data services running on industry standard server infrastructure.

HP StoreVirtual VSA—powered by the proven HP LeftHand operating system and introducing new Adaptive Optimisation capabilities—is the industry’s first scale-out software-defined storage solution to offer data tiering. This feature moves data blocks to high-performance or cost-optimised storage automatically, based on application needs, for improved efficiency and performance.(2)

With HP Adaptive Optimisation, continuous workload monitoring migrates actively used data to faster storage such as solid-state disk (SSD), and inactive data to lower-cost storage such as hard disk drive (HDD) storage. This granular approach eliminates the need to move entire application volumes to more expensive SSD. For inactive data, HP StoreVirtual VSA enables customers to further reduce costs by repurposing and virtualising their legacy third-party storage, treating that capacity as a secondary tier within HP Adaptive Optimisation.

HP now offers multiple licensing options for HP StoreVirtual VSA, providing flexibility to support current workloads as well as future growth requirements. In addition to the 10-terabyte (TB) standard license, the company now offers a 4TB license for small sites and a 50TB high-capacity license. As a result, customers can start small and nondisruptively upgrade to a larger VSA or the HP StoreVirtual 4000 appliance as needed.

Easily managed by IT generalists in VMware and Microsoft environments, HP StoreVirtual VSA installs three times faster and scales capacity 11 times faster than competitive software-defined storage options from VMware.(3) New support for VMware ParaVirtualised SCSI Controller delivers efficient CPU utilisation, minimising ongoing infrastructure investments. Increased Microsoft Windows® Server with Hyper-V integration enables clients to provision storage from Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manager for faster deployment.

 “To reduce data centre investment and operational costs, budget-conscious organisations are transitioning from dedicated physical hardware to software-defined storage embedded on existing industry standard servers,” said Craig Paul, Storage Country Manager, HP South Africa. “Having pioneered software-defined storage with an installed base of over 170,000 StoreVirtual VSA licenses, HP is now extending its leadership in this area with auto-tiering capability to further optimise cost and performance for small or medium-sized businesses as well as remote enterprise branches.”

Transitioning to software-defined data centres requires Open API and application-integrated control of storage systems to ensure administrative productivity.

HP 3PAR StoreServ seamlessly integrates with solutions from leading independent software vendors (ISVs), and coupled with the new HP StoreFront Analytics Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Manager™, enables VMware administrators to efficiently and cost-effectively monitor and troubleshoot complex virtualised environments.

HP StoreFront Analytics Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Manager software delivers real-time data on the health, performance and capacity utilisation of the HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage system. Proactive monitoring of virtualised application performance from a single management console simplifies storage management. To facilitate the decision process, the software provides accurate capacity and forecasting data regarding HP 3PAR StoreServ storage services, including hardware-accelerated thin provisioning, which greatly increases storage capacity efficiency without impacting application performance.

For managing large and complex SAP deployments in physical and virtualised environments, HP now offers a plug-in that integrates HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and HP XP P9500 Storage with SAP NetWeaver® Landscape Virtualization Management 1.0. This new HP Storage plug-in is supported in Microsoft Windows, Linux and HP-UX environments, and includes automation capabilities that reduce time to clone SAP applications. These automation capabilities in turn help reduce the overall system copy and refresh time, which improves business agility while reducing risks associated with manual provisioning. 

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