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HPE turns 3PAR array from all-flash to hybrid

For years we’ve seen storage vendors take systems designed for hard disk drives (HDDs) and add solid-state drives (SSDs) to them. Now Hewlett Packard Enterprise is taking hardware that ran all SSDs and allowing customers to use HDDs inside of it.

HPE’s new 3PAR StoreServ 20840 array uses the same hardware as the all-flash StoreServ 20850 launched in 2015. But while the 20850 only supports flash, the 20840 holds up to 1,920 HDDs. Both systems can use from six to 1,024 SSDs.

The 3PAR StoreServ 20840 scales up to eight controller nodes and includes 52 TB of cache, 48 TB of optional flash cache and 6000 TB of raw capacity. The system supports any combination of SAS, nearline SAS disk drives and SSDs.

“The system is the exact same hardware as the all-flash 20850 and we will keep that system around for customers who want to go entirely with flash. This 20840 is for our customers that happen to support spinning disk on the back end,” said Brad Parks, director of strategy for HPE storage. “The 20840 is flash optimized but not all-flash limited.”

The new 3PAR storage model is part of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 enterprise SAN family that the company launched in June 2015.  In August 2015, HPE announced the 20450 all-flash system and the 20800 all-flash starter kit.

HPE last week also launched the enterprise-level StoreOnce 6600 and midrange HPE StoreOnce 5500 data deduplication disk backup appliances. Both are based on HPE’s latest ProLiant servers. The 6600 scales from 72 TB of usable capacity to 1728 TB, while midrange HPE5500 model scales from 36TB to 864 of useable capacity in a highly dense footprint designed for data deduplication in large and midrange data centers and regional offices.

HPE StoreOnce supports HPE Data Protector, Veritas NetBackup, Backup Exec via OST, Veeam and BridgeHead software. The systems work with the 3PAR StoreServ’s StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central, which takes application-consistent snapshots on the HP 3PAR StoreServ array and copies the changed blocks directly to any HP StoreOnce appliance. The process is known as flat backup.

“Snapshot data moves directly over the network to StoreOnce without engaging the third-party software,” Parks said.

Jason Buffington, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said these latest models demonstrate that HPE is offering a consolidated approach for data protection in both data centers and remote sites.

“What we are seeing is organizations have multiple workloads with specify data protection solutions,” he said. “That is the macro trend that HPE is trying to address. StoreOnce is trying to address a way to centralize storage data protection.”

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