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HP revamps MSA 1040, 2040 arrays with front-end SAS

HP gives MSA Storage platform a makeover, adding a dedicated front-end SAS connector to MSA 1040 and enhanced flash capabilities to hybrid MSA 2040 SAN arrays.

Hewlett-Packard today upgraded its entry-level Modular Smart Array (MSA) storage platform, adding front-end 12 Gb SAS direct host connectivity to the MSA 1040 and hybrid flash bundles and sub-LUN tiering to the MSA 2040.

The 2U dual-controller MSA arrays are based on storage hardware supplied by Dot Hill under an OEM agreement with HP.

MSA 1040 front end SAS connections allow redundant shared capacity

TheMSA 1040 features 12 slots for 8 TB midline SAS drives for maximum raw storage of 96 TB, scaling to 384 TB with the addition of up to three enclosures. The new dedicated SAS controller allows for point-to-point connections to four application servers to create a redundant pool of shared storage. The previous version supported 10 GB iSCSCI, 16 GB Fibre Channel and Gigbit Ethernet connectivity, with a backend SAS connector.

Firmware upgrade integrates automated storage tiering

HP's GL210 firmware for the MSA 2040 is available immediately as a rolling upgrade to customers with valid support contracts. The new version incorporates sub-LUN tiering for automating data movement between storage tiers. The tiering optimizes workloads by placing hot data in flash and cold storage on spinning disk.

Enhancements include improved CPU cache and high-performance lookup techniques designed to minimize I/Os flowing through the PCIe stack..

"This is caching in DRAM that recognizes when data is coming from SSDs and when it comes from spinning disk. There are also analytics built into the array that recognize data patterns and adjust the algorithm in response," said Vish Mulchand, a senior director of product management and marketing for HP Storage.

Mulchand said the GL210 could boost SSD performance as much as 45 percent.

The MSA 2040 array supports 12 8 TB drives for 96 TB of raw capacity. Seven enclosures can be added to the MSA 2040 array to expand capacity to 786 TB.

MSA 2040 hybrid bundles sold separately

HP also announced a series of hybrid flash bundles for the MSA 2040 array. The bundles combine an MSA 2040 base array, hybrid storage media and HP Performance Tiering auto-tiering software. Buying a bundle shaves the list price about 45%, Mulchand said.

 Four bundles are being offered in the following configuration capacities:

  • 5.2 TB of storage (400 GB of SSDs and 4.8 of HDDs) priced at $13,000;
  • 5.6 TB (800 GB of flash, 4.8 of disk) for $14,800;
  • 8 TB (800 GB of flash, 7.2 TB HDDs) for $15,500; and
  • 8.8 TB (four SSDs for 1.6 TB of flash, 7.2 TB of HDDs) for $18,500.

Snapshots and thin provisioning are standard features on all MSA Storage arrays. Both the MSA 1040 and MSA 2040 support up to 64 controller-based snapshots natively. Customers can purchase an additional license for up to 512 snapshots, but the MSA Storage devices do not support data deduplication or compression.

List pricing starts around $7,000 for the MSA 1040 and around $11,000 for the MSA 2040.

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