HP Peer Motion gets over 3Par generation gap

HP's new Peer Motion federated storage software allows data to be migrated and tiered across 3Par systems of different generations, and arrives alongside the release of two 3Par storage arrays

HP has introduced a technology for automatically tiering and moving storage loads between 3Par arrays of differing generations, in a bid to help administrators maximise the efficiency of ageing equipment.

HP 3Par P10000

HP has introduced new technology for shifting storage loads, along with two new 3Par arrays, the HP P10000 V400 and V800. Photo credit: HP

The Peer Motion software, announced by HP on Tuesday, means enterprises can turn different 3Par storage arrays into a single pool of storage and equally distribute their data across the hardware to get the most out of it.

"Peer Motion allows you to add new generations of technology into your environment and balance your workload" across them, said Catherine Campbell, HP's chief technology officer for storage in the UK. "You might want to balance so you get the most demanding workloads on the new arrays and others migrated onto the old array."

3Par's mainstay technology is automatic tiering. This allows storage systems to intelligently place data on hard drives and solid-state drives so that the most frequently accessed data is in the most suitable location.

With Peer Motion, this capability has been expanded to cover fleets of separate 3Par arrays. HP believes this can take the strain off enterprises when they upgrade their 3Par storage, as they can add in new generations without having to make sweeping changes. Businesses can bring in a new array and the system will place frequently needed data on it, while older arrays can continue to support the less frequently accessed data.

"There's still a challenge that the bigger your storage environment grows, the bigger your technical refresh challenge gets," Campbell said. "The concept of Peer Motion and federated storage as a whole says to IT managers, 'You're not going to get stuck and you can get away from this big forklift transformation approach'."

New arrays

The federated storage software is available in two arrays, the HP P10000 3Par V400 and V800, also introduced on Tuesday. In addition, customers can use existing 3Par T-Class arrays via a firmware upgrade, Campbell said.

The V400 and V800 hardware appliances are the first additions to the 3Par line-up since HP bought the company for £1.48bn in September 2010.

The new arrays have a higher maximum storage capacity than their T-Class predecessors. They come with the Peer Motion technology, updated management software, and two Gen4 Asics per controller that tier workloads and optimise storage bandwidth between the array and the network.

The V400 can scale between 4.84TB and 800TB of storage and two or four controllers, while the V800 scales between 4.84TB and 1.6PB and two, four, six or eight controllers.

Overall, the arrays provide 1.5 times the port connectivity and disk resources and three times the performance for sequential workloads compared with previous 3Par systems, according to HP.

The new arrays are set to be available worldwide on Monday with prices starting at around €200,000 (£174,623), HP said. Peer Motion will be available for a fee, but pricing was not disclosed. Customers with support contacts for HP LeftHand Storage Systems will be able to upgrade their systems to use Peer Motion for no additional fee, HP said.

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