HP 01Jun15 releases 3PAR StoreServ 20000 storage at HPDiscover

In StoreServ 20000, StoreServ 20800 CFA, StoreServ 20850 AFA by AdministratorLeave a Comment

HP upgraded their 3PAR StoreServ line with a new top-end, all-flash array (AFA) and a new converged flash (hybrid) array (CFA).

New HP 3PAR StoreServ 20000 family hardware

The 3PAR family of storage solutions can scale out from 2- to 8-nodes. The new product series announced at HP Discover replaces their previous high end 3PAR StoreServ 10000 storage systems. Specifically, the new

  • 3PAR StoreServ 20850 AFA is an all-flash array that offers up to 3.9PB raw flash capacity (12PB usable) from using 1024 3.8TB SSDs. The new system is capable of >3M IOPS @ <1msec. latency and has up to 75GB/sec of sustained throughput.
  • 3PAR StoreServ 20800 CFA is a converged flash array that supports both disk and SSDs that offers up to 6PB of raw capacity (15PB usable) using 1920 disk and SSDs. The new CFA can have up to 32TB of flash cache.

The new StoreServ 20000 series is based on the new 3PAR Gen 5 Thin Express ASIC. The new ASIC enables higher levels of performance, scaleability and availability, which includes hardware accelerated inline dedupe, new express write capabilities and a new persistent checksum. The new checksum enables end-to-end data integrity checking of customer data using a DIF tag that gets generated as I/Os leave host HBAs and is verified across the entire data path thereafter. Express write reduces the response time or access latency for fast (cache) writes to under 200 μsec. The inline dedupe helps to provide the nearly 4:1 increase in usable capacity for both the 20800 CFA and 20850 AFA and helps to lowers the price of flash storage.

Useable capacity is a function of inline dedupe and other data compaction techniques (thin provisioning, space efficient snapshots, adaptive sparing etc.). In the 20800 CFA with 6PB raw capacity configuration, which is ~4.5PB after RAID and system overhead, the new system is providing ~3.3X multiplier to physical capacity for its 15PB usable.

The 20800/20850 storage systems come with up to 40 16Gbps FC/20 10GbE iSCSI-FCoE ports per node pair and up to 12 file/block/object (FBO) NIC ports per node pair. The new systems come equipped with from 2 up to 8 10Gb internal Remote Copy (RC) NIC ports that can also be used to serve file/object access.The new product family includes a new high-density, small form factor, cMLC 3.84 TB SSD. In the discussion at Discover, HP indicated that the new 3.84TB SSD includes proprietary logic in order to increase its physical capacity in a 3PAR configuration without reducing NAND data lifetime and reliability. HP says with the new SSD, they can offer all-flash storage at ~$1.50/GB roughly on par with 10K RPM disk drives.

New 3PAR StoreServ software functionality

With the new hardware release, HP also released new 3PAR software functionality, which includes new Federation support, new Asynch Streaming Replication, enhanced manageability and increased configuration capabilities. Also, HP 3PAR is one of the first storage hardware solutions to support VMware VVOLS.

With 3PAR Federation now you can group up to 4-3PAR storage systems together in a federation of systems. Within the federation you have online data mobility across the storage systems. For VMware VVOL environments, this includes Peer Motion migrating VVOLs across the federation storage systems. The new federation functionality can group together any current 3PAR storage system, with up to 3 other 3PAR storage systems and balance workloads across all of the storage. In addition, up to 4 more legacy systems (EMC VMAX/VNX, HDS VSP) can be added to this federation set up and data can be migrated from those systems to the 3PAR systems.

Asynchronous Streaming Replication is a new data mirroring option specifically for AFA storage systems, which attempts to provide the RPO of synchronous replication without the added latency to write operations. With the new replication solution, data writes are acknowledged to the host when the primary system receives the data and then it sends the data to the secondary storage system. Data is kept in cache in the primary system while being replicated as delta sets to the secondary system. Asynchronous streaming keeps the two storage systems within seconds of one another allowing a much reduced RPO than previously available Asynchronous Periodic replication.

3PAR storage’s enhanced Manageability includes autonomic setup for AFA, volume creation in fewer than 2 clicks, integrated historical performance information and big data analytics integration. The new 20800/20850 3PAR StoreServ storage systems support up to 64K Base VVs, 128K Total VVs, and 256K VLUNs. Finally, HP has added HDS storage to their online import capabilities.


HP’s been busy updating most of their storage line with new hardware and software. The new top-end 3PAR StoreServ 20800/20850 storage systems are a significant step beyond previous generation systems in performance, capacity, and functionality. The new, super dense, 3.84TB SSDs is yet another example of hardware, or in this case, more likely custom firmware enhancements that increase capabilities beyond the standard offerings. Of course, the new Gen 5 ASIC is a great example of what can be accomplished with custom (ASIC) hardware. HP storage is doing better, of late, and this round of refresh is going to help maintain their momentum.

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Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.

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