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New flagship HP Storageworks

This fall, Hewlett-Packard will ship worldwide with the sixth generation of its HP StorageWorks XP high-end disk arrays, which, in accordance with the company's new storage system naming scheme, has received the new name HP Storageworks P9500. The first generation of HP StorageWorks XP came out in 1999, far by the standards of the IT industry, and since then the array has remained one of the most successful high-end storage systems that guarantee the maximum level of performance and data availability, including protection against major disasters.

The HP StorageWorks XP brand is well-known in Russia - these systems are used by many large banks, telecom operators and transport companies to service critical applications. As HP representatives say, Russia ranks second in Europe in sales of these systems and several dozen StorageWorks XP are shipped to our country every quarter.

Let's see what are the main improvements implemented in the new array compared to its predecessor, StorageWorks XP24000. First of all, instead of 3.5-inch disks, the array now uses small form factor drives (2.5-inch diameter). As a result, the number of hard drives in the maximum configuration of six standard 19 ”cabinets exceeds two thousand.
Another important change in the hardware of the array is the rejection of the use of 4 Gb / s Fiber Channel drives and their replacement with hard drives with a six-gigabit SAS interface. This revolutionary transformation of the disk components of the array was made taking into account the general trend of the disk industry - this is a transition to 2.5-inch models and the use of SAS instead of Fiber Channel (for example, although SANs today use eight-gigabit Fiber Channel, none of the disk manufacturers are going to release drives with this interface), which should increase the density of capacity and simplify the connection of disks. As expected, this transition will be completed in about two years, and thus, in a few years, owners of the Storageworks P9500 will be able to install the most modern disks in their array (note that before the Storageworks P9500 announcement, all vendors used middle-size and high-level arrays to use full-size disks).

In addition to Fiber Channel, in the future, the array will support Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity.

In parallel with the hardware of the HP array, with each new generation of XP, it expanded the capabilities of its software. This time, the company released two new software packages, the use of which will allow the customer of the array to provide the required levels of service and reduce storage costs. The Application Performance Extender (APEX) software ensures that when consolidating data from different applications on the same system, the most business-critical tasks will receive guaranteed performance. Thanks to tight integration with operating systems, it is possible to provide QoS (Quality of service) at the level of individual applications without using any server agents. This task for competitors is solved in much more complicated and expensive ways - dividing storage systems into partitions, enforcing port speed limits for less important applications, etc.

Smart Tiers software automatically moves data blocks between disks of different performance depending on the frequency of access to this data. Unlike competitors, this technology does not move the entire logical drive (a similar solution for XP has existed for more than 10 years), but part of the LUN. In this way, customers can get the most out of their investment in fast SSD or Fiber Channel drives, and save by placing less “hot” data on SATA drives. Thanks to the use of Smart Tiers, even in the minimum configuration of a StorageWorks P9500 with a single cabinet, the array provides performance over 100 thousand I / O operations per second.

HP StorageWorks P9500 Array Maximum Configuration

StorageWorks P9500 non-stop scaling from one rack to a maximum configuration of six racks .

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/105638/

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