August 14th, 2012 by Brian Beeler
HP Updates Virtual Storage Appliance, FlexFabric Switches
HP has announced several updates today in what HP collectively refers to as their Converged Infrastructure solutions group. There are updates to the HP Ethernet Virtual Interconnect as well as the HP Multitenant Device Context. From a pure storage perspective however, the highlight is the updated HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA). The StoreVirtual VSA allows clients to build storage pools on any x86 server using VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors. While the StoreVirtual VSA name might be new, underneath it's the tried and true HP LeftHand SAN code base, simply virtualized for ease of deployment without a need for additional or proprietary SAN hardware.
HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA)
The StoreVirtual VSA delivers several industry firsts; like being the first to work on any x86 server and offering simultaneous support for both vSphere and Hyper-V. The result is that StoreVirtual VSA users can have tremendous flexibility when building out and managing data across heterogeneous servers and hypervisors, making the VSA largely hardware and software independent.
The benefits of moving from standard scale out SAN solutions to a virtualized storage solution are many, and have become more pronounced as compute servers continue to become more powerful. SMBs enjoy virtualized storage for simplicity of configuration and reduced capital expenditure, while branch offices see benefit from centralized management. HP is also targeting public cloud providers with the StoreVirtual VSA, who see tremendous benefits by reducing the amount of machinery required in the data center, which in turn provides substantial energy savings. HP also provides aggressive price breaks as users scale up the number of licenses required, making the ROI increasingly more pronounced.
Other updates to the VSA include support for a second CPU and HP will be increasing the capacity available to each license from 10TB to something significantly larger later this year. Lastly, HP has included Veeam support, which is integrated via the StoreVirtual VSA's API for snapshots straight out of the storage system.
HP Ethernet Virtual Interconnect (EVI)
HP EVI is the first solution to deploy interconnectivity between up to eight geographically dispersed data centers in minutes, a task that generally requires manual processes and sometimes weeks or months of test and retry configuration. HP's Data Center Interconnect (DCI) overlay enables "single touch" connection of the data centers from a centralized locale. This ease of networking allows clients to do everything from resource allocation to disaster recovery by linking the data centers together.
HP Multitenant Device Context (MDC)
HP MDC software lets clients silo off data from different applications or departments to help meet regulatory and compliance needs, while providing an overall higher degree of data security. This is especially beneficial for multi-tenant virtualized or cloud-based applications as well as protecting data within an organization, like HR and finance.
Pricing and Availability
HP StoreVirtual VSA will be available in September as a single license or in 15, 60 or 1.000 license packs. Single licenses carry an MSRP of $3,500, dropping all the way down to $700 in the 1,000 license pack. All licenses come with three years of support, consistent with HP compute server support plans. HP EVI and MDC will be available this fall as software upgrades for the HP FlexFabric core switches.