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» VIEW ALL POSTS Feb 16 2012   4:42PM GMT

HP goes all-flash with new LeftHand iSCSI system



Posted by: Dave Raffo
Tags:
iSCSI SAN
LeftHand
solid state storage

Hewlett-Packard today quietly launched an all solid-state drive (SSD) version of its LeftHand iSCSI SAN array.

Unlike the server and services announcements HP made at its Global Partner Conference, HP made its storage news with little fanfare on a company blog.

The HP P4900 SSD Storage System has 16 400 GB multi-level cell (MLC) SAS SSDs – eight in each of the system’s two nodes. Each two-node system includes 6.4 TB, and customers can add 3.2 TB expansion nodes to scale to clusters of 102.4 TB. Expansion nodes increase the system’s IOPS as well as capacity.

The systems use the HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge, which is firmware that monitors SSD drives and sends out alerts when a drive gets close to the end of its life. The monitoring firmware is part of the P4000 Management Console.

HP claims the monitoring and scale-out architecture solve the major problems with solid-state storage arrays. “When it comes to SSDs in general, they are great for increasing IOPS and benefitting a business with lower power/cooling requirements,” P4000 product marketing manager Kate Davis wrote in the blog. “But the bad comes with unknown wear lifespan of the drive. And then it turns downright ugly when traditional dual-controller systems bottleneck the performance that was supposed to be the good part. … Other vendors must build towers of storage behind one or two controllers – LeftHand scales on and on.”

The large storage vendors offer SSDs in place of hard drives in their arrays, and there’s no reason they can’t ship a system with all flash. But the P4900 is the first dedicated all-flash system from a major vendor. Smaller vendors such as Nimbus Data, Pure Storage, SolidFire, Violin Memory, Whiptail and Texas Memory Systems have all-SSD storage systems.

A 6.4-TB P4900 costs $199,000. The expansion unit costs $105,000.

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