LAS VEGAS – The advent of solid state hard drives has created a conundrum for IT managers: Flash drives offer speed needed for many real-time applications, but at a price premium over spinning disk, and they hold less data.
One solution from storage manufacturers has been auto-tiered arrays, which mix both classes of drives. Another is an all-flash array, a number of which are being offered by startups and some established vendors.
This week at its Discover 2014 infrastructure conference, Hewlett-Packard announced its response: Enhancements to its 3Par StoreServe 7450 with hardware-accelerated, inline primary deduplication, thin cloning software and Express Indexing, combined with larger multi-level cell cMLC flash drives that hold up to 1.92TB.
The result, the company said, is that the price-per-gigabyte of storage is equal to or better than a spinning disk array.
The solution will “bring the end of high end auto tier arrays,” David Scott, senior vice-president of HP Storage, told reporters in a briefing. “We’re going to deliver an all-flash array that is suitable and optimized for a wide-variety of mainstream mission critical applications. In doing so the beginning of the end of auto-tiered arrays has arrived, and maybe the beginning of the end of these flash startups.”
The announcement didn’t impress one industry analyst here. James Staten, principal analyst for cloud computing and adaptive intelligence at Forrester Research, was skeptical.