I just returned from my fifth HP Discover conference in Las Vegas, where Microsoft was a diamond sponsor. The Microsoft pavilion was right in the center of the action, giving me the opportunity to talk to tons of people about Windows Storage Server 2012. As you might imagine, there was a lot of interest in storage. Put another way, people were hungry for highly available, cost-effective solutions.
I like how they filled the conference floor with hundreds of thousands of these tiny light squares.
Big Data, small data, all types of data. Storage was a major focus at HP Discover.
For me, one of the highlights of HP Discover was the company’s announcement of its new HP 3PAR StoreServ File Controller running Windows Storage Server 2012. You can find the specs for it here.
HP 3PAR StoreServ File Controller
The new HP 3PAR StoreServ File Controllers can be bundled with any of the new 3PAR 7000-series storage systems, such as the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 4-node Storage Base (QR485A). In a recent InfoWorld review of the StoreServ 7400, they called it “powerful storage magic,” giving the StoreServ 7400 an “excellent” overall score of 9.2 out of 10 points. (Sub-scores were 10/10 for management and 9/10 for performance, reliability, scalability, interoperability, and value. No wonder the StoreServ 7400 earned an Editor’s Choice award!)
HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 Storage Base
At the conference, I snapped this picture of two clustered File Controllers attached to an HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200-series array. This is a pretty awesome combination, in that you get a best-in-class file gateway based on Windows Storage Server 2012 together with the “powerful storage magic” of the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 array. The combination includes ODX support , which can deliver performance gains of up to 7x on copy operations.
Picture of two HP 3PAR StoreServ File Controllers connected to an HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 .
HP also includes an SMI-S provider, so that administrators can use Server Manager in Windows Storage Server 2012 to quickly carve up LUNs and create volumes instead of having to use a web-based UI or BIOS configuration utility. Administrators can use Server Manager to provision storage locally or remotely, or they can use the new PowerShell scripts in Windows Storage Server 2012 to do everything from creating a LUN to setting up CSV volumes for a scale-out file server cluster. (If you’re into PowerShell, you may want to check out this laminate-worthy Storage PowerShell reference sheet. The Storage PowerShell reference on Technet and Jose Barreto’s blog also provide some excellent examples of useful PowerShell scripts for storage management.)
On a related note, in another review, InfoWorld talks about how HP brings sizzle to Windows Storage Server using the new StoreEasy 5530 with a solution that “puts serious muscle behind Windows file serving, Hyper-V virtualization, and SQL Server workloads.”
The HP team deserves a big congratulations for making highly available storage more cost-effective. I predict that will be a great year for HP’s storage business. Customers are getting ready to update to HP’s new models, and I hear that they’re bringing a lot of data with them.
Scott M. Johnson
Windows Storage Server