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REVEALED: HP's 5th generation EVA arrays

Simon Sharwood

HP will next soon launch long-awaited upgrades to its EVA storage arrays and SearchStorage ANZ can reveal there are two models in the range, the P6300 and P6500.

SearchStorage ANZ has sighted documents describing the new products and can reveal the following specifications for the two devices:

  P6300 EVA P6500 EVA
µProcessor, type AMCC 440SPe AMCC 440SPe
µProcessor, speed 533 MHz 667 MHz
Bus AMCC PLB AMCC PLB
Bus speed 133 MHz 166 MHz
Cache /controller pair 4 GBytes 8 GBytes
Host Ports, # 8 FC, 0 iSCSI,,4 FC, 8 1Gb iSCSI,,4 FC, 4 10Gb iSCSI/FCoE 8 FC, 0 iSCSI,,4 FC, 8 1Gb iSCSI,,4 FC, 4 10Gb iSCSI/FCoE
Host Ports, Speed 8Gb/s FC,1Gb/s iSCSI,10Gb/s iSCSI/FCoE 8Gb/s FC,1Gb/s iSCSI,10Gb/s iSCSI/FCoE
Device Lanes, # 8 SAS 16 SAS
Device Lanes, Speed 6Gb/s 6Gb/s
# 3.5-inch drives 120 240
# 2.5-inch drives 250 450

The new arrays will both offer built-in thin provisioning and what HP is calling “a simple one step process to move data across storage tiers” without disrupting applications or other operations.

Prices for the P6300 is said to start at around $US18,750 while its larger cousin will sell from $US44,000.

Seemingly intended as replacements for the The new EVAs will be positioned above HP’s 3Par range, but below its P9500 range. Disks up to 2 terabytes will be supported, and connectivity options include fibre channel, 1Gb/s iSCSI and 10Gb/s iSCSI/FCoE.

Other new features of the P6000 range include:

  • Dynamic LUN/RAID migration that HP says will enable users to “change the characteristics of an existing LUN such as RAID type, Disk type, LUN size, while the host I/O operation is active.” The company also promises “Expanded Large LUN support [which] expands the usefulness of large LUNs into local replication areas.”
  • A “… Business Copy feature that allows a user to change the characteristics of an existing LUN, such as RAID type, disk type, LUN size, while the host I/O operation is active, and in ONE-STEP.”
  • A new replication facility which, in the document we have seen says is called “Continuous Access” and “provides remote replication capabilities on the entire P6000 EVA product family enabling Advanced Disaster Recovery.”
  • Clustering software said to enable “seamless integration of the Continuous Access remote replication capabilities with Window and Linux high-availability server clustering solutions to protect against system downtime.”

The document we have sighted dedicates many slides to a discussion of thin provisioning, without really doing more than explaining the basics of the technology. HP says it will offer “reservationless” thin provisioning.

HP seems to have done a lot of work to get the new arrays ready for users, and says “Tech Briefs” are already available for Oracle, SAP, VMWare and Microsoft SQL Server, Hyper-V, Exchange & SharePoint.”

Competitive sniping

The documentation we have seen has a few choice words to say about HP’s competitors.

EMC’s VNX is dismissed as “a traditional array” that does “not have the advanced virtualization of the P6000 EVA.” The document also says “Configuring a VNX is highly  work intensive.  It is difficult to stripe a LUN over many spindles for performance,” and adds that “When the VNX gets fragmented, there can be unusable gaps on the drives.” HP also says the VNXC is work-intensive, asserting that “The VNX customer must spend more hours on array administration. This results in higher Total Cost of Ownership.”

NetApp’s FAS products are lashed on two fronts, with HP saying “NetApp performance is good with 10 - 20% capacity utilization, but degrades significantly as capacity utilization increases” and adding its belief that “NetApp performance also degrades significantly over time, even with constant load and capacity utilization.”

UPDATE MAY 6TH

Since we published this story, HP has issued a press release confirming the existence of the P6000 range and a " a worldwide early access program" for its current customers.

The release emphasises application consolidation and says "The HP P6000 EVA delivers greater flexibility and performance with a 6Gb/second Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) back-end, support for standard SAS hard disk drives, and eight gigabit Fibre Channel connectivity. Further details on management enhancements and advanced software features will be disclosed at the HP DISCOVER event in Las Vegas, NV, taking place June 6 - 10."