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3D TLC NAND Takes Over AFAs As HPE Announces 3PAR StorServ Storage Solutions

By - Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a spate of product enhancements today as it moves to stay on the cutting edge of datacenter technology. NAND flash continues to increase workload capabilities, and its price continues to fall as 3D TLC NAND continues its meteoric rise. Flash also opens up new use cases, as evidenced by HPE's new Flape-capable (Flash+Tape) storage solution.

HPE's 3PAR StorServ 20850 All-Flash Array (AFA) recently climbed atop the SPC-2 rankings as it set a new world record. However, HPE isn't content to rest on its laurels, and it is continuing to increase StorServ's capabilities.

HPE adopted flash in 2010 and employed a string of different types of flash as NAND matured. The leading-edge SSDs consisted of SLC NAND, and the company moved to eMLC and cMLC in the ensuing years, with each progressive step enabling higher density and lower cost. The march of progress continues, and the 3PAR StorServ products now support 3D NAND, which offers significantly increased density and lower cost in comparison to 2D NAND products.

HPE indicated that it is also employing 3D TLC NAND. This marks yet another significant win for Samsung's much-ballyhooed product. Samsung is the only purveyor of 3D NAND of any variety, and 3D TLC NAND is more cost-effective in comparison to even standard 3D MLC NAND. Dell, Kaminario and SolidFire have also made the 3D transition (though SolidFire hasn't been very vocal about the addition), leaving no doubt that the 3D TLC NAND era is upon us. 

HPE indicated that the 3D NAND SSDs will be available on December 17, 2015; pricing begins at $2,075 per drive. SSD capacity starts at 400 GB and spans up to 1.92 and 3.84 TB -- which wouldn't be possible with standard 3D MLC NAND. HPE took numerous steps, such as adaptive sparing and striping (among others), to ensure that the system performs as expected regardless of the underlying media.

Flash continues to increase penetration, but the old standby tape is still a viable product. Merging the speed of flash with the economics and density of tape in a "Flape" implementation is an attractive proposition. HPE's StorServe 8200 Converged File and Block Starter Kit allows administrators to leverage the best aspects of tape, HDDs and SSDs in one solution, while also managing to offer up to 26 percent lower cost than competing solutions.

HPE included a refresh of its StorEver media to LTO-7 tapes (twice the density and performance), drives and automated libraries in its spate of new offerings. The company also indicated that utilizing 3PAR StorServ AFAs with the StorEver Tape arrays enables a "tape as NAS" solution.

The company announced a new line of HPE StoreOnce Systems, which offer up to 2.7 times more performance and density than competing products, while weighing in at an incredibly low price point of $0.05 per usable GB. The series features native integration with Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Veeam and Veritas. 

HPE definitely has set its sights on luring customers away from the competition. It announced 3PAR flash acceleration for Oracle, which the company indicated will boost database performance up to 75 percent while still allowing existing infrastructure (including its competitors) to remain intact. The company is attracting customers during the upgrade cycle by offering its new arrays for roughly half the cost of upgrading the existing equipment. HPE also offers its new 3PAR Online Import software as a free 12-month license that enables its customers to migrate from HDD-based systems from a number of its competitors, including EMC, HDS and IBM XIV storage.

Paul Alcorn is a Contributing Editor for Tom's IT Pro, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.