The HP P4900 G2 6.4-TB SSD Storage System, part of the company's LeftHand Network P4000 family, is an all-solid state array that uses a technology called HP SMARTSSD Wear Gauge. SMARTSSD Wear Gauge has been integrated into the P4000 management console, from which an IT administrator can see how much more life an SSD has and be given alerts that predict drive outages and failures.
All-flash arrays are useful in virtual desktop and online transaction processing (OLTP) database environments, where they allow millions of I/O per second to avert boot storms and provide fast access to data, allowing organizations to make decisions faster.
The LeftHand family of products uses a scale-out architecture that allows IT to add either performance or capacity nodes. Like other LeftHand nodes, the P4900 makes use of Peer Motion software to move data in and out of the SSD tier.
The performance-oriented P4900 is available in two configurations: a two-node bundle of SSDs with a 6.4-TB storage capacity, and a one-node expansion with a 3.2-TB storage capacity. It uses 400-GB multi-level cell solid state drives with a serial attached SCSI interface,and has 6 GB of RAM and hot-swappable power supplies. Further, a P4900 has two RAID controllers with 1,024 MB of battery-backed cache and connects to the network with four 10GbE or 1GbE network ports. The P4900 supports RAID 5. Further, a P4900 has four RAID controllers with 2,048 MB of battery-backed cache and connects to the network with four 10GbE or 1GbE network ports. The P4900 supports RAID 5, 6, and 10.
The P4900 can support common internet file system and network file system traffic with the addition of a P4000 G2 unified network-attached storage (NAS) gateway.
HP is not the only company to get into the all-SSD flash game. To this market, you can add Kaminario's K2 appliance, Nimbus Data's E-Class, EMC's all-SSD VNX, and Pure Storage's FlashArray--all appliances that use SSDs to increase performance. Unlike HP's P4900 array that is iSCSI only, the Nimbus E-Class also supports Fibre Channel and InfiniBand, and EMC's VNX supports both Fibre Channel and iSCSI. A startup in stealth mode XtremIO is also expected to join this market.
Not to be left out in the block-level SAN arena is HP's foray into SSDs with the VMA-series Memory Array, which the company OEMs from Violin Memory; its XP24000; HP 6400/8400 Enterprise Virtual Array; the HP 3PAR F-Class and T-Class Storage Systems; and the I/O Accelerator for BladeSystem c-Class servers.
A 6.4-TB P4900 is available for $199,000. The expansion unit is $105,000.
Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.
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