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3PAR Spins Disk Trick

Let's get this straight: A disk storage array vendor that wants to sell you less disk space? Has Hell finally iced up?

While the idea certainly wouldn't fly in Hopkinton, startup 3PARdata Inc. is proposing to do just that with a new feature that lets users create volumes of any size -- without actually purchasing or installing the entire amount of necessary disk storage (see 3PAR Debuts 'Thin Provisioning').

3PAR says most companies grossly overprovision their storage, in part because the process of provisioning disk space for applications is complex and IT managers would rather simply have the capacity in place. But David Scott, president and CEO of 3PAR, also notes that the major storage vendors try to sell as much disk as they possibly can.

"We've been in this era of stuffing disk capacity at customers that they don't really need," he says.

The company claims it has found storage utilization rates of customers to be typically around 25 to 30 percent (though industry analysts estimate utilization rates for SAN-attached storage systems run at least 50 percent or higher). But with a new software option called Thin Provisioning, 3PAR says customers need only buy the physical storage capacity they actually use, even if they've allocated a much larger amount to an application.

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