This morning I attended a session about HP StorageWorks EVA feature enhancements. I will recap some of the details discussed in that session. After a short introduction by Tom Joyce, VP of StorageWorks Marketing, Joseph Algieri, Master Solution Architect at HP continued the presentation. Also Sheridan Kooyers, Master Firmware Architect for EVA at HP was available for answering questions. Sheridan is responsible for Continuous Access and is now working on VAAI development integration.
EVA has been HP’s enterprise storage flagship it was introduced in 2001, celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Their first models were the EVA3000 and EVA5000. Meanwhile 100.000 EVA’s have been sold to a large and very loyal customer base. HP have been talking to lot of customers and have organized focus groups. HP also learnt a great deal from the engineers of the acquired storage companies LeftHand, IBRIX and 3PAR. The storage engineering team has grown considerably. Large investments have been made in the product to again focus to deliver quality.
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This week the 5th generation of HP EVA was announced: the P6000 which no longer comes with three models but with two: the P6300 and the P6500. The new array has many hardware improvements, a new backplane, new disks, double the storage capacity in the same footprint, better performance and additional storage software features.
After all this time HP EVA is still the easiest storage array to manage. The new P6000 has been designed to tackle the following problems that customers experience:
- Provisioning and managing storage delays solution deployment
- Day to day storage management consumes too much time
- Managing storage systems is becoming too complex
- Capacity management is running out of control
- How can we get ready for cloud?
HP has also taken care of Hyper-V customers with multiple datacenters. They can perform fully automated Live Migration between cluster nodes in two datacenters using HP Cluster Extensions (CLX). HP showcased this feature 2 years ago at TechEd 2009 in Berlin with HP EVA. At HP Discover 2011 HP announced this same capability with 3PAR storage between datacenters 200km apart.
This is a storage update in the hardware that allows OS agnostic overprovisioning of storage. It is not only supported in P6000 but also in EVA x400 series if both XCS is upgraded to V10 and Command View to v9.4 which is standard for P6000. Thin Provisioning is a free license (also for customers of the 4th EVA generation) and can be switched on or off. Because the OS sees a larger capacity than there may be physically available, it is highly recommended that the storage admin no only set the appropriate alarms but also monitor those on a daily basis. Your operating system might find out too late that there is no physical disk left and you will get into trouble. So get it managed somehow! Limitations of first release: no Business Copy support, no Continuous Access support
- 32TB Enhanced Large LUN support with ability to expand/shrink LUNs, expand a standard LUN (<2TB) to a large LUN (>2TB), Thin Provisioning and snapshots of Large LUNs is possible. Supported on P6000 and EVAx400 arrays. Limitations: Not supported in first release: Business Copy Mirrorclone or Snapclone
- Supports INCITS T10 ALUA standard behavior … whatever that means
- 32MB allocation size on P6000 (older EVA had 8MB allocation size)
- Data migration form Thick LUNs to Thin LUNs (but requires intervention of MPX200)
- Online LUN migration to change the characteristics of an existing LUN such as RAID type and disk type while host I/O is active. This functionality requires a Business Copy license. Also it is not automated but has to be activated by the administrator. There are some limitations here: not supported in combination with Thin Provisioning, Business Copy or Large LUN. Not available on EVAx100 or prior generation arrays.
Business Copy Enhancements
- Demand AllocatedContainer Use with Demand Allocated Snapshot
Continuous Access Enhancements
- New User Selectable Asynchronous Mode: Basic Asynchronous Mode (cache based) and Enhanced Asynchronous Mode (Write History Log based). Cache based mode is back in CV v9.4
- Continuous Access replication supported between P6000 EVA and all other models
- Continuous Access replication is supported from EVA3000/5000 to P6000 EVA for data migration purposes only
Future Thin Provisioning Functionality
- Business Copy support (Snapshot, Snapclone, Mirrorclone)
- Continuous Access support
- Instant restore to a Thin Provisioned LUN
- Online LUN/RAID Migration
- Create Thin Provisioned LUN with initial reservation
- Convert Thin Provisioned Vdisk to standard Vdisk
- Convert Full Provisioned Vdisk to Thin Provisioned Vdisk
- Support UNMAP (reclaim space)
- SCSI Reclaim