As you may or may not have heard, last week HP announced their new mid-range 3PAR arrays, the 7000 series which I covered here. HP is clearly targeting existing EVA users with the aggressively priced 7000s, with a simple and online method to migrate active LUNs to 3PAR. Since the 3PAR architecture is so different from the EVA, HP wrote an excellent whitepaper you can get here for EVA administrators to help them understand 3PAR hardware and software. Even if you aren’t an EVA user, it’s an excellent tutorial on 3PAR and goes into a lot of technical details about the entire 3PAR series, from the legacy F and T series, to the new 7000s and 10000s. I also spotted a few details, which seem to foreshadow some upcoming 10000 enhancements.
For starters, I found this very interesting table below, showing supported disk types. For current 3.1.1 10000 owners, you know that the only choice today for disks are 3.5″ large form factor sporting either Fibre Channel or SATA (NL) interfaces. No SAS disk support, no 2.5″ disk support. I’ve highlighted in red new 10000 options. After finding that table I reviewed the latest 10000 Quickspecs (future dated to December 17th), and sure enough you will see 2.5″ SAS disks as an option!
Further reading the T-Series QuickSpecs, I stumbled on the fact that SAS drives will also be supported, which I’m surprised to see. However, it still requires 3.1.2. I didn’t see new drive cages or SAS disk cards for either the T-Series or 10000s, so I’m thinking the SFF SAS drives will be packaged in the usual four disk LFF magazines with built-in FC bridges. It appears the new SAS-based 2.5″ and 3.5″ drive shelves for the 7000 are limited to the 7000 platform, and the 10000 will continue to use FC loops for disk shelf connectivity.
The handwriting is on the wall…the EVA line is winding down, and customers should start looking at migrating to a new platform. HP is making the migration to 3PAR pretty darn easy, and totally non-disruptive for VMware, Red Hat, SUSE Linux and Solaris servers. Minor downtime is required for Windows hosts to reboot, though.
Enjoy the 27 page whitepaper…very worthwhile to read. Calvin Zito from HP also wrote a good blog article with more technical details and links on how the EVA to 3PAR migration actually works. You can find his write up here.