Product Review: HPE StoreVirtual Platform
Since 2013, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s StoreVirtual platform has been offering affordable storage designed for virtualized infrastructure that is meant to be easy to manage, support continuous data information growth and empowering organizations into the digital environment.
A key element to the HPE StoreVirtual approach is adaptability. Additionally, their approach is for their hardware, SDS storage, and more to be ready for any type of market disruption or huge evolution that would be unprecedented by customers.
HPE StoreVirtual products are leaders in the software-defined storage (SDS) market niche and StoveVirtual has a foundation of composable data fabric. The family is hardware-agnostic and hypervisor-independent, with support available for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Linux KVM.
HPE StoreVirtual 4000 Storage is based on the LeftHand operating system that HPE purchased in 2008. It is a scale-out storage platform designed to meet the fluctuating needs of virtualized environments. Intuitive management and standardized storage framework fulfill the needs for simplicity and flexibility in today’s virtual data centers. It allows for data mobility across tiers, locations, and between physical and virtual storage.
HPE StoreVirtual is software-defined storage VSA software with ProLiant rack and BladeSystem-based hardware models that provide options meant to fit any infrastructure and budget. Enterprise-class storage software functionality and leading virtualization software integration are built-in; this complete structure includes everything to make StoreVirtual an ideal platform for supporting virtualization growth at all stages.
The newest offering from StoreVirtual is the HPE StoreVirtual 3200 designed for SMBs on a tight budget, but that still require scalable, speedy, and stable storage and virtualization infrastructure for applications and organizations’ data center.
The HPE StoreVirtual 3200 is built using “a new dual-controller array based on 64-bit ARM technology, a new RAID stack and advanced storage data services like snapshots, thin provisioning and replication.” This recent hardware platform runs the StoreVirtual operating system that will provide the scalability, resiliency and management capabilities needed for SMBs and their data center. HPE equipped the StoreVirtual 3200 for scale-up architecture that expands capacity by adding enclosures.
HPE also claims that the 3200 is not meant to just be a one-off purchase; instead, HPE wants to futureproof and offer a risk-free path for growth through the composable data fabric foundation that can help HPE ProLiant servers, HPE hyperconverged appliances, HPE Synergy systems communicate and be managed all together.
The 3200 is the first dual-controller StoreVirtual system and the starting price is about half of that of its predecessor, the single-controller StoreVirtual 4000. The starting price (over $6,000) includes no flash, but customers can upgrade a system by adding up to three flash or HDD enclosures. StoreVirtual Migration Manager allows StoreVirtual 4000 customers to move workloads non-disruptively to 3200 systems.
There are several features, however, that are inherent to the StoreVirtual product line.
A key element to the HPE StoreVirtual approach is adaptability. As mentioned before, HPE aims to help customers future proof their investments with the new release of 3200 model for a much lower market cost. Additionally, their approach is for their hardware, SDS storage, and more to be ready for any type of market disruption or huge evolution that would be unprecedented by customers. The rapid changing pace of technology today makes organizations nervous about storage investments. HPE desires to help their customers not see those investments wasted.
First is the feature of easy storage management for virtualized environments and a wide variety of choices for platform integration. There are platform integration options with VMware and Microsoft, which can increase both storage functionality and ease of use for businesses. Additionally, application integration streamlines storage, snapshot function, and remote copy integration for virtualization platforms, and Windows applications make backup and recovery a snap.
It is possible to manage hundreds of nodes within a data environment with the same simplicity as the first nodes within the HPE hardware even if they are on the same site or across multiple sites. StoreVirtual’s Centralized Management Console allows for configuring, management and monitoring storage simply.
HPE StoreVirtual streamlines all product updates and upgrades, providing ease of mind so, with a single click. It is possible to migrate data online to another cluster of storage hardware easily or to swap nodes within a cluster for maintenance. Upgrading to new technology now requires no downtime.
The scale-out architecture of HPE StoreVirtual delivers storage that can linearly scale both capacity and performance. It allows businesses to adjust and respond quickly to changing demands as the enterprise evolves.
Additionally, HPE explains that “network RAID technology [can] aggregate all resources and capacity into a single storage pool making all available capacity and performance accessible to every volume in the cluster, allowing all cluster resources to contribute to performance: CPUs, RAID controllers, NICs, caches, and disk spindles.”
The Network RAID functionality can also protect multiple copies of data across storage clusters, removing any possible points of failure. HPE emphasizes that “with iSCSI and optional Fibre Channel connectivity, mixed protocol environments can benefit from a single flexible storage solution for all locations.” It creates a solution that futureproofs the migration of organizations’ data and applications.
HPE also claims that StoreVirtual has “proven 99.999 percent high availability and reliability [for] the storage cluster [so the cluster] can sustain multiple concurrent failures and still keep data online and accessible to applications. This solution provides worry-free storage for centralized data center as well as for remote and branch offices.”
LeftHand Remote Copy has been added to allow enterprises to asynchronously replicate snapshots between principal and remote locations. This feature enables centralized backup and disaster recovery on a per-volume basis and leverages application integrated snapshots for faster recovery for the benefit of the enterprise data center.
One huge benefit of HPE StoreVirtual is the all-inclusive licensing, which includes enterprise-class storage features, management, and value-add tools; this eliminates the businesses need for additional software purchases, saving money for the enterprise.
HPE StoreVirtual is an incredibly versatile storage platform because it can scale from software-defined storage VSA software to ProLiant rack and BladeSystem-based hardware models. HPE StoreVirtual can transform the internal storage of existing vSphere and Hyper-V servers into fully featured shared storage.
It gives organizations the power to mix and match the product models that can customize a data center to best fit the needs of that enterprise for management simplicity and feature consistency.
HPE aims to provide deployment options to fit any requirement, including HPE’s VSA software, physical storage arrays and hyper-converged systems. Optimized for virtualized VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Linux KVM environments, HPE StoreVirtual VSA can transform a server’s internal or direct-attached storage into a scalable, shared storage array without dedicated storage.
Additionally, HPE StoreVisual’s new 3200 is available with hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs) or with a mixture in hybrid configurations; it is a dual-controller system that can support up to six HDDs or SSDs. HPE StoreVirtual is also available as a software-only virtual array that runs with VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors. It also works with HPE ProLiant servers inside HPE Hyper Converged 380 appliances.
Also available is StoreFront, a remote cloud-based analytics dashboard regarding the data infrastructure to help provide further insight for enterprises.
HPE StoreVirtual is not the only virtualization infrastructure storage option available for enterprises in the technology niche. Nutanix, for one, “delivers invisible infrastructure for next-generation enterprise computing, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. Nutanix’s software-driven Xtreme Computing Platform natively converges compute, virtualization and storage into a single solution to drive simplicity in the data center. Using Nutanix, customers will benefit from predictable performance, linear scalability and cloud-like infrastructure consumption.”
Another option is VMware Virtual SAN, which “is a radically simple, enterprise-class shared storage solution for hyper-converged infrastructure optimized for vSphere virtual machines. Virtual SAN delivers: Enterprise-ready storage, exceptional performance, 50 percent lower TCO, and linearly scalable storage.”
For more products and comparisons between similar products of SDS storage, see here.
The next step for StoreVirtual should be for HPE to include a scale-out architecture that uses two controllers. That addition would allow customers to cluster resources when they add systems, but many SMBs that adopt HPE StoreVirtual arrays probably will not demand scale-out yet. For future customers, though, it might be a very important evolution that can support the business demands and needs that enterprises have.
For enterprises searching for virtualization solutions, it is a flourishing marketplace. There are loads of options, but for more research on HPE StoreVirtual there are several links in Additional Resources below for further information. HPE StoreVirtual certainly has a rich solution to offer and it could be right for your enterprise – even if it’s large, small or somewhere in between.
HPE StoreVirtual Architecture White Paper
HPE Software Defined Storage
HPE StoreVirtual 4000 Storage Datasheet
HPE StoreVirtual 3000 Storage Datasheet
HP StoreVirtual ChalkTalk Video
HP StoreVirtual 3200 ChalkTalk Video