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Storage on the biggest 3000s

Somewhere in Minnesota, a farm of more than 30 HP 3000s tracks airline ticket transactions. The farm, one of the biggest collections of 3000 horsepower, uses plenty of storage. How much is hard to say, since the operation is under wraps and not open to press coverage.

But N-Class HP e3000s need storage that outstrips the requirements of most other HP 3000 models. A customer recently asked about options for data storage on these big systems.

We are looking at using a N-Class system and I’m trying to find out what storage options are available. What kind of disc options are being used out there? I understand that HP does not support EMC storage on the N-Class, but is anyone using it?

Craig Lalley, whose EchoTech consulting firm specializes in putting newer and better storage into 3000 shops, was at the ready with answers.

Lalley, who consults along with Jeff Kubler from their US Northwest HQ, said

The N-Class has native fibre, and while the EMC storage devices are not supported, I guarantee they work just fine.  (I do think the performance of HP's XP1024 arrays are much better).

The N-Class can connect to a VA7410. This storage device supports HAFO (High Availability Fail Over) and is rated at 35,000 I/Os per second.  It has 2GB of cache.  It is a Virtual Array, and is about the size of a MOD20, about 10U. (That's a guess).

The other options are

  • The XP512, which does about 300,000 I/Os per second; it is much older and about the size of one large refrigerator.
  • The XP1024 or XP128 are rated at 450,000 I/Os per second and are a great option today. 
  • The XP128 has less expansion capabilities that the XP1024, but the same core, and can go to 64GB of cache.

As for pricing, it depends on how much space you need.

The payoff between a VA7410 or an XP128 is about three VA7410s  — which means it is less expensive to purchase one XP128 than three VA7410’s.