Bringing innovation in Software-Defined Storage to Reality with HP & Intel

(co-authored with Kate Davis, HP Storage @KateATHP)

As we approach VMWorld US next week, I’d like to talk about Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) and how SDI is becoming the new normal.  The need for highly virtualized datacenters and the demands of modern hybrid cloud infrastructures have moved the world to a New Style of IT. The continual, costly data growth and increasing pressure on IT to deliver Business Outcomes cannot be handled by legacy architectures designed before the age of virtualization.

While times have changed, customers’ needs are likely the same.  IT administrators want solutions that are not too complicated, that can grow as their business grows and isn’t going to break the bank.  Giving customers such a solution allows them to focus on the delivery of new services, entering new markets and increasing employee productivity.

So, what do HP and Intel bring to the table?  Intel has a long history of providing product families that are the heart and soul of the agile and efficient data center that can meet customers’ needs around compute, storage, and networking.  Intel’s Xeon® E5 processor family, is no exception.  Yes, Intel continues to reach new levels of performance and energy efficiency with every introduction of a new processor, but some things will never change:  Intel is committed to open standards as well as enabling end customers with new levels of flexibility and agility with data center solutions that go beyond compute prowess.

Intel and HP have a very strong relationship, collaborating and successfully bringing fully converged platforms to market.  There is no doubt that HP offers best-in-class systems for the data center and will continue to do so.  Did you know that HP is bringing software innovations to market that can deliver a highly virtualized, software-defined and cloud-enabled data center? Implementing HP’s StoreVirtual VSA software product on the latest and greatest Intel Xeon E5 v3 based platforms gives customers a simple, open and consolidated solution that allows them to manage their compute and storage needs in one box.   The combined Intel and HP solution is hardware agnostic as the VSA can run on any Xeon-based platform and with any hypervisor solution. 

So why is Software-Defined Storage taking off right now?

SDS solutions have become a more viable alternative due to 4 key factors: greater processing power, better drive technology, virtualization adoption, and cost efficiency.

Not long ago, we had single CPU servers that could effectively handle the management of only one virtual machine, often at performance deficit when compared to that same server running the same operating system natively.  Today’s powerful Intel Xeon-based servers now have multiple processors as well as many intelligent features built right onto the processor that provide robust platforms that can easily support the performance needs of virtual applications and virtual storage appliances that live on the same server.   It really is one single piece of hardware that can manage your compute and storage needs.

On the storage side, the price of solid-state drives (SSDs) has dropped dramatically, while rotational hard disk drive capacities continue to rise.  The increase in disk performance and capacity now has software-based storage performing more than adequately (and sometimes better) than ever before. Because of the advances with Intel® SSDs for the Data Center, it is now more common to have auto-tiering or caching technology as a standard storage feature.

Over the past decade, there has been wide adoption of virtualization, creating the demand for highly available shared storage.  Everyone now understands the efficiencies virtualization brought to servers, and they can easily understand and apply these same concepts to storage. True SDS technologies are hypervisor agnostic to provide long term investment protection with the ability to have common management and data services across multiple hypervisors at one time, thus providing customers options to seamlessly change hypervisor infrastructures at a later time when changing business requirements demand it.

All of these factors have shown a dramatic increase in demand for virtual storage appliances. HP’s StoreVirtual VSA software combined with Intel Xeon-based servers bring a solution to the table that is robust and performance driven, meeting the budget and business demands of our customers, today and tomorrow.

Want 1TB of Free Storage for your existing Xeon based server?  Visit HP’s VSA site at:

Also, be sure to visit the Intel Booth #1721 at VMWorld where you can challenge your colleagues with your knowledge at the Ultimate DataCenter Challenge game and hear from HP’s Director of Software Defined Solutions, Dale Degen, speak on Tuesday, August 26th at 2:30PM.  You can follow the happenings at VMWorld with tweets from @ITSandhya and @KateAtHP