UPDATED 07:50 EDT / DECEMBER 17 2013

HP helps ExactTarget run faster with flash | #HPDiscover

Hewlett-Packard’s Vish Mulchand and Pete Robinson, a storage manager at ExactTarget, dropped by theCUBE at HP Discover to share how the Salesforce subsidiary is leveraging the 3PAR StoreServ 7450 all-flash array to provide better quality of service for its end-users.

The Indiana-based ExactTarget sells digital marketing software that enables companies to engage their customers across multiple channels, including social media, email and mobile. The firm is a long-time 3PAR customer that prioritizes simplicity and robustness, features that Mulchand says his firm delivers by removing the tradeoffs associated with implementing flash in traditional storage architectures. The resulting manageability is a major selling point, Robinson highlights:

“When I was hired, we had one individual managing over two petabytes of 3PAR, and he was not a storage guy. He was a developer that became a sysadmin who became a storage admin, he grew with the company as we grew, and he was really learning as he went alone. So when I came onboard, I was really shocked at how 1) easy it was and 2) one individual could manage an environment this size.”

Elaborating on his use case, Robinson says that the performance gains ExactTarget achieved with an earlier implementation of SSD-accelerated 3PAR P10000 arrays made the decision to purchase the 7450 a “no brainer.” The deployment provides runs half of the company’s databases with a 600 microsecond delay, a massive improvement over the 8-15 milliseconds of spinning disk.

The 7450 delivers half that latency – 300ms – for ExactTarget’s newly launched VDI environment, which couldn’t “fit” in rivaling offerings that provided less capacity, according to Robinson. HP’s all-flash array lacks some of the enterprise features available in alternatives, but it makes up for that in efficiency.

“With flash, you want to be very write-efficient, not only from a capacity perspective and cost perspective, but also a media endurance perspective,” Mulchand explains. “So many of the same wide striping that we’ve done on the 3PAR arrays – which were predominantly, in the past, backend disk-loaded – allows us to write very effective onto the array.”

In addition, the platform ships with built-in zero detect and thin provisioning capabilities that can help customers cut the cost of their virtualized applications. HP plans to add more advanced functions like deduplication and compression in the future.

Click the video below to watch the interview.

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