UPDATED 07:12 EST / DECEMBER 22 2014

Flash storage about to hit “hockey stick” growth curve, says HP exec | #HPdiscover

Craig Nunes, HPWith some forecasters now expecting the cost of flash storage to fall below that of spinning-disk storage within the next couple of years, adoption is starting to rise in what Craig Nunes of Hewlett-Packard Co. described as a “hockey stick” curve during his latest appearance on theCUBE.

“If you can get the affordability right on flash, if you can drive it down and cross over spinning disk, people will buy it. Because who wouldn’t? It’s faster and has better service levels,” the executive, who leads marketing for HP’s storage business, told host Dave Vellante. Nunes said HP’s efforts to improve the cost-efficiency of its arrays are paying off.

HP has shipped more flash capacity over the last few quarters than it has 15,000 RPM disks, Nunes said. Those are the drives that have historically been the medium of choice for mission-critical applications requiring fast storage. The company’s next objective is to outsell its 10,000 RPM business, he said, a goal that a new study from Wikibon suggests could become reality within a year.

That is good news for the average enterprise, which will have the ability to deploy flash for more workloads without having to cut corners elsewhere, but the market is competitive, so Nunes said his firm is working on other ways to differentiate in other areas, such as scalability.

The company’s flagship all-flash array, the 3PAR StoreServ 7450, offers 480 terabytes of raw storage capacity that can accommodate nearly 1.4 petabytes of data thanks to built-in optimization software. That’s considerably more than what most competing appliance can handle, according to Nunes. HP’s 3PAR operating system also includes functionality that avoids the performance degradation all-flash arrays tend to suffer past a certain capacity threshold.

Another area where HP is trying to set itself apart is in data management. The company recently introduced a new add-on for its 3PAR arrays called Personas that make it possible for admins to change how information is exposed to applications with a few straightforward commands. Comparable functionality has been available from competitors for some time now, but Nunes said that HP does it differently.

Personas evolved from virtualization technology with the kind of functionality and management features that users expect when managing servers. “Personas is not an emulation layer, it is not a management UI over a totally different architecture,” he said. “It’s the same thing that served up your VMware environments and KVM environments except it’s now serves up” blocks and files.

Watch the full interview (17:46)

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