What is 3PAR?
HPE 3PAR SAN Storage Arrays are great for resilience, speed and redundancy. This is because 3PAR changed the way RAID sets are created.
Instead of creating RAID sets using the full capacity of each physical hard drive, HPE 3PAR arrays cut each hard disk (regardless of size) into 1GB “Chunklets”. Each 1GB chunklet is then grouped into RAID Chunklets of your choice, either RAID 1, RAID 5 or RAID 6. You define how many Data Chunklets you want in each RAID set with a minimum 3 or maximum 14 depending on which RAID level you want. The 3PAR array then groups all of these hundreds or possibly thousands, of RAID sets into one big RAID 0 volume, just like RAID 10 does when grouping RAID 1 sets into a RAID 0 volume.
This new approach to RAID gives you amazing redundancy abilities because 3PAR lets you set the level of redundancy within your SAN Array. You can setup “Per Disk” redundancy or “Per Disk Enclosure” redundancy. “Per Disk Enclosure” is by far the best redundancy as this setting lets you lose an entire Disk Enclosure to something like a power outage, but you will not lose any data, and your vDisks will still be online and accessible by your hosts. This is made possible because the 3PAR SAN array sets a rule stating that no more than 2x 1GB Chunklets from the same RAID set are allowed to reside on a disk on the same disk shelve.
Another great part of the HPE 3PAR setup is that because the physical disks are now cut up into 1GB Chunklets, your RAID sets don’t have to have equal sized disks… As long as the disks are of the same RPM speed, it doesn’t matter! Say you had a setup 12x 2TB 7.2K RPM hard drives, later on down the line you could add additional 6TB disks to this volume and expand it, as long as the disks were of the same RPM speed, 7.2k! The same goes for 10k and 15k, but you’re allowed to mix 10k and 15k drives in the same volume!
Another great feature is “Peer Persistence” which is SAN Replication. You can now present two separate HPE 3PAR arrays into what is called a “Peer Persistence” group. The two arrays don’t have to be identical, they can be of a different model/generation and can have different speed disks.
This is the best part… When you add your HPE 3PAR SAN Arrays into your Peer Persistence group, the HPE 3PAR Management Console presents the arrays as one WWN node to your hosts… Your host servers think they are seeing one SAN only! In the background, the HPE 3PAR Controllers are replicating data from the Active SAN Array to the Standby SAN Array. If your Active SAN Arrays fails, the Standby SAN Array will instantly take over without any disruption to your hosts or users, no one will notice! This is all made possible and made much more simple because of the single WWN setup.
Setting up “Peer Persistence” is simple too. You just switch it on within the HPE 3PAR Management Console and add the arrays to your newly created Peer Persistence Group. There is no complex software or settings that need to be added to your host Hyper-Visors or any complex setup needed within the HPE 3PAR Management Console. It’s true SAN Replication made simple!
If you would like to read up some more on HPE 3PAR and how it all works, please have a read through some of the links below:
Choose Intelligent Servers for your 3PAR project
At Intelligent Servers, we stock a large range of refurbished 3PAR Arrays and Drives including the 7000 and 8000 series. If you would like a quote or to speak to one of our 3PAR engineers, please get in touch on 01423 223430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.