HP's StorageWorks P2000 G3 family offers SMBs a wide choice of enterprise-level network storage arrays, but at an affordable price. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell tests the new 10-Gigabit IP SAN model to see if its performance and features match its attractively low price.
Network storage arrays touted as being affordable for SMBs usually have limited expansion potential. In contrast, HP’s new StorageWorks P2000 G2 arrays are designed so you can start small to keep costs down and grow easily with demand. They also have flexibility as their middle name as you can pick from controllers with 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC), 1GB iSCSI, a combination of 8Gbps FC and iSCSI, 6Gbps SAS or the latest model on review here with dual 10-Gigabit iSCSI.
HP's 2U chassis supports either 12 3.5in (LFF) or 24 2.5in (SFF) hard disks and you can choose from 6Gbit/ SAS, midline SAS or low-cost, high capacity SATA. For the latter HP advised us it expects to have 3TB drives certified for use by late autumn.
The chassis accept a pair of hot-plug controllers so you just need to pick which interfaces you want. You can also reduce costs further by starting with one controller and adding a second when you need it.
The controllers have 2GB of cache memory and use a capacitor and flash memory to protect the cache contents. If there’s a power failure, the cache contents are written to flash memory and the main advantage here is the capacitor takes far less time to charge than a battery.
The controllers have 2GB of cache memory and use a capacitor and flash memory to protect the cache contents.
For installation you can start by accessing the command line interface (CLI) using the mini USB port on the controller and the supplied USB cable. This will require a proprietary driver which can be downloaded from HP’s support site, but note that it does not support 64-bit Windows systems.
We found it easier to point a web browser at the controller’s default IP address where we were greeted by a nicely designed interface. It opens with graphics of the array chassis, virtual disks and all controllers and you can drill down to view individual components.
Chassis: 2U rack
Storage: 12 x 3.5in drive bays supporting SAS, midline SAS and SATA hard disks
Power: 2 x 573W hot-plug supplies
Two controllers each with the following:
Memory: 2GB cache with capacitor and flash memory backup
RAID support: RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 50
Data ports: 2 x 10 Gigabit SFPs
Management: Fast Ethernet port
Other ports: Mini USB CLI port
Management: Web browser
Snapshots: 64/512 (Standard/Maximum)
Volume Copy: Included as standard
Options: AP843A P2000 LFF expansion enclosure, £2,259; AJ941A D2700 SFF expansion enclosure, £2,319 (all ex VAT)
Model code: AW596A