HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 review

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.

HP supplied our review unit with eight 1TB SATA drives which we used to create a single RAID-5 array. The build process took a few hours to complete, but providing you select the online initialisation option you can access the array during this phase.

For performance testing we used a Broadberry dual 2.8GHz X5560 Xeon server running Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit and equipped with an Intel 10GBase-SR card. We used this to directly connect the server to the primary controller and had no problem logging on using the Microsoft iSCSI initiator where we could see all mapped volumes.

Once the RAID-5 array had initialised we mapped a volume to the server and used the Iometer utility to test raw throughput. Using eight disk workers and 256KB transfer request sizes we saw an impressive top speed for sequential read operations of 676MB/s. Changing Iometer to 100 per cent sequential write operations returned an average speed of 465MB/s.

A Mini USB port on the rear of the P2000 allows you to control the storage array using a command line interface if you wish.

A Mini USB port on the rear of the P2000 allows you to control the storage array using a command line interface if you wish.

Along with fine performance, the new 10 Gigabit Ethernet model of the P2000 G3 comes in at a price that few other storage vendors will be able to match. We found it extremely easy to use making storage provision a simple task and the high expansion potential makes it a good long term investment.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The StorageWorks P2000 G3 is a great choice for SMBs looking for a flexible network storage solution that won’t break the bank. HP offers an excellent range of controller choices, expansion potential is very high and the price includes snapshots and volume cloning. The smart management interface makes light work of storage provisioning and the new 10GbE model on review performed very well in our tests.

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

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