HP 3PAR Disk Upgrade Work

I’ve finished installing 10 x 1.9TB SSD and 10 x 900GB FC (Fast-Class as HP calls it) in one of the two arrays, tomorrow I will be installing the disks in our second array so that they are both in line again. I really can’t wait to let these new SSDs go to town on our data. When we bought our 3PAR arrays years back the 100GB SSDs that were on offer cost a fair sum and as such we only ended up with the 920GB shown (total). That being said the 3PAR is a fantastic array and with Autonomic Optimisation (AO) we have managed to stretch what looks like a small amount of space to a great extent. Hundreds of virtual machines, SQL instances and file shares have benefited from the SSDs through AO’s magic.

This new capcity will allow us to spread that AO ‘goodness’ to more systems while also giving me the chance to deploy 3PAR Adaptive Flash Cache to help with the random reads we get.

The extra 900GB FC disks have given me some more space to play with and some extra IOPs which we definitely needed as I had regular alerts from the system for disks in the middle tier getting hit hard. For example, running the checkhealth command gives me the following –


I’ve seen this value go higher (60+) and that is never a good sign. Hopefully the extra disks will allow the FC middle tier to handle a bit more load and with the extra SSD capacity we should be able to move more IO intensive work upwards.

The only tier that hasn’t seen an upgrade is our Near-Line (NL) tier and this is a shame. While our NL tier isn’t seeing IOPs issues (well a few alerts during some specific work) it’s currently configured as a RAID 1 Common Provisioning Group (CPG). The reason for this is we only have 2 cages for NL disks and as such for complete cage resilience RAID 1 is the option we have to go for. An extra cage would let me move to RAID 6 which would give me some disk space back but it’s not the end of the world. When we eventually expand the NL tier the 3PAR will do me proud through Dynamic Optimisation (DO) allowing me to change the RAID level for my CPG on the fly.

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