November 10, 2009 08:00 ET

3PAR Changes the Way Utility Storage Is Provisioned for Virtual Server and Database Environments

3PAR Autonomic Groups Eliminates the Pain of Storage Administration for Clustered Environments

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - 3PAR® (NYSE: PAR), the leading global provider of utility storage, announced today three new platform enhancements designed to automate and streamline storage server provisioning, particularly in clustered and virtual server environments. 3PAR Autonomic Groups, new utility storage software designed to enhance datacenter agility and efficiency, enables users to create volume groups on 3PAR InServ® Storage Servers that simplify, automate, and expedite storage provisioning, monitoring, and data protection in clustered and virtual server environments. Also announced today, 3PAR Scheduler provides an automated scheduling facility for routine execution of InServ provisioning commands while 3PAR Host Explorer automates host discovery and collection of detailed InServ host configuration information. Together, these three new products minimize repetitive, time consuming, and error-prone administration tasks by making storage provisioning and host discovery autonomic.

"Legacy storage requires manual provisioning tasks to be completed separately, a process which can eat up most of an administrator's day," said Michael J. Parks, CTO at DataPipe. "3PAR Autonomic Groups provides the ability to fully create and provision multiple volumes to multiple servers within minutes. This product will substantially reduce administration time."

3PAR Autonomic Groups is not only designed to streamline the provisioning process by potentially reducing it from days to minutes, but is also designed to increase the agility of clustered environments since changes are now handled autonomically -- at a sub-system level, without any intervention from administrators. With Autonomic Groups, the initial provisioning process is simplified as is ongoing provisioning, which is now handled intelligently and automatically by the InServ. For example, when a new host is added to the group, all volumes are autonomically exported to that group with absolutely no administrative intervention required. When a new volume is added to the group, that volume is also autonomically exported to all hosts in the group -- intelligently and without administrator action. Autonomic Groups also adds the ability to create a Virtual Copy snapshot of all volumes with a single command -- in seconds and with complete consistency across the group.

"Virtual server clusters have simplified the virtual datacenter, making it more responsive by reducing the number of physical hosts, but the resulting proliferation of virtual server clusters intensifies storage provisioning complexity, creating much more work for storage administrators," said Tony Palmer, Enterprise Strategy Group Lab's Senior Engineer. "Many traditional storage vendors have tried to address this added complexity by layering wizards over traditional provisioning methodologies. ESG Lab's hands-on testing has confirmed that 3PAR has developed a solution that can not only reduce provisioning time by up to 90% as compared to traditional storage systems that use wizards, but which works with any high-availability cluster, database cluster, or virtual server environment."

Autonomic Groups is designed to reduce room for human error by eliminating manual repetition of tedious commands, thereby making the provisioning process more reliable. Autonomic Groups also simplifies reporting by enabling users to pull boot and data disk utilization statistics from different clusters with just a single command. In addition, when used together with 3PAR Virtual Domains, Autonomic Groups allows multiple independent virtual domains (virtual private arrays) to be grouped as a single logical entity to simplify storage administration while maintaining the integrity of individual virtual domains. For example, backing up an autonomic domain group actually backs up all virtual domains in the group to a single backup server while still maintaining the security and isolation associated with each individual domain.

Like Autonomic Groups, 3PAR Scheduler helps automate storage management by reducing administration time and decreasing the chance of administrative error. Scheduler does this by giving users full control over creation and deletion of virtual copy snapshots -- a process that is now completely automated with 3PAR Utility Storage. When used in conjunction with Autonomic Groups, 3PAR Scheduler automates virtual copy snapshots across multiple boot and data volumes with full write consistency across all these different volumes.

3PAR Host Explorer augments these administrative efficiencies by automating host discovery and collection of detailed configuration information critical to speeding provisioning and simplifying maintenance. Running as an agent on the server, Host Explorer automatically and securely communicates host information such as Fibre Channel World Wide Name (WWN) and host multipath data to the InServ to reduce manual administration.

"Clustering is a critical ingredient for cost-effective scalability in the virtual datacenter. However, without the appropriate automation within the storage platform, server clusters can create substantial challenges for storage administrators," said David Scott, 3PAR President and CEO. "With the move to the virtual datacenter and public and private cloud, these challenges lie on the doorstep of every datacenter on the planet. We believe that 3PAR's autonomic approach to storage eliminates the management complexity of clustering and is one more reason why customers choose 3PAR."

3PAR Autonomic Groups and 3PAR Scheduler are bundled products that are part of the latest version of the InForm Operating System® and are available at no additional charge. 3PAR Host Explorer is host-based software running on Windows, Linux, and Solaris 10 hosts and is also available at no additional charge. All products are orderable today.

About 3PAR

3PAR® (NYSE: PAR) is the leading global provider of utility storage, a category of highly virtualized and dynamically tiered storage arrays built for public and private cloud computing. Our virtualized storage platform was built from the ground up to be agile and efficient to address the limitations of traditional storage arrays for utility infrastructures. As a pioneer of thin provisioning and other storage virtualization technologies, we design our products to reduce power consumption to help companies meet their green computing initiatives, and to cut storage total cost of ownership. 3PAR customers have used our self-managing, efficient, and adaptable utility storage systems to reduce administration time and provisioning complexity, to improve server and storage utilization, and to scale and adapt flexibly in response to continuous growth and changing business needs. For more information, visit the 3PAR Website at:

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Contact Information

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    John D'Avolio
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    A3 Communications for 3PAR
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