While recently in Las Vegas for HP Discover 2011, I had a really interesting conversation with the guys at the HP P9500 booth. For those, like me, who despise the HP naming convention, The P9500 is the latest and greatest in what used to be the XP product line – you know the high end storage array that HP OEM and apparently joint-develop with Hitachi Ltd. of Japan.
As you might expect, the HP guys were top notch engineers, the type I could spend all day talking to. While we were chatting, they were obviously passionate about the involvement HP engineers and architects in the design of the XP/P9500 (HDS VSP). However, they also threw out some shots at EMC. And not wanting to simply swallow what they feed me, I thought I’d open up the debate on here in case anybody has any opinions…..
First up, a quick picture of the P9500 that HP had on display on the show floor –
EMC FAST is Apparently Based on a an HP Research Paper
Ayman Abouelwafa, Array Lead Architect for the XP and P9000 system at HP Storage told me about a paper he wrote and published back in 2007. The paper was posted on Research Disclosure website in 2008 and outlines at a high level what we generally refer to as sub-LUN tiering today. Such technologies can be found in most major storage arrays on the market today, but not back then.
NOTE: Apparently all major technology companies have free logins to this website, I don’t but I have managed to obtain a copy of the paper, it is titled Thin Provisioning with Native Hierarchical Storage Management and the link to a copy I’m hosting on my website can be found here.
Apparently due to some political reasons within HP at the time (cutting back on R&D and investment in such things etc) HP never did anything with the work. However, and this is the interesting part…… Ayman firmly believes that EMC took this paper and based their FAST/FAST VP technology on it. A bold claim I know, but Ayman is adamant. And anyone who knows Ayman knows that while he is technically as sharp as just about anyone, he is also passionate and doesn’t hold back with his opinions.
Now I personally have no idea if this happened, however, the paper is a short but interesting read, and I would recommend it to anyone specialising in the HP XP/P9500 or HDS VSP.
After finishing up at HP Discover (which by the way was an excellent event) it was time to grab a taxi and head to the airport to fly home.