HP MSA 2040 Storage (2015) review

HP new Gen4 MSA 2040 delivers enterprise storage virtualisation at an SMB price

  • Automated data tiering; Converged FC/IP SAN data ports; Top value, High expansion; Excellent performance
  • New web console takes some getting used to; virtual volumes only support manual snapshots

HP has always had a sharper focus on SMBs that many other big names in the storage industry and its Modular Storage Arrays (MSAs) have a well-deserved reputation for value. The latest MSAs go even further as they offer a heap of enterprise level features but without a commensurate price increase.

We look at the new Gen4 MSA 2040 which introduces a range of advanced virtualised data services. These include thin provisioning and SSD read caching but the feature that really makes it stand out is HP's automated data tiering.

HP includes the standard and archive tiers in the base price where data is initially held on SAS drives and moved to lower cost NL-SAS drives as it gets cold. Available as a licensed option, the performance tier comprises SSDs which store hot data and deliver a much higher performance.

Usage analysis is carried out in real-time with 4MB page moves occurring every 5-10 seconds allowing it to respond quickly to changes in I/O patterns. This is far more effective than products such as Fujitsu's Eternus arrays where their daily I/O batch processing makes them best suited to static usage patterns.

HP's 9-step wizard helps get the array deployed in minutes 

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