The new HP StorVirtual VSA, and Veeam SANsnap Restore

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Note: this article is completely based on some public docs and audio freely available on the internet, and here are my thought based on these info. I will try during VMworld to get more information for a more detailed article. Don’t ask me for further info, I do not have any.

Two days ago, there has been a podcast hosted by Calvin Zito from HP, presenting the new HP VSA. During the event, HP announced its new virtual storage appliance: formerly named LeftHand VSA, it is now renamed StorVirtual VSA. A change in the brand is not made by chance, and to me seems more like the start of a new line of product.

LeftHand VSA has been around from 2007, and I used it extensively in the past, sometimes preferring it over the physical LeftHand devices. It allows me to design custom storage devices, while physical LeftHand had fixed configuration not always sticking to my design needs. Also, the possibility to create an SSD-based VSA has always been way cheaper than the P4900.
However, VSA had some performance limits like single vCPU support and 10 Tb storage maximum.

Now, I think about StorVirtual VSA like a “LeftHand VSA on steroids”: it can now scale up to 2 vCPU and 32 Tb. At the same time, starting price has been reduced from 4500 usd to 3500 usd per VSA. Probably there would be also a new SanIQ version. These new limits allow the creation of even more powerful VSA deployments, while all the features of LeftHand storage are always there (network replication, active/active nodes, VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster certification,…).

If you want more information, you can read the official news here, or this article from TechTarget. In both sources, there is also a news about an HP/Veeam collaboration:

Rapidly restore virtual machines (VMs), individual VM files, virtual disks, individual guest
files and individual Microsoft Exchange items from HP StoreVirtual VSA snapshots through
integration with Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 software.

Veeam guys Doug Hazelman and Hans DeLeenheer appeared as special guests in the podcast, and talked about these new integration. The new feature is called Veeam SANsnap Restore, and sounds like it would be able to do restores directly from the snapshots made at the storage level on the VSA itself. This sounds really promising, since we would be able to do storage snapshots without invoking vCenter snapshots, while being able to leverage Veeam functionalities for performing restores of single files instead of restoring a complete LUN as we do in lun snapshots operations.

This new feature will be available in the next Veeam Backup & Replication release, and its version will be 6.5. The quote about Microsoft Exchange confirms (as Veeam always said) their beta tool Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange will be integrated in the new version. Another info we got from the podcast, SANsnap restore will be integrated in 6.5 at no additional price.

Let’s see at VMworld which additional info I will get about these two new software.

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