In June, we introduced the MSA 2050 and the MSA 2052 entry-level SAN arrays, which both deliver twice the performance of the previous generation. These platforms provide an affordable starting point for application acceleration with the flexibility to mix any combination of SSD and SAS drives.

But, because the MSA has been the leading entry FC SAN platform (for 8 years and running!) with over half a million arrays deployed, we did not want to just stop there.1 So we are revving up the fifth generation MSA with the release of the all new MSA 1050 model and the MSA 2050 and 2052 SAS versions. We’ll examine the MSA 1050 and SAS configurations later.

What makes the MSA arrays stand above the competition?

The MSA 2050 delivers over 220,000 random read IOPS starting at under $10K and this flexible base model offers 2x more performance than the previous generation at the same price. That bears repeating: the MSA 2050 doubles the performance for the same low price as the MSA 2040. Which is a very compelling value proposition if you are looking for fast and affordable storage systems. You can add SSDs to the MSA 2050 at any time.  The SSDs can be used as either read cache, or performance tiering for both read and write acceleration. The MSA 2050 can scale up to 192 SFF or 120 LFF drives (HDDs or SSDs) and a max raw capacity of 960 TBs. The MSA 2050 comes with 8 host and supports 8/16Gb FC, 1/10GbE iSCSI and now we have just added 12Gb SAS host connectivity.

The MSA 2052 is a special bundle of the MSA 2050 and comes out of the box as a hybrid flash model. It ships with an all-inclusive software suite and two 800GB SSDs as standard.  You can save 40% with the MSA 2052 over buying the individual HW and SW components. Like the MSA 2050, these two SSDs can be used as either read cache or tiering, but the licensing is already included. Regardless of how the SSDs are deployed, the MSA manages all of the work as your workloads change, and no user intervention is required, providing simplicity and ease of use.

The MSA 2052 provides excellent price/performance if you need a hybrid storage array for application acceleration. But do not just take our word for this. Read this recent StorageReview2 article where they tested the MSA 2052. They concluded the MSA 2052 brings almost all of the benefits of flash to the SMB and midmarket in an array that’s time-tested, fully-featured and brings to bear a cost/performance profile that’s unrivaled based on what we’ve reviewed in this market segment. Based on their tests, the MSA 2052 outperformed many other all-flash arrays (AFAs). While they tested other mid-range arrays that can outperform the MSA 2052, nothing comes close in its price bracket. In StorageReview’s opinion, the MSA “can certainly compete outside of its weight class”.  Pretty powerful remarks for an entry level storage array!MSA_2050_SFF_Hero.jpgAnd just as fall began, we launched the HPE MSA 1050, which is our newest and most affordable, flash-ready entry SAN array with configurations starting at just $5,500.  The MSA 1050 is designed to meet your entry-level storage requirements and budgetary constraints. With the lowest storage array price points in the HPE Storage portfolio and field-proven ProLiant compatibility, the MSA 1050 is the platform of choice for smaller SAS, iSCSI and FC deployments. The HPE MSA 1050 supports 8Gb Fibre Channel, 12 Gb SAS, and 1/10 10GbE iSCSI, and can scale up to 96 SFF or 48 LFF drives.   The MSA1050 allows you to take advantage of the advanced same data services provided on the MSA 2050 with the same licensing approach. The purchase of an Advanced Virtualization Upgrade license is no longer required for virtual storage on the MSA 1050.  Virtual storage functionality that is now standard on the MSA 1050 including thin provisioning, SSD Read Cache, Archive Tiering, Wide Striping, and Redirect-on-Write Snapshot technology. The MSA1050 is seriously simple and affordable flash-ready storage to help you get the most performance for the lowest cost.

How fast and simple is SAS?

Now with direct-connect SAS connectivity to HPE’s newest ProLiant Gen10 servers, the MSA has brought its entire portfolio of fifth-generation arrays into the entry-level storage market. Joining Fibre Channel and iSCSI, HPE has now rounded out the connectivity options for the MSA product line. But did you know that the MSA SAS connectivity is as fast Fibre Channel, but has lower latency? And because there is no infrastructure or switches required for connectivity, setup is extremely simple (think “plug-and-play”). SAS-attached MSA works extremely well for a purpose-built, single use, single application workloads.

One of the fastest growing businesses in the consumer automotive industry today, Lucas Oil also sponsors a series of motorsports and competitions, participates in high profile philanthropic activities, and owns the naming rights to the Indianapolis’ Colts stadium. When they outgrew their existing Dell infrastructure, IT administrator Garret Geisert began researching making the move to a virtualized environment. The IT department, however, is only made up of two people.

Geisert spoke with his trusted HPE partner to develop a solution that would improve his systems’ availability and increase uptime, but wouldn’t break his bank. Lucas Oil deployed a HPE ProLiant DL360 Server for high-density general-purpose computing and a HPE MSA performance SAN with flexible connectivity options and support for flash media.

The combination of the HPE ProLiant server and the HPE MSA storage array enhanced system uptime and sped the time to new servers and services by 10x with the virtual machine architecture. And most importantly, this solution relieved the strain in the two-man IT department and reclaimed their time for forward-looking projects.

Consider another example: The MSA Storage SAS HBA plug-ins fits perfectly into the ProLiant Gen 10 SAS ecosystem. In fact, James Ford, network manager at Landmark Home Warranty, describes his HPE MSA as the “workhorse of the servers.”

Bottom line: If you want affordable flash storage to boost the performance of your applications, you owe it to yourself to check out the latest and greatest HPE MSA portfolio.

For more information on our most recent MSA announcement, check out HPE Storage Guy Calvin Zito’s new ChalkTalk: