Home Datacenter Looking inside the HPE Primera array’s internals

Looking inside the HPE Primera array’s internals

by Philip Sellers

With the introduction of HPE Primera, lots of questions come up about the internal components and makeup of the new storage array. Is it Nimble or is it 3PAR? Is it all-flash or is it NVMe? Can it support spinning disks? This post is a living doc (I’ll update as I get questions or answers).

Is it Nimble or 3PAR?
That’s a tricky question – however it shares a lot with 3PAR but marries the extreme capabilities of 3PAR arrays with the simplicity of Nimble and the deep integration of Infosight. While 3PAR has Infosight support, it is not complete like Nimble’s integration.

Is it all-flash? Is it NVMe?
According to staff, it is flash storage on SAS in the array. It is not NVMe flash storage. NVMe uses the PCI bus to take advantage of the native capabilities of flash storage, but the NVMe transport lacks a lot of maturity and capabilities needed in enterprise storage arrays – like multipathing – so this is not a shocking revelation. NVMe will come in the future and the arrays are engineered to support it.

Does it support spinning disks?
Why yes, it does. But it does not do automatic tiering like the 3PAR arrays before it. Spinning disk can be added to the array as a discrete tier and could be used for archival. With a strong focus on Tier 0/Mission Critical targets, its unsurprising that the company chose to remove some data services, like tiering.

Is the array self-installable or does it require services for install?
HPE Primera arrays are self-installable. In line with the goals to make the arrays radically simpler than any other mission critical storage array, the 4U chassis is able to be installed by a customer and no longer requires services.

What is the Timeless Storage feature of HPE Primera?
Seems like HPE is chasing Pure Storage and their Evergreen refresh model with HPE Primera. Timeless Storage allows customers to do in the field, non-disruptive controller upgrades. No more fork-lift upgrades according to the marketing.

What is the Services-Centric OS feature of HPE Primera?
HPE Primera’s OS has been architected to decouple the data services from the core OS – much like microservices architecture in modern, cloud-native applications. This allows HPE to release and upgrade software on a continual basis, without disruption.

Does Primera miss any features that are in 3PAR?
HPE Primera does not support native File capabilities. The first release of Primera will not have VVOL support.

Disclaimer: HPE paid for my trip to attend HPE Discover. All thoughts and writing in this post are my own views and opinions and not reviewed or dictated by HPE.

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1 comment

Adam Boynton June 20, 2019 - 3:06 pm

HPE is not chasing Pure with their Timeless Storage option. This is an option that Nimble introduced long before Pure even had Evergreen.

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