HPE Primera and InfoSight

Minding your own business, better than you can

Every company consumes storage but how many have the resources to proactively optimize and tweak their environment for peak efficiency and accurate forecasting while nailing the business expectations for availability, performance and agility?  HPE promises you don't have to.Introducing HPE Primera fueled by HPE InfoSight, the worlds most intelligent storage for mission-critical apps that delivers extreme resiliency and performance with the agility of the cloud.

What is a Primera?

HPE acquired 3PAR Storage in 2010 and Nimble Storage in 2017.Each product is best-in-class, but lacked the defining traits of each other.  By infusing the deep analytic stack of InfoSight, the ease of use and quick uptime of Nimble and the speed and robustness of 3PAR on next generation hardware and software, HPE created Primera.  Out of the gate Primera can be deployed in under 30 minutes, is user upgrade-able and is covered by a 100% uptime guarantee. Primera is a game changer.

How did we get here? 

Before Primera, HPE offered three storage platforms, each with with unique traits.

  • Unique ASIC flexing full-mesh controller back-plane delivering 99.9999% availability
  • Aimed at service providers built for ease of management and operation
  • System-wide data striping distributes data from volumes across all back-end disks
  • Simple architecture delivering 99.9999% availability
  • Uses flash disk as a read-only cache
  • Developed based on InfoSight analytics to eliminate level 1 and level 2 support roles by proactively monitoring and dynamically fixing the most common problems.
  • Top performance storage for nonstop environments requiring 100% data availability
  • Delivers 99.99999% uptime and is capable of 99.999999999999% with continuous access replication
  • Niche market high performance array based on Hitachi technology

InfoSight was designed to eliminate headaches and wasted time by transforming how storage is managed and supported.  Every second, millions of sensors built into the Nimble product analyze and prevent problems so you can do more with your time in and outside of the office.  HPE spent the past two years incorporating 3PAR into InfoSight along with Simplivity and ProLiant servers.   This effort improved the analytics processing by pushing some of the work to the Service Processor on 3PAR systems.  The InfoSight AI logic leverages years of storage wisdom to generate algorithms that can detect and identify anomalies in storage workloads.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Many companies promise incredible feats but are rarely able to deliver.  HPE didn't reinvent the wheel with Primera.  They had time to work with existing best of breed products and put a great deal of thought behind how to improve an already impressive lineage including leveraging their global support knowledge base to determine the most common issues with each platform and how to ensure common issues are resolved before they start.  InfoSight analytics and AI had years of data to share with the development team including both proactive and reactive issues and resolution.  This head start into preventing and resolving common issues is the foundation of Primera's 100% uptime guarantee.  

HPE started with the best components, made them stronger and faster, then integrated them into the most advanced analytics package in the industry to deliver the next generation of Tier 0 storage.

So…it's a new 3PAR…or maybe a new Nimble…or something else entirely?

The Nimble and 3PAR genetics are both highly present in Primera.  Does that mean that Primera is essentially the next generation 3PAR?  Nope.  While there is a lot of 3PAR heritage within Primera, the result is more revolution than evolution.   For instance, the 3PAR OS (InServ) doesn't run on Primera and the two are not compatible.  Primera is less next-generation 3PAR or Nimble and more a new platform taking the best aspects of 3PAR, Nimble and InfoSight.  Primera has a completely redesigned Gen6 ASIC redesigned for parallel processing and dedicated analytic processing hardware (eliminating the Service Processor entirely), coupled with the next generation Nimble features including world renowned intelligence and analytics, married with years of customer feedback, storage expertise, and the open source RESTful API interface.  HPE has ensured that Primera will exceed the needs of both existing 3PAR and Nimble customers and capture the attention of new HPE storage customers while providing the ultimate in speed and resiliency with cloud-like agility.

Open Source Tools and Cloud-like Agility
While the hardware is impressive, it's the software that sets Primera apart.  Primera is fully API driven using the RESTful API interface HPE has standardized on for all their data center infrastructure products ensuring partner vendors and customers can rely on a consistent and familiar syntax and set of protocols.  HPE's existing Cloud Volumes provide adjacent storage integration with AWS and Azure.   Primera delivers HPE's composable private cloud solution to integrate deeply with cloud services moving forward enabling flexibility to move from on-premises, to hybrid, to cloud data center models as needed.  Primera enables customers to integrate with any server platform but is well matched with the ProLiant product line including HPE Synergy and HPE OneView offering quick and simple cloud-like provisioning for data center compute, storage and network resources. 

How can Primera help your business?

Pop quiz! Within 5 seconds, answer the following questions with CFO to shareholder reporting accuracy.  GO!  

  1. How many TB of data are you consuming?  Is that thick or thin?  At the Hypervisor or the VM?
  2. What are the I/O and throughput speeds for each tier of storage?
  3. How soon until you run out of storage, bandwidth, licensing, etc.?
  4. Which disks are suffering from insufficient cooling?
  5. How many customers globally, with the same array, had a problem with firmware v1.0.3.4?  Is the storage controller update v4.56 required for next month's Hypervisor upgrade?  Will it still be required after the SQL 2020 upgrade completes in three months?

While you were reading this and preparing to open and dig through multiple web pages to obtain your already aged statistics, Primera has already answered every one of these questions for you.  It also ordered a replacement disk for that one that will fail later this afternoon in the third drive shelf in rack D10.  Primera already told you why you should consider revamping the storage presented to your database and why SSD is a better fit for that new workload you placed on FC disk.

Primera is actively applying deep analytics and Predictive Acceleration to ensure your mission-critical apps are always fast, even at scale.

Speaking of scale, Primera is available in three models:

  • Primera 630, 2 nodes, 24 drives in 2U, maximum 240 drives
  • Primera 650, 2 or 4 nodes, 48 drives in 4U, up to 576 drives
  • Primera 670, 2 or 4 nodes, 48 drives in 4U, up to 960 drives

IT Partner's HPE expertise 

Primera hasn't quite replaced the storage administrator yet…but it just launched so we need to be patient.  Fortunately, IT Partners understands HPE and the journey you are undertaking.  We understand 3PAR, Nimble, InfoSight and the entire ProLiant product lines.

We've been an HPE Platinum Partner for over 15 years.  We understand how to integrate HPE storage and server products into any of our other partner ecosystems including VMware, AWS and Azure.  Let us be your transformative storage guide to HPE Primera and we'll keep the machine uprising at bay together. 

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020