HPE has announced the next generation of their Modular Smart Array, HPE MSA Gen 6, ideal for small and medium sized businesses looking for an affordable hybrid-flash entry level storage solution.
Just like with the previous generation of arrays there are 3 models, depending on the needs of the customer.

Models

The MSA 1060 replaces the 1050 model, ideal for users with fixed capacity and performance needs supporting smaller workloads.
The MSA 2060 (replacing the 2050 model) offers more flexibility to scale both performance and capacity to meet the most demanding workloads.
The top model MSA 2062 (yes indeed replacing the 2052) is the hybrid flash model from the 2060 including 2 SSD drives and an Advanced Data Service license, giving the user a substantial savings in price/performance, delivering the highest performance in the MSA family.

What’s new

  • The new HPE MSA Storage Management Utility (SMU v4) provides intuitive, step-by-step guided workflows that configure the array straight out of the box, eliminating common errors and dramatically improving the user experience, especially for tasks users don’t do every day. Guided workflows simplify these tasks and virtually eliminate the need for a reference manual.
  • A new Gen6 RAID controller architecture provides up to 50% higher performance versus the previous Gen5 controllers. System latency is reduced, allowing faster access to applications and data. It’s a substantial performance boost that your users will notice as they use their applications.
  • Performance Tiering 2.0. The Gen6 models have access to a new “hands-free” Tiering 2.0 algorithm that delivers up to 45% more workload application acceleration than previous Gen4 and Gen 5 models. By automatically responding to I/O changes in real-time, the enhanced Performance Tiering option helps to keep “hot” data on the fastest media (such as SSD Flash) further speeding up access times and improving both system and user productivity.

 

MSA-DP+

Another, not expected, feature is MSA Data Protection Plus (MSA-DP+), a new RAID-based data protection feature, bringing serious improvements to traditional RAID technology.

If a drive fails, rebuild performance is up to 25X faster than RAID 6 – which means the drive can be rebuilt in next-to-no time. This new feature can eliminate the need for idle drive spares and dramatically simplify expanding or growing your array’s capacity. MSA arrays using MSA-DP+ now support capacity expansion at a more granular level, allowing the addition of a single drive or whole expansion shelves to an existing configuration.

Important to know is that the minimum required drives in a DP+ disk group is 12 drives and scale up to 128 disks in a disk group.

The idea behind DP+ is that data written to the disk group is stored inside strip zones, consisting of various stripes themselves. A stripe zone contains always 10 drives, and every drive in the disk group participates in multiple stripe zones for optimal and equally spread performance across the entire array. No disk drive will store more than one segment of a stripe zone for ultimate redundancy. A stripe zone should be seen as an addressing technique and does not consume capacity as such.

Each stripe zone is protected by RAID 6 (8+2) regardless of drive count, and cannot be changed.

 

Hardware

If we take a look at the hardware itself we see a complete new set of hardware. This means new array controllers, SFP, power supplies, drive modules and disk enclosures. This means that data-in-place upgrades are not supported from previous generation MSA’s.

The controllers in the 1060 model features 2 host ports per controller (4 per array) and supports 16Gb FC or 1/10Gb iSCSI 10GBASE-T or 12Gb SAS connectivity. The SAS models features a fan-out (Y) cable which doubles the host port count to 4 redundant connections. The MSA 1060 supports up to 3 disk enclosures (SFF/LFF).

The controllers from the 2060/2062 model features 4 host ports per controller (8 per array) and supports 16Gb FC or 1/10Gb iSCSI 10GBASE-T or 12Gb SAS connectivity. Watch out, unlike in the 5th generation of controllers there is no so called converged controller where the customer can choose between iSCSI or FC connectivity by selecting the appropriate SFP module. In the 206x model you will need to choose the correct controller specific for the desired protocol.

The 2060 and 2062 array enclosures comes either as SFF or LFF model. The array can be expanded with up to 9 MSA 2060 drive enclosures.

 

For more information on any HPE server, storage and HyperConverged solutions including training and sizing, feel free to contact Bitcon IT consultants!

 

Be social and share!