HPE picked May 4th aka Star Wars day (hoping that the force be with them?) for their big storage announcement for 2021. The invitation promised a radically new vision for data and infrastructure that enables customers to accelerate data-driven transformation from edge to cloud. In the world of enterprise data storage, there hasn’t been a moment like this in decades.

In reality it is indeed a big shift in the HPE storage vision and portfolio, with new hardware and software. Lets take a look at what’s being announced.

Disclaimer: HPE Alletra does not mean the direct end (yet) from the Nimble and Primera portfolio, but the HPE future will be Alletra for sure…


Software: Data Services Cloud Console

Although the biggest interest might be in the new hardware, for me the biggest shift in the HPE storage vision and strategy is in the software.

HPE embraces more and more the cloud, not only to store data but also to manage that data.

HPE Data Services Cloud Console homepage

HPE Data Services Cloud Console homepage

Data Services Cloud Console is designed to simplify and integrate data operations with a single destination for a comprehensive set of data and infrastructure services.

Data Services Cloud Console cloud infrastructure services will simplify how customers manage infrastructure at scale across the lifecycle – from streamlined device deployment, to automatic optimized app deployment across a customer’s fleet, to later in the year cloud delivered invisible upgrades.

Data Services Cloud Console’s suite of integrated, automated and policy driven cloud data services will enable comprehensive data orchestration across its lifecycle – from test/dev, production, protection, to analytics – collapsing data silos and eliminating the complexity of traditional data management operations.   This will equip organizations with the one data experience they need to accelerate data-driven innovation, protect data everywhere, and intelligently move data across clouds.

Data Services Cloud Console is powered by a common cloud platform with a proven technology foundation based on Aruba Edge Services Platform that today serves millions of devices across thousands of HPE customers.

With this, HPE steps away from the traditional approach of on-premises tools for product management towards a cloud-based centralized solution management.


Separating control and data plane

Data Services Cloud Console delivers this cloud everywhere experience by separating the infrastructure control plane from the underlying hardware and moving it to the cloud. This unifies management silos under a single web interface – enabling a consistent experience across edge to cloud.  And this radically simplifies how customers manage infrastructure at scale across the lifecycle – from streamlined device deployment, to automatic optimized app deployment across a customer’s fleet, to later in the year cloud delivered invisible upgrades. The console is accessible from anywhere and any device –and it’s fully programmable via a universal API.

Data Services Cloud Console is delivered as SaaS, so there is no software to deploy, manage, or maintain. You can constantly stay current on the latest software features, without any action or involvement required. And you can move from an ownership model to an access model with the agility and convenience of flexible subscription.


Intent based provisioning

Provisioning data for workloads today is currently a complex, time-consuming and LUN-centric driven task beset with guesswork – with admins having to work through spreadsheets to work out capacity and performance headroom across their fleet of data infrastructure to decide where an application should be deployed to meet workload and app service levels.  This challenge only gets harder as customers scale and add more systems to their fleet.

Intent-based provisioning makes it effortless to provision applications at scale as it eliminates the guesswork and deploys apps on the right resource across a global fleet.   Say goodbye to spreadsheets and planning as it transforms storage provisioning from a LUN-centric, manual process to an intent-based, AI-driven approach. ​

With intent based provisioning, an infrastructure admin only has to specify the workload type, capacity and host groups that need access to that workload.   The intent based provisioning service in Data Services Cloud Console optimally determines where data should be stored with real-time context to resource headroom and application-specific SLAs. ​

The combination of intent-based provisioning and role based access control enables self-service data infrastructure provisioning for app owners and developers – without the need for storage expertise.  This delivers a true cloud provisioning model and accelerates app development cycles – enabling the effortless app provisioning experience demanded by today’s fast-paced dev-ops processes. ​


Hardware: HPE Alletra

Along with the software is there of course the announcement on new datacenter infrastructure products. Most important messaging here is the unification of the 2 main storage lines Nimble and Primera into 1 new product line called HPE Alletra.

HPE Alletra portfolio 6000 and 9000 series

HPE Alletra portfolio 6000 and 9000 series

HPE Alletra is engineered to be tightly coupled with Data Services Cloud Console to deliver a common cloud operational experience across all workload-optimized systems on-premises and in the cloud.

Of course it includes HPE InfoSight – the AI engine that has been the cornerstone of eliminating over 1.5 million hours of downtime for HPE storage customers.  This AI-driven approach predicts and prevents problems from storage to virtual machines and applications. It also redefines the support experience, with direct engineering-level support access across the HPE ALLETRA portfolio, just like with Nimble before.

This move means that HPE customers will get a common operational experience, consumption experience and support experience across both lines of storage products.

At launch there are 2 Alletra models, called the 6000 and 9000 series  You can think of these as the next evolution of HPE Nimble and HPE Primera.

Both of these platforms are all-NVMe, AI-driven, and eliminate forklift upgrades with non-disruptive data in place upgrades.


Alletra 6000

The Alletra 6000 models are optimized for efficiency for the best price for per performance and comes standard with 6-nines availability guaranteed, just like the previous generations of Nimble.  This make it ideal for business critical workloads like some databases or VM and container farms. When we take a look at the specs and features you will find a lot of Nimble NDA in the new Alletra 6000 models.

The first performance numbers show a 3x increase of performance compared to the current Gen5 series of Nimble arrays.

Depending of the model there will be 1 or 2 AMD CPU’s per controller, where the number of cores will define the IOPS delivered by the system. This means that it will be the same idea like with the current Nimble arrays that you can upgrade performance just by swapping online the controller with a higher numbered version.

Remarkable on the picture of the front is that there are no DFC (Dual Flash Carrier) drives anymore. It seems that there are still 24 dribes in Triple+ Parity per system but without the DFC’s.

Like with the All Flash AF models today you can go up to 2 expansion shelves per Alletra 6000 array (6010 supports only 1 expansion shelve), and it is possible to scale out the solution with 4 x 6090’s giving a capacity of +16PB!


Alletra 9000

Like Primera, Alletra 9000 has been optimized for extreme availability, predictable performance at scale, and comes standard with a 100% availability guarantee.  This makes it ideal for mission-critical workloads like large scale databases, large scale containers and virtualization, or large scale consolidation of mixed workloads.

At launch there will be 2 models: 9060 and 9080.

Also here a lot of Primera NDA in the Alltra 9000 models: the number of CPU cores and cache will define the performance of the array. The first numbers shows a doubling of performance numbers compared to the current Primera storage arrays with over 2 million IOPS in a single 4U chassis.

Similar features can be found like 100% uptime guarantee, active/active controllers and Peer Persistence availability.


More information can be found here:

HPE Alletra website: www.hpe.com/storage/alletra

Data Services Cloud Console: www.hpe.com/storage/dscc

Check out the blog of my good friend HPE Storage Guy Calvin Zito

Quickspecs are published as well: Alletra 6000     Alletra 9000     Data Services Cloud Console


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