It took quite some time after the 4.0 release, but finally version 4.1 for the HPE SimpliVity HCI platform is there. And it is was worth waiting, since the list of enhancements is long, including a new hardware model.

Let’s take a look at what’s announced:

 

Extended Data Protection

The previous version 4.0 enabled the storage of VM backups not only on local and remote SimpliVity clusters, but also outside the SimpliVity clusters on external HPE StoreOnce appliances. Therefore it is using the StoreOnce Catalyst protocol.

However, one of the requirements was that the StoreOnce appliance needed to be connected on the local 10Gb network.

Now with the major 4.1.0 update it is also possible to have that StoreOnce appliance to be located behind a WAN connection. This is for instance ideal with edge deployments where you want to store an additional backup copy in a centralized HPE StoreOnce appliance in a datacenter. Or customers that want physical separation of primary and secondary (=backup) data.

HPE Simplivity 4.1.0 backup to Cloud Volumes

HPE StoreOnce already had the integration with HPE Cloud Bank, where you could copy backup data stored on an HPE StoreOnce appliance to an instance in the public cloud called HPE Cloud Bank.

A similar feature is now enabled with HPE SimpliVity as well. You can now store copies of your VM’s running on HPE SimpliVity on HPE Cloud Volumes Backup, which is a backup target running in the HPE Cloud.

Backups are created, deleted and managed via the HPE SimpliVity backup policies, just like traditional HPE SimpliVity and HPE StoreOnce on-premises backups.

 

Kubernetes CSI plugin

CSI stands for Container Storage Interface and is the interface between the storage providers and the container platform. HPE already had CSI drivers for their other storage platforms like HPE Nimble, and now it is also available for HPE SimpliVity.

HPE Simplivity 4.1.0 CSI plugin

The HPE SimpliVity CSI Driver for Kubernetes allows you to perform data management operations on containers easily.
The SimpliVity plugin uses the CSI driver to create, backup, delete and restore persistent volumes, and K8s snapshots are also supported.

 

HPE SimpliVity Lifecycle Management

A new Pre-check utility fastens and makes the deployment easier by checking the environment prior to the actual deployment. On a successful validation, the configuration file can be saved to fasten the actual deployment by avoiding the manual entries again.

It includes as well a Validation report in pdf format. This can be used to find the errors that would be encountered in an actual deployment and take necessary steps for successful deployments.

 

vSphere 7.0 support

Maybe the longest awaited functionality is the support for VMware 7.0.

Supported versions at launch of the major 4.1.0 update are:

  • ESXi version 7.0 Update 1 (build 16850804)
  • VCSA version -7.0.0b (build 16386292)

HPE SimpliVity 4.1.0 continues to support ESXi 6.5 and 6.7.

Always verify the SimpliVity Interoperability Guide (found at http://www.hpe.com/docs/simplivity-interop) for the latest supported versions.

You may upgrade vCenter to an unlisted patch version only when the v Center major and minor versions are already listed in this document. Unlisted major and minor version updates are not supported.

For example, if vCenter Server 6.5 Update 3e is the latest supported 6.5 version in this document, and VMware releases patch version 6.5 Update 3g to fix a security issue, it is acceptable to upgrade to Update 3g before HPE updates the document.

However, if VMware releases a new minor version 6.5 Update 4 and HPE has not yet added Update 4 to this document, a vCenter upgrade to 6.5 Update 4 would not be supported.

Conclusion: always check the Interoperability Guide!

 

Single Replica UI Support

Since version 4.0.1 HPE Simplivity supported the use of single replica datastores.

By default all data stored on an HPE Simplivity datastore has 2 copies stored across 2 Simplivity nodes for high availability. When you have applications that have application-level HA (for instance Exchange and SQL Availability Groups) you might not want an additional double write of data at the infrastructure level. Other scenario could be workloads that don’t need backups like for instance non-persistent VDI desktops.

With a Single Replica datastore the admin has the flexibility to save space when deploying those applications that don’t need redundancy at infra level.

With version 4.0.1 you could deploy these kind of datastores but only through CLI. Now with version 4.1 you can do it as well through a graphical UI being the vCenter interface.

It is also possible to see which Virtual Machines are stored on ‘traditional’ HA and single replica datastores.

Some important information around single replica datastores: it is not possible to move a dual replica virtual machine on to a single replica datastore. The error thrown is  “Invalid or unexpected destination specified’’.
It is not possible to take a local backup of a single replica virtual machine. The error thrown is “Invalid or unexpected destination specified’’.
It is possible to take a remote backup on a single replica virtual machine. The destination cluster is the Remote Cluster and the backups can be found under search backups.

 

HPE SimpliVity 380 Gen10 G x24

With the release of the new 4.1.0 software there was also the announcement of new hardware.

HPE Simplivity 380G x24

HPE Simplivity 380G x24

In the 380G software-defined series of models we saw already the option to have 6, 8, 12 or 16 SSD drives going from 7.5TB up to 20TB of usable capacity. There is now a new ‘big brother’ with 24 drives.

The new model reports an available capacity of 32TB before dedupe and compression, one of the things where the Simplivity platform performs very well. Not convinced? Contact us for a real-life demo!

 

If you want more information on HPE SimpliVity solutions, feel free to contact us. We can help you with designing, sizing, deploying and maintaining this great HCI solution in your production environment. Check out as well our How To pages with various articles on HPE SimpliVity.

 

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