Are you ready for the next generation of 3PAR?

Next Generation of 3PAR


If you were at HPE Discover in June (2019) or if you follow HPE technology development, then I know you’ve heard about HPE Primera, HPE’s newest Tier-0 storage array and an evolution of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ Family. Since the announcement, I’ve been getting a few questions about Primera from our clients. It seemed appropriate to answer some of those questions in this month’s post.



What is HPE Primera?



HPE Primera is a Tier-0 enterprise storage solution designed with extreme resiliency (100% uptime guarantee) and performance targeted at the most critical workloads that simply cannot fail. The key word here is “critical”. HPE Primera is not intended to be a default replacement for the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8000 and 9000 arrays. Your requirements could certainly dictate an HPE Primera solution, but, Nimble (HPE Tier-1 solution) may be a better fit.



At launch, HPE Primera includes three models: HPE Primera 630, HPE Primera 650, and HPE Primera 670. Each model is available as an all-flash version (A630, A650 and A670). These models come in 2 and 4-Node versions. In the graphic below, you can see how the current HPE Primera models might line up with the HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Nimble Models:



PAR and Primera alignment


Isn’t Primera just the latest 3PAR Array?



Well, in many ways, the answer is yes. But, more precisely it is an Evolution of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ Family. It is the same in that:



  • You can have up to 4-Nodes in a Single Array.
  • The Nodes are Active/Active.
  • The architecture for each node is based on Intel Processors, ASICs and Cache.
  • There are all flash and Hybrid options.
  • They all support Thin Provisioning, Deduplication, and Compression.
  • Many of the feature sets are identical (i.e., Remote Copy, Virtual Copy, Multi-tenancy, Virtual Domains, etc.) across the arrays.
  • Management is done through the SSMC Interface.
  • There is a Service Processor to manage notification, upgrades, phone home to HPE, etc.
  • Both come with all-inclusive software (no separate licenses).
  • Both are all integrated with HPE InfoSight.



HPE Primera is different from the 3PAR StoreServ arrays in these ways:



  • The Gen 5 ASIC in the HPE 3PAR StoreServ was designed for all-flash and uses a distributed cache where the CPU utilizes the Control Cache and the ASIC the Data Cache. The HPE Primera is designed for NVMe and has a Unified Cache.
  • The Service Processor on the HPE 3PAR StoreServ is a separate physical or virtual appliance. On the HPE Primera the Service Processor is integrated into the Nodes.
  • In the initial launch the HPE Primera will only support Fibre Channel Connectivity.
  • The HPE 3PAR StoreServ supports CPG’s utilizing RAID 0, 1, 5 or 6. The HPE Primera utilizes only RAID 6.
  • Because of the significant change in node architecture and some advancement in features, HPE Primera uses a different InForm OS Code Base than the HPE 3PAR StoreServ Family of arrays.



Is the HPE 3PAR StoreServ Family (8000, 9000) End of Life now?



The short answer is No. HPE has not announced the End of Life (EOL) for the HPE 3PAR StoreServ. When an EOL announcement is made, customers will still be able to purchase them up to 6 months afterward. Hardware upgrades will continue to be made available up to 3 years after the announcement and support will be provided for 5 years after the EOL announcement. This is HPE’s normal cycle when an EOL is announced for an enterprise solution and it will hold true for the HPE 3PAR StoreServ family.



If I’m looking at a 3PAR now, shouldn’t I just go with the Primera instead?



Not necessarily. Remember, there has been no EOL announcement made for the HPE 3PAR StoreServ. And you’ll have 5 years of support once the announcement is made. Also, the Primera is designed for the most Critical workloads in terms of availability and performance requirements. The HPE 3PAR StoreServ or a Nimble Array may line up more appropriately with your unique requirements.



In Summary



HPE Primera is an evolution of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ family and it will fill the needs of Tier-0 workloads. While many of the features and functionality are the same between Primera and StoreServ families, there are also significant differences in architecture. For many, the current HPE 3PAR StoreServ Family (8000/9000) may still be the right fit. For others, a Nimble solution may be the best solution. Contact Zunesis to find the right storage solution for your organization.

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