Around the Storage Block

Game changer: HPE expands StoreFabric M-series Ethernet switch portfolio


HPE StoreFabric M series_game changer_blog.jpgSee why HPE StoreFabric M-series is a game changer for the state-of-the-art data center, maximizing value and future-proofing.

We’re expanding the HPE StoreFabric M-series offering with additional SKUs providing flexibility for deployment for additional Data Center connectivity use cases. M-series is also now available with airflow options front-to-back and back-to-front. TAA-compliant SKUs allows M-series to be positioned for Federal business. ONIE SKUs provides the flexibility to customers to deploy third-party OS (such as Cumulus OS) with M-series switches. HPE StoreFabric M-series Ethernet switch family offers industry-leading, high-bandwidth and the lowest-latency for a cost effective solution to connect primary, secondary, hyperconverged, NAS, or Object storage systems.  Cost-effective options ensure your M-series fabrics allows for implementing significant speed and architecture upgrades over time, including: pay-as-you-grow licensing and seamless speed transition from 1GbE to 100GbE, plus support for next-generation storage such as software-defined, scale-out, distributed and NVMe,.HPE StoreFabric M-series Switches.jpgFigure1: M-series Ethernet switch family configuration options

HPE StoreFabric M-series is the first storage-optimized Ethernet switch capable of providing an Ethernet Storage Fabric (ESF). It offers the highest performance measured in both bandwidth and latency, supporting from 8-to-64 ports per switch with speeds from 1GbE to 100GbE per port. All the M-series models are non-blocking and allow enough uplink ports to build a fully non-blocking fabric. The latency is not only the lowest (300 nanoseconds port-to-port) of any generally available Ethernet switch, but the silicon and software are designed to keep latency consistently low across any mix of port speeds, port combinations, and packet sizes.

The M-Series family have features specific to optimizing current and future storage networking. These include support for Data Center Bridging (DCB), including DCBx, Enhanced Transmission Specification (ETS) and Priority Flow Control (PFC).  iSCSI traffic can be specifically classified and prioritized using iSCSI-TLV. The switches are designed to integrate with storage and network management tools as well as run a container on the switch to provide storage specific services.

HPE M-series advantages and value proposition

  • Cost optimized: Lower upfront cost with ½-width SN2100M and SN2010. Fewer unused ports.
    Port density 128 x 10/25 GbE ports in 1RU with SN2100.
  • Form factor and scalability: Ideal form factor. Start with the SN2100M for full redundancy 1RU. Scale to multiple racks with pay-as-you-grow model.
  • Flexible pricing: Flexibility to pay with CapEx or OpEx $$.
  • Investment protection: Connectivity (1-to-100 GbE) up to 3 generations of servers and storage. Single fabric for all traffic, including iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and NVMe over fabrics.
  • Storage optimized: Optimized for all storage traffic including block, file, object, hyperconverged, and big data
  • Performance: High bandwidth (up to 100 GbE), ultra-low-latency (300ns), zero-packet-loss.

HPE StoreFabric M-series Portfolio.jpg

Figure 2: M-series Ethernet switches are ideal for server and storage connectivity

Top M-series use cases

Take a look at the top use cases for M-series Ethernet switches

Primary Storage with Ethernet/iSCSI based Connectivity 

  • Connect HPE 3PAR, Nimble, MSA, XP as well as partners such as Datera, Hedvig attach with M-series switches
  • Mission critical or business critical apps
  • Production environments
  • Lowest cost and investment protection for infrastructure
  • High bandwidth and low-latency
  • 3 generation of server/storage connectivity (1 – 100 GbE)

 Secondary Storage with Ethernet based Connectivity

  • HPE 3PAR, StoreOnce, Nimble and Partners Scality, Qumulo, Cohesity, Hedvig attach with M-series Switches
  • Storage for Test, Dev, back-ups, data-lakes, big data
  • Disk, hybrid, or high-capacity SSDs
  • Support for block, file, and object storage at any speed
  • Lowest cost per port and investment protection
  • 3 generations of server/storage connectivity (1 – 100 GbE)

Hyperconverged (compute and storage in same server)

  • HPE Simplivity, VMWare VSAN and Cohesity attach with M-series
  • Allows faster application and private cloud deployment
  • Primarily used in Virtual desktops, SAP HANA & Databases
  • Heavy East-West traffic between servers for coordination
  • All connectivity based on Ethernet
  • Perfect Form-factor (1/2 width SN2010M or SN2100M)
  • Lowest upfront cost, fewer unused ports
  • Flexibility to start small and grow HCI clusters

 NAS Scale-out (Distributed file storage for shared access)

  • Adds capacity and performance simultaneously
  • Heavy East-West traffic for replication, sharing, metadata
  • Used in high performance and technical computing
  • Connectivity mostly based on Ethernet
  • High BW and Scalability to connect large NAS clusters
  • Lowest upfront cost, ideal form factor and port count
  • Flexibility to start small and grow

 Object Storage and Hadoop Clusters

  • Unchanging large files, videos, social media
  • Text files, logs, IoT and Machine Data
  • Mostly low cost HDD storage today
  • All connectivity based on Ethernet
  • Affordably connect hundreds of object storage nodes at any speed
  • Lowest cost, ideal form-factor and scalability
  • Future proof infrastructure (same switches delivers 1-to-100 GbE)

 HPE Synergy platform

  • Integrated SW defined intelligence
  • Self-discover, auto-integrate from racks to rows
  • High performance network to provide connectivity
  • Rack scale multi-fabric connectivity
  • Simple management with same OS
  • Provide connectivity to uplinks at high-speed 40/100 GbE

Windows Storage Spaces Direct

  • Windows-based compute and storage
  • High performance serves with flash storage and high-speed networking
  • End-to-end connectivity at 100GbE with lowest latency
  • NVMe with RoCE supported
  • Ideal form factor and scalability

 GPU Direct with RDMA

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Connect GPUs with high performance networking
  • High bandwidth, lowest latency and zero-packet-loss
  • End-to-end acceleration with RoCE

The same features the set the M-series apart for storage deployments can assist in deployments in a variety of uses cases. These features include the lowest latency of any mainstream switch, zero packet loss (no avoidable packet loss, for example, due to traffic microbursts) and delivery of performance fairly and consistently across any packet size, as well as mix of port speeds or a combination of ports assist in deployments in a variety of use cases. 

Take a deeper dive and learn more

Here is a rich library of information on HPE StoreFabric M-series and storage fabrics


White papers


TekTalk webinars


Faisal Hanif HPE Storage.jpegMeet Aound the Storage Block blogger Faisal Hanif, Product Management, HPE Storage and Big Data. Faisal is part of HPE’s Storage & Big Data business group leading Product Management & Marketing for next generation products and solutions for storage connectivity, network automation & orchestration. Follow Faisal on Twitter @ffhanif 

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