Around the Storage Block

Setting up the HPE ProLiant DL560 and MSA 2052 Storage Arrays for SAP HANA

Two years ago when I took on the HPE storage job of working with SAP HANA solutions, I saw large database systems as a cluster of servers with 256 GB of memory and a really expensive storage array with hundreds of Tera Bytes of spinning disks.  My traditional database beliefs of Tier 1 storage included that a critical analysis of storage transactions, queue depths, and spindle counts were essential to troubleshooting and determining the database’s performance.   The amount of RAM in my database servers were always a fraction of my database size and the server almost always seemed secondary to how fast my storage array could cough up data. With SAP HANA that all changed.  Gone are the days when I watch my database servers idle along at 15% CPU utilization while my storage array maxes out itself. Today, I almost laugh when someone says they are working with a server with 256 GB of RAM. 

Rheid Schloss - HPE Storage Solutions LabRheid Schloss - HPE Storage Solutions LabHere in the HPE Storage Solutions Lab for SAP HANA, the servers I’m working with include multiple processors, 100s of cores, and 1 TB, 3 TB, & 6 TB of RAM.  Recently an HPE Superdome Flex showed up in the lab – I can’t wait to play with that server (look for a future #hpeunderthehood video of this system.)

Working with all of these servers with HPE’s premier storage arrays is such a great playground to test SAP HANA.  In this blog I share the solution setup we used for creating the “HPE Reference Architecture for SAP HANA TDI using HPE MSA 2052 SAN Storage and HPE ProLiant DL560.”  Look for this Reference Architecture’s announcement on “Around the Storage Block” sometime next month.

For this Reference Architecture we used HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10 servers and HPE MSA 2052 Storage arrays with all flash SSDs. For a quick “look under the hood” of these two systems, see my blog and video on the STI blog What? You’re using a ProLiant DL560 and an MSA Storage Array for SAP HANA?

HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10 ServerHPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10 ServerHPE MSA 2052 Storage Array with All Flash SSDsHPE MSA 2052 Storage Array with All Flash SSDs

In the lab, each DL560 is configured with two, dual port 10 GbE NICs connecteHPE Aruba 8320 SwitchHPE Aruba 8320 Switchd to two HPE Aruba 8320 switches. This supports IP networking for frontend and backend networks. These NICs are configured with NIC Teaming and dedicated VLANs.  Sound familiar?  It should. We see this configuration all the time supporting High Availability (HA) networking.  

Redundant networking wiring diagramRedundant networking wiring diagram

HPE Aruba 3810 switchHPE Aruba 3810 switchWe also use a 1 GbE, quad port NIC to support out-of-band management, server-to-server shared networks, and heartbeat VLANs. These connections and the ProLiant’s iLO are connected to HPE Aruba 3810M 48 port switches. This provides a lower cost point for handling all those behind the scene management functions.

HPE SN6000B 16 Gb Fibre Channel switchHPE SN6000B 16 Gb Fibre Channel switch Storage connectivity for the DL560 is made using multipath IO through two, dual port, 16 Gb Fibre Channel (FC) HBAs.  These ports connect to two separate FC switch fabrics. Connectivity for the HPE MSA 2052 Storage arrays use the same pattern. Two FC ports from each array controller are connected to two HPE SN6000B 16 Gbps FC switches. These two switches create our two storage fabrics. Typically, these two FC switches are connected through ISLs to two HPE StoreFabric Director class switches. But hey, even though I work for HPE, I don’t have the budget to play with those types of switches!   Our FC zoning uses manually configured peer-to-peer zoning between our hosts and the MSA arrays. We then present the virtual volumes to a host group which contains the hosts we are testing.Dual Fibre Channel  Switch Fabric wiring diagramDual Fibre Channel Switch Fabric wiring diagram

For this Reference Architecture, we used two HPE MSA 2052 Storage arrays fully loaded with twenty-four 1.6 TB SSDs.  These SSDs are grouped into two disk pools. This allows us to create a distribution of virtual volumes across the active/active controllers on both arrays. Using the MSA’s volume replication, each virtual volume is replicated to the other MSA array, providing a Disaster Tolerant configuration and a simple way to create clones and copies of our SAP HANA test databases.Reference Architecture server to volume distributionReference Architecture server to volume distribution

HPE 2x1E16 KVM Console with HPE TFT 7600 RKMHPE 2x1E16 KVM Console with HPE TFT 7600 RKMA "Must Have" in the datacenter

Another really valuable addition to our lab configuration is a HPE IP Console KVM switch and rack-mounted keyboard and monitor. This combination comes in handy when you’re working in the lab and need to access the systems right there in the datacenter.  I can’t tell you how many miles this setup has saved me from walking back to my desk.  (Sorry wellness challenge team!)

 HPE 2x1Ex16 KVM & HPE TFT 7600 RKM wiring diagramHPE 2x1Ex16 KVM & HPE TFT 7600 RKM wiring diagram

 Other notable systems 

HPE 3PAR 9450 StoreServ All-Flash Array - File Persona provides NFS services to installation media as well as a shared volume used for testing SAP HANA scale-out configurations.

HPE StoreOnce 6600 backup appliance.

HPE ProLiant DL380  VMware ESX host.

VMs support:

I’m always looking for creative ways customers are setting up their SAP HANA environment and would love to hear about yours.  Please feel free to reach out to me by liking this post or sharing your comments.

Up Next?   How we configure bare-metal systems for SAP HANA testing from the ground up.

For more information about the HPE partnership with SAP, see HPE SAP HANA Solutions page.

If you’re interested in test driving any these devices, contact your HPE solutions partner or an HPE Pointnext representative at  

About the Author


HPE Storage Solutions Engineer specializing in servers, storage, infrastructure design, solution architecture and implementation.