Around the Storage Block

Take a look “Under the Hood” of the HPE 3PAR 8450 and 9450 All Flash Arrays


At a recent SAP event, I was asked which storage system I would use for an SAP HANA environment.  I’m asked this question all the time when people find out I work on storage solutions for SAP HANA.  My answer usually involves asking questions about their configuration and applications then I almost always end up sharing this analogy. 

In the 2016 summer Olympics, 32 swimmers competed in the men’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay. Every competitor could swim the Back Stroke, Breast Stroke, Butterfly, and Free Style. That year, the United States relay team brought home the gold medal.  The team consisted of Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller, Michael Phelps, and Nathan Adrian. Each outstanding swimmers by themselves.

I then ask, “Which swimmer would you want on your team?”

Most people respond with, Michael Phelps, because he’s the best!” 

There is a great parallel to that medley relay team and HPE’s storage arrays. HPE has over 20 storage systems that are SAP HANA TDI certified.  Each system supports similar storage features and all are superfast.  Collectively, they are an amazing world class team.  Add to those systems HPE’s industry leading servers and we have you covered for any of your SAP or SAP HANA workload needs.

The anchor to our SAP HANA storage team is the HPE 3PAR All Flash Array.

HPE has nine 3PAR storage systems that are TDI certified for SAP HANA.  They are certified for as few as 10 production nodes and up to 92 production hosts. You will also find a 3PAR All Flash Array in the integration of our CS900 SAP HANA Appliance.

Whether you are looking for a dedicated Highly Available or Disaster Recoverable SAP HANA environment or you have hundreds of different server nodes running a variety of mixed database and application workloads, HPE 3PAR storage arrays will exceed your expectations for SAP HANA data.

Today, I have a unique opportunity to look “Under the Hood” of the HPE 3PAR 8450 and 9450 all flash storage arrays we have in our solutions lab.  You can read about these two arrays below or watch the video we shot in the lab in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Under the Hood of the HPE 3PAR 84503PAR8450front.png

The HPE 3PAR 8450 consists of two, 2U array enclosures. Each node enclosure contains 2 controller nodes and holds up to 24 small form factor(SFF) Solid State Drives (SSD). With an addition of up to 18 drive enclosures, the 8450 supports up to 3.3 PetaBytes of raw SSD capacity.The SSDs in the 8450 are hot swappable and come with HPE’s 7 year 3PAR SSD Extended Replacement Program. You can start with a minimal configuration of 8 SSDs per enclosure and expand as you go.  Just ensure, you add drives in an even number across each enclosure.

3par8450drive.pngHere in the lab we use RAID 6. The HPE recommend drive redundancy for SSDs, Fast Class, and near line spinning media. This 8450 configuration has 2 SSF expansion cages; however, you can also order cages in the Large Form Factor (LFF) drive format and create a Hybrid Flash array mixing spinning and flash SSDs to support data tiering in the same array.3PAR8450Back2.JPG

On the back of each 8450 node enclosure, you will find two controller modules and redundant power supplies. Generally Node 0 and Node 1 are installed on the bottom enclosure with Nodes 2 and 3 on the top enclosure.  Each controller node has a Gen5 ASIC, a 10 Core CPU and 2.4 GB of Cache.3PAR8450Controller.pngThe 8450 comes with a board set of on board options and pluggable adapters to support enterprise IT connectivity needs. On board the controller node we have a 1 Gb Ethernet adapter for Management. A 1 Gb Ethernet adapter to support Remote Copy over IP or sharing of files using the File Persona feature. There is also a service console port.

To provide connectivity to other expansion cages, each controller node has two SAS ports used to interconnect the controller with other drive enclosures following a simple daisy chaining pattern.

Pluggable Modules for the 8450 include:

  • 2 port 32 Gb Fibre Channel HBAs
  • 4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBAs
  • 2 Port 10Gb iSCSI Converged Network Adapter (3 LEDs on side of each port)
  • 2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC (link and speed LEDs next to each port.)
  • 4 port 1Gb Ethernet NIC
  • 4 port 12Gb SAS HBA

4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA

2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC


Under the Hood of the HPE 3PAR 9450

3PAR9450Front.pngThe HPE 3PAR 9450 All Flash Array is built for large scale enterprise storage needs. It comes standard with an 8U array controller cage that includes 4 controller nodes.  Each Node contains 2 Gen5 ASICs, and dual 10 Core CPUs with 2.4 GB of Cache. The 9450 drive enclosures support up to 24 SFF drives; however, the 9450 can expand up to 48 enclosures for a total 576 drives.  That’s a maximum capacity of 6 PetaBytes of raw SSD storage.3PAR9450Drive.pngThe 9450 uses the same hot swappable SSDs as the 8450 and are covered by the same 7 year SSD Extended Replacement warranty.However, they are not interchangeable because the drive carriers between the two systems are different.  The 9450 uses the single drive, SFF carriers commonly found on all of HPE’s server chasses.

Drive numbering for enclosures are numbered from left to right, bottom to top, starting with drive 0 on the left bottom and drive 23 on the upper right of the drive cage. 3PAR9450BDU.pngTaking a look at the front, you can see that each controller node has three exhaust fans and a Battery Backup Unit (BDU).  That’s the block on the left side of the fans. The BDU’s purpose is to provide enough power to write the cache memory contents to the controller nodes in the event of a power failure. Like the 8450, controller nodes in the 9450 are numbered from bottom to top. Node 0 on the bottom and Node 3 on the top.3PAR9450Back.pngLooking at the back of the 9450, we see it is significantly different from the 8450.  The controller cage supports 4 controller nodes each with redundant power.  A controller node chassis contains the controller node and has seven option slots.  3PAR9450Controller.pngLooking at the controller module, you can see each module has a power switch.  The switch is protected by a steel brace to prevent accidental powering on or off.  Next we have a 10 GbE SFP Ethernet port to support Remote copy and file sharing.  Next we have a 1 GbE Management Port followed by a Console Service port.



Optional Modules for the 9450 include:

  • NVMe Storage Class Memory Module.
  • 2 port 32 Gb Fibre Channel HBA.
  • 4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA.
  • 2 Port 10Gb iSCSI Converged Network Adapter (Note the 3 LEDs on the top and bottom)
  • 2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC (link and speed LEDs by each port)
  • 4 port 12Gb SAS HBA

4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA4 port 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA

•	2 Port 10Gb iSCSI Converged Network Adapter• 2 Port 10Gb iSCSI Converged Network Adapter

2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC2 Port 10Gb Ethernet NIC

4 port 12Gb SAS HBA4 port 12Gb SAS HBA

With the 9450 you can have up to eighty, 16 Gb Fibre Channel connections or twenty-four 10Gb Ethernet connections, or a mix of connectivity options.    If that isn’t enough connectivity and you need more capacity, and more host ports, then the HPE 3PAR 20850 is your next scaling up option.  It follows the same configuration as the 9450; however, it expands to 8 controller nodes with 16 ACIS, Sixteen 10 Core Processors, 3.6 TB of Cache, and twice the density of IO ports.

One of the reasons HPE uses 3PAR storage systems for our own production SAP HANA implementation is data protection. To protect SAP HANA data, we use storage Snapshots, Remote Copy, and Peer Persistence as well as SAP HANA TDI Certified RMC and Catalyst Plug-in for application level backups and restores.  Add to those features the 3Par File Services and the advanced analytics, monitoring, and automation Intelligence available with HPE InfoSight; and, you can understand why most of our SAP customers use HPE 3PAR storage systems.

This is a quick look under the hood of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s SAP HANA TDI Certified 8450 and 9450 All Flash Arrays.  Two of our anchor all flash storage systems - part of our world class SAP HANA storage team.

If you are interested in test driving any of these storage arrays, contact your HPE solutions partner or a HPE Pointnext representative.

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About the Author


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