Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Optimizing storage density for SAP applications using the HPE NS204i-p

Here’s a quick look at how SAP customers can maximize storage density and isolate the operating system and data stores for SAP applications using the HPE NS204i-p as an NVMe-based OS boot solution.

HPE solutions-storage-SSD-SAP-blog.jpg

Most SAP applications today use SAP HANA as the de-facto database. The innovative application architecture and simplified data modelling landscape offers today’s enterprises new ways to approach large scale transactional and real-time analytical workloads.

The HPE ConvergedSystem 500 (CS500) portfolio built with the HPE ProLiant server platform allows SAP customers to leverage this power of SAP HANA.

With the rapid rate of data growth, storage has become an important consideration. SAP customers on the CS500 platform face the challenge of maximizing the drive bay utilization on their servers in order to increase storage density. SAP customers, especially those implementing hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), hyper scalers, and software-defined storage (SDS), look to isolate the operating system from user data—for easier array rebuilding and migration plus protection from drive failures. Hardware-based OS mirroring is also required, as the current software-based implementation introduces CPU overhead due to software RAID computations. Some of these requirements require a solution different from traditional storage provisioning.

The solution: HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device

Figure 1. HPE NS204i-p OS Boot Device (half and full height bracket)Figure 1. HPE NS204i-p OS Boot Device (half and full height bracket)Introducing NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device: HPE’s customized implementation of the Marvell RAID 1 accelerator. It is a simple, preconfigured boot solution that requires no GUI or user setup. It is also compatible with native OS NVMe host drivers of Linux, VMware, and Windows.

The NS204i-p is a plug-and-play PCIe boot device with two 480GB NVMe M.2 SSDs. It is ideal for enterprise-class SSD boot applications as it delivers up to 4x faster read speeds over legacy SATA boot solutions. In addition, it enables customers to mirror their OS through dedicated hardware RAID 1. This maximizes drive bay utilization for data, isolates and protects the OS, and greatly reduces server complexity—all while providing an economical way for booting in a virtualized environment.Figure 2. 22110 M.2 480GB NVMe SSD ModuleFigure 2. 22110 M.2 480GB NVMe SSD Module

The HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device includes in-box driver support and secure firmware boot on HPE ProLiant. The enterprise-class NVMe M.2 SSDs on the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device deliver enhanced data protection with power loss protection and error correction. Its install and use nature coupled with the utilization of OS native drivers makes it appear as a single, directly connected NVMe drive to the operating system, and not as a third-party RAID controller.

Key features

Here’s an overview of key features:

  • NVMe-based pre-configured RAID 1 device
  • PCIe Gen3 with speed 8 GT/s and x1 1GB/s bandwidth
  • Fast OS initialization
  • Auto-Rebuild for RAID
  • UEFI-based controller
  • Secure Boot Support
  • Plug and play – no external drives needed

The current state of the solution

The HPE NS204i-p is currently supported on Gen10 and Gen10 Plus platforms for HPE’s SAP HANA building block solutions. The OS compatibility list is as follows:

  • SLES 12 SP5 and SLES 15 SP1
  • RHEL 7.7+Kbase, RHEL 8.0
  • VMware vSphere 6.7, VMware vSphere 7.0U1
  • Windows 2016 & 2019, Windows 2016 & 2019 Hyper-V

Benefits of the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device

SAP customers can realize benefits that include:

  • NVMe SSDs will speed up boot and initialization of servers
  • Operating System IO is faster than a conventional hard drive
  • OS isolation provides protection from drive failures, simplifies migration and array rebuilding for SAP Applications
  • Maximized utilization of internal storage drives for SAP Applications
  • Storage controller cache will be completely and exclusively available for SAP Applications
  • Dedicated RAID 1 hardware eliminates software RAID computations – freeing up CPU cycles for processing which can be used for SAP workloads
  • Compatible across major OS releases and application independent

Supported server architectures for SAP and SAP HANA for NS204i-p adapter

Supported server architectures include:

  • HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 SAP HANA Building Block
  • HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 SAP HANA Building Block
  • HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10 SAP HANA Building Block

The advantage is clear

The dedicated RAID 1 hardware on the HPE NS204i-p will not only provide customers running SAP applications a way to mirror the OS, but also isolates it from the data stores. As a result, it makes failure recovery convenient and accessible. At the same time, the drive bays can be utilized exclusively for running and storing SAP HANA workloads. The ease of maintenance—without need for additional firmware delivered through an optimized, application-level user experience—makes makes the HPE NS204i-p a valuable inclusion

HPE is the first to include this boot solution in its server infrastructure portfolio for enterprise and hybrid cloud providers.

The HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device is available today for select HPE ProLiant Gen10 and Gen10 Plus servers. For more information, please visit:

Meet our Compute Experts bloggers

A Bharadwaj-HPE.pngAditya Bharadwaj is currently a member of the SAP Solutions Team at HPE’s Element Platform. He primarily develops automation solutions for the deployment of SAP HANA and SAP applications on HPE platforms.


K Verma-HPE.pngKapil Verma is an Expert Solutions Architect with the SAP Solutions Team at HPE. He is focused on developing the solutions for SAP HANA and SAP applications on HPE hardware platforms. He is also an author of several technical whitepapers describing the SAP Solutions offerings by HPE.

Compute Experts
Hewlett Packard Enterprise


About the Author


Our team of Hewlett Packard Enterprise server experts helps you to dive deep into relevant infrastructure topics.