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New Updates for HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack with HPE Nimble Storage


Nimble Storage.jpgAt Microsoft Inspire 2019, HPE announced a series of new product updates for HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, based on the world class HPE Proliant DL380 and DL360 servers. A number of key event announcements piqued the interest of attendees. Specifically, HPE announced the HPE Secure Edge Data Center for Microsoft Azure Stack, a fully integrated Azure Stack solution with all the rack, power, and cooling options to support the harshest environmental conditions. HPE also announced the newest ISV solutions to provide data protection, recovery, and high availability. This news also included information about HPE’s latest validated ISV partner – Corent, a company that provides MaaS (Migration as-a-Service) capabilities to migrate workloads into Azure Stack environments.

However, the announcement that drew the biggest attention is the enablement of external iSCSI storage for the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack solution utilizing HPE Nimble Storage. The HPE Nimble Storage option is an excellent example of HPE product teams creating a joint solution to provide substantial benefits for Microsoft Azure Stack environments. The HPE Nimble Storage option provides capabilities not offered in the internal disk storage of the clustered Azure Stack nodes. The nodes are configured in a Hyper-V cluster and the storage is provisioned leveraging Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct.  The Nimble Storage option supports snapshot, clone, and replication capability not available in Storage Spaces Direct today. Customers can choose the desired level of high availability rather than utilize the less space-efficient three-write replication process utilized by Storage Spaces Direct to ensure data high availability.

The HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is a pre-engineered, pre-integrated solution partnering Microsoft Azure Stack software with the HPE ProLiant DL380 and DL360 server platforms, along with networking options from HPE and Cisco. Once deployed, Microsoft Azure Stack software tightly regulates the deployment of internal resources.

To provide a higher level of performance and flexibility, the HPE ProLiant for Azure Stack team and the HPE Nimble Storage teams validated the functionality and performance of Nimble arrays as an external storage array connected using iSCSI protocol on a border switch accessible by Microsoft Azure Stack Tenant VMs. The validation testing produced some amazing results that will provide huge benefits to the Microsoft Azure Stack environment.

There is the simple, straightforward deployment process applicable on all Nimble arrays that share a common controller architecture and operating system. Tenant VM’s can run the Powershell setup utilities and connect the Tenant VM to the Nimble array as an iSCSI disk storage target. The second benefit results from the high performance, high capacity, scalable storage that Nimble Arrays provide. Tenant VM workloads can achieve higher IOP’s and higher network bandwidth, surpassing resources available within the Azure Stack cluster. While the scalable, high performance Nimble storage won’t replace the native Azure Stack storage for boot purposes or general purpose VM requirements, it will provide a tier or storage capable of supporting specific VM workloads requiring higher IOPs or capacity.

Additionally, the Nimble Storage option enables features not available in Azure Stack today including array based clones, snapshots, and replication (including to HPE cloud volumes).

Learn more about this unique storage option for the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack solution here!

Mark Evans
Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Mark Evans - Senior Technical Marketing Engineer

Technical Marketing Engineer for HPE Software Defined and Cloud Group for Azure Stack solutions. 27 years with HPE in high tech industry with broad background in HPE server, storage, and networking platforms,  converged and hyper-converged platforms, cloud and hybrid cloud solutions, and supporting Operating Systems.  Currently focused on the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack solution.

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