Research Library

HPE Primera – Product Brief

Last updated June 18th, 2020 to update continuous async replication, and all NVMe SSDs supported. Concise and unbiased 5-page overview of the features and functionality of HPE Primera. Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download this free Product Brief now!


HPE Primera is a logical evolution of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ system with advances in the operating environment software, hardware architecture with multiple ASICs, and packaging. Data services offered with Primera are basically the same as with 3PAR. Notably, all advanced features are included in the base price with Primera. The file persona available with 3PAR is not offered with Primera.

HPE Primera is a scale-out block storage system that has three models. The architecture has up to four nodes with the internode communication handled by custom ASICs across a backplane. The larger models can scale from two to four nodes. The smallest model has two controllers, each with two processors (Intel Skylake) and four ASICs and 24 devices in the basic unit. The other models have two or four controllers and 48 devices. Systems scale larger with the addition of device enclosures. Model numbers prefixed with an “A” are all flash systems and with a “C” prefix can have HDDs installed.

Different from 3PAR is the Primera embedded operating environment which runs functions as independent “services” that can be updated and restarted without having to reboot the system. While not running Docker containers, the independent services are sometimes described as “containerized.” Each controller is independently running its own embedded environment with services.

Adaptive Flash Cache allows use of any installed SSDs as read cache extensions for DRAM.

HPE Adaptive Data Reduction includes deduplication of data as part of an overall data reduction collection along with zero detect, data compression, and data packing. Deduplication includes zero page elimination, thin provisioning along with snapshots and clones, and deduplication of data done inline. Deduplication is done on a 16KB granularity for selected volumes designated as TDVV (thin deduped virtual volumes). A Primera ASIC is used to perform the hash code of the 16KB block, a bit for bit comparison of data, and zero detect. A feature called Express Indexing does the initial table lookup of the hash code for detection of duplicate blocks.

Data compression uses functions of the Intel processor or an FPGA depending on the workload along with software to reduce data stored. Data Packing uses 16KB containers to store data independent of block boundaries for greater efficiency. With the Adaptive Data Reduction feature, HPE guarantees a 4:1 data reduction.

Both periodic and continuous asynchronous replication are supported in addition to synchronous remote replication.

HPE Primera – Product Brief includes:

EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group Commentary

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