HPE updates Primera and Nimble arrays

HPE has refreshed the Primera upper mid-range array and Nimble lower-mid-range arrays. Let’s take a closer look.

The Primera array gets NVMe support via Primera OS v4.2. HPE said all-flash Primera already delivers 75 per cent of I/O within 250 μs latency. Now Primera with all-NVMe supports twice the number of SAP HANA nodes at half the price. HPE has not provided an IO latency number for an all-NVMe Primera array.

Primera nodes and C=controllers

Primera has been given an AI sub-system so it can self-optimise array resource utilisation in real time.

A Primera array, with the Peer Persistence feature, can now replicate to three global sites for extra and transparent data access reliability if metro-scale disasters occur. The array also gets near-instant asynchronous replication over extended distances. This has a one minute recovery point objective.

A replication target site can be in the public cloud and replication can provide data for test and development and analytics.

Primera automation has been optimised for providing storage to VMware VVOLs and containers. The container support comes via a Kubernetes CSI plug-in and the VVOL support includes disaster recovery via Site Recovery Manager. Nimble arrays already support VVOLs and a CSI plug-in.

Nimble Storage

Nimble features include six nines availability and two-site replication. They also have asynchronous replication on-premises or to the cloud for extended distances. The arrays get global three-site replication via NimbleOS 5.2.

Storage class memory (SCM) is now supported and cuts response time in half for the all-flash Nimble array, according to HPE. It says SCM is too expensive to use as a storage tier for Nimble customers. A relatively small amount of SCM is used instead as a cache to speed IO. It provides an average sub-250 μs latency3, at near the price of an all-flash array.

InfoSight system management has been extended for Nimble arrays with cross-stack analytics for Hyper-V. These identify abnormal performance issues between storage and Virtual Machines, and under-utilised virtual resources. 


Primera OS 4.2, is available worldwide in Q3 2020 at no additional charge for customers with valid support contracts. Primera All-NVMe is available for order direct and through channel partners. The Primera  CSI Driver for Kubernetes 1.1.1 is now available for Primera. 

HPE Nimble Storage 1.5TB Storage Class Memory Adapter Kits are available now for Nimble Storage AF60 and AF80 All Flash Arrays. Nimble 3 Site Replication is available as part of NimbleOS 5.2 release for any customer with an active support contract. InfoSight Cross Stack Analytics for Hyper-V is available next month for any Nimble customer with an active support contract. 

HPE launched the Primera arrays a year ago as a massively parallel product line, intended to replace the 3PAR array. They have a 100 per cent availability guarantee. Nimble and its array technology was acquired by HPE in March 2017. Both arrays are available as a service through HPE’s GreenLake.