HPE flack: We've got an Azure stack flash rack. What's with these techies wanting technical details?

All-flash, Arista top-of-rack switching and... single tier

HPE has finally coughed some details on those all-flash server configs it said it would provide for its Azure Stack rack last week.

El Reg can reveal that "HPE’s current plan is to support 4-8 nodes with 12 and 16 SAS SSDs per [Microsoft Azure Stack] node to give us a higher capacity up to 102TB/node with our initial launch in Jan’19."

HPE spokesbod Alastair McCormick added: "The scale-up to eight nodes is HPE’s decision and not a restriction from Microsoft.

"HPE will support single tier all-flash configuration for Azure Stack with no cache tier. Other OEM providers (including Dell and Cisco) provide an all-flash configuration based on two-tier design because Microsoft didn’t support a single-tier configuration at the time.

"But HPE wanted to introduce our all-flash configuration with ... the single-tier architecture, [and] we had to align to Microsoft’s support roadmap of Azure Stack on Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) to allow this."

Dell EMC takes exception to this claim. Paul Galjan, general manager of the Azure Stack business at Dell EMC, mailed us saying: "Dell EMC has been shipping our single tier all-flash Azure Stack since the summer of 2018. Additionally, the all-flash VxRack AS scales to a full 16 nodes in a single scale unit." Take that, HPE.

Azure Stack provides an Azure Cloud environment on-premises with good connectivity to the Azure public cloud.

HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack is based on the ProLiant DL380 server, which uses Xeon SP processors, and there can be 1 to 16 nodes.

Michelle Hannula, a cloud solutions marketing manager at HPE, blogged last week Thursday that the all-flash DL380s would deliver low latency and high performance. Well, yes, and so they should over disk-based and hybrid Azure Stack-ery. But world+dog found this very light on detail.

One DL380 Gen 10 configuration option supports 20 NVMe SSDs and that should rocket along, if it's made available.

Hannula also said that the Azure Stack ProLiant kit would support Arista top-of-rack switches, as well as base management controller switches. ®

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