Getty Images

HPE updates Alletra MP, expands block storage to AWS

HPE is refining its Alletra MP array along with its GreenLake block storage as it doubles capacity, increases lifecycle management and extends to AWS.

HPE is updating its block storage and underlying hardware, as well as adding a hybrid option and an upgrade path for Alletra customers.

HPE is expanding capacity, reach and futureproofing of its block storage on Alletra Storage MP platform, a multi-protocol appliance that supports block, object and file storage and is managed through GreenLake. The Alletra can now scale up to 5.6 petabytes of NVMe capacity by adding more JBOF shelves, doubling the previous capacity. HPE is introducing its Timeless Program, a subscription service for Alletra MP controller upgrades.

The vendor is also rolling out a new version of its HPE GreenLake Block Storage and introducing GreenLake Block Storage for AWS for software-defined hybrid cloud storage.

The latest version of GreenLake Block Storage brings capacity improvements and flexibility to the vendor's block storage, according to Steve McDowell, founder and analyst at NAND Research. But, he said, the interesting thing is how HPE is disaggregating its block storage software from its Alletra hardware, enabling the software to work on hardware beyond HPE's own storage platform.

With the disaggregated approach HPE is taking, you can scale up or scale out without ever leaving the confines of the platform.
Steve McDowellFounder and analyst, NAND Research

"With the disaggregated approach HPE is taking, you can scale up or scale out without ever leaving the confines of the platform," McDowell said.

This level of disaggregation isn't offered by all of HPE's competitors, and it allows options such as moving block storage into clouds or adding and updating new controllers as needed, he said.

Refining Alletra

HPE's storage portfolio continues to evolve, according to Dave Pearson, an analyst at IDC. HPE Alletra MP launched in April 2023, but it addressed only a limited market. With the introduction of Alletra MP, HPE is working toward simplifying its storage offerings, which includes Nimble Storage for unified storage and Primera for block as well as more than one version of Alletra.

Customers tend to work with multiple infrastructure vendors, which can lead to management nightmares, Pearson said. But a single vendor with a broad portfolio of offerings can also cause issues.

"You can have enough different and disparate products that you need people with skills on multiple different platforms from the same vendor," he said.

HPE is simplifying its portfolio by reducing the number of products that overlap with a single appliance, Pearson said.

HPE is refining Alletra in a few ways, including an increase in total capacity. The disaggregated nature allows for more storage shelves to be added, doubling the total capacity from before, according to HPE.

Higher-capacity and scalable storage are important for AI workloads, McDowell said, as users are taking data out of silos and bringing the data together.

"They've doubled the number of expansion shelves that can be added to the same MP," he said.

HPE already offers AIOps-enabled workload management and observability through its InfoSight and its acquisition of OpsRamp. The vendor stated that with the cross-analytics to streamline management of storage and VMs, HPE InfoSight is fully integrated into HPE GreenLake, helping storage customers avoid latency and track energy consumption. Alletra MP is also now integrated with Zerto Cyber Resilience Vault. Alletra MP, as well as the HPE HCI offering, SimpliVity Gen11, are available now as part of HPE GreenLake for Private Cloud Business Edition.

Integrating features from Zerto, OpsRamp and CloudPhysics into GreenLake might create an area where HPE can set itself apart from others, according to Matt Kimball, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

"We are starting to see how these acquisitions are playing out for the company as launches like this take place," he said.

Becoming Timeless

Along with updates to Alletra MP, HPE is introducing the Timeless Program, which focuses on hardware refreshes. Timeless provides controller upgrades to Alletra MP customers using block storage and will be available in the third quarter of 2024.

For storage vendors, table stakes are changing, McDowell said. One example is the ability to upgrade in place. Pure Storage introduced Evergreen in 2015, and IBM Assurance replaces both the controllers and storage in place. Now HPE is adding to the market.

"Migrating storage is complicated and expensive," McDowell said. "Anything vendors can do to stop that from happening is beneficial to the IT guys."

Spreading block storage to AWS

HPE is expanding its block storage software to AWS. HPE GreenLake Block Storage for AWS is software-defined storage that aims to deliver unified hybrid storage management and will be "orderable" at the end of the month, according to the company.

Customers today are primarily using hybrid cloud and multi-cloud storage setups, Pearson said.

"Customers want to have the agility, flexibility and scale that they can get from cloud providers without introducing yet another silo," Pearson said, adding that they would also prefer working on a single storage platform such as Alletra MP.

HPE GreenLake Block Storage on AWS also introduces a use case for cyber resilience by enabling customers to replicate data to AWS and use the backup and recovery software of their choice, McDowell said.

"The true value right now [for cloud block storage] is for DR and test dev," he said.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware, and private clouds. He previously worked at StorageReview.com.

Dig Deeper on Primary storage devices

Disaster Recovery
Data Backup
Data Center
Sustainability
and ESG
Close