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FlashArray//XR3 HW FAQ

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  1. FlashArray//XR3 Hardware FAQ
    1. What is FlashArray//XR3?
    2. When will FlashArray//XR3 be orderable?
    3. What about POCs?
    4. What countries is //XR3 available in?
    5. What is the minimum Purity version required to support the FlashArray//XR3?
    6. What has changed in //XR3 over previous generation arrays?
    7. What are the main configuration differences I should keep in mind for XR3 vs XR2?
    8. Will XR3 fully replace XR2?
    9. When will Free-Every-Three upgrades switch over to //XR3?
    10. Are DC power supplies supported in //XR3?
    11. What type of storage media is supported in FlashArray//XR3?
    12. Does FlashArray//XR3 support DirectMemory?
    13. Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support Generic SKU replacement controllers?
    14. Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support NVMe modules?
    15. Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support DirectFlash Shelf?
    16. Are the new NVMe 11TB and 15TB DFM Data Packs supported in all models?
    17. Are Efficient Bundles supported in FlashArray//XR3?
    18. Which data packs are currently available with FlashArray//XR3?
    19. Does FlashArray//XR3 support mixed media types in the controller chassis?
    20. Are there any restrictions on data pack combinations?
    21. Are NDUs supported to FlashArray//XR3?
    22. Does FlashArray//XR3 support the 6G and 12G SAS shelves that were available with FA-4xx and FlashArray//M?
    23. What is the maximum number of shelves supported by FlashArray//XR3?
    24. Can I mix SAS Shelves with DirectFlash Shelves?
    25. How are shelves connected to FlashArray//XR3?
    26. How is a DirectFlash Shelf connected to FlashArray//XR3?
    27. How are the SAS shelves connected to FlashArray//XR3?
    28. Are mixed configurations for frontend (host) FC and iSCSI supported on FlashArray//XR3?
    29. What Ethernet speeds are supported for host connectivity?
    30. What FC speeds are supported for host connectivity?
    31. What services can be configured on the 4 LOM ports?
    32. What are the capacity limits for FlashArray//XR3?
    33. What are the cables and transceivers supported with //XR3?
    34. Are host IO cards from previous array generations re-usable?
    35. What are Wide Write Groups?
    36. Are there any “GOTCHAS” around using Wide Write Groups on //XR3?
    37. Where can I find the NDU best practices guide?
    38. What storage configurations are available with //XR3?
    39. Where can we find the hardware upgrade guides to //XR3?
    40. Does FlashArray//XR3 support NVMe-oF?

FlashArray//XR3 Hardware FAQ

What is FlashArray//XR3?

FlashArray//XR3 is the next generation FlashArray, following FlashArray//XR2. //XR3 will replace //XR2 in our portfolio, offering the same 5 models in the //X family today -- //X10R3, //X20R3, //X50R3, //X70R3, and //X90R3 -- each with the latest hardware and higher performance.

When will FlashArray//XR3 be orderable?

FlashArray//XR3 is orderable immediately and generally shipping with standard lead times.

What about POCs?

POCs are supported for all models immediately.

What countries is //XR3 available in?

//XR3 will be available globally. However, note that Non-Encrypt (NE) SKUs, required in some geos, will only be available approximately a month after GA.

What is the minimum Purity version required to support the FlashArray//XR3?

//XR3 requires Purity 5.3.5 or above.

What has changed in //XR3 over previous generation arrays?

//XR3s have several hardware changes designed to drive higher performance and efficiency.

  1. Updated Intel Cascade Lake CPUs to provide higher performance across all models.
  2. Increased memory speeds (up to 2933) for more memory bandwidth.
  3. Optimized memory configurations for next-gen Purity releases (including File support) and higher capacity limits on //X70R3.
What are the main configuration differences I should keep in mind for XR3 vs XR2?
  1. All XR3 models are pre-configured with NVMe drives (DFMs), from the lowest capacity on X10 to the higher on X90.
  2. //X70 maximum capacity has been increased to 622TB in //X70R3.
  3. New Efficient Bundles (with 12x and 16x DFMs) have been introduced, replacing previous inefficient, shelf-based configurations and providing lower $/usable and effective TB to customers.
  4. New Performance Bundles have been introduced, which combine Efficient Bundles with DirectMemory Modules for the highest performance FlashArrays. These bundles bake in an additional discount on DirectMemory (vs a-la-carte configurations), making the SKUs an easy choice for performance-sensitive customers at a manageable premium.
Will XR3 fully replace XR2?

Eventually, yes. However, there will be a transition period when both will remain available to avoid impacting your deals and allow customers to complete any qualification processes. We encourage all account teams to offer XR3 to their customers, and all customers to consider moving their purchases to the new platform.

Please also encourage any customers that need to qualify new Purity versions or platform refreshes to those processes, so that your sales are not impacted when the XR2 platform is discontinued.

When will Free-Every-Three upgrades switch over to //XR3?

Free-Every-Three upgrades are now defaulted to //XR3.

Are DC power supplies supported in //XR3?

DC power supplies will be available and supported approximately 1 month after GA, at which time they will be configured the same way they are in //XR2. Please contact hardware-pm@purestorage.com with any questions regarding this lead time.

What type of storage media is supported in FlashArray//XR3?

Similarly to //XR2, FlashArray//XR3 supports both SAS Flash Modules as well as NVMe DirectFlash Modules.

Does FlashArray//XR3 support DirectMemory?

Yes! Similarly to the //XR2 family, DirectMemory Modules are supported in //X70R3 and //X90R3). Please see DirectMemory Modules/Cache Configuration rules for more details.

Additionally, with the launch of //XR3 we are introducing Performance Bundles, which are pre-configured combinations of high-end XR3 models (//X70R3 or //X90R3), efficient packs of DFMs for capacity, and 3TB or 6TB worth of DirectMemory Modules to increase performance.

Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support Generic SKU replacement controllers?

Yes! The Generic SKU Controller Part Number can be utilized to replace either an //X10R3 or an //X20R3. Used only for RMA’s, this allows more flexible forward stocking part utilization. Generic SKU is a special Controller Part Number that gets special handling in Purity.

The "puresetup replace" command detects the Generic SKU controller and the Generic SKU controller takes on performance capabilities of its peer.
Generic SKU performance is modified to match the performance of it’s peer (either X10R3 or X20R3).
Once set via puresetup, the personality stays with the controller.

Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support NVMe modules?

Yes! The whole FlashArray//XR3 product family supports DirectFlash Modules, and note that all pre-configured SKUs for XR3 are DFM-based (including X10 and X20). If SAS modules are desired, they must be quoted a-la-carte (which will be more expensive).

Note that this means that the FlashArray//XR3 family comes standard with all-NVMe drives, across all models and all capacities. To enable smaller NVMe capacities, common in //X10 and //X20, a new DFM size (1.1TB, resulting in 11TB chassis and 15TB shelf Data Packs) is being introduced at launch.

Do //X10R3 and //X20R3 support DirectFlash Shelf?

//X10R3 does not support expansion shelves (including DirectFlash shelf). //X20R3 does support a DirectFlash Shelve for all-NVMe capacity expansions.

Are the new NVMe 11TB and 15TB DFM Data Packs supported in all models?

Yes! All NVMe drive capacities are supported in all //XR3 and //XR2 models. However, you must still stay within the bounds of the minimum and maximum capacity limits for each model (see FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules).

Are Efficient Bundles supported in FlashArray//XR3?

Yes! In fact, we are introducing new Efficient Bundles to efficiently support more capacity points, providing more usable capacity to our customers. These include packs of 12x, 14x, and 16x DFMs installed alone in the chassis. Please see FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules for more details.

Customers who initially purchase an efficient bundle can expand their capacity with Conversion Kits, which fill up unused chassis slots with the same capacity DFM (e.g. 127TB efficient bundle, made up of 14x9.1TB DFMs, can be expanded to 182TB -- a full chassis of 9.1TB DFMs -- with a 127TB->182TB Conversion Kit, made up of 6x9.1TB DFMs).

Which data packs are currently available with FlashArray//XR3?
Controller Chassis

NVMe DPs

Standard DPs -- up to 2 per system

  • 11TB (1.1TB DFM)
  • 22TB (2.2TB DFM)
  • 45TB (4.5TB DFM)
  • 91TB (9.1TB FM)

Efficient bundles -- 1 per system only

  • 4.5TB DFM-based: 63TB (14x), 72TB (16x)
  • 9.1TB DFM-based: 109TB (12x), 127TB (14x), 146TB (16x)
  • 18.3TB DFM-based: 220TB (12x), 256TB (14x), 293TB (16x)

SAS DPs -- up to 2 per system

  • 9.6TB (960GB FM)
  • 19.2TB (1.92TB FM)
  • 38TB (3.8TB FM)
  • 76TB (7.6TB FM)
DirectFlash Shelf

NVMe DPs -- up to 2 per shelf
Only NVMe DPs are supported in the DirectFlash Shelf

  • 31TB (2.2TB DFM)
  • 63TB (4.5TB DFM)
  • 127TB (9.1TB DFM)
  • 256TB (18.3TB DFM)
12G SAS Shelf

SAS DPs -- up to 2 per shelf
Only SAS DPs are supported in the 12G SAS Shelf

  • 11TB (960GB FM)
  • 22TB (1.92TB FM)
  • 45TB (3.8TB FM)
  • 90TB (7.6TB FM)

 

The SAS data packs and NVMe data packs have 2 common capacity sizes - 22TB and 45TB.  Make sure that you order the correct type. 
Additional details can be found in FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules.

Does FlashArray//XR3 support mixed media types in the controller chassis?

Yes. The controller chassis can support one SAS data pack and one NVMe data pack. Note that mixed media is not possible with Efficient Bundles.

Note: The expansion shelves are specific to SAS or NVMe media.

Are there any restrictions on data pack combinations?

No restrictions exist for DirectFlash data packs. Please refer to FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules for more details.

Are NDUs supported to FlashArray//XR3?

Yes, they are! All previous generations of FlashArrays, with the exception of the FA-300, can NDU into FlashArray//XR3. The FA-300s cannot directly NDU into FlashArray//XR3 because the FA-300 is not supported on Purity 5.3.x.

More details can be found here.

Does FlashArray//XR3 support the 6G and 12G SAS shelves that were available with FA-4xx and FlashArray//M?

Yes. All existing shelves and drives are supported in FlashArray//XR3.

What is the maximum number of shelves supported by FlashArray//XR3?

Please refer to the Shelf Configuration Rules and Requirements section in FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules.

More than 4 SAS shelves are only supported when upgrading from an existing array that already has more than 4 shelves.

Can I mix SAS Shelves with DirectFlash Shelves?

Yes, SAS shelves can be mixed with DirectFlash Shelves. Please refer to FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules for more details.

How are shelves connected to FlashArray//XR3?

Shelf connection requires special adapter cards to be installed in the FlashArray//XR3 controller chassis. There are 2 flavors of cards used to connect to the SAS shelves and 2 different cards required to connect to the DirectFlash Shelves. One flavor of the card is installed in the dedicated Mezzanine slot (see image below) while the other flavor is installed in a PCIe slot. (The PCIe slots are normally used to house the adapter cards used to connect to hosts).

The preferred method is to have a Mezzanine card for shelf connectivity because it leaves the PCIe slots for host connectivity. However, in certain cases such as when upgrading from a 5-6 shelf array, a PCIe slot might be required for shelf connectivity.

Each SAS or Ethernet MEZZ card (Mezzanine) has 4 slots and can be used to form 2 chains. Customers with up to 4 SAS shelves can still be satisfied with a 4-port SAS PCIe card in slot 1. 

The default configuration for all FlashArray//XR3 models that support shelves (//X20R3, //X50R3, //X70R3, //X90R3) ship with Ethernet Mezzanine. //X10R3 does not include a mezzanine as it does not support shelves.

Please refer to FlashArray//XR3 Port Usage and Definitions and the //XR2 cabling guide for additional details.

How is a DirectFlash Shelf connected to FlashArray//XR3?

FlashArray//XR3 uses 50Gb NVMe-oF (RoCE) to connect to the DirectFlash shelf via Ethernet cables. There are two options of connecting to the DirectFlash shelf:

  • 4 port Ethernet Mezzanine card that gets is populated in the mezzanine slot.
  • 2-Port 50Gb Ethernet card in the host PCIe slot if the Mezzanine is populated with the SAS Mezzanine card.

Refer to the //XR2 cabling guide for additional details.

How are the SAS shelves connected to FlashArray//XR3?

There are two ways a SAS shelf can be connected to FlashArray//XR3:

  • The preferred option is to connect the SAS shelves to the SAS Mezz card (populated in the Mezzanine slot) via SAS cables.
  • In the case the mezzanine card is occupied with a ETH Mezz card or when upgrading with 5-6 shelves, a 4 port SAS HBA will need ot be populated in the Host PCIe slot to connect to the SAS shelves.

Refer to the //XR2 cabling guide for additional details.

Are mixed configurations for frontend (host) FC and iSCSI supported on FlashArray//XR3?

            Yes.

What Ethernet speeds are supported for host connectivity?

FlashArray//XR3 supports both 10 and 25G Ethernet for host connectivity. The array uses an adapter capable of supporting both 10/25G. The adapters ship with 10G capable transceivers by default. 25G transceivers can be purchased as separate SKUs.

Similarly to //XR2, FlashArray//XR3 comes with 4 LOM ports which are also 10/25G capable (FlashArray//M had 2 10G LOM ports).

Note: These cards are transceivers and are the same used in FlashArray//XR2 -- so while those can be reused, 10G cards used on generations of FlashArray older than //XR2 cannot be used on FlashArray//XR3.

FlashArray//XR3 also supports 40G (separate adapter card and transceivers) as well as 10GbaseT (separate adapter). Both these cards were used on the FlashArray//M as well and can be moved from the FlashArray//M to the FlashArray//XR2.

What FC speeds are supported for host connectivity?

The FC adapters are available on the FlashArray//XR3 and support both 16G and 32G FC. However, note that separate transceivers are required to support 32G, so these must be quoted separately.

Note: These cards are transceivers are the same used in FlashArray//XR2 -- so while those can be reused, FC cards used on generations of FlashArray older than //XR2 cannot be used on FlashArray//XR3.

What services can be configured on the 4 LOM ports?

The 4 LOM ports can be configured to have 2 replication ports and 2 iSCSI ports. 

What are the capacity limits for FlashArray//XR3?

The capacity limits for FlashArray//XR3 can be found in this article on FlashArray limits.

Note: It is best to use Sizer to easily determine the usable/effective capacity for the configuration of interest.

What are the cables and transceivers supported with //XR3?

Please refer to the SFP and cables support article to learn more.

Are host IO cards from previous array generations re-usable?

FlashArray//XR3 uses the same host cards as FlashArray//XR2 only -- so those host cards are reusable, while older generations' host cards are not (with the exception of 40Gb EThernet card and 10GBase-T card).

The same applies to SFPs.

What are Wide Write Groups?

Everything you need to know about Wide Write Groups can be found in this article.

Are there any “GOTCHAS” around using Wide Write Groups on //XR3?

Wide-write groups are only available with DirectFlash Module and require identical data packs to be used – the size of all DFMs in the Wide Write Group must be identical. Note that because //XR3 requires Purity 5.3.5 or above, the requirement to have exactly the same model drive throughout has been removed.

Where can I find the NDU best practices guide?

NDU best practices guide can be found here.

What storage configurations are available with //XR3?

Please refer to the FlashArray//XR3 Storage Configuration Rules which details storage rules and configurations for //XR2 and DirectFlash shelves.

Where can we find the hardware upgrade guides to //XR3?

Please see the most up-to-date list in FlashArray//X Install and Upgrade Guides. Note that most guides are fungible between //XR2 and //XR3 thanks to their similarities, so you will find that many documents apply to both products -- revisions will be published before GA.

Does FlashArray//XR3 support NVMe-oF?

Yes! Front end NVMe-oF (RoCE) connectivity is supported on //XR3 with the 25G and 100G RoCE cards (configured separately).

FlashArray//XR3 also uses 50Gbe NVMe-oF (ROCE) for backend connectivity to DirectFlash shelves.