HPE Apollo Overview

HPE Apollo is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Density Optimized Servers. It is most often compared to HPE ProLiant DL Servers: HPE Apollo vs HPE ProLiant DL Servers

What is HPE Apollo?

The HPE Apollo high-density server family is built for the highest levels of performance and efficiency. They are rack-scale compute, storage, networking, power and cooling – massively scale-up and scale-out – solutions for your big data analytics, object storage and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. From water-cooling that’s 1,000X more efficient than air, to “right-sized scaling” with 2X the compute density for workgroup and private cloud workloads, the HPE Apollo line is a dense, high-performance, tiered approach for organisations of all sizes.

HPE Apollo is also known as HP Apollo Systems, HP ProLiant SL, HP Apollo.

HPE Apollo Customers

Weta Digital

HPE Apollo Video

HPE Apollo Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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RH
Principa575f
Principal Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Jun 28, 2018
Powerful enough that we may only need half the number of GPUs in our next unit

What is our primary use case?

We've only been using it for about a month so far. This is a system that's on loan to us from HPE. It's a Gen10 version with eight NVIDIA V100 GPUs and four nodes. We have already purchased the unit. This is on loan to us until we receive the Apollo 6500 that we ordered. For storage we're using a Seagate SSD Array, all-flash array, as well as EL4000. The Apollo 6500 is for machine-learning, specifically for wafer generation, wafer analysis, for one of our operations sites in Minnesota.

Pros and Cons

  • "We're going to buy another Apollo 6500. We may configure it with half the number of GPUs because that may be all we need. In a sense, we can see the Apollo 6500 being so powerful that we only need half the GPU capability that we have now."
  • "I would want to see the flexibility of being able to run various network protocols including InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, as well as iSCSI, with iSCSI going up to 100 gigabytes per second -that would be outstanding."
  • "We could, perhaps, use more GPUs in the future, go from eight to 16 GPUs per instance. That could run head-to-head against the DGX-1, the DGX-2 that NVIDIA has developed in their own chassis. That would be interesting to see."
it_user784050
System Engineer at Mr Green
Real User
May 9, 2018
When we moved to the Apollo and all flash drives, we gained a lot of performance

What is our primary use case?

We use three Apollo 2600 enclosures with a total of 12 servers as a Splunk cluster for all our log handling.

Pros and Cons

  • "When we moved to the Apollo and all flash drives, we gained a lot of performance."
  • "We have tried to used standardization using Ubuntu Linux and it's been hard. They had some difficulties getting the RAID configuration up and running because there are no drivers for it. It's not supported by HPE."

What other advice do I have?

From my end, I like that we get everything from HPE. So it's quite easy to point at HPE if something breaks. We have the switches from HPE, we have the storage from HPE, the service from HPE. So it's quite easy to get their help when something breaks, because they are responsible for all the parts in our datacenter.
it_user784038
IT Architect
Real User
Dec 26, 2017
We integrated it once and can use it for several technologies: Hadoop, Ceph, and more

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for big data and storage servers. So mostly Hadoop for big data, Hadoop elastic search, and Ceph storage for our OpenStack private cloud. The Apollo is performing fairly well. We've run into minor issues, but overall it does the job and we feel it's a good product for the money.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's pretty flexible. You can choose how much storage you put on the server. You can have one to three nodes, depending on whether you want more CPU or storage."
  • "we can use the same platform for several use cases: Hadoop, Ceph, and we are considering the server for another use case right now. It's a single solution, we only have to integrate it once and we can use it for several technologies."
  • "There is a shared battery for all cache controllers in the node. When you have to replace that element, you have to take down all three nodes and not just one."

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor the most important criteria include * overall trust in the company * the financial side, of course, the price of the hardware * the quality of the support we can expect. I rate it at eight out of 10. As I said, true independence between the nodes would be an improvement. At least make sure that the nodes aren't dependent on each other. Also, we've had a few difficulties integrating it at first, so I'll stay with an eight. Test the solution and do a proof of concept until it works with your own integration procedures, the way you install systems, that kind of thing.
SG
SeniorAc7315
Senior Account Manager
Real User
Leaderboard
Dec 25, 2017
Certified for use with Linux, it enables us to easily implement software defined solutions

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for high-performance computing. Our customers really do like it because of the density they can achieve in the racks. Apollo provides so much compute power and storage as well. It's performing extremely well.

Pros and Cons

  • "It enables us to implement software defined solutions very easily, because Apollo servers are certified for use with Linux systems"
  • "Apollo Systems provide stuff that standard services do not. More HTDs, more compute power, at very reasonable pricing."
  • "We would like to see improved cooling because that is quite an issue. If you put that much compute power into a single rack, cooling really becomes an issue. And there is room for improvement there."

What other advice do I have?

Our most important criterion when selecting a vendor is reliability. We need a vendor to be there for us, even when the product is already three or four years old. That's a big thing for us. I give it an eight out of 10. It does what we expect it to do. As I said, cooling is still an issue, you really have to keep that in mind if you implement the solution. But aside from that, we're really happy with it. Talk to a partner who has implemented a solution with HPE Apollo, talk to customers who have actually used it in the field. It's really simple to do.
it_user784059
Data Center Manager at Maples And Calder
Real User
Dec 20, 2017
Helped me address a need for DPM, to back up to a specific location in my datacenters

What is our primary use case?

I specifically purchased it to address a need I have for DPM. I needed DPM to back up to a specific location in both of my datacenters that I have in Ireland. I needed just a lump of slow storage, but that was big, to take 30-day disk backups before they were offloaded to tape. In that sense, it ticked all the boxes and it's been working fine for that. Now, I'm moving on to StoreOnce, but I'm going to repurpose the Apollos after this. I don't know what I'm going to use them for after this, because DPM is gone. Moving on to Veeam and StoreOnce.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very reliable. I haven't had a single failure at all in the year and a half; not the slightest problem with it."
  • "One drawback which I had: When I needed to expand storage on the Apollo, I had significant problems getting disks for it. It was a very long wait-time. So, if I were to give any advice in regards to improving this product, I would say make more of the 8TB disks available quicker."
it_user784011
Network End Data Center Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Dec 6, 2017
A compact system with a powerful CPU and powerful hard drives, perfect for our branches

What is our primary use case?

We use the Apollo system for most of our branch offices. Our roadmap is to implement Apollo in all our branch offices by the end of 2018. So we will have something like 50 branch offices with Apollo. We performed a PoC. We were very happy with it, so we decided to implement it in all the branches.

Pros and Cons

  • "We usually use three blades for two-rack units, and with enough storage, it's really a small system with a powerful CPU, powerful hard drives, powerful disks."
  • "We would like to see SimpliVity on top of the Apollo."

What other advice do I have?

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor include, of course, the experience of the technician, then the support. With HPE as I said, we have a strong relationship. So there is a priority channel for HPE versus other vendors. We always perform a PoC, we compare the vendors. But we were happy with HPE so we have no reason to change right now. I rate it eight out of 10 right now. It will be a 10 when SimpliVity will be on top of it.
it_user683202
Professor at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Jul 5, 2017
Enables us to do the world's leading superhuman AI research.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's going to meet our needs moving forward, it is scalable."
  • "Lustre seems to be just a little bit unstable overall."

What other advice do I have?

Whilst looking for a vendor, we do not look at the brand name at all. Instead what we look for are just reliability and raw horsepower. It has been great. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center guys have been great in supporting us very quickly and sometimes even at night or on weekends. I've been very fortunate as a professor to get this level of supercomputing, so we've been able to do the world's leading research in this area. The only things that I would improve are the ones that I have mentioned before, i.e., the Lustre file system, and maybe, the memory access from the CPU.
it_user680184
Senior Director of Research at PSC
Consultant
Jun 7, 2017
Has the flexibility to run dual CPU nodes or add GPUs to other nodes.

Pros and Cons

  • "Absolutely being able to mount into Omni-Path architecture, HFIs on those nodes, because we were the very first site in the world"
  • "What's coming out in Gen 10 is very strong in terms of additional security."

What other advice do I have?

I think the advice is to look at the workload very closely, understand what you want it to do, look at the product spectrum that's available here, and do the mix and match like we did. Build them together. There are software frameworks now that actually make it easier than when we did it, to stand up this sort of collection of resources, and to just go with what the workload needs.
it_user568143
Head of Industrial Automation & Modeling at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 28, 2016
Stable solution for management and monitoring.

What other advice do I have?

When choosing another vendor, we look at the overall product and then the software product on top of that. Switching to another vendor is always a big step. We normally don't do that because it presents issues. Every solution will migrate to the same functionality. There is not a great difference between various solutions, but only an incremental one.
it_user364197
Network Administrator at CSC Finland
Consultant
Dec 27, 2016
The storage area density is the best thing about them. Outside connectivity needs to keep pace with network improvements.

What other advice do I have?

You should run the stable firmwares on a test platform for about a month before you roll them out. This is something we have to do that right now.
it_user568107
Development Manager at Thomson Reuters
Vendor
Dec 26, 2016
It supports our network requirements for network captures at high data rates. We're looking for faster disk-write capability.

What other advice do I have?

Not many companies will have a similar type of requirements as we do. But if you need a low cost solution with a low footprint, then the Apollo 4200 is an ideal system for that.
it_user332961
Manager of IT Infrastructure at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 9, 2016
Using it with Scality, we migrated away from traditional NAS.

What other advice do I have?

If someone came with a similar storage need, the Apollo servers do make a lot of sense, especially when you're talking about scale out object storage-type implementations. That Apollo line, it makes perfect sense from my perspective and I would recommend that. Our first batch of Apollo servers that we got were so new that it was just hard to know kind of what to expect from HPE and what they wanted to deliver to us. The first batch of servers that we got were missing an iLO and that may have been a confusion between what we ordered and we thought we ordered or what we thought we would've had…
it_user368157
Senior Unix Performance Analyst at Amadeus IT Group
MSP
Jan 12, 2016
It allows us to use a few nodes as possible for storing log-file data so that we have as much direct space capacity as possible.
it_user363225
Research Support at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 31, 2015
It's a dense product, meaning we can fit several servers into our rack space.
it_user321114
Executive Vice President with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Oct 8, 2015
It gives us the density of a blade without the issue of shared IO, but it needs direct integration with software.

What other advice do I have?

Great solution for object stores. Consolidation ratio on compute doesn’t make it a great alternative for virtualization hosts, but could be a decent hyperconverged platform. HP is utilizing SL technology for their CS-250 Hyperconverged appliance.