A First Look at HPE Synergy Hardware

HPE introduced a new modular architecture in January called HPE Synergy – a new platform designed for composable infrastructure (read about this from Forbes here.)  For this post, I’ll be focusing on the hardware components only with hopes of writing something up on the software piece in the future.

The new architecture starts with a new blade chassis framework, known as the HPE Synergy Frame 12000.  The Frame 12000 is a 10U chassis and supports up to 12 x 2 CPU blade servers, or compute modules.  In addition, it supports up to 6 x 2.6kW power supplies and contains 3 I/O Fabrics (more on this below.)  For management, the Frame 12000 supports one or two Synergy Composers – an embedded management server supporting all of the server, storage and network functions within the chassis. Another management option is the Synergy Image Streamer – a module that stores bootable server images.

HPE Synergy Frame 12000


I/O Fabric Options

The Synergy Frame 12000 architecture uses 3 redundant fabrics, each mapping to the compute module mezzanine cards.  The fabric module options are:

  • 40Gb F8 Switch Module
  • 10Gb Interconnect Link Module
  • 20Gb Interconnect Link Module
  • Brocade 16Gb Fibre Channel SAN Switch
  • Virtual Connect SE 40Gb F8 Module
  • Virtual Connect SE 16Gb Fibre Channel Module

HP Synergy Fabric Overview


Compute Options

There are 4 compute module options for the HPE Synergy architecture:

  • Synergy 480 Gen 9 Compute Module (half-height supporting up to 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 CPUs, 24 DIMM slots)
  • Synergy 620 Gen 9 Compute Module (full-height; CPU details not announced yet)
  • Synergy 660 Gen 9 Compute Module (full-height; CPU details not announced yet)
  • Synergy 680 Gen 9 Compute Module (full-height, double-wide; CPU details not announced yet)

NOTE: The existing ProLiant blade servers and Synergy compute modules are not interchangeable.

Storage Option

The Synergy D3940 SAS drive enclosure offers a 12Gb architecture supporting up to 40 x 2.5″ hot-pluggable drives.  This enclosure offers direct attached storage for up to 10 compute modules inside the Synergy Frame 12000 and supports 12G and 6G SAS, SATA and SSDs.  When configuring a Synergy frame with one or more Synergy D3940 storage modules at least one SAS Connection Module must be populated per Synergy 12000 Frame in either ICM bay 1 or ICM bay 4 to provide connection between the storage modules and compute modules in that frame.


Although this architecture was announced in January, it’s unclear if it is shipping yet.  I’d recommend reaching out to your HPE Rep for details.  For a quick list of all of the current Synergy Quickspecs, click here.



Kevin Houston - Founder, BladesMadeSimple.comKevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BladesMadeSimple.com.  He has over 18 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.  Kevin has worked at Dell as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global Enterprise market since August 2011.


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