As a storage technical consultant, I have implemented HP StoreServ (3PAR) systems for customers for the past 3½ years. The StoreServ family of arrays accommodate up to three storage tiers within a single chassis and scales nicely from small shops to large data centers using either fibre channel or iSCSI attachment.
Recently introduced features allow customers to use solid state disks to cache I/O to magnetic disks (Adaptive Flash Cache) and deploy de-duplication on certain configurations. Also, HP will soon offer file services (CIFS and NFS) provided directly by the array controllers on specific controller models.
The StoreServ family is one of the easiest array platforms to manage that I have worked with. I have been particularly impressed by how quickly my customers are able to learn basic array management techniques; it normally takes less than a day before a customer with no prior 3PAR experience is able to create storage and provision LUNs to their host systems.
Deciding what features and options to include with a StoreServ array can be daunting if you do not have experience with the product. One of the most valuable optional features is Dynamic Optimization, which allows customers to seamlessly and non-disruptively change storage tiers and RAID levels. I recommend including Dynamic Optimization with all but the very smallest and most static configurations.
System Reporter is another must-have license, as it unlocks access to the performance data the StoreServ collects. Customers should also consider including Virtual Copy, the snapshot feature. Many situations arise where snapshots are unexpectedly useful.
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