Watch the full video review here
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features of the HP 3PAR solution for us I would have to say would be around thin provisioning and being able to provision big and then see what the utilization is like. And ultimately, the biggest thing, if you could draw a line from all of these features here down to one common thing, it's really the ability to change your mind. Now, as a service provider, you have to be able to change your mind, because your customers will, and if your customers change their mind and you can't, then you're kind of backed into a corner. So, you know, with the HP 3PAR and all of the dynamic-ness of that, you're able to change your mind at pretty much every layer of the technology stack.
How has it helped my organization?
So a key example of how the HP 3PAR has benefited our organization would certainly be from a reputation point of view. HP 3PAR is globally well known as a very high end, if not the best storage offering. But in particular, again, drawing back to that performance requirement it also has a reputation around performance and it does deliver on promise. We make big promises to our clients around performance, we have to be able to back that up with a technology that will actually support that initiative.
What needs improvement?
In the future releases of 3PAR, in terms of the overall roadmap, now I have been to the CDN booth and obviously can't say too much about that. But, HP's roadmap tends to align very well with our expected roadmap, for lack of a better term. And in terms of where we're wanting to see the technology go in order to accommodate the needs of our clients HP has a roadmap that aligns very well with that. So I would say I don't have any particular requirements that I don't think HP already have on their roadmap without saying what they are.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability of 3PAR is unquestionable. From day one, we had had not to bag the LeftHand product set, because it has a place in the market, but we had had some issues with that when we really pushed it probably too far. So when we moved to 3PAR as soon as that became apparent, and never looked back. You know, there's been no issues with 3PAR throughout the way through, and I say, the ability to change your mind and change your rate levels, change the way you're deploying the storage, that means that you don't have to break it just to make it what you want it to be.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So the scalability of 3PAR, bearing in mind we operate cloud platforms in New Zealand is far beyond what we need because our market is fairly small, and so being able to scale to multiple petabytes on a single SAN is great to know that it can do that, but it's not something we've had to worry about in terms of an overall capacity limit.
How are customer service and technical support?
We engage quite heavily with HPTS, as we call technical support, and when it comes to implementing new technologies or birthing a new 3PAR, then we don't do that alone. We work closely with HP to make sure that it's all done according to best practice.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
So before we went down the road of looking at the HP 3PAR, we were using another HP product, LeftHand, which was doing the job fine, but as we started to scale and started to see the demands of the client base that we were attracting, we knew we needed to make a change.
So prior to the HP 3PAR, we were using LeftHand products. That was really local disc in the servers themselves, which doesn't scale particularly well, certainly not back when we started, there was not a concept of a virtual SAN.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup of the 3PAR environments, I would say is very straightforward, when it comes to a new technology. Not so much now, because we have five 3PARs in play. But when our first 3PAR arrived, we spent a month trying to break it, and we do that with any new technology that we're not comfortable with and not yet confident in terms of our own use of the product. And so getting that implemented and trying to break it for a month, you know, we couldn't break it, and so that was good. But that's kind of our model.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Other than HP, we've been talking to, I wouldn't say working with, but we've been talking to both Cisco and Dell, more so with Dell over the years. But we've really failed to engage to the level that we have with HP. HP have always been incredibly engaging, incredibly communicative, with regards to not only the product sets that are available, where they're going. And the entire ecosystem around these product sets is really what adds to the ultimate value. Anybody can buy a hard drive and stick it in a machine, but, you know, being able to support that long term, understand where that technology needs to go, and then get it there.
What other advice do I have?
So most recently, we have implemented the all flash or the entire flash-based 3PAR 7450, and the roadmap towards making that decision was really around performance. We've always kept a couple of keywords close to our heart with relation to our branding, and performance is one of those, quality being the other. And so the all flash environment has enabled us to deliver on promise with regards to performance.