I think it's the direction in which they're moving in terms of flash storage and being able to take your legacy systems, integrate the old hard drives with flash storage and perform the migrations. Especially when including virtualization and trying to shrink your data center and improve performance.
Improvements to My Organization
HPE has been our de facto standard, and the benefits are the integration with the rest of our system, including solutions for system administration of having one interface with OneView and being able to use 3PAR with your storage and manage everything. The integration with virtualization as all that just brings down cost with administration, and to me that's one of the biggest things it brings.
Stability has always been there. Going back to my reliability comment that it's always been very reliable, we've never had any major issues. When there has been issues, it's always been preventative maintenance kind of things that are addressed pretty quickly. With the redundancy that you get in the system, we've never had an outage, per say. Something that you have to maybe go fix, but not a complete downtime.
We never buy just for what we need at the time, we always try to make sure we get the full lifecycle use of the product, and so with 3PAR, it might include having the expandability to add more shelves, or looking at the drives that are denser and things like that, so being able to mix and match parts and stuff.
The scalability has always been there as well, and like I said, in the old version of the BladeSystem, the c7000, that was around for like 10 years, so it's scaled very well. I've never had a problem with scaling.
Customer Service and Technical Support
We have technical account managers, and we call them to handle any kind of maintenance agreement or things like that, and have had very good support from them. If there's something that they can't answer, they're always willing to reach back and get the right point of contact. We've had very good dealings with our technical account manager and technical support.
There's been some cases where we have migrated systems from one data center into our data center, and done consolidations. Some of that requires backing up older platforms, older systems, and bringing them in. We had one scenario where we migrated a customer, and they were using old LTO tape drives, coming into a new system which didn't support that. In those kind of cases, we had to reach out to HPE for support. Those were things we could handle. Again, during those migrations, I can't say that there was anything that we missed our window. Everything worked out very well.
Other Solutions Considered
We did a trade study between 3PAR and some of the other ones like Pure Storage. I would just say one thing we saw that I think could be helpful is maybe looking at dedupe and how their competitors are doing it, and making sure that they stay aware of what those other competitors are doing as well.