HPE 3PAR Flash Storage Review

Streamlines our storage purchases, improves performance

What is our primary use case?

It's our primary storage for our VMware environment. Performance has been excellent. We don't have multiple business needs. It's just focused on our virtual storage.

How has it helped my organization?

It has really improved performance. Before, we just had different storage devices based on different needs - so we didn't have to buy all-flash for everything. We couldn't do tiering. 3PAR was the first device that gave us that ability. It has really improved how we can streamline our storage purchases, as well as performance. It has done well.

What is most valuable?

Multi-tier storage was the primary reason that we bought it. I also love the interface that you use for administering it.

What needs improvement?

I haven't really thought about what a future release should contain. We've liked what 3PAR has so far.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very stable. We've had very minor issues, but I've loved how HPE is proactive on letting us know. Usually, they let us know before we notice it ourselves and they already have a solution for us. It has been great that way.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have used tech support a couple of times. Usually, it's just involving them in upgrading the service processor or upgrading the OS on the appliance. They have been really good.

The only drawback on it is they seem really busy. We get a critical notification when an important patch comes out, but sometimes it's a month before we can get this critical piece on because they just don't have time on their schedules to do it sooner.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Our main reason for switching was based on age. We weren't having major issues with our storage, but we try and replace things on a five-year schedule, at that level.

When selecting a vendor the biggest factor is a vendor we know. In the past, we had used one that seemed to be leading edge. I had a guy on the financial side that was pushing more for that. He really liked how that vendor didn't require you to purchase their drives. You could use off-the-shelf, enterprise-rated drives, so the costs of expanding the array seemed to be cheaper going that way. But after two years that company went belly-up and disappeared. This time, even though there were a couple other vendors he liked better - Nimble was actually one of them at the time, but they were still new enough that I pushed back - I said, "Nope. I'm going with somebody whose name I know."

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward, very easy to do. It took a couple of hours. It wasn't very hard. We only had about seven servers that we had to connect to the three chassis, so it was very easy.

What was our ROI?

The biggest thing is we haven't had to buy multiple, different storage devices. That has reduced our costs significantly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nimble. At the time, Nimble wasn't an HPE company.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate 3PAR a nine out of 10, primarily for a couple reasons. First, we've never had problems with it. It has been super stable, it has done everything that we've wanted it to do, and the performance is great. Second, I never give anything a 10, because there are always improvements that can be made.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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