HPE 3PAR Flash Storage Review

Ease of management has cut our storage administration workload significantly


What is our primary use case?

It's primarily used as our primary SAN, storage area network. We store all sorts of data and VMs on that particular set of disks. It's for local data center usage. We have three data centers now, one in Atlanta, one in Dallas, one in Provo. We aren't doing any site to site replication. It's really just localized and we're trying to get to a point where we are actually doing site to site replication for DR and things of that nature.

The performance is good. We enjoy it. We like it.

How has it helped my organization?

The ease of management is what changed. Where we had, in simple terms, about an hour's worth of work, it has minimized that to maybe one-tenth, or something to that effect. Instead of us having to do a lot of steps to ensure that our environment is where it needs to be from a storage perspective, because of the ease of management, the UI differences, it has allowed us to manage our environment.

What is most valuable?

  • The intuitiveness of the SAN itself, a lot of the built-in logic and functionality
  • The tiering that it uses to determine what type of disk is best for the various types of workloads
  • The automation that is built in 

We used to have EMC and we have found that it's a lot easier to manage.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is very good. No issues thus far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't really had to scale it yet. We got a pretty large footprint initially. I think we've added some SSDs, some nearline disk. But from that perspective, no issues, no complaints.

How is customer service and technical support?

Most of what we have had to engage support on has been, "Hey, how do we do this?" or, "Hey, I see this, but I don't understand. What can I do?" We've had pretty good experiences so far.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had a set of vendors come in and do proofs of concept to help us better understand what options and features were available. Based upon what we found with HPE and 3PAR - I wasn't actually a part of the initial assessment, this is all stuff that I heard when I came on board - it just was the best solution for us at the time.

How was the initial setup?

My team was involved in the initial setup and I managed the team. We had three resources that were a part of the setup, so they were onsite with the engineers. They got a week or so of training each. That was pretty much all we were a part of during the initial setup.

It was probably complicated because most of our team were used to EMC and it's a different kind of mindset. Even today, there are a lot of things that we haven't leveraged because we simply don't have the expertise. Over time, though, as we've used the tool, we've become more comfortable with it.

What was our ROI?

I don't know if we've done enough analysis to gauge ROI yet.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As far as I know, we had three vendors on our short-list: HPE, EMC, and a third vendor I don't recall at the moment.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely learn the features of the product, what it takes to actually administer and manage it, what type of resource load is also required. It's not necessarily a tool that enables anyone who says, "Hey, we bought a SAN, go take it over." It really takes someone who has an understanding of and background in the tool, maybe even a little background with HPE. Just make sure you fully understand what you're getting into.

I would rate it a nine out of 10. We've been fairly satisfied with the product, we haven't had any issues. It's definitely not something that you can easily jump into without that initial set of knowledge to help you understand how to use the tool. From our perspective, the way we went into it was backward. We bought and then learned, instead of learned and then bought. That has been a part of our hurdle but, overall, it has been a good product.

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