HPE 3PAR StoreServ Review

Very stable, easy to scale, and allows us have tiered storage and distribute RAID for any volume

What is our primary use case?

I use 3PAR as the standard storage. The main production is VMware, and it is connected to 3PAR across fabric switch. The fabric switch between them is MDS Switch and Notebook 8. We also have a Hyper-V environment, which is connected to the same storage. The main service is the exchange service. I have a public cloud and a private cloud. I use 3PAR as a private cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

In our organization, the storage is not detected from the first day, so I don't have the workload. The workload is run in my environment, and 3PAR is the best solution. If I have a workload from Thursday, I don't make the adaptive optimization on this because 3PAR is collecting all the storage and doing all tiering of the storage. If I have another disk from a new line, 3PAR makes it as tiering and adaptive. When a VM has more rights about the storage, it will make such VM of a higher tier. It can make it a C-tier. If the VM has a need for more IOPs, they need to use the scale command every time. This VM will move to another tier, and after the weekend, I will schedule adaptive optimization to check if this VM needs this tier or not. This way I can make all the storage tiered. If the workload is big and needs more IOPs, it moves the VMs from one tier to another tier. This is the main advantage. 

What is most valuable?

3PAR is different from other storage solutions because it uses a chunklet when we initiate the storage. Every disk is submitted as a 1 GB chunklet. This chunklet can be RAID 1, 4, 5, or 6. This fabulous feature is very useful for me because I can distribute the RAID for any volume. 

The adaptive optimization is the biggest feature in 3PAR. 3PAR is very usable with thin volume because it detects zeros while writing. Every time I tell the hypervisor to make the full provisioning, it makes the volume as simple provisioning in 3PAR, not full provisioning. Other vendors take this volume as thick provisioning because of which the capacity is reached quickly. It doesn't happen in 3PAR because it detects zeros. It only writes the data, and it doesn't write zeros. There are two processors in 3PAR: the ASIC processor and the main processor. The ASIC processor detects zero writing and doesn't write it, which is a big feature in 3PAR.

What needs improvement?

File Persona can be better. I don't use File Persona because it has many problems with my environment. The antivirus that it has is not compatible with File Persona, and that's a big issue with File Persona.

3PAR is not as good as Dell when making a file in the storage. 3PAR for a block is very good, but when comparing row capacity, I get 14% capacity with 3PAR, but with Dell, I get 60% capacity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable because the controller is active-active. It is more secure if you make the best design and make two fabric switches around that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

3PAR is easy to scale up and scale out. It can serve a production workload without any problem. To scale up, you can have another inclusion in 3PAR. To scale out, you can add another controller. You can also have more IOPs in your production. 

We have 5,000 users of this solution. The main workload is in 3PAR now. I will also implement 3PAR on another site.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their live technical support is available 24 hours a day. When I open a ticket with them, the support calls me within 30 minutes and schedules a meeting to show the issue.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have PowerMax from Dell. I also have Dorado from Huawei in my environment, which is all-flash.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. I power on 3PAR and take care of the cabling. 3PAR is managed by two components: a services processor and a server component. The server can be a virtual appliance or a physical appliance. 

For upgrading, I take different configurations from the services processor. I update a package on the servers, which makes it easy to upgrade in production. For initial configuration, I do an upgrade offline, and it is easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is lower in price as compared to other vendors, such as Dell. As compared to Huawei, all storage solutions are expensive, including this one.

What other advice do I have?

If you are a new company and you need more capacity, availability, and scalability, you can choose 3PAR. Otherwise, you can choose another storage. When you put 3PAR, you must tell the customers about the usable capacity from the first day, not the row capacity.

I would recommend taking the official course from HP for 3PAR before performing any tasks. This is because 3PAR is not easy to manage in your IT environment. You must know everything about storage and how everything is written in the storage.

I would rate HPE 3PAR StoreServ an eight out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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