There are several valuable features, including the easy-to-use application and straightforward end-user tools. That's been helpful for me and there's nothing complicated to learn. The reporting and charting are also actually quite good. I use the reports when I want to see performance, like how the discs are performing and how the AL is moving data to and from tiers.
Improvements to My Organization
I think it leverages our investments of using this multi-tiered storage approach. We have SSDs, we have SAS, and we have inline SAS, so we're able to have a lot more teams running in one environment rather than having to build separate environments, and understand which applications need high performance and which don't need high performance. 3PAR does that thinking for us using it's adaptive optimization. It's been successful for us. The technology is sound, they used 3PAR quite heavily in our organization. It's been a quite good experience.
Room for Improvement
It needs better statistics and configuration. The system allows too much human input. It's automated enough, but it wants you to determine some of the settings. If you do them wrong, you can make a very good system perform badly. If you do it well, you can make an under-permissioned system perform very well. There should be more best practices that they suggest, not "okay, what do you want."
I'd also like to see better real time performance rather than charts and graphs you've got to go in all the time. It'd be nice to have something running all the time, like a real tool from which you can actually see performance of what's actually happening rather than having to go in all the time and generate them. Real-time notifications, real-time performance statistics. They have those, but they're all command line and I can't keep the session running all day on some screen. You have to go in to get them and you can't really provide a thumb display for customers to see.
Deployments haven't been an issue.
It's been quite stable. There's been things that have broken for us, like discs and some other ports, but the system still works.
It's been quite scalable. Since we bought this one in the summer, we've expanded twice, so it's quite scalable. Now it's over 200 terabytes and 176 discs, I think. The maximum is 250 on this one. It's not the biggest 3PAR, but it's quite powerful actually.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Technical support has been very good. The guys on the line are knowledgeable even at level one.
The initial setup was straightforward. I don't think it was too complex. We've used other technology that's much more difficult to use. I haven't had 3PAR experience before, mostly Dell and Hitachi and some other EMC.
Other Solutions Considered
We evaluated Hitachi and we chose HP because of the price and ease-of-use.
Plan what the I/O needs are. You need better statistics before you buy something. Really plan to see what the loads are.