HPE 3PAR StoreServ Review

Allows for configuration and use of disks that help us to define both disk performance and availability.

What is most valuable?

All Flash Only

  • Designed as only flash with the xx50 designation. This array was never intended for spinning disk or hybrid use.
  • We have never seen a disk or other hardware failure in over two years.
  • Average latency is less than one millisecond.
  • 3PAR ASIC is the heart of the processing power built into 3PAR arrays and it is built specifically for its role.

Common Provisioning Groups (CPGs)

  • CPGs allow for versatile, yet powerful configuration and use of disks that help us to define both disk performance and availability.
  • There is no need to pre-carve space. It auto-grows and distributes as it is defined. Factor in wide striping, the fact that this is all flash, and the performance and reliability are even better than the other models of 3PAR.

Data Reduction Services

  • The 3PAR and the ASIC really help the CPG to leverage an increase in performance as well as data efficiency.
  • Dedupe is applied to all items inside a CPG. There is no need to manually configure per volume.
  • Features are all inline and there is no post-processing window. The ASIC really shines on faster write speeds with the Zero Detect Algorithm. All zeros are ignored, resulting in much faster writes, not just space savings for blank data.
  • Thin provisioning
  • Thin clones

Native Veeam Support: Provides ease of use for backing up and restoring with the additional integration with Veeam.

VMWare 6.x Vol Support

VMWare Fibre Channel: Reference platform for v6.

Scale up, or out: It does both on demand unlike other arrays that leave you stuck with a single alternative. 3PAR Active Mesh Architecture is quite robust.

How has it helped my organization?

We were quite hesitant on the array size when it was pitched as our replacement of an aged SAN.

We were guaranteed we would get much more space than the physical capacity. (Make sure you get it in writing.)

In reality, their safe numbers were extremely safe.

We were expecting 2:1 as a rule of thumb, but in reality, we ended up sitting at greater than 8:1 across the entire array with all compaction/reduction features factored in.

What needs improvement?

I would really love to see HPE add some cloud analytics. So many other Tier 1 SAN vendors have enhanced cloud analytics and flashy visuals. While HPE has the StoreFront and it is better than nothing whatsoever, other competition offered “shiny” reporting and analytics engines.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the product for over two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues. Its performance and capacity have been even better than expected.

The code updates have been exceptionally smooth compared to our previous SAN vendor. This includes no outage windows and really short upgrade durations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues. This device can scale both up and out. It is exceptionally versatile.

How are customer service and technical support?

I recommend that you always procure the higher support offering with an enterprise product. It will pay for itself.

We went with Proactive Care Advanced, before HPE was offering Datacenter care.

The Advanced Care provides proactive interoperability reports from a dedicated technical account manager. They provide further recommendations on your current configuration if it is not compliant with HPE best practices.

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

Our previous solution was retired due to capacity and performance issues.

HPE really addressed our issues with their recommendation of the 3PAR 7450 for our specific needs.

It’s actually less expensive per Gigabyte than a conventional array when looking at the true cost of ownership. Not to mention the performance is six times greater than the competitor’s device.

How was the initial setup?

The entire setup, from rack and stack, to configuring the array, was shockingly expeditious.

It took longer to rezone my fibre switches than it did to get the Common Provisioning Group (CPG) configured and begin storage with vMotion VMs.

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

Remember, you are charged per disk with a 3PAR array for licensing. Make note of this when considering future capacity. A smaller number of higher capacity SSDs can be less expensive than multiple smaller capacity disks.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC, Nimble, IBM, NetApp, and Pure Storage.

What other advice do I have?

  • Make sure that you are trained on the nuances of 3PAR technology if you select this Storage Area Network.
  • There are many useful features and you need to leverage them to lower the total ownership cost while easing the management of the device.

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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