What is most valuable?
For me, the most valuable feature is its flexibility. You don't have to pre-plan everything. With more traditional storage systems, you had to decide on the size of your RAID groups and what RAID groups you wanted. A lot of customers don't know that upfront. The nice thing about 3PAR is you can set it up and just let the system essentially tune itself.
How has it helped my organization?
Since 3PAR is self tuning and it optimizes itself to a better level of performance, then that translates to the application level and the business users can get their functions done quicker and more efficiently.
What needs improvement?
I think it needs to become even more automated, especially with all this new hyper-converged functionality, which is really easy to upgrade. It should also be self-healing. The upgrade process is still quite clunky for 3PAR. It receives an alert from itself and then tells you what to do. At the moment it's not that intuitive.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been working with 3PAR for about four years now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We've had very little problems with stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It can scale as long as the customer's got the budget.
How is customer service and technical support?
Technical support could be better. The guys you get on the phone generally are not very knowledgeable. It can often take a while to go through several levels of support to get to the solution.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup is relatively complex.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I think the license structure is quite transparent and fair.
What other advice do I have?
I'd say are the main two qualities vendor must have is good product and good technical support. Obviously, they must also have a reasonable price.
3PAR is reliable. Although it takes a little bit of time to get set up, once you get set up, it runs itself. The other nice thing about it is that, the 3PAR scales from small to large nicely. Not like other vendors where you have to have several solutions for different size environments.