What is our primary use case?
It's our primary storage and we are using it within two of our datacenters with replication between them. Actually, that part is currently being implemented.
Overall, performance is great. Personally, I'm fully satisfied, even when we had some problems, failed disks or some bug in a software version, HPE would always be fully proactive. They would actually tell us of the problem, even before we were aware of it.
How has it helped my organization?
For me, personally, I think the most important value is really the way HPE is treating us as a customer.
What is most valuable?
I would say that now that we even have flash storage on the 8200 models, it would be the deduplication. We were hoping to use the automated tiering much more, but it's not a good fit for us. Although the technology works great, due to our workload, it's really not an option for us. So, I would definitely say the deduplication on flash drives.
For how long have I used the solution?
Three to five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Downtime, never. I have heard of other customers having some serious issues. I personally am not the type of person that would say, "they are now the bad guys," because it can happen. It's technology.
Overall, in my experience, maybe one of the worst was when we suddenly got a lot of different alerts. It caused some stress within our team, but later on it proved to be a bug in the firmware version. I think in two-weeks' time we received an update that resolved the issue. So, I really think it's stable. It's a good choice for the price.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I can say it is scalable because initially, when we bought our first 3PAR, we extended it up to its maximum over the years. That is the part, maybe, where I see room for improving for HPE. Extending is not a problem, scalability is okay. But once you buy additional box of disks, you have to wait for HPE to contact you with their plan for implementation, for connecting, and it can take several weeks. So, you have the box and you have to wait for several weeks to actually implement it.
How are customer service and technical support?
In terms of reaching the right person, actually, the way it goes is that they call us.
Of course they contact us via the partner, but they contact us, and the response is great. Everything is within SLA.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had different storage. For instance, we used IBM storage. When the time for replacement came due to age of the old storage, we actually performed a tender. So, we didn't start with, "Okay. We are buying 3PAR." But, through the entire tendering process, we reached the place where it proved to be a good decision to buy HPE 3PAR.
How was the initial setup?
I think storage implementation is never so straightforward, but I would say it's among the simplest to implement.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
IBM. We went with HPE because the decision was, in the end, based on price.
We had a list of required specifications, invited several vendors, they offered what they could. But in the end, when you get all of this matched, then the price decides.
For me, when we last did a purchase, last year or so, at that time flash drives and the deduplication were really important. Actually all of the vendors have it, offer it, but then we had some discussions looking at overall performance, resistance to disk failures and the like. I would say that HPE is the leader here.
What other advice do I have?
In terms of the most important criteria when selecting a vendor - I'm saying with a small disclaimer, I'm saying this personally, so it's not the company - for me, the most important is always vendor support. We have, of course, contracts with partners that implemented the solutions, but I think that vendor support is mandatory in the way they are supporting you through the lifecycle of the product. It can overcome any problem the technology may deal with.
I give it an eight out of 10 overall. Whenever I rate something, I'm immediately going subtract one because I'm really reluctant to give a maximum grade, so say, "Okay, now it's nine." Well, there is room for improvement, and the way that the implementation of extensions goes is one of the examples. But, overall, I would say we are fully satisfied.
I actually do recommend HPE 3PAR because, for me, it proved to make my life easier.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?
7200 and 8200