What is our primary use case?
We use it for our file shares, our virtual hard drives, and for all of our Hyper-V clusters. It stores everything, like backups.
We have virtualized almost all of our servers, except the ones that require high I/O, like maybe our SQL Servers. Everything else in the entire organization runs off of our 3PARs.
We actually aren't all-flash, but we do have flash drives for our hottest data which is used most often. This definitely makes everything much more efficient.
How has it helped my organization?
The 3PAR arrays replicate offsite. Everything is safe and optimized. There's automatic promoting and demoting of blocks, moving hot ones to the flash storage and the less used ones onto Nearline storage. This optimizes everything and uses the resources to their best ability.
It has increased performance since we added the flash drives. Originally, we had 2-Tier storage (the Nearline storage and SAS storage), but adding the flash storage really improved performance by maybe 30 percent.
We can cut a VM quite quickly, so we can probably stand up a workload in half an hour. So, the time to deployment is quite good.
We have been able to back up our data more frequently now that we have everything on flash. It responds a lot faster, so the IOPs are a lot faster.
What is most valuable?
The failover/failback: Just to keep our mission-critical stuff running all the time.
The solution’s deduplication functionality has helped us save a lot of space. People save their files over and over again or email them around, then everybody has a copy of the same thing. Therefore, the deduplication is very helpful.
What needs improvement?
if it were easier for us to manage the product ourselves without having to get HPE to connect, because it sometimes it does take a bit to get the scheduling worked out with the HPE support. If it were simpler, then it might be easier for us to handle it ourselves.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability is very good. We have HPE connecting in remotely to help us with any of the major firmware updates. This keeps everything running great.
It has not failed us yet, so it is very highly available and error free, so far.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We could add more drive cages, so I'm sure it's quite scalable. We haven't hit our limits yet, so we haven't had to do that. However, it's supposed to be quite scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is very good. We bought the support package where they will connect remotely to help us with upgrades and firmware changes. So, it's very solid.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Previously, we had all sorts of different storage arrays, e.g., the MSAs, which are also from HPE. We also had just servers with hard drives in them scattered around everywhere. Now, we have centralized everything onto the 3PAR arrays.
How was the initial setup?
It was a little complicated to set up originally, as it takes quite a bit of rack space and we are a small organization. Once it was set up, it was well worth the effort.
What about the implementation team?
We bought through a reseller called PC Corp in Alberta, Canada. PC Corp was very good.
What other advice do I have?
I would definitely recommend it. It is a good fit for our organization, and if it works for you, that would be great too.
File Persona is now included, so we might explore doing file shares straight off of the 3PAR array.
We do not use HPE GreenLake.
Biggest lesson learnt: The initial pain is worth it.