What is most valuable?
We're using the Apollo 4200 as a data capture system. The most important things for us are the amount of storage on there, the ability to configure it, and change the configuration so we could do the network captures we need at very high data rates. It meets our network requirement of being able to capture up to 40-gig with a small form factor.
How has it helped my organization?
We are moving from existing 10-gig environments to a 40-gig environment. The ability to capture those high data rates is really important to us. We need to know what's going on in the network. We need to be able to explain to our customers any issues or problems, and where they might have occurred.
What needs improvement?
We're looking for faster capability to write to drives. We're fully loaded with all the small form factor drives loaded into the system. It is practically at the limit of the capability supported by the architecture. So we need new solutions, new types of drive capabilities, and faster bus speeds.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is good in terms of stability. We are struggling a little bit with some of the configuration we need to do, particularly with write capability to drives. That's the only part where we struggle with getting the solution going; but we've had significant conversations with HPE, and worked through a load of issues. We are actually getting the solution that gets to our capabilities.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We tend to only use a single rack-mount server for what we're trying to do. The ability to keep it small, reduce the footprint and reduce costs are the most important things that the Apollo 4200 gives us.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support has been very good. We've been given access to senior HP personnel in America. They've given us lots of guidance and help in actually configuring the system.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were previously using the older DL 380's with MSA drives. We knew their limitations using the fiber channel in terms of the transfer rates we could get out of it, for example, but we needed something that would work with the move to a 40-gig network environment.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was fairly straightforward. What we're trying to do with the solution added to the complexity; so we needed some guidance, mainly on how to configure the way the drives and everything were allocated to enable us to actually do the captures. From that initial build to where we are now, it's taken a little while to get there; but it is a fairly complex system.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at four or five different vendors. Some of them were talked about very expensive solutions. The HPE solution cost about one-third less. Taking into consideration the cost, HPE gave us the ability to actually do what we wanted to do. Also, the relationship and being able to talk to them was important in our decision. Getting access to their technical people is very important to us. We've been an HP user for many years.
What other advice do I have?
Not many companies will have a similar type of requirements as we do. But if you need a low cost solution with a low footprint, then the Apollo 4200 is an ideal system for that.