HPE Primera Review

Easy to deploy, performs well, and the cost-per-capacity is good

What is our primary use case?

This product is used for all of the backend, core storage infrastructure. We migrated from spinning-disk, so it has the same type of workloads. It is 80% virtual machines, and then file services, and database workloads.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the ease of deployment.

Integration with the compute capacity is good, as this is just the storage component.

Orchestration and management are good.

The performance and capacity-based costs are also good.

Another advantage is that HPE sells everything. This includes all of the capabilities of the hardware, like replication, snapshot, and other specific features. They are all included from the get-go, as opposed to everything being separate and in another budget. When you buy it, you can do whatever you have to be able to do with it out of the box.

What needs improvement?

On the software side, in terms of integration, everything gets aligned with the software-defined data center concept, which means that everything needs to be done programmatically. There is room for improvement in this regard.

On the hardware side, you should have the ability to expand capacity to larger numbers.

I would like to have the ability to do direct file services. This is a block-based solution, so if you need to do file services with it, you need to put servers around it.

From the controller side, if we could have NAS capabilities then that would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between Primara and it's predecessor, 3PAR, I have used this product for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a rock-solid product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is the product that is running the data centers for the shop, so everybody in the organization will be affected one way or another by what is there. Currently, we have 6,000 people.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very well organized. There is a feature called Home, where the hardware calls to their NOC and reports and alerts or events. Then they have a pretty standard protocol to call back. They're quite insistent; they'll send you emails and if you don't acknowledge then they start calling.

The mechanics of the support is very well put in place. 

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

We use the HPE 3PAR in addition to Primera.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Professional Services installation is embedded in the cost. The setup can be done by the customer but it's a pretty sophisticated solution, so we use the vendor Professional Services. It was not a third-party on top of the cost. Rather, it was included in the options that we chose.

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

The price to capacity ratio is good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had a selection process with all the major vendors, and we ended up with this solution in part because of stability. One of the primary reasons we selected it is because we can buy storage and compute from the same vendor and everything gets optimized. Obviously, everything is designed to work with one another.

What other advice do I have?

I will definitely recommend this product. I'd say that anybody looking to implement it should do their cost analysis very carefully. There's a multitude of solutions, but some of them are more software-oriented. The math can become fuzzy, but once they figure out the financial aspect of it, I think from a purely technical perspective, I highly recommend it.

In terms of quality for block storage, it is one of the best on the planet, if not the best, in my view. If they had block storage, NAS, and iSCSI out of the box then I could rate it as perfect.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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