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What is most valuable?
Some of the valuable features are that we’re able to regain ROI off of our tier one environment, so we’re able to take archive data, legacy data, put that on, give it retention tagging, and retention timelines, and then it’ll be able to be purged at a later date. Instead of using up our Tier 1 storage, which is about a $1.45 a gigabyte, we’re able to leverage tier two storage with dedupe and compression, at 35 - 45 cents a gigabyte, so that to us just made sense.
How has it helped my organization?
In terms of benefits that we’re seeing, we’re definitely seeing improved backup times. We went from two and a half hours to four hours for backups -- down to under ten minutes. So, the amount of recouped administration time that we’re gaining is astronomical. From a stability perspective I think StoreOnce has definitely been extremely stable for us.
We didn’t really have a D-R-D-P solution and I think it really compliments our blade environment in taking a lot of the data that we have around the organization that’s legacy, and looking at that, looking at last touched date, things of that nature, we’re able to really leverage archiving now, and that’s something we weren’t able to do before, because we were keeping all of our backups in our Tier 1 storage. We really didn’t have a location to have an enterprise data recovery, and data protection strategy and now we do.
In terms of the way that we feel, or the way that I feel about StoreOnce, I think it definitely provided us with the opportunity to give the business something it never had before, and that is a true guarantee to the data that we have. So we’re able to really protect and fortify our archive data, instead of not being able to restore in times when we actually need to have the data available.
What needs improvement?
From a feature functionality perspective I think overall having some more mobility tied into it, having the ability to have applications that you can use on the go, that can give you kind of an overlay of the overall health and welfare of your data protection and data recovery strategy, being able to do simple things, like having run books. I think those are some of the things that we definitely want to get into. I’d like to see that develop a lot more.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
From a scalability perspective, some of the things that are intriguing to me are we have the ability to scale as the business needs and we can also contract, so we can be fluid. We can move when the business needs us to move, we can back up, we can make sure that we have all the pertinent data that the organization needs, and also have the ability to restore it quickly, and not tie up production systems and production storage while doing that.
How are customer service and technical support?
I think HP, by far has some of the best technical support I’ve ever encountered. I was just telling a story in regards to how we started doing business with HP. HP came out and serviced us, and we weren’t even under contract. The same day, same night, and made sure our organization was whole come the next day, and for an eight billion dollar company that really resonated with us. That was the precursor to our decision to move forward with HP and we’ve been really happy ever since.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
In looking at criteria from a tier two storage perspective in terms of data protection and data recovery, I think cost was definitely one of the factors that we looked at. We looked at response time, we looked at integration ability, and I think coupling that with the environment that we had, we’re a 98 percent virtualized organization, from a virtual server perspective, and I think tying that in to our already HP environment, really weighed on the decision for us to move in the StoreOnce direction.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
From a solutions perspective, in terms of what we’re doing from data protection and data recovery, we knew that we needed to have a tier two solution in terms of storage. We looked at many different avenues within the market, and we really felt that from an ROI perspective and a total cost of ownership perspective, that HP StoreOnce was really the way we needed to go, so we built our data protection and data recovery strategy around that using HP and Veeam. That actually helped us to build RTOs, RPOs, and real SLAs and OLAs from a restoration perspective to the business.
There were other vendors on the short list, and to be completely honest, they paled in comparison. We were actually considering an EMC product, DataDomain, and Exagrid and they just didn’t have the compute power or the price point that we really wanted to be in, so we just leveraged the HP relationship that we already had and went complete StoreOnce, and we’ve been extremely happy with it so far.
What other advice do I have?
Researching advice I’d give to my peers: I would definitely say do your homework. Do a true comparison between everybody in the market. That way you will actually be able to see the benefit that HP provides at the cost point, at the total cost of ownership, ROI, and also from a performance perspective as well. Depending on who you’re using from a backup solution perspective, StoreOnce, is gonna work with anyone.
Getting a full understanding of who the players are in the market, you’re gonna see that HP is definitely a major player in that space. Really understand your business, really understand what your strategic goals are, really understand where you’re going from an organizational perspective. That will give you insight into how you build your data protection and data recovery strategy. Some of the things that we did were we sat down with operations, we sat down with legal, we sat down with finance, and we defined what that was as an organization before we ever started looking, so definitely do your homework. Make sure you understand where your business is going before you go get a solution
In researching solutions I think peer reviews are definitely important. I think knowing for yourself is also important, but definitely do your research, definitely listen to what the market is saying, and above all else, go see it for yourself. Take a demo, look at it, look at what they’re saying, help them prove it to you, really understand what your requirements are and how the solution maps back to your requirements. It’s really all about that. If it’s a map, and it maps back, you got to be able to prove what in the solution maps back to what your requirement is.
Leveraging data from your peers is definitely important, but making sure that you truly understand what your requirements are, and what in the solution maps back to your requirements is key for success.