Watch the full video review here
What is most valuable?
So I’m not the technician, I don’t look at all the different bells and all the things it does but for me the space that it uses is a valuable feature. The compression ratio has been much better than our past solution. Our SQL database backups are getting 56:1 compression ratio and to me that’s incredible. Some of the other stuff is a little less but we’ve got an average of 25:1 and that definitely beats what we had before.
How has it helped my organization?
Well benefits that I’m seeing on the StoreOnce are definitely the speed to recover. I can trust the data is there. When we had the quantums in the replication it was taking up to a month, the data would be partial. I trust the data so the benefit is that the data is there. If somebody calls me and needs data recovered, I know I have it.
What needs improvement?
New features, I don’t know. I expect HP to know that stuff and they’re asking the questions and other people smarter than me know what they need. It does what I need right now. There’s nothing that I could think of that it’s missing.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I don’t like to talk about these things but so far stability on the system has been perfect, no issues. So I have two 4300’s and that came with Catalyst which was new to that platform. So when we had the systems put in the technician that came out actually hadn’t seem them before. So that was maybe the only hiccup but they did a great job installing them. I didn’t have to do anything with it and it’s been running ever since.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
My impressions of scalability would be- I’ll never need to much add more space. They did a great deal with me, they doubled the space I asked for. I have enough room for years, but it also is very easily scalable. If I need to put in more trays I can.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have not used technical support. Now HP as a whole, I have on other servers and things like that but for 3PAR I actually haven’t had to use support yet and, like I said it’s been going on two years. I’m happy with that, I’m sure if I had to call them they’d be right there.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The solution that we had for backups was Quantum for the software NetBackup. We still use NetBackup today, we like it but the quantums were aging. The maintenance agreement on the quantums were costing us a fortune and it was actually cheaper to get something new than keep the old one running. The quantums had gotten to a state where replication between them was no longer working. It would take about a month to replicate.
Hardware was starting to fail on a regular basis and we knew we needed something. We’re a primary storage with EMC so we did look at Data Domain, but I buy a lot of stuff from HP. I knew their storage was great so let’s go look at the backup solution and HP just came in with a good price, I thought it was a good product. We bought the StoreOnce, so it’s two years ago now today and you know they’re running good ever since.
How was the initial setup?
It was extremely straightforward and I think this is typical for any of the vendors. I mean I don’t have all this experience but what you’re talking about is just a storage platform. It’s just disk so all they need to do is put it in, present it so that the backup can see it and that was done and it was done by the tech in just a couple of days, and we had it up and running in a week with a whole new backup catalog and it was very easy.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did look at NetBackup, they had an appliance but it was about twice the cost. I didn’t look at Quantum because we didn’t have a lot of success with them in the past. I probably could’ve looked at them but it didn’t feel like a partnership with me with them.
With everything that I buy from HP, I just don’t feel like a customer all the time, I kind of feel like a partner, and at Shields Health Care we like to collaborate and partner with people.
What other advice do I have?
And it’s tough to say, what I wanted to look at was the data has to be accurate. And so if we’re backing up patient data, it’s critical. I mean everybody says their data is critical, in healthcare it’s critical. If I need to restore something I need to know it’s there, I need to know where it is, I need to know I can get it fast.
With the quantums we also had a tape solution in place and those tapes were offsite, sometimes it would take a couple of days to get the data back. So what the StoreOnce allowed us to do was to also get off a tape, which was important to me. I don’t trust tape, a lot of people do. With StoreOnce, I know this data is there and I can get it quickly. The speed that we can recover files now is incredible. Even if it’s something small it’s not critical. Say a user loses an email and we backed it up the night before, you can get that email back in seconds. It used to take us a long time.
We’d restore the entire mail store. You’re looking at the entire afternoon just to get some files back. We’re happy and with this upgrade we also upgraded NetBackup. So it’s not to say that the stuff that we had before wasn’t capable, it was time to get a new solution.
I did a panel this week on going into backup solutions. One customer was still using tape, recommendations for them was to go to StoreOnce. For me the maintenance has been cheaper, the implementation was easy, it's small product that doesn’t take up much space in my data center, and it’s been reliable and out-performed what I had used previously.
Peer reviews, anytime I pick up any new solution I like to know that a customer has already done, so I did reach out and talk to other folks that had been in the same situation. It’s tough to get the same exact situation but they had me call a couple hospitals in Boston. They all had great experiences, same ease of deployment that I saw, so those are very important to me. I like to know that someone else has done the same thing and had some results.