The dedupe benefit, the granularity of specifying different retention and different policies for dedupe, you can go without dedupe, too. Sometimes you have applications that are doing compression and don't need the dedupe benefit. You have all that versatility in this scalable product, for sure.
Improvements to My Organization
I'm a storage supervisor in the media and entertainment industry. We use the StoreOnce and the 3PAR, as well. Our previous solution was tape only solution. We looked at the StoreOnce as a valuable stepping stone to get a lot of our backups done without the use of tape, so it was sort of an intermediary device to accomplish that goal. We're partnered with HP. We came alongside HP and they offered this solution as a viable alternative.
The stability has been rock solid. We have not had issues. There have been other platforms we've seen problems with. Other than sheer capacity in terms of size, the throughput has been adequate, so we haven't had really any issues to speak of. It's a scalable solution that gives us a lot of versatility. We're able to put these devices in remote locations if we need them, to help offload the tape infrastructure, and really meet the requirements of the site, whether it be the retention or the off-siting capability. Then, as those sites grow, we can expand them. It does give us a lot of versatility. The upgrade process, my understanding is, I haven't been directly involved, but it has been hitless. There really has not been downtime to do these.
Customer Service and Technical Support
The technical support is fantastic. Yeah, we've had a great experience with the StoreOnce device. We've even gotten folks on site when we've needed them to do firmware upgrades and those sorts of things where our technical abilities don't quite cut the mustard, so to speak. You know, we're pretty satisfied with where things are at right now. I can't speak to what we truly need in the coming weeks, months, years, from the StoreOnce platform, but I think what I've seen here so far, some of the solutions being offered as far as integration with the 3PAR would be an area that would be really interesting to see.
Other Solutions Considered
On the short list was to continue with IBM. We were in a TSM environment, and we had been with TSM for years and years. The HP Data Protector solution with the StoreOnce on the backend seemed like a logical next step for us, because we have other HP products in-house, including the 3PAR, for some of our tier one storage needs. I would give it at least an eight or a nine. Yeah, it's a rock solid platform for us. It's got a very direct application, and purpose. It's not trying to meet many, many needs like some of the file services platforms do. It's a backup and it does its job.
I think it was mostly a price win, really, between the two. The pricing that was offered in conjunction with a lot of other purchases we've made with HP made it a very attractive offer, and the technology behind it was solid and passed all of our testing needs. It just seemed like a logical fit for us. Sure, with StoreOnce we were actually seeing quite a bit of dedupe benefit where we weren't getting any dedupe before, so we're actually getting reports generated where we can see the dedupe ratios for various datasets that we're actually backing up. Basically the net effect is that we're using a lot less space to do our backups, and it gives us the versatility to spin off certain backups to tape, or to replicate off-site or to just let age out in the system and get overwritten.