What is most valuable?
Its catalyst store and deduplication are valuable as it saves disc space. I'm not sure what the ratio is, to be fair, but it's significant. It's something silly like 240 terabytes if they were all expanded and it's occupying something like 20 terabytes, or something like that.
We haven't had the need to use reporting, but we've still got capacity and don't need to dive in. At some point we'll start reaching capacity, and we'll need to start drilling down a bit more into what it's doing.
How has it helped my organization?
We brought it in to transfer all of the services that were old and creaky onto a single platform. So we back up all of our VMs and all of our SQL boxes to it.
What needs improvement?
If it could do scheduling, then perhaps I wouldn't need to have Data Protector as a backup product. Data Protector is a software layer that schedules every night into the VMware layer and says, "Back these VMs up to the StoreOnce device." And it goes through the Catalyst stores and does all the kind of stuff that StoreOnce does. If StoreOnce could initiate the backup itself by a scheduling mechanism, then potentially we wouldn't need to have Data Protector do it, which would take something out of the chain for me. There's no problem with Data Protector, it's just something else. If I can keep it down to hardware and not have to go through a software layer, I think I'd get better performance.
For how long have I used the solution?
We brought it in a part of a whole HP infrastructure about 18 months ago.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We've had no issues deploying it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We've never had an issue with stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We've got four trays of discs, and I think we can add another X number of trays, so it's not going to be endlessly scalable, but it's going to be scalable up to X.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had blades, 3PAR, and some fabric switches. We looked at a way to consolidate all of our backups. So, we had technology like Tivoli and CSN, and we had other little bits of backup, and we thought we'd go for a single product. As a part of the transformation, we brought in Data Protector, and that basically backs itself off to the StoreOnce.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We consider HP, and the pricing we get is good and reflects that. If it was an open marketplace, we'd look at anything and everything because we'd evaluate the marketplace for cheap D-to-D devices.
What other advice do I have?
We use it to present virtual tape live-link to our NetApp so that we can backup our NetApp for NDMP to our StoreOnce. So virtual tapes are the concepts of a physical set of tapes. Imagine you've virtualized it, and you have to give it a size on disc, which because it's a virtual tape, it doesn't have to have the same constraints as a physical tape of four terabytes. A virtual tape can be X terabytes. We originally put them in and sized them too small. And when I had to go back, and we had something like 400 tapes. I had to edit each tape and increase its capacity so that we got better value out if it. I wish I could have just Shift-Select-Edit and changed it, which I couldn't do. So some level of automating that task cause you can imagine, going through 400 tapes is a lot of work. It can happen, and we didn't know at the time, and lesson learned. If we put another StoreOnce in with more BTLs, we'd know perfectly to set that size to be higher from the start. So, the advice would be if you're using BTLs, set them to your preferred maximum because you might not be able to batch.