HPE StoreOnce Review

An extremely stable solution that's fast and offers a good deduplication ratio

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for backup storage.

How has it helped my organization?

Nine years ago, we were relying on backup tapes only. Now, since we've moved to StoreOnce, as per the legal and compliance perspective we still have to use tapes, but we have reduced usage a lot. We don't have to transfer the tapes from one side to another side. That task has been reduced because we have StoreOnce in two locations, and we take backup on one appliance, and that appliance is replicated to the other side. The backup and restore speed is very fast, compared to tape. There is less administrative work. 

What is most valuable?

The speed and deduplication ratio are two of the most valuable features of the solution.

What needs improvement?

I'm using this product to save some files. It has a feature where I can make it as an SMB share. When I started using it for CIFS, the SMB share, had a limitation of 1,000,005 only. Considering 1,000,000 objects are in one share, it's too limiting.

The appliance doesn't have global deduplication, it has StoreOnce deduplication. It does not deduplicate across the appliance, it will deduplicate in one particular store. With global deduplication, I could store more data.

This appliance currently doesn't have SSD drives. I'm not sure if new models include them, but I believe if they can include NVMe or SSD drives as a cache device, they can increase the backup speed a lot and that can help with the global deduplication.

One of the reasons to not enable global deduplication was to not impact the backup and restore speed, but I believe if they include a cache device like NVMe or SSDs, then the drawback of enabling global deduplication can be removed. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. After nine years, I have yet to have a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. When we bought the current model, 6500, we bought around 200 TB of capacity, and we are using more than three TB of data. In terms of scalability, we can go from 200 TB to 400 TB to 600 TB, or more. They also provide cloud banks, but I don't think we will be requiring that amount of storage in the future. Because of deduplication, we don't have to add so much physical capacity. Even if I add 32 TB or whatever the minimum capacity is, it can still hold lots of terabytes of data.

We have 1,300 users and three admin who are maintaining the solution. We use the solution every day to run backups.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

We didn't have another solution previously, in terms of backup storage, but in terms of software, I have used some other products like Windows deduplication. This solution, however, offers reliability and stability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Deployment took less than one hour. We have three admins, but I am the primary admin, so you only need one person for maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

An HP consultant came to assist with deployment.  Deployment assistance comes with it when you buy the solution. Our experience with the deployment consultant was good.

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

The license is part of the hardware. You don't need to buy or renew it separately.

StoreOnce comes in a package: hardware and software. All the licenses come with it. Software licenses for backup solutions like Data Protector you do have to purchase separately, but in terms of the backup appliance, it comes with all the features and the license as part of it. You have to only purchase the application license but that is very cheap.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate Data Domain from EMC, but I didn't like it because Data Domain has other limitations. In terms of density per rack, it was using more rack capacity. Also, they were selling three different products, so it was adding too much complexity. I decided to go with StoreOnce.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the private cloud deployment model.

If you purchase the product, you will have peace of mind. You don't have to worry about the product at all. My only advice is, get it installed by an HP consultant, not by a third-party or partner, because the HP team will give you the correct advice before implementing. I strongly recommend going through the HP publishing best practices guide, for each and every hardware they have released as well. StoreOnce also has a best practices guide from HP. It will be a 10-20 page document. Go through it, and it will really help you to architect or design the solution prior to implementing it.

I would rate the solution 8.5 out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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