HPE StoreVirtual Review

It has allowed us to expand our available ESX storage without replacing arrays or adding hardware.


Valuable Features

It is an affordable alternative to hardware SAN and is seamlessly compatible with our vSphere 5.5 hosts which are sitting on HP Proliant hardware. The 'valuable' feature is in essence the product itself - virtual storage.

Improvements to My Organization

It has allowed us to expand our available ESX storage without replacing arrays or adding hardware. It also helps with vMotion and provides disk space for extra clients on hosts with under-allocated CPU/Memory.

Room for Improvement

The key element is whether virtual storage is the right choice, and what hardware you are going to use. I suppose I could wish for less latency, but that might be coming from configuration as opposed to actual product support – especially since I only see latency on one of the two VSAs that we have deployed.

The things that I wanted almost three years ago when we purchased, have already been improved. Those would have been limited licensing and minimal support documentation. A good alternative might have been to hire an integrator familiar with both HP and VMWare products.

Use of Solution

We've had it for about three years.

Deployment Issues

We had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

The stability has been exceptional.

Scalability Issues

The limitations of two hosts and 10TB per VSA is acceptable for the cost savings.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

We use a third-party vendor, so my excellent customer service experience is due to my local contact.

Technical Support:

HP technical support has always been good when dealing with enterprise products.

Initial Setup

The initial setup for the VSA was straightforward, it uses an OVF virtual appliance. I did have to refer to highly detailed instructions for the vSphere configuration for NICs and iSCSI software adapters. Since this is a virtual SAN, I use only software RAID 0 and no snapshots - those are better handled by the HP hardware arrays and vSphere, respectively.

Implementation Team

Since we are a small enterprise shop and I have fairly sophisticated knowledge of both storage and virtualization, I did the implementation myself. I recommend that unless you have solid knowledge of designing and configuring your hypervisor environment that you use an experienced consultant.

ROI

Since our gain is roughly equivalent to having a small hardware SAN, and we purchased during a BOGO promotion, I would estimate our ROI somewhere around 900%.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It comes with three years software support, but I've never had to use it.

Other Solutions Considered

We compared VMWare VSA to HP StoreVirtual VSA. At that time, the VMWare solution was limited to a single VSA per datacenter, and we use two of the HP VSAs between four hosts, so that was our deciding factor.

Other Advice

It is an excellent alternative to small hardware SANs if you already have the disk space on other servers and adequate network bandwidth for your level of disk activity. I can only comment on use within a vSphere environment, but in my experience, it is simply awesome. I would like to warn that before implementing a VSA, you should thoroughly evaluate your storage and network requirements. Good design of a VSA implementation is just as critical as good design of a hardware SAN.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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