What is most valuable?
Easy and cheap High Availability is most valuable for us. Also, the VSA (virtual appliance) version enables us to reuse already installed hardware. You do not need to worry about RAID and components anymore, because even a whole chassis loss does not stop this product.
How has it helped my organization?
We are able to build server clusters without external storage and still provide high availability. We are able to run the VSA version inside the actual servers, thus converging server and storage in same units.
What needs improvement?
The new Quorum Witness function is promising for easier deployment but needs better reliability.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using StoreVirtual solutions since 2010 when it was known as LeftHand.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We have had no issues with the deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have had no issues with the stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have had no issues scaling it.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service is outstanding. Technical Support
Technical support is excellent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We have used many monolithic and traditional storage systems and all proved to not be highly available with single units. However, StoreVirtual can be split into two, providing you the benefit of redundant active data centers without doubling the cost.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup is easy, but the differences from traditional storage requires some learning curve. You need to know about managers concept of StoreVirtual. Fortunately newer versions of centralized management console (CMC) provides warnings when you have configurations that would result in reduced availability.
What about the implementation team?
HPE Installation Services are recommended. Since we are an integrator, we provide this.
What was our ROI?
ROI usually takes about a year.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
If you think about high availability the product is very cheap because it is an all inclusive offering. You need to buy licenses and two of traditional products compared to StoreVirtual.
The VSA version is free for every brand server up to 1TB/node up to three nodes. There is also a 60 day trial for more than 1TB storage. You just need the license key to continue managing the product without reinstalling if you purchase it.
What other advice do I have?
It is the only product that provides High Availability without depending on OS multipath I/O. It looks like a single unit from the outside, thus there is no need for failover/failback because all nodes are active. It is like a metro train compared to a classic diesel train, meaning it has an engine in every car. Adding capacity means adding performance because you are adding controllers, too. We can’t say it is the fastest product on the planet, but it is definitely not slow. High Availability means synchronized replication over the network, adding a little latency but providing High Availability.
Since it is IP-based, it is important to make sure a network problem does not result in the collapse of storage network. It is best to have redundant switches that do not share the same network as applications. VLANS are definitely recommended.
Pay attention to the managers running and make sure your failover manager is not bound to any nodes. A failover manager needs to be alive for smaller clusters to survive complete hardware/network failures. Make sure there is no single point of failure that would result in multiple nodes going down.