HPE StoreVirtual Review

We use two 4530 shelves in a mirrored SAN configuration, and the ability of the system to virtualize the two shelves as a single storage system is very important to us.

Valuable Features

We use two 4530 shelves in a mirrored SAN configuration, and the ability of the system to virtualize the two shelves as a single storage system is very important to us.

Improvements to My Organization

On several occasions, we’ve had a complete power failure at one of our two SAN locations, yet all of our VMs continued to function because the VMs that were running on the downed SAN simply moved to the other SAN without the need for operator intervention. With most other mirrored SAN solutions, the VMs would need to have been manually moved to the other SAN location. With VSA, however, it’s automatic and transparent.

Room for Improvement

The management system, while OK, could be made a little more user-friendly.

Use of Solution

It was installed in April 2015.

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

It’s been very stable. We've had no issues with instability.

Scalability Issues

We haven’t outgrown it yet, but if we need additional storage capacity in the future, we can simply add another shelf.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We haven’t needed any technical support yet on this product, but our previous experience with HP SANs was pretty good.

Previous Solutions

We previously used an HP LeftHand P4500 SAN, the predecessor of the HP VSA. We used it for 5 years but switched to the new one because HP support was ending on the old one and we were out of capacity.

Initial Setup

We used an HP partner for the initial setup and configuration. Overall, it was pretty straightforward, although it took a few weeks to get everything “tuned”. Initially, we were getting alarms when moving VMs from one volume to another but bonding the NICs increased the storage bandwidth and resolved the problem.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I definitely recommend purchasing from an HP channel partner as they will handle the licensing. HP licensing can be a very arcane and difficult process and it is best left to the experts. The pricing was comparable with most of the other vendors we looked at.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at a number of products from EMC, Nimble, and Dell, but only the HP VSA could automatically run the VMs from the other SAN in the event of a SAN site failure.

Other Advice

For mission critical systems, I would only recommend this product when used in a mirrored configuration. Unlike other SAN systems where virtually everything in the device is redundant, the HP VSA is basically a server equipped with a bunch of hard disks and special software. Only the power supplies are redundant so there are many more single points of failure compared to other SANs. While other SAN vendors put the redundancy in the same device, the redundancy of the HP VSA is provided by virtue of the two independent devices. What is unique is that the two independent devices appear as a single storage system to the virtualization network and the switching between devices is done by the HP software.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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