HPE StoreVirtual Review

The implementation of StoreVirtual has allowed us to create cross site storage volumes, allowing VM’s to migrate freely between data centers. I find it rather tedious to manage.


Valuable Features

The StoreVirtual software provides us with a highly resilient storage platform for virtual machines.

Improvements to My Organization

Prior to the introduction of the StoreVirtual VSA, our four domain controllers resided on local disks in each data center (two in each site). There was no functionality for cross site migration and in the event of a data center failure, we were left without 2 DC’s for the duration of the outage. The implementation of StoreVirtual has allowed us to create cross site storage volumes, allowing VM’s to migrate freely between data centers. In the event of a data center outage, potentially all 4 domain controllers could be running from one site.

Room for Improvement

I find it rather tedious to manage. To give an example, I was upgrading one of our very first management groups from 10.5.00 to 11.5.00. The VSA VM’s were deployed from an older OVF template (which is running out of, but still in support). I contacted HP support prior to upgrading seeking advice and best practice guidance. I upgraded the LeftHand OS version to 11.5.00.

A month or so down the line, the partition OS drive on both VSA VM’s was full – causing the cluster to go into an operational, not unmanageable state (cluster was not writing any logs, was unable to do root cause analysis of issue that had occurred). The only way to clear this partition was to log a call with HP support and have a remote session to allow them to do so (they have to provide a password to access the support shell of the VM’s). The partition of these VM’s cannot be increased as it may corrupt the OS. I now have to plan upgrading both nodes in the cluster.

Use of Solution

This solution has been implemented in our data centers for approximately four years, and I have had personal experience with this solution for two years.

Deployment Issues

Deployment is reasonably simple.

Stability Issues

Stability can become an issue if you are planning on deploying a multi-site cluster – you need to ensure you have the appropriate links between each data center to allow the storage to replicate.

Scalability Issues

I have deployed StoreVirtual in single data centers and have not encountered any stability issues. Scalability is also reasonably simple.

Customer Service and Technical Support

On a whole HP Technical Support is very good. Staff have great knowledge of the product which you would expect. However, as I said previously, they failed to warn me about upgrading older versions of the VM’s.

Previous Solutions

StoreVirtual was chosen by our Head of Infrastructure as he wanted a product that provided highly resilient storage replication with our IBM hardware. StoreVirtual is a good product if you are a non-HP customer, however if you use HP hardware I would recommend using Peer-Persistence, essentially a hardware VSA rather than the software based product – it is much more reliable. We are moving to two new data center 4th quarter of 2016 and we will be using HP hardware (3PAR) and Peer-Persistence and StoreVirtual will be decommissioned.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is reasonably straightforward, I have deployed it in a number of remote sites. I was not involved in the initial setup in our data centers as I had not joined the organization at the time.

Implementation Team

StoreVirtual was already in place before I joined, but it was implemented in house with the assistance of an HP engineer who provided best practice guidelines.

ROI

Our return is a highly resilient storage platform that allows us to place all our tier one services on, i.e. domain controllers, DNS, exchange hubs, etc.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Your licensing will depend on your scalability, licenses are available in 4TB, 10TB, 20TB and 50TB. Licenses are assigned by MAC address of the NICs on the VSA VM’s

Other Advice

It would depend on who your hardware vendor is. As I stated, if you are an HP customer I would recommend using their hardware VSA Peer-Persistence, but if you are a non-HP customer then StoreVirtual is a reasonably good product.

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