What is most valuable?
The network RAID is the key feature of the system which, with StoreVirtual, is a build-out of HP servers with software on it. The system creates volumes over multiple “servers”. With network RAID 10, you have two synchronous copies of your data. With network RAID 10+1, you’ve get three copies of the data, and with network RAID 10+2 there are four copies.
Of course, you invest a lot of space in redundancy, but you can chose by volume which network RAID to use. For lower performance volumes, you can even use network RAID five.
How has it helped my organization?
We’ve created two data centers. This allows us to keep working when there are power outages on one of the two sites. The data centers are about 150 meters apart in different buildings.
What needs improvement?
The way iSCSI sessions are handled could be improved. But if your system is designed right, this isn’t an issue. I’m quite curious to see the improvements in the next version because this already is a very mature and complete product.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using it for five years. I spent four years setting it up, and one as an administrator.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
The greatest problem for installation is choosing a place for the “Fail Over Manager” (FOM). This is a third system that allows the systems to avoid a split-brain scenario. It’s not a requirement, but when this is placed well, your system will fail over automatically from one site to the other and back.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This is a very reliable product. I’ve never known one of the dozen systems I’ve installed to fail.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The system is quite scalable, but extra storage means an extra box and, depending on your architecture, two boxes at once.
How are customer service and technical support?
In Belgium, I’ve had difficulties getting the right engineer on site. Storage engineers see it as a server box, and server engineers are not always aware of the storage implications. Phone support is, however, very accessible and accurate.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I also used P2000, Dell EquaLogic and DataCore. P2000 is a lower-end product. EquaLogic didn’t have online replication and automated fail over at the time. DataCore is storage software, and I found it difficult to maintain due to the large hardware base they need to support.
How was the initial setup?
The difficult part about the setup is the network part. You need to configure flow control, jumbo frames, LACP trunks, and, in some cases, spanning tree correctly. Once the network setup is correct, the configuration is very straight forward.
What about the implementation team?
I was part of the vendor team.