Since HP won the $2.3B battle over 3PAR, they have brought the enterprise-class features of 3PAR storage into a mid-range solution offering. This pre-configured, converged storage platform combines HP 3PAR software with HP EVA storage arrays and HP BladeSystem ProLiant server hardware.
SearchStorage.com recently published their 2013 purchasing intentions survey, and concluded that:
- The largest chunk of IT budget goes to storage systems
- 60% of companies say they are using more storage because of virtualization
- 25% say cloud storage services will play a major role in their future strategy
Because the largest chunk of an IT budget is spent on storage, I asked Softchoice Solutions Architect Adam Wolfson to give us his opinion on why HP 3PAR storage may be right for you.
Solving for capacity pains
Without shared, networked storage there is no virtualization with scale. HP is using 3PAR SAN technology to deliver efficiency and agility to virtual, cloud and IT-as-a-service environments. They claim their thin technology can reduce disks by 50-75%, admin time by 90% and the costs of a system refresh by 60%. When a solution architect tells you they can reduce your storage purchase needs by 75% with this solution, it means less equipment to house, fewer disks to power and cool, less hardware to maintain and an overall reduction of your company’s carbon footprint.
Wolfson likes that the efficiency, performance and resiliency of a Tier 1 enterprise storage system is now available at a mid-range price point and says,
“The idea here is that 3PAR plays in the high-end space and HP brought their solution down-market with their arrays; into the $30-40k price range. HP 3PAR should be grouped with the likes of EMC’s vMac and Hitatchi’s VSP – the highest end enterprise class arrays.”
Is it really the most efficient storage array like HP claims? Wolfson explains,
“With this solution you will need half as many hosts for the number of VMs. Having twice as many virtual machines on each host effectively doubles your virtual machine density. Keep in mind this is geared towards Tier1 and mission-critical workloads.”
Is 3PAR right for your environment?
Customers who have the following should consider 3PAR:
- A heavily virtualized environment with a 150-200+ seat count
- Managing 10TB of data or more, like finance, media or engineering companies
- Companies with a large number of applications – this solution is good at supporting a large set of applications that you might need a bunch of storage arrays for or intelligence to support.
- Companies looking to support Tier 1 and mission critical workloads with a mid-range price point.
If you want to dig deeper into 3PAR architecture, download the HP 3PAR Architecture white paper (pdf), or view the HP 3PAR Utility Storage – Storage without boundaries for Cloud video on YouTube.
If you want to dive deeper into HP’s 3PAR software offerings, download HP’s 3PAR Tier 1 storage for virtualization and the cloud brochure (pdf).
Where you should start
This conversation really begins with budget. Write down your hard costs (purchase price, maintenance and service, people, space and power) and soft costs (improved productivity, employee retention, footprint reductions etc.) to compare them to your TCO (don’t forget to add CAPEX and OPEX expenses for the life of the product). With those numbers in hand, you will see the quantifiable benefits of this solution.
What you should do next
Softchoice offers a Storage Assessment and a Workload Optimization Assessment.
You will work with a Softchoice storage expert to refine the scope of your project and help you correctly identify business issues. Then, a Softchoice solutions architect can build the right configuration and even assist you in building a business case to secure executive approvals! Contact your Softchoice rep or email us and we can help you get started.