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February 21, 2012


SAN Winner: HP 3PAR V400

At the end of the day, it wasn’t the minor technological differences that made the decision for us. Sure, we believed that EMC’s VMAXe was the truly enterprise-class array. The ace, though, was product positioning.

We have two SANs. We have a CLARiiON CX3-40 from EMC, which is legacy and as the market sometimes calls it, monolithic. It needs to go. We also have a 3PAR T400, which is as flexible as the day we bought it and has plenty of life left in it, due to its architecture (even though we acquired it in 2008). Thus, when the cards were on the table, only HP had the ability to offer a “free” upgrade to our T400 as well as the new V400.

The upgrade turns our T-series into a multi-tier array with SSD, FC, and NL, and the V-series replaces our aging CLARiiON. EMC tried to compete, but all they could offer was a “deal” less appealing than the original single-array proposition.

Honestly, I felt bad for them, because there was nothing they could do unless they literally took a deep loss (no funny money about it). HP’s solution was the equivalent of two new, good, flexible, low-maintenance SANs. EMC just learned how to be flexible and match 3PAR, so their older arrays (one of which was part of their attempt at competition) just didn’t equate.

It’s going to be another hard sell in 2-3 years when we open the next RFP, because HP/3PAR will now have a monopoly on the floor. Who knows, though? Maybe HP will stumble with their new golden egg, or maybe EMC will figure out how to undercut HP with price while not sacrificing features. For now, the trophy goes to HP. Congrats.


By Chris Gurley, MCSE, CCNA
Last updated: February 21, 2012

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brian
    Apr 19 2012

    Chris, I am in the same boat in comparing HP/3Par and EMC. Currently I have XIOtech Emprise 7000’s. Can you provide some details around your config and pricing you were able to get?

  2. Chris
    Apr 19 2012

    Hey Brian. Thanks for asking, as this provides a good opportunity for a little follow up now that we’ve been live with the V400 for over a month. Regarding the config, we ended up with two nodes, 24 x 100GB SSD, 144 x 400GB FC, and 24 x 2TB NL drives, along with the Dynamic Optimization and Adaptive Optimization features. About as much as I can say on pricing is that this is around a $600K solution, depending how aggressive you and your account team are.

    What won the deal for us was the ability to comp a tiered upgrade for our T400 (added 16 x 100GB SSD and 16 x 2TB NL drives) and just shuffle the numbers around. If we hadn’t had a T-series already on the floor, I don’t think they’d have been able to go any lower, so that worked in our favor.

    Check out the latest post (publishing it right after this comment) about what I’m calling the “AO Caveat”. It’s something to consider when comparing EMC and 3PAR.

  3. Eddie
    Oct 15 2012

    We’re currently looking for a new san and one of the ones we’ve been looking at is the 3par V400. Are you still happy with the purchase that you made and would you have done anything differently?

  4. Chris
    Oct 16 2012

    Hey Eddie. Generally speaking, yes, we’re still happy with our V400 purchase. That said, please check out our other post, “AO Caveat”, as this may affect your decision. Given the opportunity to re-do our purchase, I’d either go 100% fiber channel disks (15K) or I’d try for EMC’s VMAXe solution. 3PAR’s tiering strategy just doesn’t cut it and they waste the potential benefit that cache and flash disks could be to performance. Shout out with any other questions. Happy to help!


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