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P6500 EVA: That was easy!

CartoonCalvin100X100.JPG By Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy


Last week, I was visiting a customer who just recently got their new P6500 EVA.  I can't say who because I don't have permission from them to talk about them publicly but I wanted to relate some of the conversation I had with them.


The customer is a mid-market to small enterprise type customer growing in their space.  They had about 200 servers in their environment, mostly all HP BladeSystem.  They are an EVA5000 customer, which was the second generation of the EVA.  Their IT is centrally managed by a rather small staff. The IT operations (including server, storage, networking, and the telephone system) is mostly managed by one person. 


The highlights

Here are some of the highlights they told me about:

  • They are mostly an HP shop - providing data services to a broad range of end users
  • They use VMware with 50% of their 200 + servers - and they are continuing to increase that
  • As I said, they have an EVA5000 - they plan to migrate most of the data running on that to the new P6500 EVA.

Our hero - the EVA!

Paul, the network operations manager who does most of the day-to-day management of everything himself, told me that he installed the P6500 himself (even though it is supposed be installed by HP).  Paul said, "The EVA arrived completely cabled on a pallet.  We slid it into its final location, connected network and power, then read the manual to figure out how to log into the management interface.  I created a LUN within two hours of taking it off the pallet."  How's that for ease of use!


Paul also told me that he really got his money's worth out of the EVA5000.  "We purchased the EVA5000 in 2004. The original thought was it was just going to be for email. It grew a lot since then - it's been used for hosting VMware, Oracle RAC, file servers, email system... pretty much everything you can think of it's been used for hosting.  We also used it for testing VDI.  For the six years we've had it, we've easily got our money's worth out of it for all we used it for."


VDI, pronto!

Paul told me that his CIO told them at 3 PM on a Friday that he wanted to see a VMware View (VDI) pilot.  By 6 PM, Paul had it roughly set up on the EVA and by 9 AM on Monday, he showed his CIO the pilot of VMware View running Windows 7 on a tablet off the EVA and a VMware cluster.  Both Paul and Steven said they appreciated that our HP products just work.  Paul also told me he set up the pilot sitting at Starbucks.   


Backup and file sharing

I asked Steven the IT manager to tell me about the other products they are leveraging.  He said, "We had a number of initiatives come this way from management plus some things we wanted to work on which included user home folders, increased departmental file shares, as well as the ability to be flexible with how we showed NFS mount-points.  We got a couple of the X3000 NAS gateways. Giving our operations manager the ability to present storage to hosts in new ways gives us flexibility.  We also have a StoreOnce D2D. By adding those components to our overall infrastructure we can transform our entire backup strategy by using less tape; implementing dedup technology which reduces our backup footprint dramatically."  Their StoreOnce D2D was relatively new - I want to check back with them in few months to see what their dedup ratio is.


Why so much EVA love?

I asked Paul why they like the EVA so much.  Paul said, "The ease of use of the EVA is what makes it a huge win for us because we don't have a large IT organization.  The more stuff that takes care of itself, the better.  The EVA does everything I could want and more.  The big thing with any enterprise hardware is that it just works.  I felt that way about the EVA5000 and I feel that way about the P6500 so far."  


Steven wrapped up our conversation with a great comment: "The EVA5000 has been such a reliable work-horse, it's hard to say goodbye to it. We're thinking about trying to keep it around for archival or disaster recover across our site.  Yes, we've moved into a new EVA for the right reasons - that doesn't mean the old guy is going to be on the street anytime soon."


Given all the FUD we heard over the last year from competitors trying to bury the EVA, I really enjoyed hearing from this customer!

Labels: EVA| P6000| storage| VMware
EVA Zealot | ‎10-12-2011 02:11 PM

Hopefully there will be more and more stories like this. Indeed EVA is "reliable work-horse".



EVA Zealot - Tiho

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