By Tilman Walker, HP Enterprise Storage Consultant
Imagine a customer that is the world leader in their market (no specifics, but they are in the environmental friendly energy business). The customer environment is very (!) dynamic - and this is mostly due to their fast business growth. In their environment it is hard to perform proper capacity planning.
About 12+ months ago the customer had outgrown their EVA installed base and was looking at some "big iron" - so the account team offered the HP StorageWorks XP24000 with Thin Provisioning (THP) on the complete frame. HP and the customer perception was that THP was the ideal approach for this environment:
Allowing them on-demand fast creation/allocation of additional LUNs (change comes unpredictable in their environment)
Ensuring optimal performance by leaving data distribution to the array (largely offloading the data layout work from the storage administrators)
Brings the EVA ease-of-use to the high-end environment
Said and done: THP was implemented on ~400TB spread across 2x XP24000 with ~300 servers (mainly Windows, some VMware, some Unix). Data was migrated from the EVAs using External Storage/AutoLUN. What worried the customer originally was to run out of space in one of their THP pools. Since then, their worries have ceased and space utilization is under control - of course, the first capacity upgrades are already under way.
Net result is that the customer is very happy with THP (just confirmed in a meeting!). THP is a perfect fit to allow them to survive in their dynamic environment. Performance measurements show a perfect average response time across all LUNs (as you would expect from THP). But, of course, a big part of this superb customer satisfaction is owed to the great HP Services personnel on-site.
So all in all, a well-working, stress-free XP Disk Array with THP environment. All I wonder is: why don't we use THP in considerably more customer environments!?!?!?!