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HPE Primera Alternatives and Competitors

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Read reviews of HPE Primera alternatives and competitors

PH
Solutions Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table."
  • "I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a pre-sales architect. I architect, and I sell them as a partner with Pure Storage on the VAR side. Our customers use it for storage, mainly block-based storage and virtualization storage. Some solutions have both block and file storage, and some solutions only have file storage from Pure. 

How has it helped my organization?

It provides additional protection against ransomware threats. If you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or some kind of malicious attack, you can revert your data back in time to a previous version or snapshot.

What is most valuable?

One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table.

Scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades are also valuable. They're not using flash just for your tier one storage needs. They're recommending flash for data protection and archive backup, which is the way to go.

If you get the gold support, which is what I sell and recommend for my customers, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades, which is another feather in Pure's cap. They make several claims that once you move to Pure Storage, you can take your team of five dedicated storage admins and trim it down to just one person. Their mantra is getting customers out of the game of managing storage and letting the vendor manage the storage. They want to see their customers just consume storage. They have non-disruptive upgrades. You just set up the software and hardware and just consume the storage. They're continuously looking at the dial-homes, the logs that are automatically sent, and fingerprinting potential issues before they're even a problem. That cuts down on a lot of support tickets the customers have to open up. They'll proactively open up tickets when they see something in their analytics on a particular customer's array and recognize that one of their hosts might have a certain HBA with a fault or a bug. They reach out and open a ticket. So, you get your system upgrade, patched, or whatever is needed to resolve the potential problem.

What needs improvement?

I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings.

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. They can work on the price to make it more competitive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. I have not heard any of my customers having issues with FlashArray. It is very solid. They claim 99.9999% availability. I haven't had any problems with outages with my customers. 

They have another product called FlashBlade, which is a different type of storage appliance that Pure does for unstructured files. FlashBlade doesn't rank as high in reliability as their flagship FlashArray product does. The FlashBlade product is a notch below. It is a newer product or code, and I have heard of some issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. It scales up instead of out, which is typical for a block-based appliance. It is very easy to add expansion shelves or disks. You don't need to worry about shuffling drives around and creating RAID groups. This is all legacy stuff. Most vendors are now the same, but I really think that Pure led the effort for non-disruptive upgrades. They coined the term, and other vendors have since followed suit. They're the leader in the industry for that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their regular support is good. With gold support, Pure's support personnel takes care of both software and hardware upgrades. The only difference between free support and gold support is that you don't get free hardware upgrades with free support. If I understand the offering correctly, software upgrades are still included. 

How was the initial setup?

If we're just talking about Pure Storage, it is straightforward and simple. You can get it up in minutes as opposed to hours that some of the other solutions take. Compared to its competitive solutions, Pure is very well known for its simplicity and ease of use, especially during setup and initialization.

A single 2U appliance from Pure Storage for block-based workloads, including rack stack and initialization, is ready to be provisioned to your servers in an hour or an hour and a half to the max. It is definitely straightforward.

If you get the gold support, Pure's support personnel will take care of both software and hardware upgrades. So, you don't have to manage storage. Pure takes care of that.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing.

They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to chose well. Prepare to have extra time on your hands to focus on your business's core needs and outcomes and not having to worry about the day-to-day maintenance of your storage appliance.

All my customers are pretty happy with most Pure Storage solutions. They might ask for customization level, but I think Pure is doing the right thing by its set-it-and-forget-it approach. Most customers don't need to fine-tune and customize their all-flash storage appliances anymore. It is not a legacy spinning disk appliance.

I would rate Pure Storage FlashArray a nine out of 10. Its pricing sometimes plays a big part where customers might go in a different direction, and that's the only reason why I'm not giving it a 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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MV
Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly graphical user interface and simplifies reporting for easy management

Pros and Cons

  • "There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems."
  • "HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour."

What is our primary use case?

We use HPE 3PAR StoreServ for data storage. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had something in the contract because if you can compress data very well, you don't need that much capacity in your systems. If it was not possible to compress to a certain degree, they put some extra capacity in the systems. We bought that borrowed capacity but they separated the one-piece storage boxes added to our environment to get along with that bigger growth in capacity. Despite that, it is a wonderful system with an excellent graphical user interface. Still, new functions are being rolled out.

How has it helped my organization?

I've seen a lot of data storage systems. It's the only storage system you can watch over the application time and it keeps measuring it. We have some thresholds on our end on it, a very good graphical user interface and reporting. 

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of screens for easy management where you can change some settings. But after a few years, the important settings were better after an upgrade, and all the vendors have other ways to upgrade their systems.

What needs improvement?

HPE 3PAR StoreServ has limited flexibility in building replication solutions. There are limitations to the number of IOPS the system can do. It's not bad as it is doing its job. However, for the application, if you need a toolbox, you can build everything concerning periodic replication modes of synchronous or asynchronous three-site, four-site, with supported cascading which requires you to buy an IBM product. 

It also takes a few hours to one day to upgrade the system and sometimes; it takes more time because, in some HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20000 Storage, you have an eight-node system. If you do an upgrade, you do it node by node and every node might take more than an hour.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using HPE 3PAR StoreServ for the past seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Last year after summer, HPE had to locate replication groups getting stopped and took a lot of time to find out what's happening, and yet we still don't know what's happening over there. It feels like the message is quite clear after replicating from A to B, and it states that B is not responding very well.

There is a timeout, and it stops the replication group because there is no stability or consistency and is not good at that moment. So that might be negative, but when was the last time? I think in November of last year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At one point, some remote copy groups stopped working, and we used a disaster recovery plan because, in production, we replicate everything from A to B and then split up into some remote copy groups, gathering together some data source and clusters. If one of those remote copy groups stops, you don't have DFP anymore and you have to restart them. And last year after starting one of those replication groups; we had some performance issues because they're trying to get in sync as soon as possible using all the resources, so we had to plan very well outside the business hours.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have proactive datacenter care; I call it a storage advocate, and we can send every question to them and we get quick answers. They also help to find out if new releases are available and other services. For now, they have more insights on that. They have better sources sometimes, and I have better sources than them sometimes, but they do a great job and they also assisted us concerning the compression issue we had at the beginning.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is quite difficult to decide on the cost. At one point, I was the project lead to cover with some people, but the price was important and we had its compression calculated. At that moment, it was fair because that was one of the things moving their product due to the cost of HPE 3PAR StoreServ as they were competing with Hitachi and IBM A9000, which I'm not sure if is still available. 

We have done total cost of ownership calculations over the past five years, and we also ask for some cost prices for the sixth and seventh year so that we can get some insights into what happens after those five years. We have some systems that are five years old and we keep them because it's flash data storage. It's still almost a three terabyte solid-state drive, and the support cost is not that high. We'll have a look after that. I see other things happening on the Hitachi boxes with all those license defeats. This is also positive for HPE 3PAR StoreServ, everything is on the license. When we bought the systems, it was the case and then I've been reading something about it. You can buy the rest of the licenses. If you buy a system, that will not be replicated to another system, then you get a license without replication software.

What other advice do I have?

The job of direct channel support to HPE 3PAR StoreServ is not an end of life or end of support but HPE Primera has now replaced it and I hope they get all the functionality in there like the HPE 3PAR. I remember it seems like HPE 3PAR and HPE Primera have support for volume plugins and that will be a big game if they can implement volumes on their system because that kind of release is much better than the datastore level.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Abdullah Mahmood
Network and System Administrator at TWD Technologies Ltd.
Real User
Top 5
User-friendly with good documentation and the capability to scale

Pros and Cons

  • "We've found the solution to be very stable so far."
  • "The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily a file infrastructure. It contains all the virtual machines for our company.

What is most valuable?

The solution is still new to us and needs to be explored more.

The documentation is excellent so far. 

The solution uses all flash. The connection to the server is a fiber connection. It's very fast. 

The possibility of expanding is very good. It offers very good flexibility.

The price point is pretty decent. 

The product is user-friendly. The setup process is easy.

We've found the solution to be very stable so far.

What needs improvement?

We need to spend more time with the solution in order to detect any shortcomings. So far, we haven't really seen any.

The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for two months. It hasn't been that long just yet. It could be maybe less than that, as we just recently installed it and we decided to go for it about three months back. About one and a half months ago the implementation was completed and we started using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. We haven't detected any bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has the potential to scale quite well. If a company needs to expand it, it can.

However, it is a hardware, and you do need to take scaling into account early on. We can grow with the hardware we have and put on new drives, et cetera.

We have approximately 200 employees, and anyone that's connected to the network, those files are stored on this particular solution. Therefore, even if they aren't aware they are using the product, they, in fact, are.

How are customer service and technical support?

Personally, I haven't directly dealt with technical support. That said, apparently, it looks like it is quite good. The support is proactive. My system is already connected to IBM tech centers. They can highlight predictive failures, for example. My assumption is that they are quite good, although I can't yet peak from personal experience.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Dell EqualLogic. We switched, as we had used it for close to six years and it needed to be replaced. Initially, we thought to replace it with another Dell EqualLogic product, however, after comparing different brands, we landed on this.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is definitely not complex. It's not difficult. They make it straightforward and user-friendly. A company should have no problems implementing it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price is quite good. We find it to be rather reasonable overall. When you compare it to other brands especially, the price is quite good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other solutions, including and updated Dell EqualLogic and HPE.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

We are using the latest version of the solution at this point.

I'd recommend the solution. Everything is fiber from start to finish. I don't need to use a fiber switch. It's an expensive component. However, IBM says I don't need it and I can do I direct line from my own source. It's a supported solution. It's very good.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten so far.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MR
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Great architecture and verification features

Pros and Cons

  • "Good architecture and produces a lot of IOPS."
  • "The solution needs to be an active-active controller."

What is our primary use case?

The companies that bought this solution from us use it for VMware. They have also used some Oracle in the Red Hat operating system. It's mostly used for the VMware environment. The companies we provide the solution to are generally medium size; one of them is a hospital and the other is an agency that controls the sale of gas. We are partners of HPE Nimble Storage and I'm the technical manager of the company.

What is most valuable?

A valuable feature for me is the architecture which is pretty good. We have a good throughput and we like that they have a lot of IOPS and low latency is also pretty good. And we also like the verification features because we get some good things with the method Nimble takes to duplicate. If you have a hybrid secondary storage, it allows you to do remote copy, data recovery and business continuity with the solution. And the integration with some other solutions is also good. For now, Nimble has a way of integrating with each solution, it's very good. 

What needs improvement?

When I'm competing against someone, I would like Nimble to be an active-active controller. As it is now, Nimble is an active-passive controller. If the customer is looking for an active-active controller, then we can't use Nimble and have to go with Primera. Nimble gives us a lot of good things, but without the active-active controller, it's pointless.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for a year. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is pretty good. We do the iteration ourselves, because we have the experience and we provide first-hand support, given the service qualifications that HPE expects from us. Beyond that, Nimble has good support, because it also has Infosight, another value-added solution for Nimble. Infosight has around 10 years of log collection. We provide good first line support to our customers and I think it's important for them to have that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nimble competes against IBM Storwize and Dell. The main reason we went with Nimble was that we have over 10 years of experience with Infosight.

What other advice do I have?

We'll use this solution more in the future. With what I see now with the segregated hyper-converged infrastructure, I think that Nimble is going to get a lot more clients because hyper-converged solutions are a closed box and customers want this kind of solution. Customers felt that with the hyper-converged solutions, their hands were tied.

I would recommend this solution. It's been around for over 10 years, working with machine learning in artificial intelligence. It has inline deduplication for all flash storage, and a hybrid version that gives a lot of features. It's an architecture that's based on the controller.

The only drawback of this solution is the active-passive controller, otherwise I rate it very highly.

I rate this solution a nine out of 10.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Daniel Aramayo
Implementation and Support Engineer at PRACSO S.R.L.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reasonably priced, scales well, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward."
  • "I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for cluster applications and databases. We use the solution on the DBA and those that use double machines.

What is most valuable?

Being able to have broken files on-site on the same appliance is quite useful.

The newer version of NVME has a really noticeable difference in quality versus the last generation. It's better in terms of latency. It allows for so much more input.

The initial setup was extremely simple and straightforward. 

The stability is quite good.

We've found the scalability to be excellent.

The price of the product isn't too high.

What needs improvement?

To be able to do the welcome files simultaneously on a lower version would be helpful. 

I general, we don't really have any pain points when dealing with the solution.

The solution should improve its logon requirements.

I'd like to see the product implement active replication for vehicles such as VMware.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been very good and very reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. Its performance has been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale if you need it to. It offers good scalability.

We have already expanded capacity and installed additional chokes and it works perfectly, with no downtime and no impact on production.

We do have plans to increase usage in the future. We're looking forward to installing more clusters and extending the offering.

While we have five main users that manage the arrays, we have many, many general users of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex or difficult. It's quite simple and very straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for licensing on a yearly basis. We're pretty happy with the cost. It's reasonable and not overly expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this solution, we evaluated solutions from HP, IBM, and Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners. 

While I would recommend the product to others, I would also advise that they try it out first via a proof of concept if they are not so sure about the solution. It's free and they can experiment with all the features in their own environments.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. We are very happy with the product overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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554,873 professionals have used our research since 2012.