HPE's MSA, a rock solid dual controller SAN, for multiple possible configuration for multiple deployment needs.
Overall Satisfaction with HPE MSA
We utilize the HPE MSA as the SAN of our VMWare ESXI infrastructure in both our main office in NY and our disaster recovery site in New Jersey. We utilize the fiber channel configuration of the MSA, both connected thru a fiber channel switch and also directly connect to the MSA. The business problem it addresses is a full redundant SAN solution for our infrastructure. Ensuring business-critical applications remain operational if there are any hardware issues with the MSA. This is achieved with the dual controller configuration as well as having multiple host bus adapters. Giving us redundancy for controller failures and HBA failures.
- The HPE MSA gives us the flexibility to determine the RAID configuration of the array so we can maximize its storage capacity.
- The HPE MSA's dual controller configuration allows us to upgrade the system's firmware without incurring downtime in our infrastructure. We can upgrade each controller on the array without affecting the LUNS provisioned to our VMWare ESXi environment.
- With the flexibility of the configuration, we can utilize either a direct connect setup, utilizing a fabric switch, iSCSI, or a direct SAS connection.
- HPE's support is excellent. Troubleshooting issues and part replacements are easy and engineers are readily available to work on issues.
- Collecting support logs from the HPE MSA could be better. It takes a long time to collect logs, sometimes so long your login times out.
- The HPE MSA could have a better management GUI. The layout of the menu, having the navigation buttons all around the edges is odd. It would have been better if it was in just one location.
- The drive type and capacity options available can be better between the small form factor and the large form factor. We would have liked better options in the future.
- A positive ROI of the HPE MSA is the ability to configure the RAID set of the array to our requirements. We can maximize the storage capacity of the array improving our ROI.
- The flexibility of configuring the HPE MSA is another positive ROI. In our production environment, we can use a fiber channel switch while in our DR office none of that redundancy is required so we directly connected that MSA to our VMWare servers.
- HPE's support is another positive ROI. We have been able to connect with support right away to troubleshoot an issue. Part replacement is also excellent, ensuring our HPE MSA is not in a degraded state for long.
- The HPE MSA's architecture is rock solid, there have been minimal issues with the hardware, besides the rare time that an SFP has gone bad and needed to be replaced. We've had no issues that brought down the MSA.
The dual controller configuration of the HPE MSA trumps the Synology DiskStation's single controller configuration. For that alone, I would select the HPE MSA. Without that setup, any controller issue or firmware upgrade is disruptive to the systems the SAN is providing storage to. Furthermore, HPE's support is better than what Synology currently provides. The lack of phone support on Synology's part slows down the troubleshooting of issues compared to HPE. Furthermore, HPE's engineers are able to do a remote session and can work on the problems directly compared to Synology's support.
Do you think HPE MSA delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with HPE MSA's feature set?
Did HPE MSA live up to sales and marketing promises?
I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process
Did implementation of HPE MSA go as expected?
I wasn't involved with the implementation phase
Would you buy HPE MSA again?
The HPE MSA is best suited for basic SAN requirements. Having dual controllers provides redundancy and allows for firmware upgrades without incurring downtime to the environment. It provides enough IOPS for most workloads be it VMWare or servers requiring storage. For applications such as MS SQL or Exchange, other SAN solutions would be better. Plus the lack of storage snapshot capabilities is also a detriment to the product line. Lack of any reporting capability is also an issue especially when determining workload capabilities.