vSphere Storage Appliance

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  • 1.  3Par storage

    Posted Apr 07, 2011 09:27 AM

    I have beenr ecently introduced to HP 3Par storage. I wanted to udnerstand by experience if someone has used it for VMs and how is the performance using 3Par storage?

  • 2.  RE: 3Par storage

    Posted Apr 07, 2011 01:31 PM


    Note: This discussion was moved from the VMware ESXi 4 community to the VMware vSphere Storage community.

    Good Luck!

  • 3.  RE: 3Par storage

    Posted Apr 07, 2011 03:59 PM

    disclaimer: I work for 3PAR/HP now, although I was a customer running their storage for 3 years before I joined the dark side of a vendor role.

    I ran tens of thousands of VMs on 3PAR storage, including on the older model S400 and the newer T800.  The thing performs like a beast - there is a reason that the current record for performance on SPC-1 is held by a 3PAR T800 configuration.

    You'll also find that 7 of the top 10 hosting providers (including the 6 of the top 10 that use VMware) run their stuff on 3PAR storage.

    Do you have specific questions besides looking for references (which we have hundreds of)?


  • 4.  RE: 3Par storage

    Posted Apr 08, 2011 10:45 AM

    I am planning to launch cloud services and was looking for EMC Clariion before knowing 3Par. Servers would use VMs using vSphere. I am not fully aware of their RAID methodology, no Hotspare etc. so I thought I will take some feedbacks before deciding on it.

  • 5.  RE: 3Par storage

    Posted Apr 08, 2011 04:07 PM

    So here's a whitepaper on using VMware with 3PAR:


    As far as RAID methodologies and sparing disks:

    3PAR splits every disk into 256MB chunklets, and forms RAID sets based on those chunklets, not based on entire drives.  Those chunklets are then used for all storage requests in the system, including requests for RAID1, RAID5, RAID6, sparing, snapshots, etc.  So, any given disk will likely be participating in multiple RAID levels at the same time.

    As for sparing specifically:

    There are three kinds of chunklets within the system: used, free, and spare. Used chunklets contain user data. Free chunklets are chunklets that are not used by the system. Spare chunklets are designated as the target onto which to “spare” (or move) data from used chunklets when a chunklet or disk failure occurs, or when a drive magazine needs to be serviced.  To ensure that there is always enough free capacity in the system for drive sparing, a small portion of chunklets within the system (usually the equivalent capacity of four of the largest size physical drives) are identified as “spare” chunklets when the storage server is first set up. As drives are added to the system over time, additional chunklets are assigned from the new drives to increase the size of the spare pool.

    As a result, failed-drive rebuilds take very little time on a 3PAR array, because we are using the parity data (which is spread across almost every drive in the system with our wide striping technology) and rebuilding it back to every drive in the system (the spare chunklets).

    Hope this helps.   If you have further questions, you know where to find me, and if you want a proper demo or presentation on the basics of 3PAR, let me know and I can get you set up with a local engineer.