Re: Avoid at all costs
I just got my 7450 installed last week and upgraded to 3.2.1 MU1 (as far as I can tell that is the first release that supports dedupe and it is *brand* new (the ISO on HP's ftp site is dated Oct 30).
from the PDF
"After upgrading to HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU1, customers with an SSD CPG can provision TDVVs(Thinly Deduped Virtual Volume)."
the 3.2.1 release notes don't mention dedupe, only 3.2.1 MU1 (above link has release notes for both versions in one PDF)
So find it kind of hard to believe you've had much time to test dedupe at this point. Dedupe would obviously get it's best value on something like VDI (never used VDI myself and don't foresee that changing anytime soon).
As a customer since 2006 I have been very happy, even more so to have such a mature platform offering all flash and dedupe etc.. The initial footprint of our 7450 (4-node) can fit almost 200TB of raw flash alone (that is assuming they don't release larger drives in the future which I'm sure they will have larger drives). Cost was really good too. Even if there is no dedupe it will pay for itself quite easily in performance and scalability.
I exchanged a couple emails with a friend of mine who works at Pure Storage (who used to work at 3PAR) and he said they do get beaten by 3PAR on price (not on data reduction - 3PAR doesn't support compression yet). Just hearing 3PAR beating someone (esp a smaller player) on price is just foreign to me. Most of it comes down to the very large SSDs and how they can get much lower $/GB as a result.
I don't have anything yet connected to my 7450, been busy configuring new vmware servers and other things -- but in the next few days will be storage vmotioning 1-200 VMs over to it. I don't expect much savings from dedupe until we move some databases over. Short term it's just playing around with it, see how it runs, probably won't have time to move much production stuff on it until our holiday "freeze" starts at the end of next week.
I have never used AO -- never really liked the concept of sub LUN tiering(on any platform was never sold on it), I always wanted to see a real array-based flash cache(that can cache writes), and it seems now after 5+ years of me pleading for it they are getting closer.. caching reads on a 90% write workload isn't going to do shit for me.