PolyServe Partners With 3PAR

User reports savings, improved performance over an earlier configuration

December 13, 2006

3 Min Read
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3PAR and PolyServe are jointly marketing the hardware supplier's thin provisioning SAN with the software maker's server clustering, in yet another multivendor storage networking combination aimed at consolidation and efficiency. (See 3PAR, PolyServe Partner.)

The partnership includes a pairing of 3PAR Thin Provisioning and Dynamic Optimization platforms with PolyServe Database Utility and File Serving Utility software, which runs under Linux and Windows.

There is no actual integration: This is a joint marketing agreement only. Customers will still have to shell out full price for both products, and they will still have two vendors to deal with in support.

The starting price for a typical eight-CPU PolyServe software package is $52,000. 3PAR's Dynamic Optimization runs between $15,000 and $25,000 for a tiered-storage configuration with 30 Tbytes to 50 Tbytes of Fibre Channel capacity. Thin provisioning configurations often run between $20,000 and $30,000.

Despite these factors, at least one customer has found the arrangement a way to consolidate suppliers. Nancy Pejril, director of technical operations and quality assurance for Homescape, a division of Classified Ventures, says using 3PAR and PolyServe together has enabled her group to reduce storage costs, improve performance, and get rid of two other vendors in the process.For a couple of years, Homescape, which offers online marketing for real estate agents and brokers, struggled to migrate data across volumes of an HDS 9970 storage platform, using FalconStor data migration wares and PolyServe Oracle database server clustering software. When Homescape added 3PAR's hardware, the group was able to ditch HDS/Falconstor.

Using PolyServe's LUN concatenation with 3PAR has boosted performance significantly, Pejril says. On top of that, storage procurement is streamlined.

"With 3PAR's thin provisioning, we can use 33 percent of a terabyte volume and have breathing room for another year."

It doesn't bother her that PolyServe still requires administrators to manage the operating system of multiple servers individually. "Most of our management time is spent managing disk," she asserts. Having a cluster reduces that substantially, despite the fact that the OS must still be configured separately on each server in the cluster.

At least one analyst also points out that the combination of 3PAR and PolyServe, as adopted in the Homescape example, is a good utility computing solution. "The hidden diamond here is PolyServe's ability to move databases from server to server in a utility manner," says Greg Schulz of the StorageIO consultancy. He notes that while PolyServe also supports files, it's the database allocation across multiple servers using pointers that really enables the pooling of capacity for users like Homescape.The 3PAR/PolyServe partnership is only the latest of several for both vendors, who aim to hit all angles of the storage market through various alliances. 3PAR also sells its storage with cluster technologies from HP, IBM, ONStor, Sun, and Symantec, among others. (See ONStor, 3PAR Double-Team and 3PAR, ONStor Team.) PolyServe has agreements with DataDirect Networks, EqualLogic, HP, and Verari. (See PolyServe, HP Deal Expands , DataDirect Bundles PolyServe, and Verari Teams With PolyServe.)

On the downside, the joint solution has heavy competition from BlueArc, Ibrix, Isilon, and Panasas, as well as a slew of emerging Lego-like storage combinations that pair block-level storage with NAS gateways or server clustering -- such as the Dell and Microsoft team-up and the proposed HDS/BlueArc pairing. (See Dell, Microsoft Team on NAS-Plus-iSCSI and HDS, BlueArc in Big NAS Deal.)

On the upside, the proliferation of options like this one only expand the possibilities for users who may not want to give up a favorite platform or a certain kind of hardware flexibility in order to achieve consolidation and savings.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • BlueArc Corp.

  • DataDirect Networks Inc.

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EqualLogic Inc.

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Ibrix Inc.

  • Isilon Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLN)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • ONStor Inc.

  • Panasas Inc.

  • PolyServe Inc.

  • The StorageIO Group

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • 3PAR Inc.

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