Virtualization Technology News and Information
3PAR Reduces Costs, Doubles Performance at Managed Health Care Associates
3PAR, the leading global provider of utility storage, announced today that Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) has saved 50% on storage CAPEX by consolidating onto a single, highly virtualized 3PAR InServ® F-Class Storage Server. With 3PAR, MHA has doubled storage performance and improved VMware® server performance while the hyper-efficient design of the InServ F-Class has also lowered MHA's OPEX, reducing datacenter power consumption by 30% and storage administration time by 80% as compared to MHA's previous storage environment.

"We were in the early stages of doubling and eventually tripling our size but were experiencing major setbacks with our legacy infrastructure -- including increasing capacity and cooling costs, swelling datacenter footprint, and escalating management complexity," said Gregory S. Thomas, Vice President of Information Technology at MHA. "We found that no other vendor was able to deliver a mid-range storage array with the combined performance, scalability, and ease of management at the same price point as 3PAR."

By consolidating onto 3PAR, MHA has gained the scalability to meet anticipated growth without compromising performance. With the move to utility storage and more specifically the InServ F-Class, MHA has seen a 100% performance increase in storage performance and also a dramatic improvement in VMware performance. MHA's virtual machines (VMs) -- all of which leverage 3PAR Utility Storage -- run faster with 3PAR than they did with MHA's traditional storage arrays. This has allowed MHA to better serve the needs of their member pharmacies, which utilize MHA's services to assist in the purchase of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and for network access to major national and regional prescription drug plans.

"Cost-effective, high-performance infrastructure is particularly attractive to organizations as they look for ways to adjust to the economy," said Anne MacFarland, Director of Information Solutions at The Clipper Group, Inc. "With its Mesh-Active, quad-controller architecture, fine-grained virtualization, and 3PAR Virtual Domains software, the 3PAR InServ F-Class is designed to support business requirements with both operational and administrative efficiencies that make traditional midrange storage compromises obsolete."

Since deployment, the InServ F-Class has also saved MHA on OPEX by reducing the amount of storage administration time required by their current IT staff by approximately 80% -- from several hours per day to only a few hours per month. Additional savings have come in the form of a 60K-BTU reduction in energy consumption over the past year as compared to MHA's previous storage system -- a 30% savings in cooling costs alone.

The InServ F-Class mid-range array has saved MHA a significant amount on storage footprint and up-front capacity costs -- a savings of 50% over the purchase of storage from the other vendors they evaluated. A major reason for this savings is that, with 3PAR, MHA no longer has to overpurchase storage capacity because they are unable to predict their future storage needs. For example, when converting physical servers to virtual machines using VMware, MHA was previously forced to purchase more storage up front than was actually required for those VMs. The Thin Built In™ capabilities of the F-Class, combined with 3PAR Thin Provisioning software, have given MHA the ability to overallocate storage to their virtual servers, thus allowing MHA to reduce their of up-front capacity purchases. In addition, the high port connectivity of the InServ F-Class array has eliminated the need for MHA to invest in additional Fibre Channel switching equipment that would have been required with storage arrays purchased from another vendor.

MHA has also seen a reduction in storage footprint due to the native tiered-storage capabilities of the F-Class. MHA has configured its 3PAR array with both high-performance Fibre Channel drives for performance-intensive production workloads and more cost-efficient Nearline (SATA) drives for disaster recovery from remote 3PAR arrays. MHA's lab management and testing environments as well as their VMware environment also take advantage of the more economical Nearline drives while other servers use the higher-performance Fibre Channel drives.

"The F-Class is ideal for customers like MHA who desire an alternative to the tradeoffs imposed by legacy midrange architectures but aren't prepared to invest in a high-end array," said David Scott, President and CEO for 3PAR. "MHA's F-Class array does precisely what it was designed to do, offering superior performance and scalability while helping MHA save money."

Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:17 AM by David Marshall
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