Credit union goes for 3Par over EMC

The Georgia Telco Credit Union installed 3Par's Inserve storage system after evaluating it against EMC's Clariion CX500.

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When Georgia Telco Credit Union wanted to consolidate its storage systems, it went with gear from startup 3Par Data Inc. over EMC Corp., saying it found 3Par's InServ array more user friendly and superior in performance to the Clariion CX 500.

Scott McCall, vice president of information services for Georgia Telco, said he found the InServ "an appealing blend of ease of use, low training requirements and good performance."

A heavy Oracle user -- the company's proprietary iPower data processing application for customers is run on Oracle databases -- the company first tested out the InServ at Oracle's Enterprise Training Center (ETC) in Atlanta.

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McCall said he and his IT team had been researching and visiting customer sites to evaluate other products, including a brief investigation of Network Appliance Inc. filers and a more serious look at the CX500. "But when we evaluated the 3Par product, we couldn't avoid what we were seeing -- especially with the simplicity of configuration."

McCall said he also realized, in the course of his evaluations, that the Clariion "just wouldn't work in our environment. No one in our environment wanted to approach the array with instructions or a manual, or assistance from a tech support resource."

McCall also said that his team's comparisons of the performance between InServ and the CX500 favored the 3Par product but did not supply more details. 3Par's data sheets on the InServ product report a basic configuration running at just over 100,000 SPEC SFS input/output per second. Performance numbers for the CX500 aren't publicly available.

The new configuration, to which McCall estimates about 30% of the company's data has been migrated, consists of a 5 terabyte InServ box connected via Fibre Channel to the servers running the company's mission-critical applications -- one for Exchange and three for the Oracle databases supporting the iPower application. A fifth port on the InServ is connected to an OnStor NAS gateway, which manages file sharing for employees in applications like Word and Excel.

Though Oracle's partnership with 3Par at ETC led McCall to the InServ product, he said if it were merely a matter of providing storage for his Oracle application, the company wouldn't have made the investment.

"We were looking for something that would support our entire environment, even though Oracle is a big part of it," he said.

In the future, McCall said, he would be looking for 3Par to release a smaller version of the InServ that he could use in his remote office locations -- and he spilled the beans when it came to 3Par's roadmap in this area.

"I've been hounding my salesperson for a product like that," he said, "And they told me they're already underway and it may be offered soon."

3Par would neither confirm or deny that a remote office "baby" InServ was in the works.

"We don't like to preannounce products," said a spokesman for the company.

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