HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 review

HP's StorageWorks P2000 G3 family offers SMBs a wide choice of enterprise-level network storage arrays, but at an affordable price. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell tests the new 10-Gigabit IP SAN model to see if its performance and features match its attractively low price.

Expansion units are available with 12 LFF or 24 SFF bays and use simple controllers with 6Gbit/s SAS interconnects. This is where the P2000 G3 really shines as the controllers support a maximum of 96 LFF drives or 149 SFF drives so expansion potential is extremely good.

Your first job is to create virtual disks, or vdisks, where you select physical drives, pick a RAID array and assign hot-spares. Make sure you choose an appropriate array type as you can't migrate from one to another although you can expand existing arrays by adding more drives to them.

A provisioning wizard helps with vdisk creation and can also spilt a vdisk into equally sized volumes if you want.

A provisioning wizard helps with vdisk creation and can also spilt a vdisk into equally sized volumes if you want.

Vdisk creation can be speeded up with automatic setup but with full manual control you can choose an array, assign a primary controller to it and decide on the number of volumes it should contain. You can leave the controller to create equal sized volumes where you simply name them and dish out host mappings to define host access privileges.

You can use snapshots to create point-in-time copies of selected volumes which are stored in a separate pool on the appliance. The base price includes a 64 snapshot license which can be upgraded to a maximum of 512, a very useful extra that provides a lot of added value.

There's more as you also get volume cloning as standard. This is used to create an identical copy of a volume which can then be used for a variety of purposes such as archiving data or safely testing applications. It's as easy to use as snapshots - simply select a volume, choose the copy option from the drop-down menu and either run it immediately or schedule it for later.

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