HoneyBaked Ham of Georgia started looking at new storage infrastructures after the Christmas rush of 2011, and took proposals from HP, Dell, NetApp and Hitachi.
Madsen said the final decision was between HP 3PAR, represented by VeriStor, and Dell Compellent storage, represented by another solution provider. He eventually chose the HP 3PAR offering because it could segregate data traffic better than Dell Compellent, and because it had the ability to auto-tune its performance to meet the fast ramping-up of business that happens early in the holiday season.
For VeriStor, which worked with 3PAR since before its 2010 acquisition by HP, and which is currently HP's largest 3PAR channel partner, it was the second chance to present the technology to HoneyBaked, said CTO Steve Bishop.
VeriStor lost out to another solution provider when HoneyBaked purchased the Hitachi AMS 200 because 3PAR at the time was an expensive alternative. "And, at that time, 3PAR was a lesser-known company," Bishop said. "It was seen as a startup even though it was well-funded. HP's acquisition completely took that issue off the table. Now it's part of a large, well-funded company."
The 3PAR solution also has come way down in price since the HP acquisition, Bishop said. "The big difference between 3PAR and other vendors is that 3PAR started at the high end, and over time moved more into the midmarket," he said.
HP 3PAR is also the only storage product line outside of NetApp's Filers, which uses the same code base through the entire lineup, making it an easy product line to sell and use, he said.
The combination of enterprise-class capabilities in a midrange-priced storage array, as well as VeriStor's expertise, closed the deal. Bishop gave credit for making the deal happen to Andrew Dodson, VeriStor account manager, and Gary Hutchins, VeriStor director of solutions architecture.
The new HP 3PAR F400 was installed just after Easter of 2012, and performed as hoped during the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush, Madsen said.
It was much easier to select the HP 3PAR the second time around. "It was expensive the first time," he said. "Also, it was presented for use with only two servers used for handling orders. This time we added our SQL servers as well as our VMware and Exchange email operations."
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