The end of HP’s venerable midrange EVA storage array was nigh when HP acquired 3Par back in 2010. Though HP management made clear that 3Par was the new flagship of HP storage, EVA continued to exist. HP has finally made it official that EVA will no longer be sold after January 31, 2014.
EVA was the flagship of HP midrange storage for many years. Devotion within HP to the EVA was strong. But the platform was starting to show its age and was not the feature innovator it once was.
Why did the EVA last this long? HP will say that it was out of respect for the legacy customers that had invested and would continue to invest in EVA storage. I think a more likely explanation is that, for all its compelling features, 3Par just cost too darned much for midsized enterprises that previously bought EVA.
I offer two examples that are indicative of the situation a mere 12 months ago.
- A midsized firm was in the market for a new midrange SAN storage array. They were formerly HP customers and owned EVA storage. They were looking at a variety of solutions including NetApp and Dell Compellent. Why, I asked, not HP? Answer: EVA no longer suited their needs and 3Par wasn’t even on the table because of cost.
- An oil company was looking to build an internal private cloud on converged servers and storage. They were deciding between HP and IBM and leaning toward HP. In looking at the architectures being evaluated I was surprised to find the HP solution was based on EVA storage rather than 3Par. Again, cost was an issue. EVA made the HP proposal more competitive.
But a lot has changed in 12 months. What finally drove the last nail in the coffin of EVA was the 3Par 7000 series. The 3Par 7400 is a midrange offering more palatable to the midsize enterprise budget. What’s more HP debuted 3Par Online import software to aid migration from EVA to 3Par through the EVA management interface.
So in the 3Par 7000 HP has a real contender to replace EVA in the midrange as well as the means to get EVA customers over to 3par smoothly. With that in place it is no surprise that HP will stop selling that last two EVA models, the EVA P6530 and the EVA P6550.
I can report that since Christmas I have seen a resurgence in interest in 3Par among midsized enterprise customers. Customers that were “done with EVA” are considering 3Par now. It may not win every deal but 3Par is definitely back on the table. It is a key piece of HPs converged infrastructure and cloud infrastructure story.
Maybe what is a surprise is that it took this long.
HP will continue to offer support for the EVA’s for five years until January 31, 2019 and customers will be able to purchase additional hardware and software upgrades for three years to January 31, 2017.
Info-Tech will be revisiting its midsize to large enterprise storage array vendor landscape this fall. If you’ve had experiences, good or bad, with acquisition of midrange storage from HP, NetApp, Dell, IBM, or any other vendor we’d be interested hearing from you.