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EMC VNX vs HPE 3PAR Flash Storage, which is better?

Nurit Sherman - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Operations Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)

One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is EMC VNX or HPE 3PAR Flash Storage.

One user says about HPE 3PAR, "The optimization features move chunklets or hot spots to faster drives."

Another user says about EMC VNX, "The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data."

In your experience, which is better and why?



PeerSpot user
1919 Answers

GALILEO  DI SALVO  - PeerSpot reviewer



Multi-tiering positively affects the efficiency of the storage space. The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data. The implementation of both block and file system storage in a single GUI provides is better situated than most other storages. From my point of view, the configuration that I can sell is restricted to the EMC best practices. It is hard to make a mistake in a solution. It means the configuration has good performance and scalability options. It is very stable even during multiple power failures. Integration with VMwareFAST (auto-tiering): Doesn't require configuration and is managed by the array itself. The most valuable feature is the tight VMware integration, due to the migration from bare metal to virtualized environments and then on to the cloud.


Scalability, because our customer is fast growing and our solution should be able to start very small and grow very quickly. The chunklet technology is the main benefit out of 3PAR. The way it subdivides. It is using more logic to subdivide the drives into smaller pieces. With our 3PARs, we have never lost data. With the new flash arrays, 3PAR has improved our performance. The new StoreServ Management Console (SSMC) tool is more user-friendly.HPE can log in, fix things, alert us to things, and upgrade. We are there and aware, but we do not do the work. So, that is good.3PAR is easy to keep running and does not require too much effort. It has been very reliable, which is key. The scalability is good because it is easy to add to new disks. We just add them on the fly, and they are available for use.


If the VNX had embedded encryption, that would be great.

The scalability is average because the storage has some hardware limitations and, obviously, operating system limitations.

It would be very helpful to get an automated report that shows you the size of the checkpoints and get warnings when a checkpoint is reaching either maximum capacity per a file system or hitting the ceiling on the SavVol pool consumption. The administrative console (Navisphere/Unisphere) needs some improvement, especially on their Java-based GUI. The updated version of Java is not compatible.VNX can improve by offering flexible upgrade options. It's not possible to add a single HDD to a current array and there are fixed rules to make upgrades. EMC VNX needs to support bigger SSD and the Next Generation EMC Unity does this. Poor connection to FC.Intel Xeon processors with under 2 GHz processing speeds could be replaced with more recent ones.

Security is a mandatory feature because our customer needs to protect delicate information. I would like to see a faster Ethernet connection. Right now, it is 10G. If they could do multiple hundred gigs to speed up the transfer from the array to the servers, that would be good. We are trying to get away from Fibre Channel. We need additional enhancements to InfoSight, especially from a VM standpoint. Today, we can see in the Azure VM performance stats in 3PAR, but it is so huge, we can't just drill down on each and every VM and look at its performance. We are seeing that there are some enhancements which are required in the SSMC console. There are some features that we do not see in the dashboard. There are some weird things that we can't figure out. I would like to see the ability to be able to migrate to newer versions of the 3PAR without having to take any of our data offline and be able to upgrade on the fly. We would like to see better support for iSCSI.A lot of tasks, you have to manually set up. They need to already have them set up and working. Then, you can just go in and tweak them if you need to.

Pricing and Cost Advice

Reducing dependency on JavaServer Pages (JSP) could improve the administrative overhead. The initial pricing and licensing are reasonable, the yearly EMC is more expensive pricing is somewhat higher, especially in Zambia, perhaps due to the low sales volume. Over time, VNX has become pricier than its competitors, and we have turned enthusiastically to Unity. While EMC tends to be on the expensive side, the stability and support of their products are top-notch and I feel are worth the cost. Make sure you understand how the licensing works and that you are getting the right set of licenses if you need array-to-array replication. The initial pricing and licensing are reasonable. Yearly EMC is more expensive.

Making the decisions to buy it can be complex. Since the prices of the flash storage have gone down tremendously, I would definitely recommend going for the all-flash storage array or 3PAR. It is a bit expensive even now, but it will be the future of all industries. You can't get software maintenance from a third party. You have to do it from HPE, which is a letdown.3PAR was quite a bit less money than EMC, and that was one of the deciding factors. We had to go back and purchase iLO licenses and brocade switches for the flex fabric to have a complete solution. Cost-wise, it is a little bit on the higher side, but it is an awesome product. We are going to buy eight nodes this year and eight nodes next year. Eventually, we are not going to want to buy large storage devices and probably utilize just storage, but in a different manner going forward.

From my EMC point of view, I choose it by habit, greater renown, and advantages over the SCSI support and because I've worked more with EMC.

reviewer357684 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Having significant experience with both products, here is what I would suggest. Before we begin the comparison the first point to note is that EMC is deprecating/stopping the sales of the VNX and if it is an all-flash solution you are looking for, then the modern equivalent of the VNX would be the EMC Unity. So any discussion around the VNX would be moot. Having said that, HPE has invested significantly in 3PAR and has tweaked 3PAROS to be flash friendly in terms of being optimized for flash. Next HPE has been a pioneer in terms of a providing a thin guarantee (benefits you will gain from thin provisioning) which is worth exploring. Next as one user has observed, its ability to break data/IO into chunklets and manage it at that granularity makes it very efficient in terms of capacity management as well as tiering. Further, HPE maintains 3PAROS as a single platform across its entire Storserv model range. With VNX, you are still relying on RADI-5,6 etc, HPE uses RAID-MP which is comparable to Netapp’s RAID-DP which is double protection without the ridiculous backend writes penalty of RAID-6. With the VNX, while you have the option of using Mirrorview and VNX Replicator, most enterprises go with Recoverpoint for all intent and purposes as it is a phenomenal product but an added cost. 3PAR replication is strong and its peer persistence (metro clustering) is a strong capability as well. In short, for this comparison the answer would be 3PAR. Hope this helps.

Chaan Beard - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 10LeaderboardReseller

Actually the answer is neither. VNX and 3Par are both technology best described as yesterday's hero. Look instead to another HPe product called Nimble A series AFA or the AccelStor AFA series. AccelStor are actually delivering frightening performance in their P710-SLED platform which delivers over 400K Mixed load IOPS, has 69TB effective capacity and is fully VMware VAAI integrated and certified for an MSRP of $49,995.00.

Either are so easy to install 8 year old kids can do the job without much head scratching going on.

AccelStor does not charge by capacity and comes with all the software you need baked into the price and this includes snaps, clones, mirrors and full replication capability.

HPe 3PAR and Dell EMC VNX platforms come with capacity based licenses and replication pushes the costs up through the stratosphere.

Between Nimble and AccelStor for the reporting capability the Nimble is very nice but you also pay extra for those nice reporting capabilities, but it is good.

AccelStor gives you what you need to know, no nonsense style - basic reporting but they are working hard currently on new features that bring them up to par with Nimble's fantastic reporting engine.

3Par and VNX are not true All Flash Array platforms by the way, they are Hybrids that accommodate both spinning disk and All Flash SSD. Nimble A series and AccelStor's entire range are purpose built all flash arrays with operating systems designed to cater for all flash only. is their website. Enjoy!

it_user251871 - PeerSpot reviewer

In my humble opinion, I would choose the all-flash array.
Optimization feature in HP 3PAR array is really cool and it does work and there is a replication feature in the HP array too, however, the most bang for your buck is the all-flash storage.
You get the speed and reliability needed as well as fewer hardware calls as SSD disk don’t fail nearly as often as a spinning disk.

reviewer836586 - PeerSpot reviewer

Very hard to say which is better.

We have 3PARs working great for last 3 years and we have VNXes just started using (1.5 years).

3PAR shows stability and wide support possibilities in Kazakhstan.

In other hand we bought VNXes as parts of VBlocks and we procured with advanced support. Be honest in 1.5 years of using VNXes we had 0 cases (even no disk failure).

Depending on roadmap (strategy) and possible storage demands I'd suggest to look for hyper converged engineering systems.

SachinDewan - PeerSpot reviewer

In my opinion, both VNX and 3PAR have already played their role and are EOL. While considering storage refresh, consideration should be made between scale-OUT or scale-UP products. With Scale-UP storage, the system consists of a pair of controllers and multiple shelves of drives. When you run out of space, you add another shelf of drives. Scale-up architecture is limited to the scalability limits of the storage controllers. On the other hand, Scale-out refers to Direct Attached Storage (DAS) architectures.
If considering scale-up architecture, you may choose between HPe Nimble or DELL Unity. Both these have better integration with VMware and also backup products like Veeam, Backup exec etc

On the other hand, technology is moving towards HCI(Hyper-converged infrastructure) i.e more inclined to Scale-out architecture. Each scale-out device is equipped with server,storage and network capabilities.

Now, coming back to the original question, I have used VNX5300 unified storage and by-far impressed with its performance and integration with VMware. The Unisphere interface is easy to use. With Storage replication you can have a complete DCDR setup. Features like FAST cache really enhance performance of storing and accessing data.

it_user272385 - PeerSpot reviewer

I have used both and worked for EMC and HP. It really comes down to cost and skill sets. HP 3PAR is a totally different animal. It is very easy to use and get started fast. Does not take a lot of training to get an understanding of the product. Cost is very cheap.

EMC VNX is an older model. Unity replaced VNX so you should watch the warranty and support model if you are now just considering buying one. VNX is, in my opinion, a little harder to understand and it takes more steps to allocate the storage to the server than the 3PAR. Some of the replication features can be complicated but overall it is a solid product and Dell EMC support is much better should something go wrong like recovering data. You will pay more for a Dell EMC product. I would compare costs and look at how you plan to use it closely.

Best regards,

BunyaminTasdemir - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

I Only used Violin and Purestorage all flash units.
I used 3PAR but is had SAS and SSD drives only.
In my opinion, Violin is first and Pure Storage is the second best all-flash unit

reviewer281076 - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

We own both Nimble and 3Par units. Nimble is great in management but in terms of expandability you better get it right the first time. By that I mean when you purchase the appliance, you better make sure you size the storage properly because it requires all slots to be filled (it doesn't matter if you are on A or C series. On the 3Par units you have 24 HD slots, you can fill it with all SSDs or mixture of SSDs and traditional HDs in multiples of 4 drives slots at a time. The main reason HPE bought Nimble is that they wanted Nimble's management software.

James Mercer - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Both are fairly old technologies, and frankly speaking, replication is nothing new at all. As another individual stated here, if you want to examine something up-to-date that completely eclipses both 3Par and EMC, HPE Nimble will demonstrate a clearly superior approach to flash and non-flash storage.

it_user234675 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Yes, I like the 3PAR better.

I feel like I have a better control of the system. Also the integration into the cloud base Infosight which is even now only in stage 1. This adds the cloud-based AI for systems insight and advanced troubleshooting utilizing knowledge across the internet from linked up 3PAR systems in the world. This works on the total stack from the storage to the virtualized environment on top of it.
You can also get a neat disaster solution when integrating with supported backup solutions or work with the HPE Recovery Manager Central.

reviewer325866 - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 20Reseller

As far as I know, VNX line is no longer available, therefore I think that the real comparison has to be with the Dell EMC Unity family systems

it_user876213 - PeerSpot reviewer

For All-Flash Array, I don’t think EMC VNX is a good choice.
I’d prefer PureStorage, easy to use, to manage, and Evergreen is also a good program.

reviewer611208 - PeerSpot reviewer

I would say neither. Give Pure Storage a chance. Top class product with world class support.
A mayor disruptor in this technology space and will be for some time to come!

Ken Eynon - PeerSpot reviewer

This article explains it well.

Jonathon Mancini - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

I have no experience with EMC but currently, run 3PAR.

We are going to Nimble for all flash after looking at 3PAR and Pure Storage.

it_user534885 - PeerSpot reviewer

While almost any array can handle typical I/O loads, you need a higher level of engineering in order to get the highest I/O possible out of Flash drives. The 3Par stands above other arrays due to its true enterprise level availability features (including replication) and the use of its ASICs to off load processing from the CPUs. Most flash arrays are limited by their CPUs as they perform all operations. The 3Par offloads a lot of intensive to its ACSCs which allows for more overall throughput and higher I/Os.

ceo477927 - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 20Real User

Space reclamation is very important with Flash storage; it is a cost-effective way to maximize usable space and a lot less expensive per terabyte than buying new. HPE 3PAR does a very effective job of reclamation using UNMAPs with thin-provisioned disks and its Zero Detection on thick-provisioned disks is rock-solid. When used in combination with software that automates the reclamation process 3PAR is excellent.

it_user551106 - PeerSpot reviewer

One user says about HPE 3PAR, "The optimization features move chunklets or hot spots to faster drives."

The moving of Chunklets is to maintain performance. What kind of CPG or level of protection you choose for 3PAR volumes will determine your availability and protection level? Although Chunklets can be moved to higher levels of protection, that is not the stated purpose above.

Another user says about EMC VNX, "The replication feature provides another functionality to protect your data."

The replication feature mentioned is for protection and not performance. VNX performance can be enhanced by FAST Cache. Availability is determined by the Virtual Provisioning of the VNX and by choosing a Storage Pool in which the proper RAID level is chosen.

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