Alibris, an online store for books and other media, changed its storage system to 3PAR in 2006, said CTO Michael Shaffer. The company has an IT staff of just four and was able to shift one member to new tasks from what was almost a full-time job managing storage, he said. Shaffer's team still assigns a certain amount of storage to each application, and 3PAR storage servers automatically distribute it across multiple disks, which allows for fast reading and writing of data, he said. Shaffer doesn't let the storage servers set the amount of capacity yet, but with the new chip, he probably could do so quickly and easily, he said. Then he could switch back if he didn't like it.
"Having the ability to change one's mind is a rare ability," Shaffer said.
The InServ T800 Storage server is priced starting at $175,000 for a base configuration with two controllers and 16 146GB drives. The T400 is priced from $130,000.