Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Review

Flexible solution with some stability issues

What is our primary use case?

Typically we use this Cisco HyperFlex cluster as our local server virtualization platform. We have all our services running in this cluster. In other words, we could say this is our local data center for all our business systems as well the core components of our IT infrastructure.

At this moment, we haven't upgraded to the latest version although Cisco has been encouraging us to upgrade, since they recently published a new version. We will schedule this change maybe next month.

What is most valuable?

I think its most valuable feature is its flexibility.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of features that could be improved. We sorted out one critical issue left by the initial deployment team, our external partners. They made a mistake, a wrong configuration regarding the network settings. That left us a very, very painful troubleshooting process. Eventually, after four years, we sorted it out. After fixing that the system was stable. We even thought that maybe this is the root cause of those hardware failures.

In the next release, I would like to see them able to connect to the public cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

The first time that I started using the Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series platform was in 2016 and I'm still using it today.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Before I got the second group of this system, I would have said it was quite stable. However, with the second cluster that I received, I experienced lots of hardware issues, and almost all with the RAM stick. The memory stick had been replaced by Cisco due to some hardware failure. It was really painful, and we couldn't sort out the reason. Also we experienced some hard drive failures for which Cisco provided a replacement. So I would say it's not quite stable.

It has very high rate of hardware failure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have nine people using it in my department, IT. We are the key users. They rely on us for running the system. So far, it is the only system I have to run. And in recent years, it is running more stably.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their customer service is very efficient. Usually if we experience some technical issue, we open a case and Cisco Global Support will be on within one hour. So that's very efficient.

How was the initial setup?

We have our external partners to help us with the installation and configuration, and generally speaking, it's quite straightforward.

At the beginning of our project, I remember that it took about one week to set up.

What about the implementation team?

There were three people involved in the system configuration and set up. One guy was in my team and another two from the external partners. They were responsible for the hands on configuration and my guy was responsible for the acceptance test and the communication between the university and the supplier.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of their license, they don't actually call it a license, it's called technical support. We have to renew that after certain periods. And it's not cheap.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series only in a certain situation.

Right now, considering many other external constraints, it is very hard to recommend it to people, especially if they are based in mainland China.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series a seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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