Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Review

The time to deliver a VM has been reduced to five minutes as opposed to a few days

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for Cisco HyperFlex HX is internal. We use it for internal hyper-converged. I post VMs for internal use and for customers.

How has it helped my organization?

Cisco HyperFlex HX has improved the way our organization functions in the way that the time to deliver a VM takes me five minutes. In comparison, my cloud team's response is a couple of days based on all their overhead policies, procedures, and ticket requests. This is substantial.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is that it is easy to use all across the board. I can do hyper-converged without being a storage guy. That's a big deal.

What needs improvement?

They should fix the upgrade process. The upgrade process is great. It is seamless 70% of the time, but when it doesn't work, it goes south. Cisco needs to fix some of those upgrade bugs and it will be a perfect solution. That would be good for somebody who doesn't want to spend a lot of time micromanaging the device in production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. I've been running one cluster since 2016 with no outages. I've got two other clusters that have been running flawlessly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco HyperFlex HX has got great scalability. Right now, they offer a potential scale that is well beyond my network requirements.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco's technical support originally was outstanding, but it has declined over the last 12 months. I've heard they're trying to do better, but I haven't been overly impressed with their support recently for HyperFlex.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We weren't using any previous solution. I was trying to redesign how we deployed services and tools to our customers. The only way to do that was with virtualization.  

I needed something like Cisco HyperFlex HX because I'm a network guy. I'm not a server or storage guy. I wasn't the VM guy. I needed something that I could support with very low maintenance and very few hands. Cisco HyperFlex HX has fulfilled that need greatly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

For the deployment, we consulted with Cisco directly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HyperFlex and Nutanix were the main two products that I looked at. The reason I eventually chose Cisco was cost and data center footprint. Nutanix was twice the physical footprint in the data center than HyperFlex.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product a solid nine because of the upgrade process. Everything we've been doing with it is blazing a new trail. 

We've been dramatically changing how we deliver the service. Not only am I changing how we deliver the service, but the tools team is changing the platform they're delivering it on too. It's all a new investment. There are not a lot of cost savings today that we can realize.

You can deploy Cisco HyperFlex HX with very little knowledge of UCS, hyper-converged, or storage. There is very little ramp-up time. UCS manager takes a little bit of getting used to. Cisco HyperFlex HX is a solid product. I can't steer people away from it.

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