Cisco UCS E-Series Servers Review

Reliable, efficient, and easy to set up

What is our primary use case?

The UCS Servers are our primary servers processing payment for our 600,000 plus small scale growers on a monthly basis. They Host our SAP ERP system and all other on premise systems across the different factories in the country.

How has it helped my organization?

The support from CISCO for all their products that we are using is great. The servers are stable. We once had a major power surge that went through our UPSs as a result of fault in the power distribution channel. The only equipment that was not affected were the CISCO Servers.

We have also brought down the processing time from 6 hours to 1 hour.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are that they are efficient and easy to setup.

When comparing to other solutions the performance is good and in terms of stability, there is no comparison.

What needs improvement?

For the SAP Hana in-memory processing takes a lot of resources and we are forced to delete some logs to improve on speed especially during peak hours (i.e. when almost every one is using system)

I would like to see better pricing available. They can try to compare with their counterparts on the same level with the same specifications, the same processing capacity, and try to match their price.

I am always asked to justify why we should purchase such expensive hardware when there are other brand names available with same capacity for a lesser price.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

We are using both UCS M4 220s , M5 220s and the UCS 240 M4, C460 M4.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. No other solutions compare.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable product and we upgrade on demand.

We have approximately 200 users in our main office, but we have 69 factories and each of those factories has at least one of the UCS servers.

We plan to increase our usage in the future, as any new factory will require a new server and we plan to use Cisco.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted technical support. We use the Cisco partners Next Technologies and they help us sort everything out, not only with the UCS Servers but also with our networking.

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

Previously, we were using IBM. IBM sold its intel-line service to Lenovo. We tried using Lenovo, but in terms of performance, there was a degraded performance.

I had gone to San Jose for some training when I saw the UCS Servers. We decided to try them out and have not yet been disappointed. The UCS Servers are more stable.

I did not have an issue with the IBM servers that we were using, but we could not continue because the Power servers were quite expensive. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

We were connected to a CISCO engineer in Dubai, and another from  San Jose, I opened a port for them and they were able to set up from where they were.

Some of the best startups that I have had are when the engineer doesn't have to come on-site. They set everything up remotely and I never have any issues.

What about the implementation team?

The setting up of the hardware for implementation of the SAP ERP was done by the Cisco team through a partner and took a very short time. It was done within a week. We used a Cisco partner called Next Technologies.

My project took some time due to a lack of knowledge transfer, and some training. It was a new ERP that we were setting up. The delay had nothing to do with the setup of the cisco servers.

What was our ROI?

ROI - 3 years. We use to spend a lot on maintenance for server for the other brands -- especially on spare parts. Rarely do the Cisco servers break down.

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

It's expensive, they are quite pricey. For the to penetrate the African market, price require a review.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated HP & Dell . the experience we had before made them not an option with our users.

What other advice do I have?

Our company is unique. We train our people so that we have the technical capability within the organization. We are managing agents for the 69 factories, which is why it is very important to have internal support capacity. I am more of a customer but I can handle most of the support issues internally. Anything beyond me goes to the partner.

All of our networking products from routers to servers are from Cisco. We use the Cisco server product but for storage, we have NetApp and just ordered HP, but, it has not arrived yet.

Apart from PCs and notebooks, this is the first time that we are trying HP.

The Cisco service line entered this market much later than the other companies, such as HP and Dell. They have been in the region for as long as I can remember. When I left college, we had knowledge of Cisco because of the networking components and security.

What I can advise other prospective customers is that they should not worry about Cisco's support, stability, and performance. They are quite stable and you will never spend a sleepless night because of the Cisco service product.

The capacity is adequate for the moment. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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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