What is our primary use case?
It was a government organization and we only developed a data set. We have data centers. So where I designed cell phones for the customer, I used two Blade chassis 5108 for a primary data center and one Dell Chassis. I used two Blade chassis with two fabric interconnects that were F5-6-2-4-4-8 series and was able to interconnect A and able to interconnect B. So I was able to figure it out. First of all, I am mega cabling metrics for both the chassis and I used two IOM for each chassis. Then I connected it to an IBM storage with their servers. I also added EMC storage and HP 3PAR storage as well with this Dell chassis.
How has it helped my organization?
If you provide the high-end skill and high-end bandwidth for this single port it will be more beneficial for that customer. The high-end traffic is going to be more beneficial for customers and provide high bandwidth traffic between servers or between chassis.
What is most valuable?
In terms of the features that I have found most valuable, I would say the hardware recondition in this chassis is pretty good, and that is not found with other vendors like HP or Dell servers. I like the hardware recondition of this chassis because you have just a single cable for the server cords and then you can easily use virtual HPS and the perfect server providing for this Blade chassis. I like the hardware of this setting.
What needs improvement?
One thing that could be improved is the cost -it is very high for this Blade chassis as compared to other vendors. Especially in Asia. Asian customers mostly prefer a cost effective, cheaper solution. The Blade chassis is perfect quality compared to the Dell chassis and I personally like it, but the customers want cost a effective solution for this server.
For how long have I used the solution?
I first began deploying the Cisco Blade chassis in 2014. In 2016 we deployed it for our customer China Airlines. Then I deployed multiple C-Series rack servers in seven sites for the State. In that case I actually deployed C-Series rack servers. So I have a lot of experience with Cisco C-Series rack servers and I have three to four Blade chassis for multiple customers. About three to four months ago I deployed a Cisco UCS C-Series rack server, I believe C240, and four rack servers. Plus I have trained the customer, as well, about how to use the Cisco rack server.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I would rate the stability as 98/99 out of a hundred.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability of this solution is pretty good. You can easily scale the Blade servers to interconnect. You can add multiple Blade servers because you have a single chassis. So we can add four servers in the chassis and eight servers of hardware in a single chassis. And if you want to add more servers, you can add them into the chassis in the same fabric interconnect and you won't need to purchase other fabric servers or to add another server.
How are customer service and technical support?
Sometime I use Cisco technical support.
On a scale of one to 10, I would evaluate their support as a nine.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I like the hardware of the Cisco chassis. In HP products, for example, there are a lot of updates and a lot patches from their side. With Cisco, the quality is already at a high level and there is no need to upgrade or to have patches as frequently as HP or HSE. Cisco's UI is much more stable compared to HP. Overall, the Cisco chassis is pretty good, pretty stable and easier to configure as compared to HP and others.
How was the initial setup?
The setup process of this chassis is really easy. And it is easy to use. Anybody who has CCNA training, who has the knowledge of basic routing, basic servers, and storage can perform the configuration of the chassis and servers. It is very easy. I learned this by working with this chassis and server and by reading blogs and watching YouTube. It's not complex and there is no need for much expertise. If you have the basic knowledge you can easily configure its chassis.
I read a blog, watched YouTube, learned here and there and it took me four days to configure the chassis. After that, for the the second chassis, I just needed four hours to configure. It is easy to configure. If I have a chassis, I can configure it in two or three hours maximum.
In terms of an implementation strategy, it depends on the client. It first depends on the design.
What was our ROI?
Customers have seen a return on their investment. Especially those who can not compromise on quality, they can definitely use this product and get a high ROI. But for smaller-medium customers that purchase this chassis or servers it might be a high cost. That's why those customers prefer other vendors because they can get a lower cost chassis or server. So mostly they prefer a local server.
What other advice do I have?
The Cisco chassis is very easy to configure and any network engineer or expert can configure the solution and easily integrate it with the chassis. If you have another chassis, like HP, and you configure storage with HP media or FC carrier, you will need to have additional costs for switches. But Cisco chassis products are good. You can easily just add storage with an upgrade and there is no need to purchase any switches. You can get it.
On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Cisco UCS E-Series Servers a 10 out of 10.
There is one thing more I can add. The traffic flows of the Cisco chassis switches are very easy and very straight forward. There is no error in the traffic. You can easily work on it. Now, having three or four years working on this chassis, I feel it is much easier to use this chassis compared with the other ones.