FlexPod Review

Solutions that we put up on FlexPod were best-practices configurations - SharePoint, Exchange, SQL. They can all be downloaded from the FlexPod portal which reduces the risk of incompatibility

A customer, a global law firm, was looking to move existing data into a new data center, so they had strong deadline. They had a very diverse set of technologies (Dell, HP, Cisco, VMware, Oracle, NetApp, etc.), and couldn't control costs or procedures when a new business requirement came up.

I performed a gap analysis to determine what building block of technologies were needed, and the opportunity was right for the FlexPod solution infrastructure. You can use FlexPod to standardize the system and to have just a single control center and one vendor to work with.

Solutions that we put up on FlexPod were best-practices configurations - SharePoint, Exchange, SQL, etc. and they can all be downloaded from the FlexPod portal. It reduces the risk of incompatibility and down-time from making new configurations, profiles, and templates.

The other key reason for choosing it was the long-term vision of agile, automated infrastructure, giving private-cloud solution based on FlexPod. The struggle was their speed of deployment (contacting different vendors that took time through the internal authorization procedure), and FlexPod sped up this process by 50-60%.

It's a great solution for enterprise-level customers, but it needs something smaller, maybe hyper-converged for software-heavy, smaller infrastructures that work in the cloud.

The nature of running FlexPod in its pre-defined infrastructure is that it's not pre-configured. It comes in bits that you have to put in yourselves. Clients want something that meets their requirements that you can just plug-and-play, and this is especially true for cost-sensitive and less-knowledgable clients.

My advice would be to make sure everything works per your business justification. How does it fit into your long-term strategy? For example, if you already have lots of investments in other vendors, you're going to have to rip them all out to use FlexPod. Take what you've got, and see how it matches up against business goals. See where the gaps are that need to be filled - maybe FlexPod works for your and maybe it doesn't. Also, you should assess the capital costs and ask how it'll fit into existing datacenter architecture

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a vendor-agnostic consultancy who are a Platinum Partner of NetApp.
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author avatarit_user331449 (Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

UCS Mini with a FAS 2250 and a pair of 9K Nexus switches makes for a great SMB FlexPod. It's not a huge system, but can handle a heavy workload. It can go in along-side existing infrastructure without having to remove what a company has already invested in. Worth looking at for any small to mid sized business.

author avatarit_user320889 (Senior Solutions Consultant with 10,001+ employees)

That's a great point Jason, In fact i have successfully positioned this exact solution for few of our customers and it makes perfect sense not only for SMB but also for any remote sites which require limited amount of infrastructure footprint.