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FlexPod Review
The two big draws for us are the form factor and the converged infrastructure.


Valuable Features:

The two big draws for us are the form factor and the converged infrastructure. We'd been using Dell blade centers and HPE blade centers before that. The density and the full integration between NetApp and the compute side, we really enjoyed.

Improvements to My Organization:

The time to deployment is definitely a lot faster. It enabled us to replace really antiquated equipment. That was the big thing for us. Going with the converged infrastructure, as opposed to the non-converged that we were using before, really enables us to spin up the storage and the network side that much quicker.

Room for Improvement:

Just continuing to improve upon speed would be my biggest area with room for improvement, the 10-gig backbone. I'd like to see that increase eventually.

Use of Solution:

We have been using it for two years all over the place. We haven't had one UCS or NetApp hardware problem on any of the FlexPods the whole time.

Stability Issues:

The stability has been top notch. We haven't had any outages at all.

Scalability Issues:

It is absolutely scalable. We haven't scaled yet because we bought very large, but I'm sure it's going to be easy when we do it.

Technical Support:

We used NetApp support for one of the problems we were having, and we solved it relatively quickly. I'm a big fan of NetApp support.

Previous Solutions:

We previously used Dell blade centers and HPE blade centers.

Initial Setup:

We had vendors do it. I was kind of there peripherally with my team, but I was not overly involved.

The process was great. Our vendors really knew what they were doing, so even though it was our first FlexPod, they helped us power right through it.

Other Solutions Considered:

We evaluated HPE, Dell, and FlexPods all at the same time. We went with the FlexPods. We thought that the price and converged infrastructure offering was more powerful than those offerings from HPE and Dell.

I don't remember what the HPE one was, but the Dell was like an EqualLogic SAN. The Dell just wasn't impressive in terms of features and management more than performance. We were a NetApp shop historically. This enabled us to get the converged infrastructure with NetApp as the back end. This was probably the most compelling reason for us.

Other Advice:

Don't design it yourself. Use the certified designs, especially for FlexPod. The one time we went with our own design, we ended up going back and reengineering it so we could put in a certified design later on.

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

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