FlexPod Review
You can scale up or scale out on either compute, storage, networking, or on all of them.

Valuable Features

There are very many features, but from experience, the single point of contact for support has been valuable to our customers. They do not have the headache of seeking support with multiple vendors. The single point of support supports hardware, hypervisor, and guest systems running in the FlexPod environment. (NOTE: Your level of support with the guest OS vendor such as RedHat MUST BE premium support, which means spending a little bit more on support, but total peace of mind.)

Improvements to My Organization

We don’t use it within our organization. We deploy this for other organizations. We can share the white papers once we are done with customers that we have successfully done this with.

Room for Improvement

It’s not the easiest solution to deploy and it doesn’t come integrated like VCE Vblock and HPE ConvergedSystem is (not really plug and play). To simplify what I mean, it’s like seeing a bed in the store; you buy it; and it’s delivered to your house with an easy-to-setup manual and the bed in different pieces with different sets of screws and you need to know what fits where.

If you have expertise setting up such environments, then you are good, but for customers or novices, it becomes a nightmare and stuff may actually be left out.

Use of Solution

I have used this for the last four years.

Stability Issues

I have not encountered any stability issues.

Scalability Issues

Unlike most converged and “hypercoverged” solutions, you can scale up or scale out on either compute, storage, networking, or ALL. Sometimes, the client just needs scale on one aspect; for example, add in storage. The design doesn’t change. With hypercoverged, you find you need extra compute, you need to add a whole node (compute, storage, and networking), which means you don’t have a cost-effective solution that offers a true ROI or, with VCE Vblock, you need another block.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is outstanding (10/10). Remember, you will pay a little more for additional support for your guest operating system and app vendors such as Microsoft Exchange, but in turn, total piece of mind.

Previous Solutions

We previously used VCE Vblock, VSPEX, Nutanix, SimpliVity, VxRail, HPE ConvergedSystem, and many others.

We still use some of these products, such as Nutanix, because of many advantages it has especially with new private cloud clients (VDI, virtualization, etc.) and service provider architectures, but the bottom line for a customer is:

  • Price in terms of ROI and value for money.
  • Flexibility: Does the solution scale both up and out considering the previous point?
  • Ease of management, reporting, provisioning (relieving the headache for day-to-day management of infrastructure).
  • Support that goes beyond their own boundaries.

Initial Setup

I must say, initial setup is the only challenge for a new FlexPod deployment team but once you have set it up, it is very easy to manage and scale.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Pricing and licensing is very affordable from a FlexPod perspective. Bear in mind, for total peace-of-mind support, make sure the guest operating system and off-the-shelf application vendors have premium support so that you can integrate all their supports together into one.

Other Solutions Considered

We deploy cloud solutions. We constantly evaluate products.

Other Advice

Definitely ensure you size the environment correctly.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a partner with Cisco and VMware.

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