The way everything works together. It is all built to do what it's supposed to do. The performance we get out of it is incredible. We just went through a refresh of basically a whole new FlexPod. We decided to stay with that just because of how well everything works and how great the support is.
Improvements to My Organization
The benefit at this point is that we understand it. We know how everything works. If we don't, there's one place where they know how everything works. Support is streamlined. It is absolutely easy to manage. Up until a couple years ago, there was only one person that it took to manage the whole infrastructure.
Room for Improvement
I really like what it does now. I don't really have any complaints. They plan to give it the ability to add more flash storage in a hybrid shelf. We don't have the need or the capital for an all-flash cache, so we got a hybrid one that's limited to how many flash caches you can have on there.
I haven't had any stability issues with it. I ran into a bug with the software, probably three or four years ago, and this caused deduplication to stop working. However, they resolved that right away and we put the patch on and got back to running it normally.
Scalability is great. We added a new shelf to it last year. There wasn't much down time to add the shelf to it and it was actually very simple. The directions that came with it were straightforward.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Technical support is great. They're always there whenever we need them. They're willing to jump on, spend as much time with us as we need. It is great that Cisco, NetApp, and VMware can all work together on an issue. If you don't know an answer, just call FlexPod support and they are able to help.
It was set up before I got there. I remember how to put in the seven node cluster plus the transition that we are doing now. The setup was simple. It came with a single start-up script. They sent us an Excel sheet ahead of time to fill everything out that we needed. We ran through the script, it asked us for everything, we were together, and it was quick.
Other Solutions Considered
We evaluated EMC and HPE for new storage. We decided to stay with NetApp over HPE and EMC because of our experience with it. We didn't have any bad experiences with it, so we didn't want to change it to go down a new learning path. We knew it, it worked, and we had no issues.
They should definitely look into NetApp, especially now with the SolidFire acquisition. They have almost everything you would need for storage. I've used HPE SANs before and EMC, and NetApp just blows them out of the water with manageability and the price point.
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.