FlexPod Review
This solution enables us employ VDI.

Valuable Features

Valuable features include the ease of use. The training was pretty good for our junior Marines.

The implementation was relatively easy and the OS supports resiliency.

Right now, we have our Enterprise Services on it, Sharepoint, our print server, and our VDI construct.

We also have some in-house, homegrown applications, and a whole bunch of admin servers and information insurance servers.

Improvements to My Organization

With the FlexPod solution we've been able to employ VDI, the first in the Marine Corps. It seems to be working very well.

We have our whole staff, from a three star executive down to the lowest person on it, and now we're extending those services across the United States. Our whole team supporting the whole FlexPod is eight people. That is relatively small in my eyes.

Room for Improvement

I don't think we've embraced the current solution fully, so we're I think two OSs behind right now.

I probably don't have an answer for that yet until we start getting the new solutions, the new OSs out.

I think they're going in the right direction. They have a virtual OS, they have different ways that we could maybe embrace different storage, but they're still maintaining the front-end. They are going forward with it and we just have to start looking at it with a little more detail.

Stability Issues

Due to the FlexPod, there were no scalability issues. Due to our human error, I would say there were issues. But in terms of the equipment, it is built-in. As long as we're configured correctly, it has built-in fail over. It is highly available at all times.

Scalability Issues

We currently have eight servers, and we just got another FlexPod with additional servers so we can scale up to another 11. We're looking at establishing a co-op that will allow us to have an off-site presence. We are working on that now, but it is scalable. We just haven't employed it fully yet.

Customer Service and Technical Support

In terms of technical support, we have it from NetApp and Cisco. We called external people in. FCN came on site.

NetApp is always supporting us for technical support services. They have great quality. NetApp even provided support for networking stuff for us, so they were great. We’ve been happy.

Initial Setup

I was involved in the initial setup. For the second one setup, for the one we have now, it was pretty easy. We tied into some of the existing hardware, i.e., the Nexus. Most of it was pretty easy. It had a slightly different OS, but it was relatively straightforward.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at a lot of different vendors. We were just happy with the vendors that were in the original FlexPod.

The support was there and it actually serviced us perfectly. We looked at Dell. Dell's always has a solution there. They always want to try to get where we are.

The biggest competitor, looking at their solution, is the EMC solution set.

We decided to stay with NetApp because, of the disc. We like how it tracks the disc and we can move the disc around.

We have to pull out our discs regularly for accountability of our drives. NetApp allows us to do that a little easier for maintenance cycles.

We can actually put it back in with very negligible downtime. We like the service that we get and the name recognition. We're just used to NetApp.

Other Advice

Identify your requirements, make sure you know what they are, and don't fall short in doing so. If you do, that may drive you to a different solution. It's not all about cost. Rather, it is the value that it brings to you.

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.

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