The most valuable feature is the converge nature of having compute storage on the network in one rack. We are able to use the virtual switching to add multiple networks, DMZs and sub-nets to be able to use the resource of the FlexPod itself. We are running the full gamut for minding business applications and web applications. We're also using the virtual switch pieces to run our Citrix environment that's also running on FlexPod.
Improvements to My Organization
It's greatly reduced the complexity of network storage and compute. It allows us to deliver services quicker. We can provision faster, we have great use of templates, so we can spin things up in minutes and provide services.
Room for Improvement
It probably already is in the product now, but at the time, we didn't have a really great SSD shelf that you can just plug and play in there. I know it is present today, but that was the only feature we were looking for at the time. There are probably some nuances in how the network and those types of things work. Maybe it could have more templates. Other than that, it's a great product.
Use of Solution
We've been using for eight to ten years and we never had any downtime. It's been a great product for us.
In terms of stability, FlexPod has been great. I don't think we've ever had any downtime.
Scalability's been great. We've actually added shelves, we've got blades, and we've added storage. We even extended our presence inside the environment because of what we like inside the FlexPod itself.
Customer Service and Technical Support
In terms of technical support, it’s all been great. We have Phone Home support, which we haven't used very often at all. Any time we've needed any support at all, it's always been first rate.
I was involved in the initial discussions, evaluation, and purchase decision. My IT team was actually the hands-on team that did the setup of the FlexPod. Once we got it installed, got a little bit of knowledge transfer, they really enjoyed it. The solution brought everything together. It made it a lot easier to deliver services, because compute stores and networks weren't these discrete components they had to work on separately.
Other Solutions Considered
There wasn't that much hyper-converged at the time we went into FlexPod. It really was the game changer at the time.
We were looking at a new VM farm to start with, so we were looking at Blade Server solutions from HPE/IBM. What really did it was that FlexPod had all the components in one rack that we could basically turn on and forget.
We continue to evaluate solution on the market. We enjoy the UCS environment and that's the way we increase the blade. We like the way it integrates with the NetApp, so the FlexPod just really brought it all home.
Take a look at the product. If you go through your requirements and have to redo either your virtual environment or some of your SAN storage, look at putting your compute storage and network together.
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.