FlexPod Review
We can do anything we want with the networking part without having to add cables and cards

What is most valuable?

Flexibility and speed.

I like that we can do anything we want to with the networking part of it, without having to add cables and cards, and we can add extra networks, extra VLANs, and extend the environment without having to buy new stuff.

We oftentimes will get a new product, a new server solution that requires a separate network, or even a proof of concept, sometimes development servers that need separated networks. We can spin those up without having to do new cables, new network ports. Any cost or any change requests, we can just do them on the fly.

We like it because everything is 10 Gig all the way through, from the storage to the switches to everything else, which is more than we need, and that's great.

It seems very cost effective once it's in place, and it's easy to expand and easy to add capacity without a lot of extra money.

What needs improvement?

It honestly does everything I need it to do at this point. So for me, for my organization, what we do, I don't need anything else other than for them to keep making it so I can keep buying the newer blades and the newer parts as they come out.

The management interface of the UCS part of it is a little bit clunky. It uses Java, so when we're managing it, if I have a computer that doesn't have Java on it or has the wrong version of Java on it, there's some iterations that have to happen to get into the manager of it.

That is annoying, albeit really not impactful to the service, it's just my annoyance getting into managing it. But once I'm there it's OK. So if anything, maybe the management is a little bit clunky.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's good. We've had it for about five or six years now and we've had no outages. It's been great, it's easy to work on, it's easy to upgrade.

No crashes. The only time we've had to turn it off is when we had a building power outage, we had to shut everything in the building off.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Very good so far. We haven't taken it to any extreme level, but anything we've needed to do, we've been able to scale out easily, and we've been able to extend it out to our disaster recovery sites and include that in the same architectures. We have a little mini FlexPod down there too.

How is customer service and technical support?

When we first had it installed, we did have a Cisco partner and a NetApp partner come out and help us deploy it, initially. Going forward, we haven't really had to rely on any support outside of our organization, which is good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We brought it in as a proof of concept. We were trying to bring virtual desktops to our organization and it was pitched as an all-in-one package deal we could deploy easily.

How was the initial setup?

I thought it was very straightforward, we accomplished it in about a day and a half. We were up and running and everything was on it.

What other advice do I have?

Our field is federal government. I don't think this product is uniquely valuable for our industry, but I think it's a very good value to the government. We pushed it a lot, but there are lots of ways to accomplish this. We, in our part of the government, think it's the best way to do it, but I don't know that it's uniquely suited to government.

I'm a happy customer of FlexPod.

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

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