What is most valuable?
I'd say the ease of how we can manage it. That is something I personally like. It means I have to do less work. I manage storage, so with the ease with which we can understand, and then share it to the VMware. We create datastores and we share and all that is easy. Not very difficult.
How has it helped my organization?
Sharing over internet. We don't need too many FC connections for that. We just need ethernet connections and we can export it to the virtual machines and to the ESX actually.
We have both the solutions actually. The part where we are right now, yes, it is better. And we are looking forward to going for the hyper-converged one as well.
What needs improvement?
We're not exactly with FlexPod, but we have NFS shares and all. Somehow, if we can dig into the end user who is using that share, and who is populating how much data into that. I don't know, maybe it's already there, but to all the people I've talked with, I haven't heard about it.
So if that can be included, that would be good. We have some tools like OCI's and all. So if we can find from there, who is the end person who's using the share - and sometimes they over utilize it - and if you can find out who, to that level, if we can dig down, that'll be good for the administration point of view.
The performance could be improved. Because it's over network, I don't know if they have to improve something on the NetApp end, because over the network it slows down when it's compared to the fiber channel network. If they can, that would be wonderful.
For how long have I used the solution?
In our environment FlexPod has been used for, I think, more than three years now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's stable. We don't face a lot of issues often, but sometimes we do face them, performance wise. If the load is increased, sometimes that way. We do get issues, but we are able to resolve them and they are manageable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Yes, we can scale. We are actually now scaling our environment, including FlexPod on our roadmap, and it does scalability.
How is customer service and technical support?
For the cases we have, sometimes the issues which we get, we do raise NetApp cases with the team. We use it.
They're good. They're helpful. They're spot on time, that's one good thing. We like it. NetApp is way, way better than some others that we've had really bad times with.
Which solutions did we use previously?
I'm new to my new project, so probably yes, there would have been something, which they have replaced with FlexPod. But I don't know what was replaced, to be honest.
They switched because they wanted better performance and we are especially using FlexPod for datastores over the network. It's more feasible, I'd say. Performance wouldn't be as good as SAN. But still, it is a better solution.
How was the initial setup?
I wasn't involved. I just joined, like a year back. So I wasn't involved when this was procured and all.
I am involved in an upgrade right now. The process is not very complex. Actually, NetApp is helping us, so I wouldn't say they're very complex. They're non-disruptive. That's something which matters to our customer. No down-time so that's what we like about it.
I think I could, maybe, do the upgrade without NetApp's help.
What other advice do I have?
Our industry is management services, Tarragon Consultancy, one of the biggest groups for management services. I think across the industry, FlexPod is a good one, to get convergence of everything in one place; we can get the computer storage and then we can export everything. It's good.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Oct 16 2017