FlexPod Review

I can leverage its multiple storage features but it doesn't have much DR capability

What is our primary use case?

The use case is that it is running with multiple applications with VMware, and this a two data-center model, Flexpod, along with NetApp storage. It's quite useful.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to FlexPod, we only had a physical environment. At that time we decided that we had to go to a 100 percent virtualized environment. From a physical environment, we were able to work into the FlexPod where we leverage all the virtualizations.

It provides us with a lot of agility, on-demand or through orchestrations. We deliver hundreds of servers. It has created a lot of agility in this environment.

What is most valuable?

First of all, it's a converter. It's not dependent on, it's not coming with specific storage. I can leverage its multiple storage abilities. We have various kinds of storage in our environment, like IBM or NetApp. We can mix those types of storage with the FlexPod environment.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem we have seen is, we were using the vStorage which comes with the NetApp environment, a kind of fiber connect. We were missing fibre channel connectivity and we got lots of I/O errors. This is the one big problem we have faced with FlexPod.

I would like to see more orchestration tools in FlexPod because we virtually end up with integrating the v-orchestration tool within FlexPod. I would like to see something like that included within FlexPod.

We don't see the much DR capability within the FlexPod so for that, we have to maintain our own DR capability with DSRM.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

FlexPod is pretty stable. It has worked in this environment for more than five, six years and still, for the next four to five years, there will be some piece of the FlexPod here. It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is a scalability issue with the FlexPod in terms of scale out. We always have to go and procure this piece in the data center. We always have to order a new piece of equipment for the FlexPod. That increases the cost.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have professional support. They are pretty responsive and they support us.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched because of the virtualization. We were a completely physical environment and we wanted to go to a virtual environment. That is the reason we went with FlexPod.

Regarding our most important criteria when selecting a vendor, this is a very big organization and there are multiple vendors. So it's all about the partnership. In this organization, we choose the vendor at the very beginning for three years or five years and go with the long term.

How was the initial setup?

Although I was not involved in the initial setup, I saw when we were moving from physical to virtual that it was pretty smooth. The initial challenge was the configuration within the data center. But I don't think it was a technical challenge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Right now the Cisco is there. This is a Cisco shop and an IBM shop too.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate FlexPod as a seven out of 10 because it has gone through a long journey in our organization and we have had pretty good support. The FlexPod environment still exists and, according to the roadmap, it will go to 2020.

In terms of advice, this is all about converged and hyper-converged. If you are looking to convert your environment, then I would definitely suggest going with the FlexPod.

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

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