What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case is company back-end servers and services. The performance is great.
We deployed this for our server environment in our company. Therefore, all the typical systems you would see in a commercial company are what we are running it on. It was not built for a specific use case. It was built instead for using hard servers or network-attached storage. Just putting it all together makes it simple to use.
How has it helped my organization?
As a whole, it is inexpensive, and it uses the least amount of parts. You do not need a lot of things to make it work. It ships in a rack, so it is very easy to deploy.
What is most valuable?
- We call it one-man management; I do not have a whole team.
- It runs very well lights out. Set it and forget it.
What needs improvement?
Performance management: NetApp has some tools that you can purchase to do performance management, or you can go with another vendor and buy a product which does the same thing. It would be nice if there was more of these features with the product, not add-ons.
For how long have I used the solution?
Three to five years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is awesome. With UCS and NetApp, it is very scalable. You cannot get more scalable than that.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have used technical support mainly for performing a function, not for repair. They have provided us guidance on how to do this.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Before we went FlexPod, we had hard physical servers with networking. Then depending on the networking and a virtual environment, we had several networking environment stacks which required us to have larger servers with more than one cable, maybe even more than one media type. Now, we have a whole rack full of media-type connectors, even media converters doing the same thing.
With this particular setup, you have one 10 gig or 140 gig cable, and that is all you need. Instead of having eight cables, you only have one. We had a physical server to NetApp storage. With the components that come in FlexPod, it has enabled us to reduce connectivity down to one wire, whereas before, we had eight, 12, or 20 wires going to one server.
How was the initial setup?
For design and initial setup, it was very simple.
What about the implementation team?
We had technical support help us with the implementation.
What was our ROI?
I have seen value from FlexPod. The connectivity is simple. There is less to break. There is less tinkering or lost time that you do not really notice. Also, we run our capital for three to five years, so we size it for that type of environment.
What other advice do I have?
I have run four FlexPod environments, and they have all been phenomenal. They have all worked until you had to turn them off. That is why I like them.
I can't imagine anybody not doing this today. But if nobody was doing this today, I would definitely push them to do it.
Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:
- Reputability. They have to have a good name. That is the big.
- Speed to deploy and getting the purchasing paperwork correct the first time: These are important things in our environment, because they just add to delays.