FlexPod Review

It is very stable. We have had absolutely zero problems.

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is for a telecommunications company. We have used it for housing virtual servers for an internal corporate network, as well as for a service provider network.

How has it helped my organization?

We installed two FlexPods in two different geographical diverse locations to give full redundancy. This housed all of our virtual servers. It made everything easier to have in one place.

What is most valuable?

Support was the main feature for us. Having everything in one as far as combining NetApp and Cisco devices, yet also having one place where we could call and actually get support from very knowledgeable people.

What needs improvement?

There were several different management consoles that we had to deal with: UCS, VMware, and separate ESXi installations. Maybe one interface console where we could manage everything from might be a little easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have had absolutely zero problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We actually started with only two blades in one system and four blades in the other, and we had capabilities for eight blades. Thus, it has allowed us to be very scalable throughout the entire life of the product as we owned it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had great support, and this is when we have called for any problems, which have been very minimal to start with. 

The only time that we had to use support is when we installed the system. Part of the system from the UCS was damaged in shipping, which was no fault of the FlexPod, but we went through support to have it replaced. It was no problem at all.

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

We came from physical servers installed on old operating systems. We had around 20 to 30 physical servers. Not only did FlexPod reduce the power requirements in the data centers that we were running, but it also decreased repair, decreased support, and allowed us to have everything in one system as opposed to all these individual different branded devices that we previous had functioning.

We originally switched to FlexPod because everything was going to virtualization. We started doing some investigation and research into why, and found out that it was an overall better solution. In the long run, it ended up saving you money, putting everything together into one solution, and allowing you to utilize all your resources for multiple machines. Therefore, if you needed a new server, you did not have to go out and buy a physical server, you just spun up a new virtual machine, and you're done.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We had a company come in and help us set everything up. After they turned it over to us, it was very straightforward and easy to use, as much as you can expect from a system that large.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We purchased FlexPod though Datalink. Be sure you use a known company to be sure you get the correct licensing and products for your specific needs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For FlexPod, the whole package itself, including the support and the different vendors who worked together is great (even though it costs more than the other solution we were looking at). There are other things in there that you have to consider, such as the support, devices, how long it has been out on the market, and how well it lasts. 

We went to other telecommunication providers and asked what they have and how well they were satisfied with it. We found some providers who were using FlexPod and some who were using other products. The ones who were using the FlexPod seemed to be a lot more satisfied with their product overall.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, as an entire package, it has everything that we need and support is very helpful when needed. It is still installed and working today problem free.

Look at your needs and what you are looking to do. See what fits your needs better. There is not one solution or company that will be a fit all.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We look at everything as a whole package. As far as support, how long its been out on the market and what they offer. Support is probably the biggest, but for whatever product that we buy from a vendor, it needs to be solidified for a while and tested out on the market, aka tried-and-true.

**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.
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