FlexPod Review

Enabled us to jump into private cloud infrastructure, instead of public, and cut costs

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for NetApp has been as part of a Cisco UCS chassis. We have seven or eight different instances of it now, spread around the world. So far, it has been very reliable, other than a few hard drive failures here and there, but those are expected.

How has it helped my organization?

We run a lot of the same OS's so it really saves us a lot on infrastructure cost.

It helped us really jump into the private cloud infrastructure instead of just trying to jump straight into public, which is way more expensive in the long run. That is what most businesses will be looking for in the end. It really is a cost saving when you can keep it in-house.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility and data deduplication have been the biggest practical applications.

What needs improvement?

More flash is going to be the biggest thing for us. We use a lot of SaaS currently, but flash is the way to go.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very stable. We've had UCS with NetApp for about six years now and I would venture to say it's "five nines" so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We typically add a new chassis about every six months, so it's very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't personally used the technical support, but we do have a few people who worked for NetApp who have come to work for us. Their interactions with NetApp have been great.

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

FlexPod was really our first major endeavor in large converged hardware.

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are the availability of support, to get it when we need it, and to upgrade as fast as possible when we need to.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the Initial design and configuration. It was as straightforward as it gets.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at EMC as well. At the time, Cisco was partnered with both, but we went for the data deduplication from NetApp. EMC wasn't quite the same.

What other advice do I have?

It doesn't really get simpler than the setup that we had, and the maintenance that we have had. I would tell colleagues that NetApp is the way to go.

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

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