FlexPod Review

Simplifies support, accelerates troubleshooting for our integrated solution

What is our primary use case?

We use FlexPod to simplify support, to accelerate troubleshooting by using the FlexPod in integrating. Whether it's a VMware or a UCS Cisco problem, or a Nexus problem, it makes support a lot simpler.

How has it helped my organization?

It keeps us on track. You have to stay FlexPod-certified, you have to really stay on track with your updates, but the troubleshooting and support aspects are really where it's the biggest bang for the buck.

What is most valuable?

Unified support. Being able to get a vendor from one company or another company on the line without having to go back through the call queue.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable. I have no issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales fine, all three components are able to scale. If I need to throw on another chassis, I throw on another chassis. If I need more storage, I expand my NetApp portion of it. It's been easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

Although it's really hard to automatically get the correct person the first time, what you can do is get someone from one stack, say VMware, and if they say, "Hey, it's not a VMware problem, it's a networking problem," they can loop in the Cisco person, give them all the information, and we can troubleshoot the Cisco or the networking portion of it. They might say, "Hey, you know what, it's storage latency. Let's loop in the NetApp partner." They can all talk in the backend and compare logs, versus me having to open three tickets and wait.

It allows me to loop in support from three different companies and not have to open a ticket with each company, and then have them say, "Send me the logs." Then have them say a couple hours later, "Well, we looked at the logs. It's not us. Go to the next guy." And then you go to the next guy and the next guy says, "Well, send me the logs, describe the problem." He takes a couple of hours, looks at the logs and says, "Hey, it's not us, it's the other guy."

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

We used physical servers, different storage, older legacy equipment.

The most important criteria when selecting with a vendor are 

  • reliability
  • technical expertise
  • speed in response time.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. We obviously engaged a reseller to help us with it. But putting the different components together is pretty straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluate others. We decided to go with NetApp and that drove the decision every place else. We went with the Cisco UCS chassis because that fit our solution.

What other advice do I have?

Do your research. It's good for our business case but maybe it doesn't fit your particular business needs, or maybe there's a better solution out there. In our circumstance, it fit our needs and has performed as advertised.

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

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