What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case was for unified support, so our customers could ask us a question or receive support for any type of products. It could be for UCS, network, or storage.
Our customers use it for virtual machines and with VMware with tool sites, e.g., VMware solutions for DR.
How has it helped my organization?
FlexPod provides one solution for who to call when there is an issue.
What is most valuable?
ONTAP is the core of FlexPod, so its most valuable features are: FlexClone, Snapshot, and SnapCenter.
FlexPod is innovative when it comes to its product's validate design and functionalities. Plus, you have NetApp and Cisco, the best brands together in one product.
What needs improvement?
I would like them to scale more to rack unit servers instead of blade servers.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Since we implemented Flexpod, we have had two issues with it, and they were with VMware:
- We lost connectivity between VMware and the storage.
- We lost vCenter once.
Neither has anything to do with Flexpod at all.
The solution is resilient because its intrinsic. For every product on the solution, we have Fabric Interconnects for the Cisco UCS, where you can move the profiles on the blades. It holds up well.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
FlexPod is better than HCI because you can scale wherever you want. You can scale the compute. You can also scale network and storage apart.
How are customer service and technical support?
FlexPod's tech support is very good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were previously using Dell EMC servers and storage. We were also using HPE networking. We switched due to the support and the products were getting old, needing better performance.
When migrating from Dell EMC, the performance increased by 200 percent. We now have hybrid which is faster with SSD and SaaS.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward. Just follow the validation plan.
What about the implementation team?
We used NetApp and our team for the deployment.
The validate designs are great because they made it easier to the deploy solution. Instead of about one week to install everything, with the validate\ solutions, it took us about two to three days.
What was our ROI?
We have save time because the implementation is easier and money because we have minimized support issues.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Because the solution is now stable, we are saving about $100 million USD a year.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We were considering Dell EMC solutions and a mix of products, such as NetApp plus Dell EMC servers and Extreme Networks switches.
The FlexClone played a big part of us going with FlexPod along with the migration of the profile onto Cisco.
What other advice do I have?
Go with FlexPod as a solution. You shouldn't have any concerns.
For our implementation, our customers are just private cloud. They are not going to public or hybrid now, but customers know that they able to do it.
We use FlexPod with VMware vCloud. It is great. We use the plugins in VMware and all the validate solutions, which is awesome.