FlexPod Review

Provides an engineered solution we can use for smaller, medium, or large projects

What is our primary use case?

FlexPod can be used for all types of workloads. At my company we are using FlexPod for the SAP HANA product.

How has it helped my organization?

The application that is running on the FlexPod that we are working with runs better on FlexPod because of the technology itself. It saves on time to do backups and restores, protection, and of course deployment and roll out.

In addition, the support that you can get from all three vendors - VMware, Cisco, and NetApp - with one call, is a value-add.

We have also seen a large percentage improvement in the performance of some applications. We can back up and restore within minutes, whereas before, when the program was running on a different platform, that would take eight to 12 hours.

What is most valuable?

FlexPod comes as an engineered solution. We can use it for smaller, medium, or large solutions and we can scale it as we need. That's the reason that it's very useful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I find it very resilient. I would trust FlexPod to the point that I would put a lot of different things on it.

It is stable as long as you do your due diligence. With all the updates and upgrades, there is always a chance of something going wrong. However, the built-in resiliency annuls those risks to some degree.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling it was not difficult. The scale of the FlexPod for a company I worked with before was about eight nodes.

How are customer service and technical support?

If you get the right numbers and give the right information you can get to the right support. Otherwise, it's a nightmare. Once you get to the right people, it's perfect.

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

What made us switch was the fact that we had limitation challenges with the old product. Everything was a little bit different every time. FlexPod helped us solve the problem so that we are deploying something that is the same all the time.

How was the initial setup?

I did not really notice anything complex or anything you couldn't figure out for yourself or by picking up a phone or looking up the documents. They were able to produce the system within 24 hours from the time the boxes arrived at the data center.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator. That experience was not as good as it could have been. There is room for improvement the second or the third time around.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was either FlexPod or build our own "FlexPod" ourselves. With FlexPod, and the automation, everything is the same all the time.

What other advice do I have?

Using FlexPod as one product, understand that you are putting yourself in the hands of three of the major technology leaders. You are not only getting a product, an appliance, but you are gaining experience. All these things work together to help you decide for today and tomorrow.

If you want something really fast to deploy, you are going to use a Validated Design; everybody's compliance and all that is taken care of. But you can make a FlexPod-like build and you can later go certify it as a FlexPod design.

Regarding private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, every solution is here to answer a problem. So the question is: What are the challenges? Based on those you can then use the proper solution. NetApp people usually tell us that the hybrid vision is the best, and I tend to agree with them.

In terms of the solution being innovative for compute, it's very useful for the storage engineer. If there is a problem with the host, he can replace the base hardware and put the intelligence right back in the same box. In that way, every type has been kitted out, without anyone having to rebuild anything from scratch.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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