What is our primary use case?
We would probably use FlexPod in an Edge type of scenario for our COs to get closer to the customers, because our data center is already Cisco UCS with NetApp. This scenario with FlexPod would probably work well for our Edge deployments to get closer to customers.
We are NetApp/Cisco customers. We do have a similar implementation to FlexPod. Our main use case for its use is the virtual data center
How has it helped my organization?
The speed of scalability within the product and ease of integration are two factors which will play well with our environment.
We have seen a ten to 15 percent improvement in application performance.
What is most valuable?
The scale out allows us, in a small form factor, to scale out and get more compute and storage, as needed. This would be appreciated in our business.
It is innovative because it's bare metal and you can customize it easily. This brings a lot of benefits to the solution.
What needs improvement?
They could improve the Cisco technical support.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is rock solid. With all the built in redundancy within the product, I find it very resilient.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is very scalable. Since it's based off of Cisco UCS and all NetApp products, it has huge scalability.
How is customer service and technical support?
I haven't called technical support for FlexPod.
NetApp support is fantastic. The times that I've had to contact them, it was awesome. I was able to get to an engineer right away and the service was excellent. I even received more than what we asked for, additional information. So, it was very good.
Cisco support is much slower. Opening cases with Cisco tech is sometimes a bit tedious. The return time for less important calls can be slower. Even Priority 1 calls can sometimes be a bit long and they will have to call me back.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We aren't investing in a new solution because we're currently using Cisco and NetApp products. We're most investing in a new configuration, which is FlexPod, since it aligns well with our current product lineup.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is straightforward. It is all interface-based, so point and click.
What was our ROI?
At the moment, we used it to expand, so we're actually spending money to get it.
We see the most ROI on ease of deployment and time spent. Since the addition of nodes, it is all automated now. What would normally take us around three to five hours in the past, has come down to 15 minutes to half an hour, creating a significant gain in time.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We didn't have a lot of vendors on the short list. We work with Nutanix in the past, which was a complete and utter failure.
Seeing as we're a Cisco and NetApp shop, it was natural to go with FlexPod.
What other advice do I have?
Go for it. Just buy it. It's simple and out-of-the-box. Set it and forget it.
I haven't had time to look over the validated designs, but I have seen some in the past. I think that they are very helpful in getting a general idea and configuration guide to different products.
Bundled with the right products, multi-cloud environments could be a good asset. With its flexibility, it would allow for movement of workloads into multiple environments, which would be a great benefit.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.