FlexPod Review

It is scaling to our needs. Automation gets a little tricky for provisioning.

What is our primary use case?

Our environment is completely virtualized. Therefore, we are using Cisco UCS and NetApp as back-end storage.

We're using FlexPod on Managed Private Cloud only today, and it's good. It's doing its job and we are happy so far.

How has it helped my organization?

We were a small company when we started, like a startup. We have been using this FlexPod since then, and now, we have grown to about mid-scale. However, FlexPod is still able to scale out the way we want, and we are happy with it.

What is most valuable?

It comes as a package. Since we are dependent on our virtualized environment, and FlexPod provides a small to mid-class environment, FlexPod is the better solution than going with a different product for each individual infrastructure stack.

The solution is innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking. Each environment has knowledge of another in a FlexPod environment. This would be difficult to operate separately. 

We are at the level where we want it to be on serving our applications, our storage, and whatever traffic we want.

What needs improvement?

The validate designs and overall versatility can be very complex. Because when you try to do automation, there are many bits and pieces tied together. Sometimes, automation gets a little tricky for provisioning. We would like simplicity in the automation.

We would also like better management of cases. For example, if you open a FlexPod case, it's not always straightforward. It would be nice to have centralized resource to open FlexPod cases and ease up management of our cases.

I would like more support on the next level transition to hybrid cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been strong.

We have had some occasions where we had issues with the performance. We sometimes have had issues with the coordination between vendors, whether its Cisco and NetApp, and bringing them all together. Opening a FlexPod case is not straightforward. Other than that, the stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scaling to our needs. We don't have any issues.

Even though the automation is complex and it is stubborn, it scales to whatever the level that we want to performance-wise and availability-wise. 

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

We did not use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We got all the requirements, then gave them to the consultants who came back telling us what is a requirement and what is a design. We discussed it, and this made the rollout pretty simple. Other than finding out what bits and pieces we needed, the instillation and execution administration was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a consultant who was good. They helped us initially with all the FlexPod deployments.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As a startup, for the amount of budget we have and the amount we spend, we are getting what we expected.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

FlexPod was the only vendor on our shortlist. We went with FlexPod based on our requirements. Also, we have a file-based, virtualized environment, so we thought NetApp would be the right choice for our file-based environment.

What other advice do I have?

I would say, "Definitely consult FlexPod."

I am saving time in my work and so are my colleagues.

I would like to go with the hybrid environment. My tech is built to accommodate any application, independent of the stack where you are, whether it is on on-premise, AWS, Google, or Azure. This way you have ease of moving the application in and back, providing flexibility. However, I would stick with the hybrid as the best way to start with public clouds because of security.

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

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