FlexPod Review

A high-performance solution that runs all of our workloads, including mission-critical apps

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the VMware virtualization of all of our servers. We use the Cisco UCS for the blade servers.

How has it helped my organization?

From a server storage side, we were previously using the HP BladeSystem c7000 chassis for our blade servers. It was much harder to update the firmware when compared to the Cisco UCS.

What is most valuable?

From a UCS side, it is very simple to go from an ESXi host that is on an M4 blade and switch it out to an M5 blade by changing the service profiles on the blades. It is very easy and quick. 

What needs improvement?

The procedure for contacting technical support could be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between three and four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

UCS has been around for, I'm assuming, about ten years, and it has only gotten better with time. I like it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very easy. You just scale up or scale down, whenever you want.

How are customer service and technical support?

When dealing with technical support, which was not often, it was tied to our account. That was difficult because I had to go through a partner to find out what our accounts were before I could get support. I wish that part was a little easier.

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

Our previous solution was an HP c7000 BladeSystem with 1-gigabit passthrough modules, and we were going to a 10-gigabit solution. We wanted something that was easier, better, and would support 10-gigabit. We actually ended up going to a 40-gigabit solution.

The HP solution, HP Virtual Connect Flex-10, only supported 10-gigabit modules.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty much straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We have deployed two different systems. The first one was by CDW, which went perfectly well. The second one was by Precidia, which also went perfectly well. Both of these resellers knew what they were doing and everything went smoothly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only looked at Cisco at the time.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution depends on what they're going with. If it is the converged infrastructure then the UCS is probably the way to go. If instead, they are going with the hyperconverged infrastructure, then I would suggest going with the HyperFlex solution.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from this solution is the ease of actually setting it up and learning it.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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

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