FlexPod Review

Saves us time in setup and maintenance, but we need an option to skip Tier-I technical support


What is our primary use case?

We provide this solution to customers for their data centers, and we also use it internally, for our data center, to host customer data.

This solution is right there in terms of leading-edge digital equipment.

How has it helped my organization?

It is definitely easier for us to maintain and do build-outs, so it takes a lot less time to set things up for the customer.

We have seen approximately a twenty-five percent increase in application performance.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of setup. When we're bringing out the new solution, it's easy to get everything in the rack. When we need to add to it, later on, it's easier to have all of that stuff there and add as we need it. It's easier to bolt-on, and the integration between the pieces is a lot easier on the setup side, too.

The management is easy. Some of the stuff we have is an older generation that can’t do connectivity into the inner site. But, for everything that we can put in there, we can see all of the customers from that one pane of glass. It makes it simple.

It enables us to run mission-critical workloads. We are running one hundred to one hundred and fifty SQL and high-demand database servers.

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the validated designs because that is what I go by, whenever we’re building out systems for the customers. It seems like they stay pretty up to date on the newly released products.

What needs improvement?

As we do much of the Tier-I support ourselves, and thus don't normally need it, there is time wasted in moving up to the next level.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a solid solution, and I don't have any issues with stability.

This is a resilient solution. We have a lot of clusters set up, and we haven’t had to worry about server failures because when we do have a server fail, the other ones pick up the workload pretty seamlessly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is easy, and we can pretty much have anybody do it.

We can scale that really easily, and we’ve been doing that. We were probably one of the first Cisco customers that came on when the UCS line came out, so we have a lot invested in the architecture.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support from time to time.

Most of the time, we end up having to get a tier above. We're able to do a lot of the Tier-I troubleshooting on our own. We have a lot of engineers that can handle that, so we do spend some time trying to get past Tier-I in order to get the support we really need.

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

We were already a big Cisco partner when they came out with this line, and it was something that we just moved right into. Once we saw that it worked, and saw how easy it was to scale it out, we just decided to go that way to save a little extra money.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward and very easy.

There is a thirty-five to forty percent reduction in the time required for deployment.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation in-house.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody considering this solution is to get in touch with an account manager at Cisco, then visit and see a demo. I know that when we were first looking at it, an account manager came out and brought a senior engineer with him. They saw the solution and went over it in great detail. It was easy for us to see the gain that we were getting from the product.

I think that people still need to do their own due diligence and look at other solutions. Once you get those two or three solution sets and compare them, I think you'll see that this one is probably the best one out there. This solution is right there with leading-edge digital equipment.

Overall, this is a good solution. It has saved us time on the setup, as well as maintaining the system, and we haven't had to do a whole lot of troubleshooting with it.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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