FlexPod Review

Runs our mission-critical workloads, and the decreased operational requirements led us to cost savings

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is server workloads. I am a security analyst and I use this product every day. Pretty much all of my workloads run on Cisco USC with FlexPod, including mission-critical ones such as Disaster Recovery and HR.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has decreased operational requirements for maintaining servers. One example is that the storage is decoupled from the computer, meaning that I can scale up the computer without having to scale up the storage.

There has been a reduction in the operational workload with regards to change management.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is the automated firmware management.

This solution allows me to scale out easily.

It is innovative, although maybe not compare to hyper-converged. It did allow me to decouple the storage from the computer, so I can scale up the computer independently of scaling up my storage.

What needs improvement?

UCS Manager needs better integration to perform firmware updates.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

FlexPod is very stable.

The resiliency of the solution is made clear by the decreased operational workload with regards to change management.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is an extremely scalable solution, which is why I have it. 

This solution may help us with AI, in that it allows us to scale out.

How are customer service and technical support?

We never had to use the solution's technical support.

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

When we reached the previous product's end-of-life, I began evaluating FlexPod. Our previous solution was from HP.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution was complex. It was a steep learning curve, and there is a lot of planning that has to be done up front.

The Validated Designs are helpful, and I used them extensively when I set it up.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance from Computech for our deployment, and our experience was great.

What was our ROI?

I have seen an ROI in terms of streamlining operations. It has allowed me to save money on people.

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

The annual cost is approximately $100,000 USD.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered staying with an HP solution or moving to FlexPod. Ultimately, we switched to this product.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to use the Cisco Validated Designs.

I like the scalability and flexibility of this product, as well as the decreased operational overhead. The biggest lesson that I have learned when working with this solution is to invest in automation.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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