FlexPod Review

A stable and efficient solution for our primary network infrastructure

What is our primary use case?

We have a custom-built FlexPod with a Cisco 6332-16FI and an AH-700.

It is being used as our primary network infrastructure.

The solution’s validated designs are pretty important for major enterprise apps in our organization. We follow them to make sure that we're compliant.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution runs our VMs. Our SQL databases, for example, are in our VMs, so everything is virtualized.

Implementing this solution has made our staff more efficient because once it is built, it's a matter of provisioning additional VMs. It's pretty simplified.

I think that with the new all-flash array, our application performance has been improved.

We did not have very much unplanned downtime before implementing our current solution, so I can't say that our new solution is much different in that regard.

This solution has probably not reduced our data center costs because our previous solution was relatively small. It was just one rack.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the stability.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a more centralized support model.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

To this point, stability has been good. We have had no downtime since I built this solution.

In our previous FlexPod, I think that both of the UCS-FIs went down during the firmware upgrade. That caused an outage. I do not know all of the details because that was before I joined the company.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can expand using additional chassis and additional disk shelves.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's unified support for the entire stack is beneficial. Basically, it's kind of all-in-one.

The technical support for this solution is ok, although we dislike using the online robot. It's caused delays in us reaching out to a real support engineer.

How was the initial setup?

I built the current FlexPod and it was pretty straightforward.

We had another FlexPod that was built by somebody else. It's easy to build and we are in the process of migrating all of the workloads over. We're always refreshed.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also have experience with Vblock.

What other advice do I have?

We do not use the solution’s storage tiering to the public cloud. We are not using the cloud at all for the moment.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to engage some type of professional services just to set it up if they are unfamiliar with the technology.

This is a solution that I recommend, and if you're already familiar with other similar technologies then it is pretty simple to put it together.

We do not have the license for NDME yet, and we would like to see how much improvement it is over our current setup.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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