FlexPod Review

Allows managers to provision additional VMs

What is our primary use case?

It is our primary on-premise infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

It runs our VMs. Our SQL databases are all on VMs, so everything is virtualized.

Once the FlexPod is built, managers provision additional VMs. So, it's pretty simplified.

With the all-flash array, I think it did improve application performance in our organization.

What is most valuable?

The solution’s validated designs for major enterprise apps in our organization are very important. We just followed them to make sure the CVD was compliant or matched to what they designed.

The solution’s unified support for the entire stack is beneficial. It is all in one.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more of a centralized support model because we have all the FlexPod components and we hand build them. So, if we have issues with one particular stack, we're talking to individual vendors, e.g., for UCS, I have to call Cisco, and for storage, I have to call NetApp.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, the stability has been good. We haven't had downtime or issues since I built it. 

The old one did have some outages. The old UCS FIs went down during the firmware upgrade.

Our stuff usually doesn't go down, so the unplanned downtime isn't worse or better than before.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our department is pretty small.

Our models are pretty small. So, we'll be able to expand additional chassis in place, then additional disk shelves.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had to file tech support cases. Our experience with them is okay. We dislike going online with the robot stuff. Many times, it has delayed our reaching out to a real support engineer.

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

When I came onboard, they had already purchased it. I just put everything together.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is pretty straightforward. 

My recommendation: If you are not familiar with the technology, you probably should engage some type of professional services to set it up.

What about the implementation team?

We hand built our FlexPod environment. It is composed of a Cisco UCS 6332-16UP FI, NetApp AFF A700, and an NDS.

It was easy to build. We had an old FlexPod built by someone else and I built the new one. We're in the process of migrating all the workloads over.

What was our ROI?

It hasn't decreased our data center cost by much. It just one rack replaced by another.

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

I heard the NVMe stuff is coming around. We don't have that license or that feature yet. So, we probably will try it out and see how much improvement that's over our current setup.

What other advice do I have?

Give it a shot. If you are experienced with other types of technologies already, it's pretty simple to put it together.

I would rate the solution as an eight (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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