What is most valuable?
What we were looking at originally with OneView was the server profiles. We were looking for:
- Something that could provision the server end-to-end with everything configured
- Core management
- Central management
- A way to manage everything
- Have a single plane of glass across all of the server platforms
Those were biggest things that were compelling and drew us to implement OneView.
How has it helped my organization?
Central management: That's something we're brand new to at CIBC, i.e., the bank. We never really had a centralized view. We had a very fragmented firmware process across the board with a lot of our hardware. During our refresh cycle, or when trying to keep everything current, that was when we had a real struggle. That's where OneView came into play.
What needs improvement?
We're still pretty junior into it, so right now our focus with regards to hardware is kind of being displaced now with the cloud. For future releases, it's probably not going to fall into our lap anymore. I probably can't really speak to what we would like to see in future releases, at least not at this point. As much as we've used OneView right now, it's probably not something that we're going to move forward with as a bigger footprint. We're trying to displace ourselves from the hardware platform.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability's good. It's an appliance, so really you plug it in and it's configured as it is. There is an advantage to the appliances, as we just put it in. We used a VM appliance and that was a pretty easy implementation. We just had to give it a compute and everything else was done for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is good. Right now, we're still at a small footprint. We are expanding over to another side of the bank that is also using OneView, so we're sharing the licenses. But we found that there were options. We sort of designed it so that we could scale out. We are making a central point server with a bunch of OneView nodes, so that we can still talk about everything at one central source, instead of being continually fragmented.
How are customer service and technical support?
I did not use technical support. Right now, we are still engaged with professional services, so we had the support right on-site.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We knew we needed to invest just because of the fragmentation issue. We noticed that every time there was an incident or occurrence, it was firmware related. Generally, when you open an incident ticket with any hardware vendor, that's usually the first question, as well as any of the stability issues behind it.
We wanted to make sure that we could rule that out on a currency, on a release schedule, so we could say, "Yep. Because the servers are having scope, we're going to release it on this schedule. Once a year, twice a year, whatever it is." We didn't have a platform existing at that time to do that for us, and that's when we looked at OneView.
How was the initial setup?
I was involved in the initial design. So a few things we generally look at from the engineering space are:
- How do we scale?
- How do we manage this?
- How do we manage the currency?
- How do we expand on it if we need to change the footprint and change direction?
- Can we do this easily, or is this a tear down or rebuild?
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We didn't evaluate other options for this space. OneView is kind of the direction given by HPE, and we were using HPE servers. We didn't really have any necessity to look at other vendors.
What other advice do I have?
I would definitely consider it for a colleague who had the same challenges as we did. Obviously, different companies have different challenges. But if they are dealing with similar challenges with regards to a fragmented footprint and currency-wise, OneView is a nice choice. It is:
- Visually appealing
- Easy to use
- Easy for managing servers going forward
- Easy for building servers at a profile level, versus going in traditionally and configuring all that stuff. It can automate all that stuff.
So if those were the challenges they are having, I would say OneView is a good place for them to look.
When selecting a vendor, I think relationship is very important. We want to make sure that our vendor is as intimate with us as we are with them. For them to understand our needs, we need to know what they can offer so that they can be transparent on what they can offer or provide partners that could offer the service to help everything we need efficiently. So that's really number one for me.
It's a little bit of unfair analysis. We weren't able to take this solution to the max. We put it in. We did a small footprint. It worked very well. But could I tell you what would happen at 3,000 servers or 5,000 servers? I wouldn't have an answer for you on that one. There is probably the potential, but I don't have an answer.