How has it helped my organization?
In a thinly provisioned IT staffed environment, we were able to accomplish our work without having to stay after-hours anymore. Our backup RPO and RTO policies are met and done during business hours. Issues are resolved by calling one support line/number. No more headaches and hassles with finger-pointing blame between/among technology vendors. We now have a DR site with the ability to failover our production servers.
What is most valuable?
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) or the consolidation of the traditional server stack; i.e., compute nodes, storage, and storage networking were a perfect fit for our environment. Also, SimpliVity's compression and deduplication of data at inception yielded "more" capacity than we expected. Furthermore, the ability to backup our data without requiring additional storage media or software application was a huge gain. Finally, the reality of having a remote disaster recovery (DR) site without needing heavy financial investment sealed the deal for us.
What needs improvement?
Increased storage capacity for big data, something that we have not had. DR "automation."
In the Life Sciences disciplines, we generate a lot of big data 500GB to 1TB in file size. For example, DNA and gene sequencing, image processing (sections of the heart or brain), and other data generated by a scientific instrument. I have not stored any of these data on SimpliVity. Rather, we use a traditional SAN type storage for those data.
I would like to try storing those kinds of big data on SimpiVity and see if the compression and de-dupe would make it work. Currently, I only store user generated data files on SimpliVity and have no issues. As for DR automation, I would like to purchase Rapid DR from SimpliVity, which allows me to automate the disaster recover process/procedure. Currently, disaster recovery is done manually.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We had to update a SimpliVity patch that made the networking compatible with our internal networking.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have not encountered any scalability issues. We've added nodes into our server federation without issues.
How is customer service and technical support?
Customer service is 10/10.
Technical support is 10/10.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We previously used a different solution. It was not a true HCI.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was almost painless! We had a misconfigured network setting, which the SimpliVity engineer resolved for us at no extra charge.
What about the implementation team?
We have a SimpliVity sales engineer do the installation. I would rate him to be an expert. The installation was completed within four hours.
What was our ROI?
HCI has indeed reduced the complexities of our server environment. My systems architect/engineer now has more time to work on other pressing projects and investigate new technologies, which he was able to acquire and implement. No need to work overtime to resolve issues anymore.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Talk to your SimpliVity team about it. They will assist you in right-sizing your environment and getting you the correct systems and licenses so that you are able to accomplish the same production or more for less than your current infrastructure.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Before choosing, we evaluated Cisco UCS FlexPod. We also evaluated and did a proof of concept (PoC) of a direct competitor's product after our SimpliVity acquisition. In short, we validated our investment with 100% confidence.
What other advice do I have?
Be open minded and consider a PoC to run some of your production load. You won't be disappointed.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jun 22 2017