HPE Synergy Review

Composability is the way to go, but faulty components required lengthy troubleshooting

What is our primary use case?

We give out certification training on HPE product lines. Synergy is one of the product lines. It's part of our composable infrastructure in our hybrid IT training. We use Synergy for giving customers and partners hands-on experience.

How has it helped my organization?

It gets us lots of training-development work because the product is changing all the time. It's a relatively new product. It was introduced a couple of years ago and it's changing quite rapidly. That's a benefit for us as we continue to update the training of it.

The key advantage that we teach people is speed to market, or speed to productivity, thus, reducing the time it takes to provision business services. That's the key positive aspect of Synergy.

What is most valuable?

Composability. We're developing training. We show our partners the value of composability and how it can meet their needs.

What needs improvement?

I would just like it to work.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is poor. It's a relatively young product and the management solution that drives the product shows its signs of immaturity. There is a new version being released this week. Things are getting better but they need to get better more quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From a scalability perspective, the platform is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is poor. We've had issues with the system. Firmware upgrades, for example, did not go as they should have gone. After placing a support call to HPE, several weeks later problems actually got worse as a result of what they instructed us to do.

How was the initial setup?

We were shipped the very early solution and it's installed in a data center in Michigan and we had other people do it. We helped them do it remotely but it wasn't hands-on for us. The kit is owned by HPE but it's managed by an external company and we work with that external company to use the kit and help set it up. Our experience with them during the setup was great.

The main challenge we faced was that when it was installed it just did not work. There were faulty components and it took weeks of troubleshooting to find the faulty components, get them replaced. Getting help from HPE was difficult. Nobody knew about the product. It was a brand-new product and people had not been trained on it. That part was not a great experience.

The setup was very complex. The intention for Synergy is that it's auto-discovery. You turn the power on and everything happens and it's all done for you. It absolutely did not work that way. If you have one faulty component - and we had several - it just does not do what it says on the tin. Again, it was an early production model, so we understand things go wrong. But again, getting support for the product was very difficult because nobody knew about the product because it was brand-new.

What other advice do I have?

Come on a training course. Find out what it can do for you.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that composability is the way to go. No one else can do it. It will be a great win for HPE when it works.

It decreases deployment time, certainly, when it works. I can get an operating system or a hypervisor deployed within five minutes. Whereas prior, it might have taken me five hours to do the same job. It's quite significant. What we don't see are the 700 hours that we have to spend setting it up and getting past the bugs in the software to make it work. When it's working its fine. I don't tell customers this. However, it is marketed as a panacea and, with the appropriate work, it can be.

I rate Synergy at five out of ten. Once they resolve the issues, it'll be great. The product is only two years old. In another year, another two years maybe, it'll be fantastic. It's just, the reality is, it's breaking new ground. No one else has this solution and there are issues with it. It's possible that much of the skill that was within HPE as a company, is no longer with the company. As a result of people moving away from the company, HPE is left with insufficient expertise, especially in the support area.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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