Vblock Review

You can increase the storage capacity without having to disrupt, shut down, or schedule down time. They should allow for a little disassembly in certain areas.

What is most valuable?

Its EMC storage arrays and the combined technology with Cisco in it.

How has it helped my organization?

An example would be one that I've seen where we were having to increase the capacity of its storage array size. We thought that there had to be downtime scheduled, but we found out that you can increase the storage capacity without having to disrupt, shut down, or schedule down time of the Vblock. It was rather seamless to perform.

What needs improvement?

The only thing I would like to see is that although they strongly advocate that you cannot change any of its parts, and that would undermine its performance, but a little allowance should be allowed for disassembly within certain areas, which would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for about two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

In terms of deployment, I want to highlight that if it's being flown in from another country, please pay very close and strict attention to details such as to allowing it to thaw, or adjust to the temperature of the environment that it is going to be deployed to before powering it up. I've heard cases where it didn't work because certain controls that were overlooked.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?


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

We were using Aberdeen NAS and combining that with Cisco switches and VMware. We switched as Aberdeen was an expensive way to go, and choosing Vblock was done at a more regional level so it gave us the chance to compare it to the rest, and it's good.

How was the initial setup?

It was done by a different team, but I watched them do it and it seemed straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is rather simple and not very technical. Many times I personally felt that while this is a good product to implement in any environment, the one key factor is knowing the environment that this is going to go, know the purpose it is going to serve, and plan ahead a minimum of two years ahead what you might see are areas that might need extra upgrading. Try to tie that in with your current plan and budget, and know what power supplies it needs to draw. Speak to your technical managers and also to your IT technologist or whoever is going to be involved in the configuration part of it. Make sure you plan all the way through and always have a backup plan, and have redundancies in place. We are talking about a Vblock redundancy in place. You can have two or three Vblock devices in one place and you realized you are all juiced up. When the equipment arrives have a keen eye for detail, making sure you run your checks as well. Physical checks are also important. When powering up the equipment, follow the guide on which to power first and don't power up as you see fit. On the day of powering up always have the VCE product vendors present to ensure fairness or that you are not accused of tampering.

Once the equipment is handed over, have your engineers run their own tests to ensure everything is running accordingly. Ensure that two people are always present when VCE engineers are going to do the stress and product tests - it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes watching.

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

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