What is most valuable?
For us, EVO:RAIL is valuable because I have a small IT staff, and we were able to deploy it easily and quickly to meet our needs. Manageability for EVO:RAIL has been good. You hear the saying of, "A single pane of glass." We like that, being able to see everything with one interface.
How has it helped my organization?
The benefits of EVO:RAIL is the simple configuration, the scalability, so as we add VDI users. We are just planning to add more EVO:RAIL appliances.
The availability of EVO:RAIL has been excellent. We like having the four nodes built-in. We actually lost one, and it just kept on running and kept our load going.
What needs improvement?
In future releases of EVO:RAIL, I want to be able to bring up appliances and different data centers, and have those replicate across smoothly. One thing that we want to make sure that we do is that we have redundancy that is easy to manage, so we want to make sure we can put in EVO:RAIL boxes in different places and have those easily replicate to each other.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability, what we like is just adding new appliances. We have about 3,000 users, and as they're adopting the VDI solution, we're just planning to keep adding boxes.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support for EVO:RAIL has been awesome. We're working with Dell, and they've been excellent, and when we've needed to bring in VMware, we've worked with a VMware systems engineer. We were in the Early Adopter Program, so we had access to a VMware employee, which has been excellent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Before EVO:RAIL, we had an old solution that had a standalone rack for storage. We had another standalone rack for servers, different vendors, and then a different vendor for top of rack networking, so it was pretty complicated. When we evaluated EVO:RAIL, we had certain criteria that we were following:
- Ease of use
- An integrated platform, and then
- Honestly was price.
How was the initial setup?
Our implementation went smoothly. We were missing a few cables that we had to order, but other than that, we were able to get up quickly and launch on time.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Cost-benefit has been awesome for us. We actually got a good price. For us, just adding different boxes with a known cost, additional boxes, has been a great feature for us.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We initially chose EVO:RAIL because of my small IT staff. We wanted to be able to standardize on one vendor and have that single point of support, and we wanted to have one appliance that covered the full stack of compute, storage, and networking, so our guys could learn that and just move forward.
When we were making our selection of hyper-converged platform, we looked at EVO:RAIL because we're a long-time VMware customer, we looked at Nutanix and SimpliVity. After looking at all three solutions, we chose EVO:RAIL. We chose EVO:RAIL because of our relationship with VMware and looking at their long-term value, so we know that VMware is there for the long-term. We imagine our roadmap for EVO:RAIL that's really going to hit our needs.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate EVO:RAIL, on a scale of one to 10, a nine to be honest with you. I still see some solutions in the future to help with replicating between data centers, but other than that, we're super happy with it.
I work in the education sector and in K-12 in particular. For us, budget is really a big issue, and maybe not so much for hardware, but for people. So, for us, I recommend EVO:RAIL because it is a great solution if you have a small IT staff, again, to learn one platform that can hold your whole virtual infrastructure.
When we're reviewing enterprise technology solutions, it's really important for us to do a little research, so we basically go online. I'm actually a subscriber to Gartner, so we use that. That's a good solution. They have a peer review section. We also go on the internet. We are members of certain groups, of peers for K-12 CIOs. We have a newsgroup that we share with, so running solutions by people, finding out what other people have done is really important. Often times, it's a lot like reviewing a restaurant online. You want to see what other people think of the solution, so that's what we do.