Most Helpful Review
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Going from the old monolithic server and silo storage that they used to use is an improvement. With the FlexPod solution, just being able to manage and monitor the overall environment helps.
Availability is the most valuable part of this solution. We have not had any trouble since we installed it.
Things got a lot faster. We can pull and test in DEV systems much more rapidly and are clearing up a lot of DBA time. In the past, every time we tested it, we needed to be refreshed. In the past, it would take a day of our DBA's time, and now it's just point, click, and ten minutes later it's done.
For us as an IT department, it helped us a lot. Before we implemented FlexPod, we were using different solutions all based on a virtual infrastructure. On VMware, before implementing FlexPod, we had a lot of problems doing backups with disaster recovery. After integrating it, it enabled us to have shorter maintenance windows, instant backups, instant recovery, which also minimized the number of alerts that we get from the application team and from the employees who were working on the application that something is not working.
FlexPod's unified support for the entire stack is very important. Before, the customers would log a ticket by Cisco and a ticket by NetApp. It's better when vendors can parter and look for a solution together.
I see the most value in the UCS portion. I love Cisco UCS.
A valuable feature of the FlexPod solution is that it is all one architecture and I can call one number and get support for Cisco and NetApp without having to jump through open TAC (Technical Assistance Center) cases and do multiple things to get issues addressed.
With FlexPod, it is about the synergy of the server, the storage, and the whole management layer. Together, it is really about minimizing staff. You don't have to hire more people. You can work with the minimum level of resources and the availability is really good. We have had very little downtime.
The most valuable feature of this solution is the automation and integration points with other automation tools.
I like the new releases that Dell EMC is doing with VMware. They are allowing for flexibility across the hybrid cloud. This allows organizations to use containers and to be able to move into the public cloud, but also not have lock-in. They can come back to the private cloud when they want to, so it's creating a lot of flexibility across the stack.
It gives us tons of flexibility. We can create new machines, then destroy them if they don't work out. We test a lot of use cases that may or may not play out. We can build all types of scenarios into virtual machines that we may or may not use. If we don't use them, we just turn them off, no using up resources.
The most valuable feature is its high performance.
We were able to speed up our gaming software, which was a big plus.
It is truly a hyper-converged infrastructure, so everything is there together.
It's a turnkey solution, which is good for customers, because they are buying into stability.
The most valuable feature in the VxRail solution is the software that binds the management portal and its ease of use of managing the environment. The guys don't have to worry about getting multiple solutions specialist. You can have one person looking at and managing the whole environment.
I think it is sufficient for now, but in the next generation, I'd just like to see bigger, faster, and better.
We would like more integration with some other HCI solutions so we can take advantage of other opportunities.
Not a ten because it could always be cheaper, it could always be faster.
The upgrades should be improved. We would like to have the ability to do unified upgrades of the whole infrastructure from beginning to end.
You must build each block separately, that's a disadvantage sometimes.
Possibly the UCS could get a bit better. Other than that, overall I don't necessarily have any sorts of constraints or issues with it. It's done the job that it's been bought to do.
The upgrade process needs to be improved and it would be nice to manage everything from a single pane of glass.
There is always room for improvement. I believe we can do hot swaps on the fly. On the release upgrades, if there was a way to do a release on the fly, that would really be cool because it does take some downtime. It takes restarting. It is more of a software thing. Customers hate doing releases.
Having a native replication would be an improvement.
It still has some maturity to grow. It needs to be more tightly integrated with its own family of products. It has shown that it is open with the other products within the market, through its stack, but it needs to have the proof in the market (with use-cases), and it has to have the scalability with the integration.
I would like them to include an easier solution to host its own DNS. When they changed to version 6.5, they took out the easy features of letting the rail be its own DNS. You can still trick the system and make the VxRail Manager another one of the rail-required VMs become the DNS, but it's a lot of extra work. I'd like to see it put back into the UI.
There are still some features which aren't built into Cisco, like virtualized networking, that use its applications. However, these can be purchased through another product as an additional licensing cost to us.
I would like an easier migration. This way, if a node fails like it did, the data would have been migrated and I would not have had to get up at three in the morning.
I would like better integration with VCF from VMware, which is the Cloud Foundation tool set, so we can easily provision servers very quickly.
I would like it to tier to the cloud effectively, making sure that cold data can be pushed out to some sort of Bitbucket.
From a hardware and software perspective, there could be an improvement in the sales cycle, as there is a lot of hoops to go through to get pricing on a solution.
Pricing and Cost Advice
The product is kind of expensive even from an entry-level standpoint. I would say FlexPod would be the way to go if you are a larger business or one with large data volume.
The NetApp portion was a $5 million investment five years ago. That has served the customer well over five and a half years.
It is cost-effective.
We fear high availability so we can't buy from different providers.
FlexPod has saved data center costs, due to the fact that we reduced our footprint for storage in a big way. We went from three complete racks down to a 2U storage array for more than 300 terabytes of storage.
We immediately saw a return on investment due to the fact that replacing our legacy storage arrays with the new AFFs reduced the footprint and maintenance costs. Overall, we saw an almost immediate ROI.
We would like everything in one piece of hardware. This way we can just sell the product like a silo by putting everything in a stack together.
The scalability is very expensive.
The real ROI is the benefit of being able to do a true hybrid cloud, not having to move from CAPEX to OPEX in a pure break.
There is an administrative cost savings. Instead of having seven to 15 separate boxes that someone has to administer on 15 different terminals, you can do the majority of it from one interface. Therefore, it saves on manpower costs.
We were expecting Dell EMC to bring us something that would work very quickly and easily, but also be at a reasonable price point, and they did.
The price point needs improvement, certainly for smaller SMBs. The cost of it is still quite painful. I think all vendors should do a product which is capped either by terabytes, IOPs, or VM instances. It should be an SMB solution that's going to make hyper-converged solutions easier for SMBs to get hold of. It's fine for those big guys that have billions of dollars of budget, but not for customers who have barely a 100,000 dollars or pounds in budget.
The price is a little bit on the higher side but the system and management are so quick and easy that it's worth it for the customer.
We most likely pay yearly for support. The cost was justified by now because it stays up and I don't have to constantly open tickets. I probably rebooted the system once or twice. We haven't replaced any discs in the storage, we haven't had to do any disc replacements, so it just runs. You pay a little more but you cut down on the maintenance.
Compare it to what you spent on your last solution.
Compare the VxRail product to Nutanix. Nutanix has more features, but its pricing is higher.
out of 18 in Converged Infrastructure
Average Words per Review
out of 38 in Hyper-Converged (HCI)
Average Words per Review
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Also Known As
The FlexPod platform, developed by NetApp and Cisco, is a flexible, converged infrastructure solution that delivers prevalidated storage, networking, and server technologies. It’s designed to increase IT responsiveness to business demands while reducing your overall cost of computing. Think maximum uptime, minimal risk
VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance family on the market. Based on VMware’s vSphere and Virtual SAN, and EMC software, VxRail delivers an all-in-one IT infrastructure transformation by leveraging a known and proven building block for the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
With the power of a whole SAN in just two rack units, they provide a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution for a wide variety of applications and workloads. VxRail Appliances deliver resiliency, QoS, and centralized management functionality enabling faster, better, and simpler management of consolidated workloads, virtual desktops, business-critical applications, and remote office infrastructure.
Learn more about FlexPod
Learn more about VxRail
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Financial Services Firm16%
Comms Service Provider10%
Software R&D Company21%
Comms Service Provider17%
Financial Services Firm10%
Financial Services Firm18%
Software R&D Company34%
Comms Service Provider11%