FlexPod Competitors and Alternatives

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Read reviews of FlexPod competitors and alternatives

JasonDe Plessis
Platforms Engineer at Logicalis
MSP
Nov 21, 2019
Makes everything easier to manage and migration into the cloud becomes seamless

What is our primary use case?

We have multiple use cases for it. Most of it is just based on the fact of its reliability and its performance. We have customers in the insurance industry, financial industry, retail and they mostly use it for compute and storage.

Pros and Cons

  • "I see the most value in the UCS portion. I love Cisco UCS."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to anybody considering FlexPod would be to just do it. It depends whether you know NetApp or not. If you don't know NetApp, when you get into NetApp it's a bit confusing based on storage, virtual machines and stuff that other storage vendors don't necessarily use. Do a lot of reading and researching. I would rate it a nine out of ten. Not a ten because it's not like it hasn't broken. There have been issues, but it's not major issues.
reviewer1223490
IT Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Nov 19, 2019
Simplified and saved time overall for all of the configuration and deployment but it is not a complete solution

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for virtualization, the VMs.

Pros and Cons

  • "Backup, restore, and ease of deployment are the most valuable features."
  • "I would like to have the installation of the top virtualization on its own rather than doing it through the admin. For example, if FlexPod is configured after the configuration of the host, the ESXi is installed also, but it should be part of it rather than doing it as a separate system."

What other advice do I have?

If configuration, unification, and standardization are the concern and if they are using it with Cisco as a network edge then I think it will be a good solution to go with FlexPod. I would rate it a seven out of ten. Not a ten because a seven means for me that it is more than a five. A 10 would mean that I don't have to do anything else to improve. Improvements could be ESXi installations at vCenter installation and all of that. I have this to do it. It is a solution, but it has stops at a certain point. It is not a complete solution.
ChrisKnott
Data Center Engineer at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Nov 21, 2019
A reliable, versatile solution that offers great value and proven performance

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for backing up and storing banking and financial data. It is especially important for protecting data mirroring between multiple data centers using a hybrid cloud type approach. We have our own cases for what we use but we do like the input we get from the manufacturers and their suggestions on how we should deploy things.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "The upgrade process needs to be improved and it would be nice to manage everything from a single pane of glass."

What other advice do I have?

We have found that the solution simplifies infrastructure from edge to core to cloud — although we have not really implemented the cloud yet. The solution has made our staff more efficient and enables them to spend more time driving the business forward. It's primarily what we do. We don't really have other tasks. But as far as not having to worry about daily maintenance on the network very much — it just works. I'm not messing with it every day and trying to get something to work right. It is set up, it is configured, We have got our policies in place and you pretty much roll. We can focus on…
HammadSikander
Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Nov 7, 2019
Easy to fix and upgrade, which is good, because we cannot afford downtime

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is healthcare for billing applications. With FlexPod, we use it mostly on some databases and billing applications. We are also using it now for containers, mostly with VMware. We have the Cisco UCS M4 Blade Server, 6300 Series Fabric Interconnect, and NetApp AFF A800.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution’s unified support for the entire stack is critically important because we cannot afford downtime."
  • "The majority of the time, if we need more storage, then we need to work with customizing the NetApp deployment. Right now, we just do a generic deployment, then wherever we have a need for storage, we have to move some application out of the next FlexPod deployment. One thing is to customize based on the requirements, but the requirements change so frequently, they are absolutely obsolete in six months."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution as an eight out of 10. I would suggest or recommend FlexPod for deployment if you are moving from a predefined converged infrastructure or validated design architecture. Though, you have to customize it based on your requirements. Right now, do not just jump in. Work with a partner to build out your requirements, then deploy it properly. Our data center is huge, so it has let us reduce some cost, but nothing significant.
reviewer1223619
Senior Systems Engineer at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Nov 16, 2019
Good data center density, scalability, and technical support

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is virtualization with Hyper-V. We are using Cisco UCS and NetApp together in our FlexPod solution. The validated designs for major enterprise applications are very important for our organization because we are part of the local government, and this solution is a critical platform for a broad array of applications and services that we provide to the public. The history of innovations, in particular, the inclusion of all-flash, has had a positive effect on our database performance.

Pros and Cons

  • "From the Cisco side, the most valuable features of this solution are the data center density, the deployment, and the management of the servers and the networking."
  • "Hyper-V is not as well supported by NetApp and Cisco as VMware is, which is something that should be improved."

What other advice do I have?

There have been some improvements on the Cisco UCS side since we began using this solution. In the earlier days, it was more difficult to upgrade, and there was pain involved during the process. That has gotten a lot better over time. My advice to anybody who is researching this type of product is to consider their requirements. If their need is for a dense data center that is scalable, then this would be the choice because it scales easier than any other product I'm aware of. This is a good solution, but our experience hasn't been perfect. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
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