FlexPod Overview

FlexPod is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Converged Infrastructure tools. It is most often compared to Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series: FlexPod vs Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series

What is FlexPod?

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

FlexPod Buyer's Guide

Download the FlexPod Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2021

FlexPod Customers

University of Sao Paulo, WD-40, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group

FlexPod Video

FlexPod Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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EricKutyla
Senior System Administrator at Bell Canada
Real User
Nov 26, 2018
Stability is rock solid. With all the built in redundancy within the product, I find it very resilient.

What is our primary use case?

We would probably use FlexPod in an Edge type of scenario for our COs to get closer to the customers, because our data center is already Cisco UCS with NetApp. This scenario with FlexPod would probably work well for our Edge deployments to get closer to customers. We are NetApp/Cisco customers. We do have a similar implementation to FlexPod. Our main use case for its use is the virtual data center

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is straightforward. It is all interface-based, so point and click."
  • "It is innovative because it's bare metal and you can customize it easily. This brings a lot of benefits to the solution."
  • "Since the addition of nodes, it is all automated now. What would normally take us around three to five hours in the past, has come down to 15 minutes to half an hour, creating a significant gain in time."
  • "Cisco support is much slower. Opening cases with Cisco tech is sometimes a bit tedious. The return time for less important calls can be slower. Even Priority 1 calls can sometimes be a bit long and they will have to call me back."

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. Just buy it. It's simple and out-of-the-box. Set it and forget it. I haven't had time to look over the validated designs, but I have seen some in the past. I think that they are very helpful in getting a general idea and configuration guide to different products. Bundled with the right products, multi-cloud environments could be a good asset. With its flexibility, it would allow for movement of workloads into multiple environments, which would be a great benefit.
Rodrigo Moncao
Storage Engineer Manager at Servix informatics
Real User
Nov 26, 2018
FlexPod is innovative when it comes to its product's validate design and functionalities

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case was for unified support, so our customers could ask us a question or receive support for any type of products. It could be for UCS, network, or storage. Our customers use it for virtual machines and with VMware with tool sites, e.g., VMware solutions for DR.

Pros and Cons

  • "ONTAP is the core of FlexPod, so its most valuable features are: FlexClone, Snapshot, and SnapCenter."
  • "I would like them to scale more to rack unit servers instead of blade servers."

What other advice do I have?

Go with FlexPod as a solution. You shouldn't have any concerns. For our implementation, our customers are just private cloud. They are not going to public or hybrid now, but customers know that they able to do it. We use FlexPod with VMware vCloud. It is great. We use the plugins in VMware and all the validate solutions, which is awesome.
Learn what your peers think about FlexPod. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
455,164 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jegan Chinnu
Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 26, 2018
Its scalability is innovative for both compute and storage

What is our primary use case?

FlexPod is a single product that you can manage. It has very good scalability. We can scale our UCS Servers. We can carry 12 storage nodes in the FlexPod. The main benefit is its single, all in one solution from server switch to storage.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is resilient, because it has good scalability, and other products in the market don't have this. It has scalable storage and service."
  • "The initial setup is not complex. It is user-friendly since it is a single solution with all the components delivered in one package."
  • "We would like to see a new design that comes with more productivity or graphics. Currently, the vendors, like HPE and Dell EMC along with NetApp, all have very similar products. We want more diversification."

What other advice do I have?

This flexible is very good for private cloud solutions.
Obi Vellore
Senior Project Consultant at DynTek
MSP
Top 20
Nov 23, 2018
It's amazingly scalable. It can expand to large MetroClusters and keep expanding.

What is our primary use case?

We have a FlexPod in our lab. I have implemented or deployed FlexPod for many customers. Most of the use case that I have seen is to either adjust on size or if the customer is modernizing their current infrastructure and does not want to go the traditional route, wanting to have some type of convergence. The customer is usually be more comfortable with a flexible solution because there's a lot of choice and scale. Depending on the customer needs, I've delivered extremely large and complex to very simple solutions. The most attractive thing for customers is how good the consolidation is… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "FlexPod provides very small footprint. We can have it in our offices without bothering with extra cooling, as it is a small unit."
  • "It's amazingly scalable. It just works. It can expand to large MetroClusters and keep expanding."
  • "The initial setup is complex because it has to be done in a certain way."
  • "We want always more speed, capacity, fluidity, and growth that we can easily integrate."

What other advice do I have?

Consider all your business needs. Go through the process and data mine before deciding on a solution. I like the validate designs. The versatility may seem restricting, but you need to be creative of it. You need to find ways to create and get it in. The flexibility is there, but you may have to think a little out of the box for it. Everyone has done private cloud. I see a lot of customers moving towards the hybrid model. Where you could do it in different ways. I've seen people have an infrastructure and service provider, then they realize quickly that it is not the solution for them and want…
reviewer926175
Senior Systems Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 22, 2018
The validated designs save us research time and our data access rate is much faster

What is our primary use case?

We are using it to have production workloads running on it.

Pros and Cons

  • "Our performance increase has been about 15 percent from what we previously used."
  • "There have been issues upgrading the firmware."

What other advice do I have?

Go for it as a solution. I like the validated designs because we don't have to do more research on it. Research has already been done by trustworthy companies, like Cisco, NetApp, and VMware. They have provided us with the properly designed ones, which is less headache for us. We do not use FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud, but maybe in the future.
SrStorEng65465
Senior Storage Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
Nov 22, 2018
We have had scalability issues as we have grown into a large company. Though, we have seen an improvement in our application performance.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable is the one support. I have a 1-800 number. I call one number rather than figuring out whether it's a network, compute, or storage issue. It is beautiful and works out nicely."
  • "We have seen a 20 percent improvement in application performance."
  • "We have experienced issues with patching. When there are Cisco releases, there are some vulnerabilities, i.e., security vulnerabilities. We are as a financial company and need to be on top patching. As a company, we cannot have continuous downtime to do patching, which is a challenge that we have faced."

What other advice do I have?

There are a lot option based on your workload. Think about the next five years: How will your business grow? Then, is FlexPod is the right way to go? In addition, what happens when there is a bug identified in one of the layer? Will you need to shut down the whole thing because just you encountered that one thing? Everything is perfect with the validate designs. However, they are not designed for large customers. They are designed for SMBs and small data centers. Multi-cloud environments can work well for some use cases, like expanding data centers. We do not use FlexPod for Managed Private…
SystemsA52a9
Systems Administrator at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 22, 2018
The solution is innovative. It handles virtual networking.

What is our primary use case?

We use it for running our VM environment. We have three different data centers that use FlexPod: two in North America and one in Europe. Our daily job is important. We use it FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud, which is fast, reliable, and trustworthy.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is innovative. It handles virtual networking. Also, it can upgrade blades and continue working seamlessly, which is excellent."
  • "I am happy with the stability. I haven't had any major issues with it in four years. This includes upgrades."
  • "We would like FlexPod to have more power, though it is not lacking in power now."
  • "We would like them to have better features to integrate with the cloud."

What other advice do I have?

The idea of validate designs is excellent.
SeniorIn5f65
Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 22, 2018
Deployment and confirmation times have reduced significantly

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for VMs in our virtual environment.

Pros and Cons

  • "Validate designs are a good. They work in the background to combine all the infrastructure and storage. They create automation which can create volumes and attach VMs directly to massive CIFS."
  • "With the next solution, if there is a virtual Flex part where we can deploy it to private clouds or in public clouds rather tying up the hardware, it would reduce costs and complexity. Then, we could do a lot more automation."

What other advice do I have?

Private cloud is good as long as it justifies the cost of putting your data in public clouds. If you're a financial client, you can't put all your financial data in a public cloud, as per government policies. However, if it's not critical data nor personal data of the customer, then it should be okay to put it on a public cloud as long as it justifies the price.
AssocVpacfd
Associate VP at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Reseller
Nov 22, 2018
It has amazing power to scale, but due to our environment, we are not reaping the optimal ROI

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our customer's work that we do because we are an IT service provider. We do application development and testing. For this purpose, the data is with us and we work with FlexPod for their data.

Pros and Cons

  • "The data is available, compressed, and deduped."
  • "Our environment does not always require this solution, so we are not reaping the optimal ROI."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend NetApp. Organizations are going towards cloud environments. However, as we are doing customers' projects, we do not go for external cloud, we do it on our internal private cloud. Our priority is to respect the customer's data in the internal private cloud. We are using FlexPod with Managed Private Cloud. We are looking towards more advanced HCI deployments now, and we're looking forward to the AI, which will be in concert with Insight. Analytics with AI will be much more beneficial and we are already trying to adopt HCI. We are targeting now towards HCI because it is more…
Julie Gutierrez
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Nov 21, 2018
They have dedicated support. When you call, you're going to get virtualization, storage, and compute support.

What is our primary use case?

We use it mainly for consolidation in the data center.

Pros and Cons

  • "I have found the platform to be resilient, mainly because all the hardware is fault-tolerant. It has built-in HA, so if one of the components goes down, you're covered by the platform itself."
  • "I would like more orchestration and networking in-between the VMs, the virtualization layer for networking. I would like to see better tools for this."

What other advice do I have?

The solution is trustworthy, and it has proven itself too. You get what you pay for. It's the oldest hyperconverged platform in our industry. There's something to be said for that. The solution works great for multi-cloud environments because you can segment the platform. FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud makes it easier to manage a large number of environments for a company. This makes it a bit more streamlined on management, deployment, and orchestration.
SystemsEd439
Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Nov 21, 2018
We have been able to save space although they could make it more user-friendly

What is our primary use case?

One place to go for support.

Pros and Cons

  • "We have absolutely been able to save space."
  • "I would also like to feel more support. NetApp has been pretty good, for the most part, but Cisco has more work to do. I've had very good experience with NetApp. Instead of having to call three different areas and saying, "I'm a FlexPod customer." It would be nice if it could be just one that gets routed. I know it would require three large companies to work together, but that's what would make this product a ten. They could definitely use with making it more user-friendly."

What other advice do I have?

It would be so wonderful to incorporate private hybrid and multi-cloud environments. And even rope in some of these cloud providers.
ManagerO2057
Manager of Network Services at a legal firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Nov 20, 2018
We haven't had a shortcoming in performance nor data loss

What is our primary use case?

We use FlexPod in our data centers. We serve all of our infrastructure off of it, which includes Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and Citrix. It is all virtualized. We are also using the file share from FlexPod with Snapshotting and SnapMirroring for disaster recovery (DR) between data centers.

Pros and Cons

  • "We found FlexPod to be innovative when it comes to compute, storage, and networking. We've taken advantage of their storage optimizations to obtain better use out of the space. We upgraded to All Flash FAS (AFF), which has provided a huge performance increase that we haven't barely scratched the surface of. We have plenty of overhead, so that's always nice when taking on tasks which might have otherwise taxed a smaller system."
  • "We would like them to improve the validate designs. It is hard to stay in a supported config with the software and firmware versions of the platform. It's always a concern to ensure things not only work well, but they work at all. If we run into incompatibility inside of the NetApp, Cisco, or VMware versions, it can cause real issues."

What other advice do I have?

We have saved time with Snapshots, SnapMirrors, and backup and DR capabilities versus other platforms that we have looked at in the past. However, for new deployments, we have not saved, because we don't have any automation on top for deploying VMs or shares. It doesn't really seem to be part of the FlexPod platform. We don't use it for hybrid cloud, multi-cloud environments, or Managed Private Cloud. Everything that we are looking for feature-wise seems to be coming out in ONTAP or VMware releases.
Operatio235c
Operations Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 19, 2018
We can scale it as needed; it's definitely a very flexible solution to scale out.

What is our primary use case?

It's pretty much our infrastructure.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is innovative when it comes to compute, storage, and networking, because there are a lot of the storage efficiencies which allow us to keep a smaller footprint."
  • "We have also seen an improvement in our application performance. Our VM and database environments are able to go as fast as we need them to now."
  • "Sometimes, it can take awhile for support cases to get to the right people, especially if it's not a P1 case."
  • "Parts of the initial setup were complex, especially on the networking side."

What other advice do I have?

It is definitely worth looking into, especially if you have lower-end components that do the exact same thing. It is innovative when it comes to compute, storage, and networking, because there are a lot of the storage efficiencies which allow us to keep a smaller footprint. We are not using FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud. While we don't do cloud yet, we might consider it in the future.
Dan Scullen
Senior Systems Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton
Consultant
Nov 19, 2018
It has built-in redundancy and multipathing. If there is an issue with one part, it doesn't fail automatically.

What is our primary use case?

Our FlexPod solution is designed to isolate a sensitive data environment. We're able to use the technology to silo it away from the rest of our hosting environment.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is absolutely resilient. It has built-in redundancy and multipathing. If there is an issue with one part, it doesn't fail automatically."
  • "It's flexible. You can scale up or out. Our environment has never needed it, but the option has always been there."
  • "Make it easier to refresh hardware. We got to the point where we couldn't fix vulnerabilities without refreshing the hardware, then that became a little too expensive for us to do."

What other advice do I have?

FlexPod is worth consideration. It's not necessarily something that you have to buy as a pod. You can buy the pieces individually, then get it classified. Anybody who is looking to consolidate physical into a virtual environment, it's great for that or any type of private hosting environment. It works really well. The validate designs and overall versatility are some of the reasons that we decided to go with FlexPod. It's all been prevalidated, and we know it will work, which is valuable for us. This solution is innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking. It comes back to the…
Aaron Kimball
Solutions Architect at GDT - General Datatech
Real User
Nov 19, 2018
Our time from customer interest to time of deployment has shrunk a lot

What is our primary use case?

We have a customer who is looking for a converged infrastructure to deploy multi-cloud solutions for on-premise solutions. Our customers use FlexPod today. Our impressions of it are great. It fits our customer's demands. We like the way that it integrates into their environments. Being that Netapp and Cisco have partnered together on it, along with VMware, and Microsoft, there is a good relationship with all of those companies working together.

Pros and Cons

  • "Our time from customer interest to time of deployment has shrunk a lot."
  • "It's all converged into one consolidated platform, which works well together."
  • "I would like to see programmability into a SaaS-based offering, as I know Cisco's going in a lot of directions with their Intersight application."

What other advice do I have?

It is innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking because they are continuously updating the UCS infrastructure and continuously adding new FAS and AFF units into it. They're continuously updating the Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs), so there's definitely innovation which goes into it, almost on a daily basis. They continue to update the number of CVDs available, so it makes our life a lot easier on the sales delivery side. For on-premise solutions, it allows our customers to be able to move workloads in and out of the cloud. This allows for the hybrid model. It gives on-premise…
Capacity532c
Capacity Manager at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 19, 2018
The validate designs give you an easy building block to configure and set the system up

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is a mixture of workloads. We have VMware, Citrix, Oracle and SAP, which are all running within the FlexPod stack.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a common platform, which provides for ease of use between all of the blade servers. It uses all the same tech, moving service profiles seamlessly across from one blade to the next. There is also combined support."
  • "There are too many management products: System Insight Manager, Oakum, etc. There are a lot of them and you have to know which one to use at which time. Whereas, with competitors, they have a single pane of glass view which has everything in it."

What other advice do I have?

Trial it. See if you can get a demo to a trial system, then put some big workloads through it and see what performance you get. I like the validate designs. I like the way they are put together and give you an easy building block to configure and set the system up. The one negative is the interoperability matrix. This could cover a more wide range of partners. For example, we have upgraded the whole firmware across the stack, and looking at the matrix, everything looked green. However, something in Oracle would cause us an issue during the upgrade, then we would have to either rollback or sit…
SeniorSteee7
Senior Storage Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 19, 2018
It is scaling to our needs. Automation gets a little tricky for provisioning.

What is our primary use case?

Our environment is completely virtualized. Therefore, we are using Cisco UCS and NetApp as back-end storage. We're using FlexPod on Managed Private Cloud only today, and it's good. It's doing its job and we are happy so far.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking. Each environment has knowledge of another in a FlexPod environment. This would be difficult to operate separately."
  • "It is scaling to our needs. We don't have any issues."
  • "Because when you try to do automation, there are many bits and pieces tied together. Sometimes, automation gets a little tricky for provisioning."
  • "We would like better management of cases. For example, if you open a FlexPod case, it's not always straightforward. It would be nice to have centralized resource to open FlexPod cases and ease up management of our cases."

What other advice do I have?

I would say, "Definitely consult FlexPod." I am saving time in my work and so are my colleagues. I would like to go with the hybrid environment. My tech is built to accommodate any application, independent of the stack where you are, whether it is on on-premise, AWS, Google, or Azure. This way you have ease of moving the application in and back, providing flexibility. However, I would stick with the hybrid as the best way to start with public clouds because of security.
Alan-Crouch
Senior IT Manager at Vocera
Real User
Top 20
Nov 18, 2018
It allowed us to scale out as our business grew without any issues

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our internal cloud infrastructure.

Pros and Cons

  • "It allowed us to scale out as our business grew without any issues."
  • "It takes all of the homework out of building the solution. The prearchitected design simplifies your deployment, gets you a quicker time to market, and a single point of support."
  • "I would like to see drag and drop connectivity to Azure and Amazon."
  • "The last two calls that I have made to NetApp support have been handled too casually. People are too lax, not quite as professional as I would have liked."

What other advice do I have?

It's reliable and scalable. I can sleep well at night and not have to get woken up at three in the morning because something went bump. The solution works. You can't go wrong with the platform. The validate designs and overall versatility are excellent. The people who did them, they did a good job. They were very thorough. The whole entire environment was well thought out, so it could scale up or out. Every component was selected properly. All the configurations for the environment are detailed, so you don't have to do any homework. You just plug it in and run it. We use FlexPod for Managed…
Gage Parker
Systems Engineer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 18, 2018
It can scale, compute, and storage independently by what we need

What is our primary use case?

We use FlexPod for everything: Running our virtual stack, all our research data, etc.

Pros and Cons

  • "It can scale, compute, and storage independently by what we need."
  • "The initial setup was complex. UCS is not the easiest thing to configure from the ground up. The networking pieces can get confusing, especially when you are talking about virtual segmentation. It is not as easy as other things now on the market, such as hyperconverged."
  • "I would like them to simplify the UCS configuration. I appreciate that they have about a billion options and a million switches that you can mess with, but this creates a lot of confusion sometimes. I feel like you almost need a Master's course to figure out what you're doing with UCS."

What other advice do I have?

If you need to scale, storage and commute independently, then you want to go FlexPod. If you don't have that sort of need and want something simple and easy to throw up and use, despite some of its shortcomings, hyper-converged is probably the way to go. It really depends on how big you are and what you need. Versatility is great. However, in this day and age, it is probably more complex than it needs to be, especially on the Cisco side. I am not a huge Cisco lover. UCS is getting long in the tooth. It's great for what it is, but it is now overly complex compared to other solutions on the…
StorageA5733
Storage Administrator at HDR
Real User
Nov 18, 2018
It is innovative because it integrates with different platforms

What is our primary use case?

We use it for its resilience and redundancy. Storage-wise, we use it for its deduplication. The primary use is to keep storage for 24-hours and have no issues.

Pros and Cons

  • "Our footprint is lower than it used to be."
  • "The overall versatility and validate designs are great. We previously used a different platform, but we gained a lot of utilization with FlexPod."
  • "We would like to have more monitoring and reporting, because today some of the reporting, and if you purchase it separately is expensive. We use OnCommand Unified Manager today, which is great, but we are looking for more of that."

What other advice do I have?

Try it. Nowadays, they will give you access online to check it out and see how it works. It is innovative because it integrates with different platforms. We have seen an 80 percent increase in application performance. FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud gives us what we need. We don't have any issues with it. We are planning to eventually go to the cloud. So, the multi-cloud capability being there in the future is exciting.
Isaac Ojeda
Subject Matter Expert at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Nov 18, 2018
Our data center rack space collapsed and our manpower decreased

What is our primary use case?

We use it for generalized workloads in a hypervisor situation, either VMM or Hyper-V. It is used for any particular workloads that the government has for this purpose. It is sometimes used for dedicated hardware as well, so it provides the flexibility as we need it. We can also grow because we can easily expand it from its initial chassis.

Pros and Cons

  • "It scales easily. We went through an upgrade of adding additional chassis, and it wasn't a big deal."
  • "Our data center rack space collapsed and our manpower decreased."
  • "The ability to manage the templates across sites. We would like to easily take out the configuration of one FlexPod and copy it over, just making minor changes. There is a way to do it, but it's clumsy."

What other advice do I have?

Know what your use case will be for and figure out whether you are going on-premise or want a hybrid solution. This will change what you need. If you are going to do some hybrid stuff, you may need to decide to create your own software to make the hybrid connection or you can use HCI. This may change the things you want to buy. We are trying to decide if we want to go to a private, hybrid or multi-cloud environment. We don't have any services to deploy VMs yet on the cloud.
Will Bashlor
Manager of IT Services at a comms service provider
Real User
Nov 13, 2018
It is very stable. We have had absolutely zero problems.

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is for a telecommunications company. We have used it for housing virtual servers for an internal corporate network, as well as for a service provider network.

Pros and Cons

  • "We have had great support, and this is when we have called for any problems, which have been very minimal to start with."
  • "It is very stable. We have had absolutely zero problems."
  • "There were several different management consoles that we had to deal with: UCS, VMware, and separate ESXi installations. Maybe one interface council where we could manage everything from might be a little easier."

What other advice do I have?

Overall, as an entire package, it has everything that we need and support is very helpful when needed. It is still installed and working today problem free. Look at your needs and what you are looking to do. See what fits your needs better. There is not one solution or company that will be a fit all. The most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We look at everything as a whole package. As far as support, how long its been out on the market and what they offer. Support is probably the biggest, but for whatever product that we buy from a vendor, it needs to be solidified for a while and…
NetworkE9bca
Network Engineer III at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 6, 2018
It simplifies everything. It gives you a single place to go if you need support or if you need to expand.

What is our primary use case?

It's used for managing our virtual workload exclusively. It manages our virtual servers and our internal business systems are run on it. We use FlexPod for Managed Private Cloud. It functions.

Pros and Cons

  • "It simplifies everything. It gives you a single place to go if you need support or if you need to expand."
  • "We would like to have a single pane of glass available for it. It is something that the management in the business would like to have."

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. It simplifies everything. It gives you a single place to go if you need support or if you need to expand. We don't have a true FlexPod.
Virtuali7246
Virtualization Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Nov 6, 2018
We enjoy the standardization and having things consistent across the whole data center sphere

What is our primary use case?

It in our primary data centers and almost on all of our sites. Therefore, we use both FlexPod and FlexPod Express.

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the easiest solutions to implement, maintain, and scale."
  • "Simplicity and integration with NetApp are its most valuable features."
  • "We enjoy the standardization and having things consistent across the whole data center sphere."
  • "They should have an easier user interface to get it up and running."

What other advice do I have?

The FlexPod solution is one of the easiest solutions to implement, maintain, and scale.
Jason Batt
Senior Data Storage Administrator at Denver Health
Real User
Top 20
Nov 6, 2018
Validated Design, stability, and collaborative support have made this a success story for us

What is our primary use case?

We have been using FlexPod for five years. We use it for our Epic environment.

What other advice do I have?

If a colleague was looking at this or similar solutions, I would help them to understand what we've done with it for Epic and the success that we've had. I would share with them the examples of converged support as well as the stability that we've had. They are what has really made this a success story. Regarding private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, I love it. The idea of the state of Fabric. We haven't been able to leverage the public cloud portion of it yet, but the whole vision of the data movement is where we want to stay, so that we're ready for the cloud where we can do that…
Casey Riffel
Lead of the Server and Storage Team at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Nov 6, 2018
With LUN clones we have a template for our hypervisor image - we can deploy a new hypervisor in under an hour

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our entire virtualization stack, and one of the big driving factors for us was the support between Cisco and NetApp.

Pros and Cons

  • "We save days of work when doing new service deployments. With LUN clones we have a template provisioned for the image of our hypervisor on our NetApps, and we can deploy a brand new hypervisor in under an hour. Everything is scripted. We just clone a template LUN and boot from SAN, so there are no single points of failure."
  • "The most valuable features are the CVDs and the support behind it from both companies."
  • "One of the things that I've wanted would be availability of a health status, similar to Active IQ from my converged platform, on an app. I have dashboards so I can see the health of the system when I'm in the office, but when I'm not in the office I can't."

What other advice do I have?

Take your time. It's no small undertaking to implement a converged platform or to shift to a different one. Typically, when you make the decision on a converged platform, you're making that decision for the next five to seven years. So take your time. Regarding the Validated Designs, I've set up VersaStacks as well as FlexPods and it's just like a recipe book or a cookbook. You follow the steps and it's pretty difficult to mess it up. The Validated Designs are great. They're a great reference guide to go back to if you're troubleshooting an issue later on as well. In terms of private, hybrid…
Ilias Mintidis
IT Engineer at CenturyLink, Inc.
Real User
Nov 5, 2018
Provides an engineered solution we can use for smaller, medium, or large projects

What is our primary use case?

FlexPod can be used for all types of workloads. At my company we are using FlexPod for the SAP HANA product.

What other advice do I have?

Using FlexPod as one product, understand that you are putting yourself in the hands of three of the major technology leaders. You are not only getting a product, an appliance, but you are gaining experience. All these things work together to help you decide for today and tomorrow. If you want something really fast to deploy, you are going to use a Validated Design; everybody's compliance and all that is taken care of. But you can make a FlexPod-like build and you can later go certify it as a FlexPod design. Regarding private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments, every solution is here to…
Enterpriaa97
Enterprise Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Nov 5, 2018
Cisco Validated Designs and streamlining of support were decisive for us

What is our primary use case?

We use it more to deploy a supportive solution so that a customer can go to one business support number and then have FlexPod for the whole infrastructure.

Pros and Cons

  • "The Cisco Validated Designs are the most valuable feature along with the Industry-leading technology, put together; and the fact that it just works."

    What other advice do I have?

    You won't regret it in the end, if you invest in FlexPod. My thoughts on the solution regarding private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environment are that I definitely think hybrid is the future, having a flexible infrastructure. That's where I like the FlexPod, it's more like hyperconverged. It has more layers of flexibility for moving workloads up to and back from the cloud. We currently don't use FlexPod for managed private cloud.
    SystemsA3715
    Systems Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Nov 4, 2018
    Because we use it everywhere, it is standard to set up

    What is our primary use case?

    We have everything on our FlexPod.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Because we use it everywhere, it is standard to set up. Therefore, if you can manage the set up in one place, then you can manage the whole infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    The ease of use The ease of administration It is easy to manage.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see synchronous replication and easier automation in the next release.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I love the stability. It is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I love the scalability. It is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support…
    Brian Foulks
    System Engineer at Missile Defense Agency
    Real User
    Top 20
    Nov 4, 2018
    I live by the Validated Designs, and the resiliency means we have zero downtime

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to implement our core data center and server environment.

    Pros and Cons

    • "I live by the Validated Designs. I do exactly what those designs say and I haven't had a problem as a result. For example, they used to do the FCoE. They figured out there was a problem and they went over to the NFS. I moved over and I agreed with them. It worked better."
    • "I would like them to integrate the NVIDIA GRID into the system, so we could easily deploy certain solutions with the FlexPod."

    What other advice do I have?

    Go with the FlexPod. It's a very easy solution. There are dedicated minds behind it. You will notice an improvement. We save time and money with the solution but I don't know how to quantify them because we only have a few physical servers. Everything has been built into it so we haven't had to buy things. So we're not aware of what it would have cost us, by not going with it, because we went all-in on the FlexPod design. Similarly, regarding application performance improvements, I can't say because we went straight into the system. Regarding thoughts on the solution vis-a-vis private, hybrid…
    Tariq Ejaz
    Systems Manager at Marcum Technology
    Real User
    Top 20
    Oct 31, 2018
    Streamlines deployment - I can deploy a new UCS server within minutes

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is virtualization. Most of our virtualized environment runs on FlexPod.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is ease of deployment. Once I deploy the chassis and I have the back-end storage, configuring more UCS servers is very quick. I can deploy a new UCS server within minutes."
    • "I would like to see them reduce the complexity, that would be my number one request because. Right now, doing simple things is pretty complex. You have so many options. It might be better if it were more wizard-driven, as opposed to going through five hundred dials. It's not very easy or intuitive."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would suggest doing a mini FlexPod PoC. That is probably the best way to kick the tires and find out what the product is all about. I have seen an improvement in application performance but I can't attribute that to the UCS or the FlexPod environment because I'm running on an SSD. It doesn't matter if it's FlexPod or not, it'll still run fast. I haven't really dealt with validated designs. I go to Cisco and grab the product line from there and just deploy according to that. I don't really deviate too much from the already-architected solutions. In terms of private, hybrid, and multi-cloud…
    John Barrow
    Chief Technologist at Datalink, a division of Insight
    Video Review
    MSP
    Jul 25, 2018
    The ability to converge a lot of different data and platforms into a single common platform, then scale horizontally and vertically

    Pros and Cons

    • "The ability to converge a lot of different data and platforms into a single common platform, then scale horizontally and vertically."

      What other advice do I have?

      I would have to rate it a nine, because 10 would be nirvana, where I would just press Next> Next> Next, then it is done. I know life is not that easy, but maybe someday it will be. As far as the technology that I am looking for, it is still at least two or three points above the next competitor. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: My relationship with NetApp goes back about six or seven years, maybe longer. My account executive was on point to make sure that what we were buying would not just sit on the shelf, and what we were buying was actually being used relevant to best…
      Darin Zook
      Service Delivery Architect at Premiercomm
      Video Review
      Consultant
      Jul 25, 2018
      It is a complete, holistic solution which is easily scalable

      Pros and Cons

      • "It is the overall collaboration between NetApp and Cisco to come up with a product that is best in class and best in breed. You are bringing together the best things about UCS and NetApp, as well as you are tying it together with the Nexus fabric."
      • "The continued simplification will be a continued battle and evolution for both Cisco and NetApp, especially on the FlexPod product."

      What other advice do I have?

      I would rate it in the upper echelon of an eight or nine. I like the FlexPod product. Primarily going back to the NetApp resiliency, there is no workload that I would not put on the NetApp platform, whether it is the All Flash FAS, the spinning hybrid disk, etc. NetApp is paramount when it comes to high availability and resiliency. Then, on the UCS side, you are taking the leader in networking, bandwidth, and throughput, and basically building that backbone for compute infrastructure. The bandwidth and throughout that you get from it and the changes which we saw in my customer days going from…
      DevinChappell
      Solution Architect at Charter telecom
      Video Review
      Real User
      Jul 25, 2018
      Having a converged infrastructure with the same level of simplicity that you would expect of a hyper-converged

      Pros and Cons

      • "FlexPods allow us to go through and roll out compute, having a converged infrastructure with the same level of simplicity that you would expect of a hyper-converged."
      • "I would like to see more CVDs and more published designs around a multi-hypervisor approach within a single pod."

      What other advice do I have?

      I would rate it about an eight out of 10. We have been very happy with the product. It has been very successful for us. We have a lot of customers who are thrilled with what we have done. As a VAR, it is easy for us to go through, manage, and maintain. That sort of middle of the road management piece would be a big part of it, and I would like to see more CVDs and more published designs around a multi-hypervisor approach within a single pod. This would be an improvement. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We work as a VAR and MSP. The most important thing for us is the trust…
      Kent Christiansen
      Practice Director at Datalink
      Video Review
      Reseller
      Jul 24, 2018
      It has taken the risk out of our customers' businesses, because there is less for them to try to figure out

      Pros and Cons

      • "Our customers get their applications to market more quickly, and it has taken the risk out of their business, because there is less for them to try to figure out."

        What other advice do I have?

        It is a 10 out of 10 for us. We will go in and talk to a client about all things that they are trying to do, from cloud on. A significant percentage come to the conclusion that they want to run their most important stuff on FlexPod architecture. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: At first, businesses did not select a vendor. They thought, "Why wouldn't I just buy all this stuff myself and figure it out." Initially, five to six years ago, a lot of companies were organized differently. They had a networking team, a server team, and a storage team, which didn't even agree. We had to…
        Craig Mcdonnell
        Director of Integration Services at Charter Communications, Inc.
        Video Review
        Consultant
        Jul 18, 2018
        FlexPod means I will have reliability, flexibility, and scalability

        Pros and Cons

        • "The documentation alone that NetApp provides can guide anybody through the setup process."
        • "I would like to see more interoperability within FlexPods. This comes into more of how we grow from multiple domains to a massive domain."

        What other advice do I have?

        I rate it as a 10 out of 10. I always have. I feel it is something special and unique. Not only do you get the best with the Cisco platform compute, but then I get NetApp for my storage, and it just works. It is reliable, and it has given me every aspect of what I am looking for to provide to my clients. My team of experts, as they come in and work on it, know that at the end of the day, they get to leave and go home to be with their families. It does not give them problems, and it is consistent beyond compare. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * We look for who the client is or…
        Spencer Carson
        System Analyst at ONEOK, Inc.
        Video Review
        Real User
        Jul 18, 2018
        Our Cisco solution interoperates with it very easily

        Pros and Cons

        • "DR has been tremendously easier."

          What other advice do I have?

          I rate it as a nine and a half out of 10, because of all the additional visibility and the integration with our equipment, and how well it plays. DR has been tremendously easier. The most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is a little of everything. Support is key because no network is the same. No protocols running across it are the same. You are going to run into weird issues, and talking to our virtualization guys, they are really happy with support. I see NetApp all the time on our campus.
          Christian Jansen
          Technical Operations Manager at Dyncorp
          Video Review
          Real User
          Jul 18, 2018
          We can deploy a product which is fully built and racked with minimal touch installation when it arrives onsite

          Pros and Cons

          • "FlexPod gives us the opportunity to deploy a product which is fully built and racked with minimal touch installation when it arrives onsite, so we can do all the configuration remotely."

            What other advice do I have?

            I would give it a nine out of 10, simply because it has helped us change the way we do business: From being a receive, integrate, box up, ship out, unbox, and rerack. It has been fantastic and changed our business model. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is all of it. * Support * Reliability * Flexibility to adapt on the fly when we need to modify and install, then support certain circumstances. * Meet the needs which were not outlined in the original project. FlexPod has been fantastic.
            David_Harrison
            Snr Technical Solutions Architect at World Wide Technology
            Video Review
            MSP
            Jul 12, 2018
            The real benefit of this solution is that it is pre-architected with the ability to scale up and scale out

            Pros and Cons

            • "The real benefit of this solution is that it is pre-architected with the ability to scale-up and scale-out."
            • "Large and small companies do not have time to design the compute, the amount of storage, and how it works together. They are buying pre-proven, pretested solutions with reference architectures already in place."
            • "FlexPods can include the new networking and new virtualization of storage and data center interconnectivity with the networking side of it. They can evolve and grow by connecting pods together."

            What other advice do I have?

            I would rate it as a nine out of 10, because every product has room for advancement. * It is a mature solution. * It has been pretested. * There is reference architectures for it. * It is easy to use. * It uses the best compute. * It uses the best storage. * It uses the best networking, which all works together in a proven solution.
            Taran Nasseth
            Data Center Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
            Video Review
            Real User
            Jul 12, 2018
            The setup was fairly simple. I picked it up quickly. It was an easy deployment.

            Pros and Cons

            • "It is easy to deploy, works well, the reps are good, and the support is great."
            • "When you open the box, they give you a very nice diagram. Which was my initial guide through setting up any NetApp SAN. It worked itself out pretty well."
            • "It is not as easy as a hyperconverged solution, but you are going to have a hard time finding that anywhere, where you can just plugin and run a deployment app."

            What other advice do I have?

            I really can't fault them. I can't give them a 10 out of 10, because that seems over-the-top. It is not a revolutionary product, but it is a very good product. I would give it an eight out of 10, because it is easy to deploy, works well, the reps are good, and the support is great. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: The product works. Our vendor team is great. I love our account manager and our tech guy is great. It is a confident feeling.
            Evan Wheatley
            Solution Architect at Charter
            Video Review
            Real User
            Jul 12, 2018
            With the validated designs and the support behind it, it's a great product

            Pros and Cons

            • "The consistent delivery that we receive from the products. We deliver it to different customers, and we know it will be a consistent end-to-end solution as well."
            • "According to the product managers, there are some new products coming which will address some of our concerns around portability and compliance."

            What other advice do I have?

            I would rate it close to a nine or 10, because of what the product looks like, the validated designs which are out there, and the support behind it. It's a great product. That is why we sell it. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: A combination of everything from best of breed, support, and if other customers who have used it have had good experiences with it.
            Robert Ashworth
            Director of Infrastructure Operations at ONEOK, Inc.
            Video Review
            Real User
            Jul 12, 2018
            It's an easy, straightforward system to set up and maintain

            Pros and Cons

            • "For our DR, we rely heavily on SnapMirror technologies to accomplish our disaster recovery in VMware SRM."
            • "It is an easy, straightforward system to set up and maintain."
            • "On the UCS side, sometimes it is difficult to set up."
            • "We have had bugs which have been released, even though they have been minor."

            What other advice do I have?

            I would rate it as a nine out of 10, because I rarely rate anything as a perfect. It does have issues. We have had bugs which have been released, even though they have been minor. As far as the configuration (going back to configuration issues), on the UCS side, sometimes it is difficult to set up. However, once you get it set up, it is easy to add additional compute to it.
            Drew Breece
            System Analyst at ONEOK, Inc.
            Video Review
            Real User
            Jul 12, 2018
            We can call one number for support, and everyone works together

            Pros and Cons

            • "The assurance and the peace of mind that we get from knowing if we had an issue with either the NetApp equipment, Cisco equipment, or our VMware enviroment, we can call one number for support, then everyone works together and nobody is pointing fingers all over the place."
            • "Setting up a Cisco USC environment can be complex."

            What other advice do I have?

            I would give it an eight or nine out of 10. I am not going to give anybody a 10, because you cannot achieve it. We are very happy with NetApp and Cisco, and our FlexPod solution. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Cisco and NetApp are best of breed. We just fell into this from years of using other products and vendors. At some point, you learn along the way that this company over here does a good job and I have heard good things, and this other company also does a good job. Then, these two companies find each other and you get a great solution.
            Troy Brick Margelofsky
            Solutions Architect Team Lead at CDW
            Real User
            Jun 20, 2018
            The most valuable thing for me is the shorter time to market

            Pros and Cons

            • "It is extremely stable and well-supported because of the leadership and partnerships put in place."
            • "The most valuable thing for me is the shorter time to market."
            • "Both NetApp and Cisco need to do improvements in their day-to-day operations management upgrades."
            • "A piece where FlexPod has come up short in the past and an area for them to improve upon: single pane of glass management and single pane of glass upgrade process."

            What other advice do I have?

            It has a lot of big partner resources, which are consistently behind it, such as thousands of engineering hours and new CBDs coming out every year. It has both proven infrastructure which has been running for the eight-plus years, as well as being innovative. Every time Cisco comes out with a new Blade, Fabric Interconnects, or new switches, or NetApp comes out with new arrays, they are being integrated into the product that year as well as being integrated into the rest of the data conference suite. From that perspective, you are not really inventing anything; you are taking proven things and…
            Ali Tadir
            Managing Partner at Nextgen
            Real User
            Jun 20, 2018
            It simplifies the management of the entire system

            How has it helped my organization?

            It is the first phase of the hyperconverged systems. 

            What is most valuable?

            It simplifies the management of the entire system. 

            What needs improvement?

            Some of the define features could use improvement.  It needs more power.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            We could not tell with the infrastructure entirely. We had some performance issues, but as soon as we opened the FlexPod, the technical support fixed them.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It is scalable. If you want to scale up merely with capacity, it is easy.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Regarding technical support, if you have any questions with the new configuration, just open a ticket to tech support and they…
            Technica3f50
            Technical Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
            MSP
            Jun 20, 2018
            Enables integration of different products into one validated design, but updates could be smoother

            What is our primary use case?

            The primary use case is for customers that want to replicate infrastructure over and over again and have a consistent architecture for their workloads. It's appropriate for larger enterprises that want the pod design in their data centers.

            Pros and Cons

            • "The most valuable feature is the ability to integrate different products into one validated design. That allows customers to understand and get the value out of the hardware, as it was designed."
            • "I would like to see better operations, a single pane of glass to manage and monitor the entire design across VMware, Cisco, etc. I would also like the upgrade process to be a little smoother."

            What other advice do I have?

            I rate FlexPod a seven out of 10. The reason behind that is, there is a lot of value in FlexPod, and FlexPod is incorporating a lot of the newer technologies, like ACI, into the design, rather than just keeping it an xOS, as an example.
            Jan Willem Varossieau
            Consultant Technical at Vosko
            Consultant
            Jun 20, 2018
            Presents a new architecture that is both scalable and programmable

            What is our primary use case?

            We are a NetApp partner. I, myself, am doing ACI and data center stuff. We have been active for a year and have several customers running on FlexPod SF functionality. We don't do native NetApp stuff, only FlexPod SF. We are mostly looking at healthcare, and we also in the banking world. We have one customer to whom we sold this as a storage product.

            What is most valuable?

            It's a new architecture, really scalable and programmable. When you look at SDN propositions it fits very well in a next-gen data center.

            What needs improvement?

            I can't really say anything about improvements right now because we are relatively new to this product. It is implemented for the functionality and it delivers the functionality. Right now, it does everything we want. …
            Christian Jansen
            Technical Operations Manager at Dyncorp
            Real User
            Jun 20, 2018
            Number one in reliability with excellent convergence

            What is our primary use case?

            The vendor delivers a fully-configured prebuilt system with a certain baseline on it. We can ship it to five continents. They can roll them into place, plug in two power cords and six network cables, and we are off to the races. Remotely, we have installed 230 systems globally (no domestic) in the past 22 months.

            Pros and Cons

            • "The vendor delivers a fully-configured prebuilt system with a certain baseline on it."
            • "Integrated support: It is all under one support contract."

              What other advice do I have?

              Cisco NetApp products are a pretty die-hard.
              Ola Solaru
              Enterprise Solution Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              Jun 18, 2018
              The product is robust, stable, and has flexibility

              What is our primary use case?

              It is for video solutions. It saves us a lot of money in our environment. My job is to make sure that the government saves money. The use case for us is that many users are able to use this when they travel out of the country. With computers right now, all you need to do is log into the website to access the resources, then you can use them in your flexible solution.

              Pros and Cons

              • "The product is robust, stable, and has flexibility."
              • "I would rate technical support as a 10 out of 10. They are good and responsive."
              • "For the next release, because I know that we are using Pure Storage, what I want to see is the GUI interfaces on this UCS monitor."

              What other advice do I have?

              * Read the white paper solution online about the product. * Engage with the engineers. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Relationship is the key, so they respond better. We may need an onsite engineer to come and do an evaluation for us.
              SeniorNeb1d5
              Senior Network Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              Jun 18, 2018
              It makes us more lateral and faster to production

              What is our primary use case?

              Our use case is for a life sciences cloud offering.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It makes us more lateral and faster to production.

              What is most valuable?

              Quick deployment.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              I have not really heard any complaints from our storage engineers.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              It is pretty flexible. We are able to deploy faster.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I have not personally used support. 

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

              We were using a different solution between Hitachi and other NetApp solutions.  We switched to FlexPod for its flexibility and quicker deployment. Also, we use other NetApp products.

              How

              Joseph Pontillo
              Information Systems Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Real User
              Jun 18, 2018
              Simplifies support, accelerates troubleshooting for our integrated solution

              What is our primary use case?

              We use FlexPod to simplify support, to accelerate troubleshooting by using the FlexPod in integrating. Whether it's a VMware or a UCS Cisco problem, or a Nexus problem, it makes support a lot simpler.

              Pros and Cons

              • "Provides unified support: Being able to get a vendor from one company or another company on the line without having to go back through the call queue."

                What other advice do I have?

                Do your research. It's good for our business case but maybe it doesn't fit your particular business needs, or maybe there's a better solution out there. In our circumstance, it fit our needs and has performed as advertised.
                DataCente1bb
                Data Center Manager at a consultancy with 5,001-10,000 employees
                Real User
                Jun 18, 2018
                A single pane of glass for multiple people on the management side of USC, whether it is data center, sysadmin, or server deployment

                What is our primary use case?

                We are using it in two cases. * We are using it for a database solution, so we're moving all of our 12G database systems onto Oracle UCS with flash as the hot store. We are still using spinning disk as the cold store. Initial tests are going really well. We're actually moving our first big load on in a couple of weeks. * We are using Oracle VM Citrix-based hypervisor, full solution, with FlexPod as the repo on the back-end. All the guest nodes are running on UCS B200 M4s. We have A700, A300, and A200 on the back-end for various slavers and pulls, and they are all working great. We just put our… more »

                Pros and Cons

                • "For the management side of our UCS, it is a single pane of glass for multiple people, whether it is data center, sysadmin, or server deployment."
                • "The hardware has been rock solid so far. It has gone up easy. It runs well. We have not had issues with it."
                • "We have had a bit of struggle on the support side. From a customer perspective, it has been up to us to make sure that we get both NetApp and Cisco involved when we have had an issue."

                What other advice do I have?

                The hardware has been rock solid so far. It has gone up easy. It runs well. We have not had issues with it. Pay attention to what you need upfront as you are building it. Know the workload that you are trying to solve with it. Make sure you are buying for performance, not just capacity. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is important that they care about the business that we do after sale. It is one thing to get a quote, obtain the parts, and make sure you have all the right things upfront. Your business is going to change the next day, especially for a business like us. We…
                Alex Pop
                Network Systems Specialist at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                Real User
                Jun 18, 2018
                The stability of the solution is a key component for me; it has never gone down

                What is our primary use case?

                We have had two FlexPods for five years now. We're currently purchasing a third one. We have never had any problems with them in that time. We are using it for hosting COREmanager and Unity Connection. So far, so good. Its performance is great.

                What other advice do I have?

                In terms of advice, I can only tell you about FlexPod, I don't have any other solution. I would say definitely go for it.
                Ed Osterholt
                Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                Reseller
                Jun 18, 2018
                Enables our customers to combine and streamline compute and storage

                What is our primary use case?

                Our primary use for it is in the healthcare market. We have a lot of customers using it because they want to have some flexibility with storage and compute. That is the reason we are selling it in the healthcare market.

                What other advice do I have?

                Our primary criteria when selecting a vendor are to get support, a good solution, one that our customers are happy with. My advice would be, try it, buy it, see what you can do with it and get some experience with it. With that experience, you can better sell it to the customer.
                Director7179
                Director Of Engineering
                Real User
                Jun 18, 2018
                We don't need a storage expert to manage everything for us

                What is our primary use case?

                We use it for virtualizing infrastructure and also for the virtual cloud system.

                What other advice do I have?

                I would advise doing a proof of concept, see it first. Overall, I would rate FlexPod an eight out of 10. It's fast, solid, and it keeps improving, adding new features. The support is very good. There have even been times we didn't realize there was an issue and we have automatically received a replacement; all through "call home."
                Kevin Henderson
                Information Security Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
                MSP
                Jun 18, 2018
                Enabled us to jump into private cloud infrastructure, instead of public, and cut costs

                What is our primary use case?

                Our primary use case for NetApp has been as part of a Cisco UCS chassis. We have seven or eight different instances of it now, spread around the world. So far, it has been very reliable, other than a few hard drive failures here and there, but those are expected.

                Pros and Cons

                • "The flexibility and data deduplication have been the biggest practical applications."

                  What other advice do I have?

                  It doesn't really get simpler than the setup that we had, and the maintenance that we have had. I would tell colleagues that NetApp is the way to go.
                  Sreenivas H
                  IT Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                  Real User
                  Jun 18, 2018
                  We can ship it and manage it remotely from any server

                  What is our primary use case?

                  My primary use case for FlexPod is for usage at our remote and small branch offices.

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "It has had a big, positive impact, because now everything is centralized."
                  • "Everything is preconfigured. We can ship it and manage it remotely from any server. It is all in a box."
                  • "I want to use the expansion to its fullest extent, scaling by deploying 10 to 15 virtual missions in a given FlexPod."
                  • "We would like something like a FlexPod Express; we want a smaller version for small offices."

                  What other advice do I have?

                  This is the best hyperconverged infrastructure. No need to be worried (or scared) on how these three solutions will sit in a box. Everything is prepackaged and rebuilt. It is seamless when you want to install or ship it. No complaints. Most important criteria when working with a vendor: We were concerned how these three partners, NetApp, Cisco, and VMware, would come together for network, storage, and compute. At the beginning, we were a little concerned. It has been four years now with no issues, and it is going well.
                  Evan Wheatley
                  Solution Architect at Charter
                  Real User
                  Jun 18, 2018
                  Solution is vetted, validated, and supported end-to-end

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We primarily deploy FlexPod with customers that have defined business requirements. For customers that have used it in the past, we basically rinse and repeat because they do like the product and reuse it continually.

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "Gives us a single point of contact for support."
                  • "The most valuable features are that the solution is vetted and validated and it's supported end-to-end."
                  • "There are apparently some new products coming around the whole FlexPod side of things with regards to auditing, to ensure everything is configured correctly. It's basically a "delta" if there have been any changes. It's important to us, from a support perspective, to know if there have been changes and what impact they have actually had."

                  What other advice do I have?

                  My advice is to reach out to people who have used it. It's a good solution and the proof is from the users who use it. I would rate it a nine, close to a 10 out of 10. The support is great. It's a validated solution. It's the best-of-breed of all the products that are in the FlexPod as well. It's just a great solution for us.
                  Devin Chappell
                  Solutions Architect at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
                  Real User
                  Jun 18, 2018
                  Flexible architecture enables same level of simplicity as hyper-converged environments

                  What is our primary use case?

                  We primarily use it to provide compute resources for customers. It is basically a data center in a box, and it performs very well for us.

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "It scales well. It allows us to have very flexible architecture but to have the same level of simplicity that we'd normally expect in hyper-converged environments."
                  • "I'd like to see a little bit simpler management pane. Using UCS Director to front everything is good but for a lot of that upper mid-market, it's probably a little bit of overkill for what they need. They just want a nice, simply portal to go through and see what's going on. So if there was something that was middle of the road, it would be well received."

                  What other advice do I have?

                  My advice is to read the design guides, that is the most important thing. Also, work with an integrator wherever possible. I rate FlexPod an eight out of 10. If there was a simpler management pane, maybe a little bit more flexibility in terms of multiple hypervisors in a single deployment, I would rate it higher. But aside from those issues, we're very happy.
                  Executivc4c1
                  Executive Director Of IT at a university
                  Real User
                  Jun 18, 2018
                  Condensed our data center footprint significantly, and virtualization gives us redundancy on all our boxes

                  What is our primary use case?

                  What we wanted to do with the FlexPod solution was get VMware, our NetApp, and Cisco solutions, all in one. Also, to be able to take all of our physical servers and move them into a virtual environment, which we were able to accomplish.

                  Pros and Cons

                  • "It took a server room where we had 280 servers and another with 180 and condensed them from 15 racks down to three racks. It's helping us in the data center with all our environmentals... In addition, we're getting the ability of VMware, which is virtualization, so now we have redundancy on all of our boxes, instead of them being physical."

                    What other advice do I have?

                    Definitely go with FlexPod. It's a great solution, especially with - I keep bringing up NetApp - but NetApp is a great company to work with. They really take the lead. I think it's worthwhile. You'll take your server farm from 200, or however many you have, condense it into one virtual environment, with the backing of Cisco, with the backing of NetApp. I think it's a perfect solution. I would rate FlexPod a 10 out of 10, absolutely. The best.
                    ChrisBarnes
                    Lead Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
                    MSP
                    Jun 18, 2018
                    The ability to program the system enables deployment of more reliable solutions

                    What is our primary use case?

                    We sell FlexPod and enable our customers to leverage it to run their data centers.

                    Pros and Cons

                      • "I think they are working on it, but I would like to be able to log into a portal and see the end-to-end solution and understand where it stands, from a supportability perspective."

                      What other advice do I have?

                      Our most important criteria when working with or selecting a vendor include their maturity in the market, their customer satisfaction, their NPS score, and their ability to be flexible as a partner to us I rate FlexPod highly because it was the first converged solution that was supported by all of the vendors at the same time, which is as flexible as it is, from a scalability and supportability perspective. My advice is to make sure you understand the business requirements and size it appropriately.
                      ManagerO6505
                      Manager Of Network Administrator at a educational organization with 201-500 employees
                      Real User
                      Jun 18, 2018
                      The initial setup was very straightforward. They provided a lot of documentation.

                      What is our primary use case?

                      We have our primary and backup data centers as our primary storage, not only for Windows Servers on NFS, but also as part of our users' data stores.

                      Pros and Cons

                      • "It has been a great product, primarily because of a lot of its deduplication features, and the out-of-the-box thinking on block level storage from NetApp."
                      • "The initial setup was very straightforward. They provided a lot of documentation."

                        What other advice do I have?

                        Go through all the training, and make sure you understand all the systems. It is very different than a lot of the other systems. There are intricacies which are important to understand, especially with the duplication providers. Therefore, understanding all the challenges around it is important for long-term support. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: A vendor who cares about us as a customer. A vendor who is able to work through every issue, regardless of who is at fault, and solve the problem.
                        Technica2c2d
                        Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                        MSP
                        Jun 18, 2018
                        A very stable, simple turnkey solution which is pretty scalable

                        What is our primary use case?

                        It is where we keep our production network: all our main controllers, accounting applications, and our file servers. They are running on FlexPod.

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "The virtual environment is a lot more efficient than physical boxes."
                        • "The product is very stable and it does what it needs to do."
                        • "There is a lot of documentation that has to be reviewed before you go through an upgrade. It is not as straightforward as some other solutions."

                        What other advice do I have?

                        Make sure you have your NetApp support up-to-date. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: reliability, support, and value for money.
                        Krishna Ramanath
                        Network Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
                        Consultant
                        Jun 17, 2018
                        It is more stable than other solutions. We do not touch it.

                        What is our primary use case?

                        It is performing well. It is the data center of devices, e.g., when we are using the call locations in San Francisco and Sacramento.

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "Technical support has been good when we have contacted them in the past. They have been helpful."
                        • "Once it is in place, we do not touch it, so it is more stable than other solutions."
                        • "We would like more security features."

                        What other advice do I have?

                        It is a good solution compared to other products. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It depends on the device - How much it carries, what the security is, etc.
                        SeniorSy9b41
                        Senior systems manager at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
                        Real User
                        Jun 17, 2018
                        It has simplified our support

                        What is our primary use case?

                        Primary use case is for virtualization of our phone systems and our domain.

                        Pros and Cons

                        • "It has simplified our support."
                        • "It has been very stable. There has been no downtime."
                        • "They could improve their technical support team. They need to have a specific phone number for you to call in for the FlexPod solution. Some of the partner support knows if it is for FlexPod, they will get you to the right department."
                        • "Unified management would be really nice, having one a single pane of glass to manage everything do with the solution."

                        What other advice do I have?

                        When considering a solution, look at it in total from purchase. Then, look at what is going on five years down the road. Do a comparison of expansion, ease of expansion, and everything else. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: reliability. We receive this now from the FlexPod solution.
                        SystemsEeff6
                        Systems Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
                        Real User
                        Jun 17, 2018
                        Handles all our server data reliably, it just works

                        What is our primary use case?

                        We use it for our inner data center and with our UCS to handle all our server data, and it's doing pretty well.

                        Pros and Cons

                          • "If there were going to be any improvements, they should probably be UI improvements, overall. It can get a little kludgy sometimes when trying to figure out what to do."

                          What other advice do I have?

                          My top criteria when selecting a vendor are that they are easy to work with and have knowledgeable engineers on the other side. When I have questions, I want to be able to get them answered easily. Make sure to have FlexPod on the list. If you're looking at HPE or Dell EMC, put NetApp in there and take a look at them.
                          Mark Reboli
                          Network/Telecom/IT Security Manager at a university with 201-500 employees
                          Real User
                          Jun 17, 2018
                          Flexible architecture means I can swap out storage and easily replace failed drives

                          What is our primary use case?

                          We use it for some 90 servers and systems. It runs our primary student information system, we have our phone systems through it, our email. Everything is running on it, all critical functions, all critical servers.

                          Pros and Cons

                          • "I really like the architecture and I like the fact that on the storage side I can swap it out. Right now I'm on NetApp, I might go to Pure Storage. I have the flexibility. But as far as the equipment itself, the way it's all bundled together, from the UCS perspective, its rock solid."
                          • "I'd like to see a little more on the provisioning and the replication piece... Also, I don't want to say analytics are lacking but I'd like to see more analytics."

                          What other advice do I have?

                          I've recommended Flexpod a few times. Every one of them has been extremely happy with it. It's a solid workhorse, especially in shops like mine where we're in the small to mid-range and I don't have the people to sit there and just babysit something. I have too many things for them to do. This product is really good. I don't want to say it's a set-it-and-forget-it, but the daily, hands-on is so light. The visibility - even though I pick on the analytics - is decent. I can get my guys to manage it, but it also frees them up so I can get them working on other things, which is critical in this…
                          Sihle Letlaka
                          Enterprise Architecture at a consumer goods company
                          Real User
                          Jun 17, 2018
                          It is a more flexible way to store your data

                          What is our primary use case?

                          It is used as a data storage infrastructure. We also use it for ERP applications, a combination of SYSPRO and SAP. Performance-wise, it is actually doing quite well. The end users are very happy with it.

                          Pros and Cons

                          • "Performance-wise, it is actually doing quite well. The end users are very happy with it."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            It is always best to test it, whether in a DevOps environment or do a demo, before actually going fully live. You need to make sure it behaves right in a new environment, because there is no environment that is exactly same as another. It might work on my environment, then you try it on yours and it does not work, then you will blame the product. However, the issue might not be with the product, it might be something else. So, it is very important to make sure that you test it, you do a POC on your environment, and watch its behavior. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is a…
                            Darin Zook
                            Service Delivery Architect at Premiercomm
                            Consultant
                            Jun 17, 2018
                            Enables full-stack VMware integration and rapid cloning

                            What is our primary use case?

                            The primary use case that we have for most of our customers is where they're in a converged environment and they also have file system storage. It's primarily where they're looking for a solid NAS-based appliance that also runs business-critical workloads well, with a highly available architecture. The focus is data center workload as well as VDI workload. And once they've already got it, why not use it for file storage as well as other things to replace Windows file servers. It's easier to deal with a NetApp - which is typically more secure - than a Windows Server that you're going to have to… more »

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "When our clients choose to call NetApp or Cisco directly, the cooperative support model means they can get passed back and forth between the two organizations freely. It works really well."
                            • "The fact that it can run the entire stack in terms of protocols. The integration for most of our customers is VMware; the full-stack integration. Also, the ability to do rapid cloning."
                            • "I have never seen a more resilient HA product out there then NetApp's solution. If I want to know that I'm putting my workload on a solution, from a storage perspective, that is going to be up 100% of the time, I'm going to choose NetApp."
                            • "As the industry as a whole is moving more toward the simplification of IT, that is something where both Cisco and NetApp could look to improve further. Just simplifying the day to day management, the day to day issues that arise, and building more intuitiveness into the interfaces would help."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            In terms of maintaining the same level of guidance, had we been working with one vendor as opposed to two vendors at the same time, they both have their own individual best practices and there are a lot of best practices out there. There isn't necessarily one that's really the best. I think that there is enough crossover between them that I don't know that it really makes a big difference. I rate FlexPod at eight out of 10 because there is always room for improvement, although there is nothing off the top of my head that I can specifically call out. Going back to the simplification of IT…
                            Infrastr4edd
                            Infrastructure Manager at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
                            Real User
                            Jun 17, 2018
                            It runs very well lights out. Set it and forget it.

                            What is our primary use case?

                            Our primary use case is company back-end servers and services. The performance is great. We deployed this for our server environment in our company. Therefore, all the typical systems you would see in a commercial company are what we are running it on. It was not built for a specific use case. It was built instead for using hard servers or network-attached storage. Just putting it all together makes it simple to use.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It ships in a rack, so it is very easy to deploy."
                            • "It runs very well lights out. Set it and forget it."
                            • "With the components that come in FlexPod, it has enabled us to reduce connectivity down to one wire, whereas before, we had eight, 12, or 20 wires going to one server."
                            • "NetApp has some tools that you can purchase to do performance management, or you can go with another vendor and buy a product which does the same thing. It would be nice if there was more of these features with the product, not add-ons."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I have run four FlexPod environments, and they have all been phenomenal. They have all worked until you had to turn them off. That is why I like them. I can't imagine anybody not doing this today. But if nobody was doing this today, I would definitely push them to do it. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Reputability. They have to have a good name. That is the big. * Speed to deploy and getting the purchasing paperwork correct the first time: These are important things in our environment, because they just add to delays.
                            Aaron Hibbard
                            Senior Systems Engineer at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
                            Real User
                            Jun 17, 2018
                            Our downtime has significantly been reduced

                            What is our primary use case?

                            We have four different use cases that we bought it for: * Our production VM or infrastructure is on a FlexPod with a metro cluster. * We have a CCTV system, which is a FlexPod using E-Series as a back end. * We have another E-Series FlexPod for backup infrastructure, with our combo products. * We have a test end environment, which is a mini replica of our production, VMware assistance.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It has never fallen out from under us when we were trying to do a critical push."
                            • "Our downtime has significantly been reduced."
                            • "The FAS in it, with all its flexibility and scalability, it is much more complex and could be simplified."
                            • "It would be great to see some form of interoperability between the FAS units and the E-Series, specifically for replication, even if it is just one more replication from a FAS to an E-Series. That would be amazing."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            We purchased through CDW. They were knowledgeable about the solution. They won the bid. It was very simple with us. We sent it out for a bid and they came back with the lowest cost on the response. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Cost is always important, but it is not our base. We look at performance, availability, overall usability, and simplicity.
                            Drew Breece
                            System Analyst at ONEOK, Inc.
                            Real User
                            Jun 12, 2018
                            Non-disruptive and easy to maintain with fantastic support

                            What is our primary use case?

                            We use it for VMware. Most of what we do runs on it. Our business runs on it. Probably 60 percent of our environment runs on UCS and 100 percent on NetApp storage, with Cisco switching everywhere.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It is easy to add-on to the tool. If we need to add a new switch, a new server, or a new chassis for Blades, it is easy. It is not disruptive. You just do it."
                            • "The nice thing about NetApp is the ease of administration. We have a new storage admin who did not do storage at all, and he has fallen right in with it. There are no real issues."
                            • "They should cram more space in there and find a way to compress things more; dedupe better."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Ease of use. * Support: Getting support from a gigantic organization that is ancient, like IBM, was a real challenge. We had some weird bugs that cropped up with IBM and their software which is developed for array replication, in conjunction with VMware. We do not have these issues with NetApp. It just works. Support and supportability are very high.
                            it_user886947
                            TSE at Insight Enterprises, Inc.
                            MSP
                            Jun 12, 2018
                            Enables our customers to consolidate everything into a relatively small chassis

                            What is our primary use case?

                            Customers use it to consolidate their resources, rather than having a more extravagant and very high-cost center. FlexPod seems to be a simpler, more economical solution and, obviously, it is a lot easier to work on. Our clients will use it for anything from healthcare (a lot of surgical) to major consumer distribution, universities or higher learning institutions. Large customers, like Digital Realty, who do business with smaller companies, all try to get the same type of solution.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "The advantage is being able to consolidate everything into a relatively small chassis."
                            • "I like the combination of the brands that they decided to include, in terms of its compatibility, e.g., they integrated UCS into this solution."
                            • "I have noticed a lot of customers, they will kick it over the fence. It is FlexPod; it is that mystery animal. The room for improvement is to better present it to those users, so they will not have to be afraid of it."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            Do not be afraid of it. Roll your sleeves up, and get into it, as it is not that hard. Speak the language, and if you don't, call somebody.
                            Alok Tripathi
                            It Managed Services Provider at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
                            Real User
                            May 27, 2018
                            I can leverage its multiple storage features but it doesn't have much DR capability

                            What is our primary use case?

                            The use case is that it is running with multiple applications with VMware, and this a two data-center model, Flexpod, along with NetApp storage. It's quite useful.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It provides us with a lot of agility, on-demand or through orchestrations. We deliver hundreds of servers."
                            • "I can leverage its multiple storage abilities. We have various kinds of storage in our environment, like IBM or NetApp. We can mix those types of storage with the FlexPod environment."
                            • "The biggest problem we have seen is, we were using the vStorage which comes with the NetApp environment, a kind of fiber connect. We were missing fibre channel connectivity and we got lots of I/O errors."
                            • "I would like to see more orchestration tools in FlexPod because we virtually end up with integrating the v-orchestration tool within FlexPod. I would like to see something like that included within FlexPod."
                            • "We don't see the much DR capability within the FlexPod so for that, we have to maintain our own DR capability with DSRM."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I would rate FlexPod as a seven out of 10 because it has gone through a long journey in our organization and we have had pretty good support. The FlexPod environment still exists and, according to the roadmap, it will go to 2020. In terms of advice, this is all about converged and hyper-converged. If you are looking to convert your environment, then I would definitely suggest going with the FlexPod.
                            it_user319338
                            Director of Innovation at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
                            Consultant
                            May 22, 2018
                            FlexClone allows you to create copies of volumes quickly, without using physical space

                            What is our primary use case?

                            In our facilities we use FlexPod to host business applications: bpm'online (our tool for the help desk), SugarCRM, Microsoft Exchange Server, Cisco CallManager, some applications related to telephony and collaboration, and for demonstrations of our solution.

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "Centralized administration with Cisco UCS Director allows you to perform all administrative functions from a single interface, as well as automate tasks."
                            • "UCS Profiles enable recovering a physical server in less than 15 minutes."
                            • "FlexClone allows you to create copies of volumes in seconds, and without occupying physical space."
                            • "Perhaps the automation interface could be improved."

                            What other advice do I have?

                            I consider this solution a 10 out of 10. It is a very complete solution and easy to administer.
                            it_user865491
                            Senior Storage Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                            Consultant
                            May 6, 2018
                            Enables us to map a storage LUN onto an ESX cluster, but backup requirements need clarification

                            What is our primary use case?

                            I am working on a FlexPod environment, though it is not the exact FlexPod box from NetApp. Our environment is custom made, resembling FlexPod with UCS chassis, NetApp storage, and Cisco MDS. We have five HA pairs and a MetroCluster, along with Cisco MDS in front and Brocade as back-end switches (for MetroCluster).

                            Pros and Cons

                            • "It is a very well-thought-out solution with great virtualization. A good option we have is mapping a storage LUN onto an ESX cluster. That way, in case a particular ESX is down, it can migrate (using vMotion) to another host in the cluster, resulting in high-availability."
                            • "The ability to create vDisks on NFS exports is an added advantage. This is very helpful when we reach RDM limit."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              The solution is really good but with 7-Mode I would rate it at seven out of 10. With NetApp Cluster Mode the rating is higher.
                              it_user865494
                              Associate at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                              Consultant
                              May 6, 2018
                              Helps us run VMware Horizon View and standalone workloads

                              What is our primary use case?

                              The key features and functionalities of NetApp FlexPod that the company uses run: VMware Horizon View standalone workloads. The environment is NetApp Controller FAS8040, Cisco Nexus switches (5000/7000/9000) and Cisco UCS Server with fabric interconnect.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              A single FlexPod can support a load of 2,000 - 5,000 employees without downtime.

                              What is most valuable?

                              SolidFire all-flash block storage in an existing FlexPod data center environment. This improves the agility and performance, including the additional load of cabling.

                              What needs improvement?

                              Support for multiple vendors' hardware Support for SAN with Cisco 9000 switches Automated deployment and configuration with respect to CVD

                              For how long have I used

                              it_user252573
                              Information Technology Architect and Business Consultant
                              Vendor
                              May 6, 2018
                              Provides us with flexibility, everything is fully configurable

                              What is our primary use case?

                              My use case was a small FlexPod architecture (seven Cisco B-Series Blades, a FAS8200 in CDOT, two Cisco Nexus switches). One rack. We used Cisco 3xxx switches. Six profiles were defined so six blades were running and one was a spare. On top of the infrastructure we used Oracle Hypervisor (OVM); the VMs were based on Oracle Linux. On top the virtual machines we hosted Oracle Database (pinned, to reduce license costs) or applications. So two levels of flexibility per DR were activated: one based on profiles and one based on the hypervisor.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "Software flexibility. Everything is fully configurable. The reliability results from the design. Elements are well projected (disks, blade, network, etc.). No single point of failure is identifiable."
                              • "FlexPod was born to be used like building-block elements, to create large EDP premises. If used to create a single FlexPod CED, optional operational collaterals (backup, management, etc.) are missing, both in docs and in design."
                              it_user862512
                              Private Cloud Infrastructure Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                              Real User
                              Apr 30, 2018
                              Provides ease of automation. ​Newer platform reference architectures take a long time to harden.​

                              What is our primary use case?

                              Company-wide production and development of private cloud infrastructure.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              Scale up/down CD/CI pipeline Development environments scale up/down

                              What is most valuable?

                              Converged infrastructure Engineered Reference Architecture Continued evolution of the architecture Manpower savings Ease of automation

                              What needs improvement?

                              Newer platform reference architectures take a long time to harden and be publicly available.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              More than five years.
                              it_user798375
                              PMO Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                              Real User
                              Jan 9, 2018
                              The solution was simple to deploy, but we faced challenges with replication between the primary and secondary site

                              What is our primary use case?

                              I used the solution as disaster recovery (DR) for backing up the IBM Power series infrastructure. The primary site is running our core application, which is based on Java and Oracle databases installed on a SUSE Linux environment.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "The solution was simple to deploy."
                              • "Compatibility issues with replication. The Oracle table formats were not working and storage replications did not work as well, until we had to introduce other components to make it work."
                              it_user527184
                              Solution Architect at Thin Technologies
                              Vendor
                              Nov 22, 2017
                              Validated architecture means, once in place, they can use the platform within a day

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Don't just buy the solution that your sales guy is trying to sell you. Understand what your needs are, understand what your I/O requirements and capacity requirements are, and leverage the sales team's engineers to truly devise the solution that you're going to actually take advantage of. Don't get caught up in price, initially. The sales teams can always work on price. Focus on what the solution is going to do for you, and is it actually going to meet your needs. Then deal with price after that.
                              it_user298266
                              Team Leader – Storage & Security at CoreLogic RP Data
                              Consultant
                              Nov 5, 2017
                              Validated design means that it's supportable by both NetApp and Cisco

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We're a data analyst company, looking after property data. I'm not sure this product is uniquely valuable for our industry. It certainly has some value, especially in the mergers and acquisitions space where we need to stand up some infrastructure that matches ours in a newer environment, and be able to have that standard.
                              it_user750741
                              Storage Consultant at Long View Systems
                              MSP
                              Nov 1, 2017
                              Pre-validated NetApp/Cisco infrastructure alleviates a lot of the design and testing; it works "out of the box"

                              What other advice do I have?

                              My industry is IT consulting, so my company has a lot of clients that are in various verticals. It can be healthcare, it can be education, so depending on what vertical they're in, they'll have a requirement to have a certain converged solution that they know that will work.
                              it_user527259
                              Director Of IT Infrastructure at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 31, 2017
                              We can configure our compute and manage our storage, all from a single pane of glass, and it makes it easier on management
                              it_user750831
                              Infrastructure Architect at a financial services firm
                              Vendor
                              Oct 31, 2017
                              We like the simplicity of an all-in-one solution

                              What is most valuable?

                              The simplicity of having an all-in-one solution.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              Simplicity.

                              What needs improvement?

                              Make it cheaper.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              About six to eight months.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              It's very good.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              It's very good as well.

                              How is customer service and technical support?

                              We haven't used it.

                              How was the initial setup?

                              I wasn't involved in it.

                              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

                              We went out to tender.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We're in finance. I don't know if this solution is uniquely valuable in our industry but it works for us. It's not perfect but it does what we expected. We haven't had any…
                              it_user750819
                              Bdm at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                              Reseller
                              Oct 31, 2017
                              Simple, very scalable solution, vertically and horizontally, with excellent integration to Cisco

                              What other advice do I have?

                              When we are positioning against a cheaper solution it's really difficult to sell NetApp to our small customers, so it's really difficult to position. The customer has to see a lot of value. Once we have medium and bigger customers, it's really easy to position and it's perfect.
                              it_user750810
                              Consultant at a tech services company
                              Consultant
                              Oct 31, 2017
                              If a blade fails you just add a new one, SAN booter, and pop in an SD card and it's up; great flexibility

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It's solid compared to everything else I see out there. All these other server manufacturers don't quite have the same level of integration that the Cisco has with this product. I really do like how Cisco has pulled it all together compared to, say, Dell or any of the other manufacturers. It's just much more simple for me to work with, and eventually to customers, it's a great hand-off when it's time to leave.
                              it_user750768
                              Principal Storage Engineer at Digital River
                              Consultant
                              Oct 31, 2017
                              Easy to configure, quick to deploy, and easy to train new users

                              What is most valuable?

                              Ease of configuration  Ease of training for whoever is going to be using it

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              Deployment time is probably one of the biggest ones. You can get it set up and start using it in a quick manner.

                              What needs improvement?

                              I think it could be a little bit more flexible and if they found a way to implement more of a supported cloud solution to it, I think that could help a lot.  Then there's things like AltaVault which, if there was a way to have that as a shipped feature with it, could be useful as well.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Six or seven years.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              Solid. Very good.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              Pretty good. I think there is…
                              it_user750738
                              Principal Analyst at Muscogee Creek Nation Casinos
                              Vendor
                              Oct 23, 2017
                              It has allowed us to expand our DR and backup strategies
                              it_user750783
                              Group Leader at a consultancy
                              Consultant
                              Oct 23, 2017
                              It has made it easier to deploy new virtual machines

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We bought the Cisco and the NetApp separately and integrated them ourselves, so that probably made it a little more difficult. But we followed all the guidelines that were published from both Cisco and NetApp regarding how to put them together. Now, it is sold as an already built together package, which probably would make it easier.
                              it_user750837
                              Server Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 23, 2017
                              We were able to get everything up and running very quickly without having to consult with multiple teams across the IT infrastructure
                              it_user318444
                              Advisory Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 23, 2017
                              ​Makes our configurations more consistent and easier to troubleshoot

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We invested in this solution because we were trying to lower our costs and improve the time to implement and upgrade.
                              it_user750858
                              Senior Systems Administrator at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              Seems very scalable as we have had to scale out. We have actually doubled in size.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We invested in FlexPod because we were setting up a VDI environment.
                              it_user750687
                              Storage Engineer at a financial services firm
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              It cuts down on the time needed to provision anything
                              it_user750648
                              It Infrastructure Manager at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              It let us not worry about the minutiae of the configuration
                              it_user750624
                              Manager Infrastructure Services at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              We've had to expand the storage infrastructure a few times and had no issues
                              it_user750825
                              Storage Administrator at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              It's superior compared to any other blade type system, but needs to improve its usability

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Do a little research, find out if the business case applies to them, how they could leverage it, and if it's something they could leverage in their environment. Get a PoC, that's another thing. Definitely get a POC for the product to determine if it's good for them. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Stability, after the product is implemented into an environment. * Scalability * Responsiveness to certain type of issues.
                              it_user750828
                              Senior Cloud Systems Engineer at Alarm.Com
                              Real User
                              Oct 22, 2017
                              Everything is built with doubles and has double paths, so it's highly redundant

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "The ease at which it scales and its redundancy factors. It's extremely redundant and easy-to-scale."
                              • "There are certain things that are just hard to do on a physical infrastructure, like for instance you need to make petabytes of data available at high speed."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Reliability is a big one; being able to be depend on it. Also, giving you features without getting too complex about it. The best example I can give is NetApp versus EMC. NetApp, you buy ONTAP. When you buy ONTAP, you have everything that ONTAP gives you. It gives you the tons of features that come in the box. For EMC, each single one of those things is another thing I have to buy. It's 29 or 30 packets or software updates I have to buy from EMC. I really appreciate that NetApp just bundles it together and says, "Here's what we do. Here's what…
                              it_user750840
                              Senior Lecturer at Nelson Marlborough Institute Of Technology
                              Vendor
                              Oct 19, 2017
                              The stability is solid. You turn it on, you set it up, and it runs.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It's a pretty smooth solution. For anybody wanting to get a small system to actually teach on as well as learn and use, you can't beat FlexPod. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Trust relationship, either knowing somebody that actually knows them and has had a good experience, and if I find that then I'm not too worried. However, it's also about the personal relationship. It's about getting to know the people you're dealing with at the vendor. All three of them, Fujitsu, Cisco, and NetApp have just been amazing, particularly NetApp for me. They've done some amazing stuff with…
                              it_user750753
                              It Specialist at US EPA
                              Real User
                              Oct 19, 2017
                              We can do anything we want with the networking part without having to add cables and cards

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "We like it because everything is 10 Gig all the way through, from the storage to the switches to everything else, which is more than we need, and that's great."
                              • "The management interface of the UCS part of it is a little bit clunky. It uses Java, so when we're managing it, if I have a computer that doesn't have Java on it or has the wrong version of Java on it, there's some iterations that have to happen to get into the manager of it."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Our field is federal government. I don't think this product is uniquely valuable for our industry, but I think it's a very good value to the government. We pushed it a lot, but there are lots of ways to accomplish this. We, in our part of the government, think it's the best way to do it, but I don't know that it's uniquely suited to government. I'm a happy customer of FlexPod.
                              it_user750789
                              Senior Storage Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 18, 2017
                              It's less resource-intensive, given that it comes in a package

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "It's less resource-intensive, given that it comes in a package."
                              • "Maybe in the future, they could include the HCI solution into the mix."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              In some aspects, they are pretty good, and in other aspects, they need improvement. For someone looking at FlexPod and similar solutions: I tell them to go with whatever works for them, as it's organization-specific and resource-specific, because the in-house knowledge-base also weighs in, and it's a big deal because you don't want to spend time working on your learning curve. If it was just a suggestion, you can make any product work as well, as long as you design it properly, you don't over utilize it, and you make sure you follow up with the vendors and do the recommendations. At the same…
                              it_user750801
                              Senior It Analyst at a energy/utilities company
                              Vendor
                              Oct 18, 2017
                              Easy to use and it centralizes everything into our datacenter, helps us manage it

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "The benefit is the speed, it's the performance. That's what it comes down to is the performance of the solution."
                              • "I think they can always improve, whether it's dedupe or compression, those algorithms; and flash through better SSDs."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              FlexPod is absolutely uniquely valuable for oil and gas, for some of the more higher-intensive products, the software that engineers will use to look for oil They're always looking to be able to do that faster, better and more efficiently. I gave it a nine out of 10 because nothing's ever perfect. We did run into some hiccups around some different things. Part of that is us, the other part of that is working with the vendors. We weren't utilizing things with the switch properly. When we were having jobs come in from outside to access the storage, because it wasn't going through the Cisco…
                              it_user750681
                              Server Engineer at Amtrust Financials
                              Vendor
                              Oct 18, 2017
                              One number to call if something goes wrong and no longer wasting time tracking down "gremlins"

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I think it's valuable to anyone. I don't think it's related to industry, rather it's for anyone who runs a datacenter.
                              it_user750597
                              Systems Infrastructure at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                              MSP
                              Oct 18, 2017
                              Scalable and seamless, and the HA enables us to troubleshoot or replace a part without down-time

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "We got the product and we have a small environment, but it was able to be scalable to when we started to grow."
                              • "A progress bar would...be pretty cool."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              The most important criteria when looking at vendors, to me, is honesty about a product. We talked to NetApp folks and they were really good as far as getting us all the information. It wasn't just that I said I need a solution and they gave me a quote for the biggest solution that I needed to get. They asked, how many people do you have, what kind of expansion do you see yourself going into five years from now, how many services do you want, how is it going to grow. And I thought that was just awesome. Usually they try to sell you the most expensive, like a car salesman. But no, they really…
                              it_user750813
                              Senior Systems Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              Extremely fault tolerant so it's highly available and provides powerful performance

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We're in the Financial industry but I don't think it's uniquely valuable for just that industry. I think it's valuable for any workload that it's appropriate for. There are many use cases for it. It's just a great product, it really is.
                              it_user750822
                              System Engineer at Jones Walker Llp
                              Consultant
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              It does what it's supposed to do and helps us with ​up-time, cost, and predictability

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "That it works. That it does exactly what it says on the tin."
                              • "Automatic tiering would be good to have."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I am a very happy customer.
                              it_user750843
                              Cloud Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              Faster provisioning, meeting SLAs, deadlines, we are able to produce more with fewer resources.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "You can just take out blades and replace them, and you're back up and running in no time."
                              • "I would think more cloud integration, a lot more flexibility with adapting to different things."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It's easy to manage if you start out correctly. If you don't, if you just spaghetti everything out and do all kinds of weird things within it, and don't keep standards, you always, like anything, create chaos. We're in the financial industry but I think FlexPod is valuable for a lot of industries, not just this one. I don't see it as a one niche for just financial, could be for everything. Right now, I think it's a great product. I don't give anybody a 10 unless they're outstanding, perfect in every way.
                              it_user750846
                              Storage Admin at Tats Consultancy Services
                              Consultant
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              Provides ease of management, reducing my workload

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Our industry is management services, Tarragon Consultancy, one of the biggest groups for management services. I think across the industry, FlexPod is a good one, to get convergence of everything in one place; we can get the computer storage and then we can export everything. It's good.
                              it_user750612
                              Senior Systems Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              Easy to use, so we don't spend a whole lot of time learning new products out there
                              it_user750594
                              Admin at Tower International
                              Vendor
                              Oct 16, 2017
                              For anyone who needs the flexibility of moving around profiles from physical device to physical device, it really adds an additional layer of virtualization

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "For anyone who needs the flexibility of moving around profiles from physical device to physical device, it really adds an additional layer of virtualization."
                              • "The interface is a little convoluted."
                              it_user750555
                              Senior Engineer at Energysolutions
                              Vendor
                              Oct 15, 2017
                              It works reliably and allows me to focus on other things

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "This sounds dumb, but it just works. I don't want to have to deal with support, and I don't need to because, again, it has just worked."
                              • "Upgrades are always scary because you just don't know. Nobody has six or seven different systems sitting around that you can test on before you go into production data."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              The way the model is now, where, at least with NetApp, effectively you have a partner actually doing the implementation, not an actual NetApp employee - which is fine - I'm looking for good partner knowledge of it. Whoever's setting it up, I want them to know the product, whether it's UCS or whether it's NetApp or whatever. That's critical because I've actually had people that didn't really know what they were doing show up on our doorstep to set stuff up, and that's never good for anybody. You can't just say you'd want it to be a simple "one button," push this button and everything works sort…
                              it_user750531
                              Storage Operator at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 15, 2017
                              Ensures a single upgrade path, although a simpler product with fewer features would help

                              What is most valuable?

                              Honestly, it's making sure that you only have one upgrade path when various patches are released.

                              How has it helped my organization?

                              There's only one throat to choke when something goes wrong.

                              What needs improvement?

                              I'm currently drowning in features. So maybe a simplification would be better. Fewer features.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              Several months.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              At the moment, I have had very few problems with the FlexPod system. However, the alerting is so much chattier than what I had previously, that I spent several months thinking that the world was ending. And it turns out, it was just a bug.

                              How is customer service and technical support?

                              Frontline support was atrocious, but once you…
                              it_user748320
                              Team Lead at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
                              Real User
                              Oct 4, 2017
                              Eliminates our having to contact multiple OEMs for any issues that might arise
                              it_user692436
                              Scada supervisor at Brook fields renewable power
                              Vendor
                              Jul 26, 2017
                              It simplified our server farm.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I'd say, go for the NetApp with the Cisco UCS. It definitely will cut your management time down and it's a very reliable solution.
                              it_user699825
                              Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              MSP
                              Jul 26, 2017
                              Enables us to leverage block or file capabilities of the storage.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "From the integration standpoint, it is a lot easier to integrate than a lot of people initially felt. Being able to leverage either block or file capabilities of the storage is something that has been beneficial."
                              • "I would like to see improvements in the documentation. I understanding how things are coming together and a lot of that is from the UCS side."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Selecting this solution really depends on the architects. The first thing I ask is why they think they need to upgrade and what it is that is driving it. A lot of times, unfortunately, a lot of upgrades aren't really upgrades. They are just product refreshes. They are just making sure that customers understand that just doing a product refresh may, or may not, meet their future growth needs. On my side, I try to help people understanding what they want to do, and why they are going about it. We want to help them understand if there are any other future things coming into play that may, or may…
                              it_user699804
                              Network operations at Marine forces
                              Vendor
                              Jul 25, 2017
                              This solution enables us employ VDI.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Identify your requirements, make sure you know what they are, and don't fall short in doing so. If you do, that may drive you to a different solution. It's not all about cost. Rather, it is the value that it brings to you.
                              it_user699807
                              Network Engineer at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jul 19, 2017
                              We appreciate the inter-operability of the setup with Cisco.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Engage the partner and see what their suggestions would be as to tailor-make or tailor-fit the application and the solution. This app was a good fit for us because we're already the data customer.
                              it_user699834
                              Senior product manager at Century Link
                              Consultant
                              Jul 17, 2017
                              The most valuable features are the ACI integration and the Application-Centric Infrastructure.
                              it_user699837
                              Network manager
                              Vendor
                              Jul 17, 2017
                              We use it to run our core web servers and our data warehouse

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If they were going to upgrade their storage, I would tell them NetApp has been really solid for us. I can't think of any reason not to use it. That's a good thing with IT people, because usually if something's bad, we're ready to tell you.
                              it_user699813
                              Director of IT at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Jul 17, 2017
                              The valuable features are expanding the hardware and containerizing elements into a single platform.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Another large hospital, certainly, should focus on the longevity and the simplicity of the solution. I'm really all about the simplicity of it. I have to keep things simple. In IT, we have a habit of making things very complicated, and it's really difficult to change your thinking to keep things smoothly.
                              it_user699801
                              Enterprise systems engineer
                              Vendor
                              Jul 16, 2017
                              Provides fast and reliable storage.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Don't buy magnetic media, but rather buy all-flash storage, solid state drives, or other types of flash media. I can't imagine that magnetic media is going to be around for much longer. Eventually, the old stuff is going to go away. Spinning platters are going to go away. I suggest investing in all-flash. Don't buy magnetic media, but rather put them in your garage.
                              it_user692445
                              Systems engineer lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
                              Consultant
                              Jul 16, 2017
                              Provides less overhead and simplifies administration.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Give it a try and work with your partner or reseller to see if there is a demo available to try out the product. A lot of partners have that capability. Let people log in and try it. You should try out a solution before you buy.
                              it_user699840
                              Consultant
                              Vendor
                              Jul 16, 2017
                              The main benefits are scalability, modularity, and fast data transfer.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would highly recommend NetApp as a storage solution. I am impressed with all types of storage. In terms of choosing NetApp, FlexPod has a very good hyper-converged infrastructure and flash storage. It is a very good way of being cost effective. There are a lot of vendors, but not that many of them are as cost effective as NetApp.
                              it_user699828
                              IT Architect at Broncos football club
                              Vendor
                              Jul 16, 2017
                              We run much of our infrastructure within this environment.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I guess it depends what your roles are. We are a one-stop shop, so we have to do all these different things. So for us it was important to accomplish a lot of different goals with one system. So, I would just ask someone: "How easy do you want things to be? Is support important to you? Is it important to work with different vendors who all know how the whole system works? How much time do you need to save when you're doing support?"
                              SeniorSy9b41
                              Senior systems manager at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
                              Real User
                              Jul 15, 2017
                              We like the validated design. It would be nice to have more of a single pane of glass from a management standpoint.
                              it_user699843
                              Director of technology with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Jul 14, 2017
                              The most valuable feature is the converge nature of having compute storage on the network in one rack.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Take a look at the product. If you go through your requirements and have to redo either your virtual environment or some of your SAN storage, look at putting your compute storage and network together.
                              it_user699822
                              Exec director of enterprise it services
                              Vendor
                              Jul 14, 2017
                              The main features are ease of deployment and reliability.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would definitely recommend FlexPod. The first thing I would say is just the simplicity and the standardization that you can put in place. You can do more with less. This packaged solution already works, so you don't have to figure it out and be your own integrator. This is the way to go.
                              it_user699819
                              Solutions Architect
                              Vendor
                              Jul 13, 2017
                              A converged platform with a good support model.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              So the first thing is you have to know your workload. A lot of customers go in, and what they do is they push on infrastructure without understanding the applications. So to any customer, I always tell them, you have to do an assessment of the application, understand the characteristics of the application. That will drive the solution, whether it's all-flash, whether it's a hybrid model, or whether it's just spinning disc. So until we know the application stack, I don't even talk infrastructure.
                              it_user699798
                              Infrastructure manager
                              Vendor
                              Jul 13, 2017
                              It is easy to manage and their support is streamlined.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              They should definitely look into NetApp, especially now with the SolidFire acquisition. They have almost everything you would need for storage. I've used HPE SANs before and EMC, and NetApp just blows them out of the water with manageability and the price point.
                              it_user699795
                              Senior network administrator
                              Vendor
                              Jul 13, 2017
                              We are running a standard data center with domain controllers.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Give it a shot. Call your vendors and just get it. They'll demo it for you, so use that. It is important to demo everything first, because there is a lot of money on the line just for a "I guess this might work out for us.”
                              it_user699783
                              Network engineer at Capital one
                              Vendor
                              Jul 12, 2017
                              The users don't have problems with latency and there are no problems in the backups.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              From a network perspective, it is very stable. We don't have any issues with this. I would recommend it, just because of its uptime and the fact that you can sleep through the night, and not get called at 3 AM. I have peace of mind from the stability. Peace of mind and stability are by far the biggest factors.
                              it_user699810
                              Network infrastructure manager at Iberia Bank
                              Vendor
                              Jul 12, 2017
                              It is an integrated system with a single address for support.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would tell them my story, about six years ago buying the FlexPod and how we purchased banks and scaled through it seamlessly. I have never had any downtime, and I feel like the support has been what has been advertised. I would certainly suggest buying that environment.
                              it_user699789
                              Senior systems engineer at Redondo beach
                              Vendor
                              Jul 10, 2017
                              Some of the valuable features are ease of use and ease of adding additional storage.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It's not all about cost. Overwhelmingly, the issue is that you shouldn't be as concerned with cost as much as you should with the scalability and the ability of a system. Even though you may be looking at a product that's more expensive than other equivalents out there, you're probably getting one of the best customer experiences out there, bar none. I've had to use HPE support, and I've had to use NetApp support, and 100% of the time, I would wind up referring NetApp support overwhelmingly. When you're looking at everything, it's not all about cost. It's also about usability, scalability, and…
                              it_user692454
                              Senior systems admin
                              Vendor
                              Jun 28, 2017
                              Offers integration with several products. Its architecture has been proven.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Do your research. They all have their own niches. Don't go cheap. That's one thing we've learned: Just because you might see another vendor who offers something a little cheaper, it is not necessarily the best. It might not have the White Papers or the proven technology that works together. That's what is nice about FlexPod, that you do have those elements. This has been working together for many years. They had this relationship with these other companies and you know you'll have the support behind it.
                              it_user692442
                              Principal engineer at a media company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Jun 28, 2017
                              One rack solution that is easy to implement and integrate to the existing network. The licensing fees are exorbitant.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It's a great solution. I would recommend FlexPod, except for the licensing fee. I can speak about the implementation part. I don't know what the system admins would say. I'm not able to speak from their perspective.
                              it_user692457
                              Datacenter manager at Defenders
                              Vendor
                              Jun 28, 2017
                              It integrates well with Cisco, NetApp, and VMware.
                              it_user692451
                              IT Manager with 201-500 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jun 28, 2017
                              Integrates well with Cisco and NetApp.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I know that it is really a good product. In the end, it is doing the job.
                              it_user692439
                              Senior network arcitect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
                              Real User
                              Jun 27, 2017
                              One of the valuable features is the consolidation in one rack.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would definitely recommend NetApp. Based on our results with NetApp, the stability, and what I know from my datacenter colleagues, it's a really reliable company.
                              it_user692448
                              Senior Systems engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jun 27, 2017
                              It has simplified our server farm.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Go for the solution with the Cisco UCS. It definitely will cut your management time down, and it's a very reliable solution.
                              it_user692433
                              Systems Admin with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              MSP
                              Jun 27, 2017
                              We use it for VMware, Hyper-V, and XenServer.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Go look for somebody who is doing it and has been doing it for a while. The FlexPods have been shown to be reliable. They work with two of the best vendors. Cicso: For the compute and for the networking, you can't get better. VMware: For the virtualization. They just work great together. There are other converge solutions out there like EMC, but I think that these are the three agnostic ones. EMC obviously owns a piece of VMware, so it's hard to know what parts they want to play. Maybe Pure Storage is the other agnostic, but I believe that NetApp, right now, is doing the best converged FlexPod…
                              it_user527280
                              Network Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Jun 19, 2017
                              The UCS chassis and storage system intermingle and work together.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If you don't have a reseller that you can talk to, talk to some industry experts. Get a demo. Basically, get an idea of what the FlexPod can do for you and which deployment model fits best for your company. As I’ve mentioned, given what we were dealing with before, integrating with Cisco and NetApp storage, the marriage between those two companies, they came up with a perfect solution that is pretty modular and flexible. We can scale it however we like it, to whatever site we're going to deploy it at. I'm not too concerned about more integration between the Cisco and NetApp systems. Obviously…
                              it_user481791
                              Senior Customer Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Jan 16, 2017
                              You can scale up or scale out on either compute, storage, networking, or on all of them.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "There are very many features, but from experience, the single point of contact for support has been valuable to our customers."
                              • "If you have expertise setting up such environments, then you are good, but for customers or novices, it becomes a nightmare and stuff may actually be left out."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Definitely ensure you size the environment correctly.
                              it_user527259
                              Director Of IT Infrastructure at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jan 15, 2017
                              Temporary profiles are available if you lose one of your servers. You can move the service template from one server to another.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If you are looking into a new storage solution, look at the return on investment, what your requirements are, what types of workloads you need to use, and pick the best storage solution for you.
                              it_user527256
                              Storage Analyst at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jan 12, 2017
                              Setup involved a form we filled out and populating the information.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If you are really trying to find a solution to your problems, FlexPod will do it for you and fix it them.
                              it_user527244
                              Senior Storage Architect at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jan 3, 2017
                              The integration is pretty valuable. Setup was problematic and stability is a question mark.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              There so many options now. It solely depends on your requirements. Some tools have good features, but I don't see any specifics of this tool that I could recommend to someone else.
                              it_user527226
                              Sr. Systems Administrator at Cardinal Logistics
                              Vendor
                              Jan 3, 2017
                              Deploying hardware and solutions is easy. We can create capacity and resources on the fly.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Plan for the worst. Hope for the best. Now that there is a clustered ONTAP, I can't see many other solutions being better. I know that everyone's going towards this hyperconvergence, but I think you still need to keep compute and storage separate. You never know where your growth is going to be. Maybe I'm old school, but depending on your business model. We tend to grow storage more than compute at times; and other times more compute than storage, but it just depends on your particular needs. I like the separation.
                              it_user527241
                              Principal Storage Engineer at Esurance
                              Vendor
                              Jan 3, 2017
                              It is easy to use. If you follow the reference document how to set it up, it provides a stable environment.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Our experience using this tool is that we have been very happy with it for over six year. The solution has given us whatever our company has wanted. It has delivered in a very short time and has quick turn-around for different projects. I also suggest looking around. NetApp is a good case for us. It really solves our issues. Although there are other solutions available on the market, this tool is definitely worth looking at it. FlexPod is not cheap and the way things are going, you could probably get the same thing at half the price from another vendor. NetApp has to be very competitive on the…
                              it_user527268
                              Manager of Systems Engineering at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Jan 3, 2017
                              The two big draws for us are the form factor and the converged infrastructure.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Don't design it yourself. Use the certified designs, especially for FlexPod. The one time we went with our own design, we ended up going back and reengineering it so we could put in a certified design later on.
                              it_user527223
                              Manager - Storage and Backups with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              MSP
                              Dec 22, 2016
                              The scalability allows us to grow with the infrastructure.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I recommend buying FlexPod technology. I think other vendors have more scalability because they use higher-density disks and they can use clusters for storage. When we use a NetApp cluster, we only have a processing cluster. If one controller fails or a pair of controllers fails, all the disks that are connected to those controllers also fail. We built FlexPod. We didn’t buy it. We bought the Cisco servers, the switches and the NetApp storage. When we built the first FlexPod, we bought infrastructure for the Guatemala and Dominican Republic data centers. We have the same infrastructure for all…
                              it_user527187
                              IT Manager at a engineering company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Dec 22, 2016
                              It is non-disruptive. Technical support is proactive and they don't point fingers at each other.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Because it's a scalable appliance, most IT people tend to aim to get the biggest thing because you might as well. You want to cover your back as well, and all of that. But scalability; you've got to have in mind scalability. When looking at FlexPod, buying the basic thing could cost you a little bit, but you have that flexibility of adding and scaling up in FlexPod. You don't have to go all-in like we used to with a lot of different appliances. It's non-disruptive. That's a huge thing. You want to build something that you can say, “OK, the business is going to grow. We are anticipating the…
                              it_user335835
                              Global Manager (Storage) Cloud Managed Services at IT Convergence
                              Real User
                              Dec 21, 2016
                              It reduces the complexity of cabling and helps us create new designs.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Evaluate multiple products. It all depends on how the product would actually fit into your use case. NetApp FlexPod fits well into our use case, so I definitely encourage you to evaluate NetApp and SolidFire. It has been part of our success so far. I would give it a perfect rating if it fit into all the virtualization platforms that I’ve mentioned.
                              it_user527133
                              Principal Engineer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Dec 19, 2016
                              It’s a standard; it's a spec. It's the same across all environments.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Buy it. It's a good product.
                              it_user527253
                              Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Dec 5, 2016
                              As a kind of industry standard, it's nice to have a lot of information about it out there.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Make sure that it meets the requirements that you're looking for as well as being scalable in the future, because data's constantly growing. You have to be able to forecast a little bit forward. NetApp is configurable, and the ease of use will make configuring it a lot easier. That’s probably why I would recommend it: NetApp itself doesn't have a steep learning curve.
                              it_user527172
                              Network Services System Administrator II at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Dec 4, 2016
                              We have two heads in separate data centers approximately one mile apart with dark fiber. There is high availability and high resiliency within our data structure.

                              Pros and Cons

                              • "High availability is outstanding. We haven't had any problems with that."
                              • "Sometimes, when the newer versions of any of the partners’ firmware or software come out, there's still sometimes a lag of the partners to support all of those new components."

                              What other advice do I have?

                              The idea of the FlexPod: We've all probably experienced the difficulties of working without that type of reference architecture and that acknowledgement of the support. You waste a lot of time because there are going to be problems. There are going to be troubles that you have to go through and the vendors working together on the support has been a value to us. I think almost everybody in this industry has probably gone through that at some point, where you know that a problem lies with one of these three manufacturers, but you spend way too much time finger-pointing and you don't get to the…
                              it_user527262
                              Systems Engineer II at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Nov 30, 2016
                              The hardware and software is disjointed, so we can apply service profiles.
                              it_user527202
                              Director of IT Infrastructure at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 28, 2016
                              It’s all treated as one piece with regard to support.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              As long as it's within your budget, it's a great one-shot deal that allows you to really have an integrated platform that you can just build off of. It's definitely an expensive solution, but it has been a really robust solution. We know what we get with it. We definitely like the vendors teaming up and having a more integrated solution.
                              it_user527085
                              IT Systems Engineer, III at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 28, 2016
                              It's a one-stop shop. For any issue we have, we make one call, they all pull together and they fix it.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Go with it. Seriously. There are a lot of solutions out there. Converged infrastructure's trying to push its way in. We've looked at it. Maybe for a small company starting out, it might be okay but it won't scale to the level that the FlexPod can scale to, have the same performance, and guarantee that you're going to have it all work together. It does what it says it's going to do. It makes life much easier all around. It's not a solution where you have to sit there and say, "Is this switch going to work with this system?" The systems are more complicated, they’re more complex, the bandwidth…
                              it_user424989
                              Server Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 27, 2016
                              It's easy to implement. When I'm having an issue, I only need to make one call to tech support.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Do your reviews. Put some thought into what you want and what you need. Try to plan out 3-5 years. Give yourself an idea of your growth. Things like that. How you want to be able to manage that. Make sure that you have all those ideas down and discuss them before you start implementing anything; especially with the FlexPod, because there are so many options. You want to make sure that it's going to sustain you, not just now, but 3-5 years out.
                              it_user527352
                              Sr Staff Storage Admin at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              MSP
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              The defined architecture means you know you're going to be using best practices.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Spend the time up front to architect it, get the details, and make sure your plan is solid.
                              it_user527301
                              Systems Administrator, I at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              I can migrate my profiles if I have a problem with one. I have firmware upgrade issues.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Check the interop matrix and check it carefully. Make sure that everything's going to work across the line. Another thing: Once I've got my FlexPod in place and NetApp knows I've got a NetApp 8040 – they know I have these models – have it pull the interop matrix for me. You know all my parts. Why do I have to hunt it down? For other customers: Just make sure you do your homework on it. Make sure it's actually going to give you what you need and have fun with it.
                              it_user527283
                              Storage Administrator at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              Easy to set up and administer.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Give it a look. See if it fits your environment. That's kind of it, for anything you purchase, because it's got to fit your environment; it works for us. It works for what we're trying to do.
                              it_user527076
                              System Team Lead & IT Architect at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              I have one vendor to contact. We don't have to test it right off the bat.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Make sure you get all your requirements up front. Make sure that the protocols that you want to use are supported by your vendor. There are a lot of niche players out there that will say they will do something. When you get them onsite, they don't or they don't perform as well. We were looking at a couple of other flash providers, including Nutanix and Tintri. Bringing them onsite for a demo works great, but when you start talking to people who actually use the solution... We found that in the demos, they couldn't live up to the promises they were making, or it didn't make sense to add more…
                              it_user527073
                              Infrastructure Eng at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              When you are doing a rip-and-replace of your storage, you can bring UCS and NetApp in at the same time.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Definitely leverage NFS datastores if you are going to be running VMware. Don't just treat it as any old storage. Think about the fact that NetApp is invested heavily into the WAFL file system and the whole bit. There is a ton of preparations that you would need to do before implementation. That could be a months-long process. Make sure that you have the right equipment that is going to connect into it; your top-of-rack switches and the whole bit.
                              it_user527235
                              Director, Technology at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 24, 2016
                              Validated design and setup. No configuration questions.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              For us, the big incentive would be the support that you get out of NetApp and the partners that we have in our town. There are a lot of strong NetApp FlexPod people. Thereare a lot of FlexPods out where we are. If you're looking for a solution that you know is going to work and that you're going to get some solid support and backing from the vendor throughout your process from start to finish, it's going to be the NetApp guys. I’ve given it a perfect rating based on our experiences. We've rolled out multiple racks of FlexPod and we've never had an issue. We've got two data centers full of it…
                              it_user527316
                              Senior Systems Engineer at McLean-Fogg
                              Video Review
                              Vendor
                              Nov 10, 2016
                              It leveraged existing technologies we had with new blade server technology and NetApp's expandable storage.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I look for a vendor with an established history of innovation of stability. That's one of the things with NetApp and Cisco. They're leaders in innovation in their fields. I'm entirely confident in the solutions I have with them today and the solutions they're going to provide tomorrow. Recommendation to peers: I would recommend that they would really regret it if they didn't at the very least invest in and consider a FlexPod solution. I'd give it firm 9.5, simply because I don't believe in giving tens out. Literally, it's been in our situation pretty flawless.
                              it_user527124
                              Lead Sys Admin at a logistics company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 8, 2016
                              The simplicity of how all the different technologies join together is valuable.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Perform due diligence. Understand your business requirement.
                              it_user527208
                              Senior Sys Admin at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 3, 2016
                              It allows for cross-training. One person can use the device without much training.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If you’re limited to the number of admins you have, like we are, FlexPod is a good solution to look into, especially if the distant end lacks the skill level that you might have in house. FlexPod is good if you have limited management capacity.
                              it_user527211
                              Systems Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 3, 2016
                              It's an end-to-end solution for which we have a single support structure.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              You need a partner that you can trust and a partner you can actually move forward with. You need to understand what the full lifecycle of the product will be. You need to understand where you're going to go next. That was the big thing for us. When we changed, it was a major change. It was a lot of downtime, a lot of frustration for a lot of people. That's why something like NetApp, where I know that I have the ability to take out the controller, grab a new controller with cluster data ONTAP; you've got the scale out ability as well. That's been really great for us as well. As I’ve mentioned…
                              it_user527112
                              Senior Sys Admin at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 3, 2016
                              Ease of data management and data portability are valuable.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Follow the best practice guides and you can't go wrong. If you've already got a storage compute environment, a good analysis of what your existing environment is like, what your workload's like, will assist where you place data, where you place your volumes on the FAS system. You generally have a good understanding of what your existing workload is, so you can obviously scale and design your storage layout with FlexPod correctly or most efficiently. I guess I'm a bit biased in my opinion but I've worked with it for probably seven, eight years. I’ve never had an issue with it and everything…
                              it_user527094
                              System Engineer II at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 3, 2016
                              It is preconfigured and validated by NetApp and Cisco.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              FlexPod is definitely easy to deploy and go with. If I had to recommend it, I would definitely recommend the NetApp FlexPod solution. The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is that their product works. That's the most important thing. Then second is customer service and getting to solution. I hate a lot of side talk, empty promises – nothing becomes of it – just to get the sale. Really, make sure the product works and then you get the support that you need and not chatter.
                              it_user527067
                              Sr. SaaS Operation Engineer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 3, 2016
                              It integrates with WFA and Cisco UCSD.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Go for it. One thing to be aware of is the support, but the rest is good. When I’m selecting a vendor such as NetApp, in the business that we are in, I look for stability. When it comes to stability, reputation will matter; how long have they been in business and for how long they have proved themselves. The reputation is one of the things. Stability is the key thing.
                              it_user527265
                              Principal Architect at JWS Consult
                              Consultant
                              Oct 31, 2016
                              We don't have to add new ports every time we add a new server. Everything's already connected.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Definitely take advantage of all the training you can, particularly the UCS portion of the setup. It's very much a one time setup if you do it right the first time. I use the reference install guide for the VMware on FlexPod, even for installs that aren't using NetApp storage because it's so well-written. It's 175 pages but it gives you not only what to do, but why to do it and even full configurations you can copy-and-paste in to make sure that everything really is "set it and forget it". You can just continue to operate your business, serve your clients as well as possible, and not have to…
                              it_user527346
                              Infrastructure Administrator with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 31, 2016
                              Simplifies the stack - we got it because it's a one-stop shop for compute, and the networking aspect of it.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We've already had businesses come to us and say, "What do you use?" We just tell them about the whole FlexPod idea and what kind of benefits it brings: the scalability, the one-throat-to-choke kind of support. We've had a couple of companies take our advice and they were happy with it too. In terms of homework to do before implementation, you have to look at your workloads and see how you're going to use it. In our experience, we have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it and it actually performs really well. We've had very little problems, very little problems. When I look at working…
                              it_user527250
                              IT Infrastructure Manager at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 20, 2016
                              It doesn't require a lot of administration.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Do it. Once you get it set up and configured, it's rock solid. It scales with your business easily. It will make your life so much easier once it's in place. It's so reliable; I have had no problems with it. It's delivered everything that we've asked of it and we haven't even moved to flash yet. I'm pretty happy with it. As far as anything that you need to prepare beforehand, I'm not entirely sure. We got to do a full greenfield upgrade. We weren’t trying to do a rip-and-replace of our current environment. The most important criteria when I’m looking for a vendor is reliability, both with the…
                              it_user527316
                              Senior Systems Engineer at McLean-Fogg
                              Vendor
                              Oct 20, 2016
                              It allows us to receive support, planning and installation services from a single provider.
                              it_user330141
                              Storage Engineer at Expedia
                              Vendor
                              Oct 13, 2016
                              You can bring up desktops on Apple, Windows and Linux systems. It allowed us to centralize our file stores and user data.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Work closely with your vendor. From the storage side – I always start with storage – you need to build a team that includes VMware, the storage people, the Citrix guys and someone who knows UCS. Once you have that team in place, your things are going to go very, very smoothly. We haven't really had to look at expanding it but, I can see that it'll be an interesting experience doing expansion on the storage side, so I think four stars would be accurate for usability and implementation.
                              it_user328161
                              Senior Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
                              MSP
                              Nov 1, 2015
                              It’s a seamless integration of three different products: servers, storage and switches, although allowing faster certification times on newer codes on both Cisco and NetApp sides could be good.

                              Valuable Features

                              The most valuable feature of the solution is that it combines storage and server – very streamlined, very flexible, and built upon reliability.

                              Improvements to My Organization

                              It reduces the operational costs with just one platform to manage. It’s a seamless integration between three different products: servers, storage and switches.

                              Room for Improvement

                              I think that allowing faster certification times on newer codes on both Cisco and NetApp sides could be good as this is a pain point. They need to make certification more streamlined.

                              Stability Issues

                              It's very stable and there's very few issues with it because it’s a certified product in which all the components work together.

                              Scalability Issues

                              It's very scalable so you can add more server,…
                              it_user330129
                              Senior IT Manager at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Nov 1, 2015
                              The reference architecture helps to standardize our computer stack. I think that a unified dashboard would be beneficial across all three components.

                              Valuable Features

                              The most valuable feature is the reference architecture, which helps to standardize our computer stack.

                              Improvements to My Organization

                              It has helped us standardize what we get in terms of purchasing hardware, around VMware and Cisco, and the computing system.

                              Room for Improvement

                              I think that a unified dashboard would be beneficial across all three of the components to show you the status of all three components.

                              Stability Issues

                              It’s extremely stable. Rock solid in our experience.

                              Scalability Issues

                              It has been very scalable – our guys scale it across six sites right now.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              Good, the relationship between the three companies has been very good. It is not a case where one vendor dumps you off on the other; all…
                              it_user332622
                              Network Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Nov 1, 2015
                              It has provided our client the ability to easily provision virtual machines and storage.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              NetApp’s FAS system is an excellent line of product. In today’s world the need for virtualization is continuingly increasing. Therefore having a storage platform that can be flexible in terms of configuration and scalability it’s important to the successful deployment of virtualization in the datacenter.
                              it_user330861
                              Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The efficiency in thin provisioning and deduplication has suited many of our applications, although the user base is small and more blogs and discussions are needed.
                              it_user330852
                              IT Systems Administrator at City of Avondale
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We're able to call a vendor and they can use back channels and reach out to the other two vendors to get us a solution, but the price could be improved.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would say do it, do it now. Spend the money and buy it, it makes it easy.
                              it_user330843
                              IT Manager at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The ease of configuration saves us time and we can stand up in remote offices without highly-trained people. However, I think the support has been our pain point.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Peer reviews are not as important as user conferences but market research is there for a reason.
                              it_user330357
                              System Admin II at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It's a validated design with a single point of support so that I don't get handed off by tech support. It is, however, a solution with complex initial setup.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I’d advise them to get one that’s bigger than you need obviously, the nature of the sheer growth that the industry is seeing is logarithmic not linear.
                              it_user330354
                              IT Manager - Storage at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The IMT helps us define versions and components we use in our configurations. However, an upgrade to one vendor component requires upgrading the others.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I think it depends on how you are organized. If you have hardware and storage in the same leadership chain its great. I think one of the reasons that we have pain, is that it doesn’t fit our business organization very well because we have two separate managers and therefore, there is stepping on toes.
                              it_user331992
                              Senior System Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              There's a cohesive support structure in which NetApp will provide support for a UCS problem.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would say, what are you waiting for?
                              it_user219645
                              Big data Specialist and Storage Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It's reduced our operational overhead: once you deploy it, everything runs as policy-based. However, there are a lot of challenges in terms of supporting multiple hypervisors.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              The infrastructure should be de-coupled from the workload, there should not be any dependency. It should be abstracted, do not look to FlexPod as the solution, but as one of many solutions. You need to understand your environment and what you need.
                              it_user330318
                              Senior Storage Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It gives us the ability to further deploy or to expand it, although in the config advisor tool, it should point out specific issues to fix.

                              Valuable Features

                              The most valuable features of the solution are the ease of support and industry leading technology – in storage, servers and networking, as well as virtualization.

                              Improvements to My Organization

                              Ease of troubleshooting is good Ease of further deployment or expansion

                              Room for Improvement

                              In the config advisor tool, it could be more specific in pointing out or letting you know what to fix when it confronts issues.

                              Stability Issues

                              It’s extremely stable.

                              Scalability Issues

                              It’s extremely scalable, which is excellent. Either adding storage to the existing cluster, or more nodes, and then the same thing on the Cisco side – more blades or chassis – all of it is extremely easy.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              Customer Service: It's very…
                              it_user330312
                              IT Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We've been able to scale it easily, having gone through growth cycles, especially with clustered ONTAP.

                              Valuable Features

                              The most valuable feature of the solution is the pre-design. I don’t have to think – it’s a proven and pre-certified architecture that just works.

                              Room for Improvement

                              From my perspective there is not much to improve on and NetApp has gone through great strides to make it a great product with great top-notch support.

                              Use of Solution

                              I’ve been dealing with them for three to four years and its just sound equipment.

                              Stability Issues

                              It's rock solid.

                              Scalability Issues

                              It’s extremely scalable. We’ve gone through growth cycles, especially with clustered on tap, and it’s a very easy process.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              I think support is fantastic, without a doubt. Anytime I have an issue via email or phone its squared away.

                              Initial Setup

                              it_user330303
                              Virtualization Team Lead at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It has a pre-validated design, so all the integrations have been done.
                              it_user330300
                              IT - Server Operations at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The cabling feature simplifies my environment and works quickly, and scaling requires only adding a chassis.

                              Valuable Features

                              Ease of cabling is the most valuable feature of the solution. Service profiles are also easy to use.

                              Improvements to My Organization

                              I would say that the cabling helps me, and it simplifies the environment for me and it is very fast.

                              Room for Improvement

                              There is nothing I can think of at this time.

                              Use of Solution

                              We have been using it about a year and a half.

                              Stability Issues

                              It's very stable, no issues with it so far.

                              Scalability Issues

                              Awesome – adding a chassis is very easy.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              I haven’t had to use them yet which is actually a good sign.

                              Initial Setup

                              Straightforward because the documentation was great.

                              Other Advice

                              I would say that flexibility is the most important factor we look at, and…
                              it_user330150
                              Exchange Administrator at a individual & family service with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It allows compatibility to the SnapDrive manager, and while we haven't had stability issues yet, we're still early in its usage.

                              Valuable Features

                              I would say that it gives us more flexibility than an entire VM or bare metal solution. Its sole purpose where it mixes everything together allows compatibility to the SnapDrive manager.

                              Room for Improvement

                              Nothing I have seen can be improved, but I think we're still early in the usage.

                              Deployment Issues

                              We designed it about a year ago and have had it about six months.

                              Stability Issues

                              It seems great so far.

                              Scalability Issues

                              So far we have not had to expand it, but are expanding shortly so we will find out.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              I haven’t had to use them so far, but my colleagues who have used support have been happy so far.

                              Initial Setup

                              It was straightforward.

                              Implementation Team

                              Our vendor did it for us.

                              Other

                              it_user330147
                              Sr Sys Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              With our VMs and Hyper-Vs, it allows us to stand up a cluster easier and ensures consistency between clusters. The orchestration and automation, however, could be better.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would say that you should at least consider it. Although it does require some cross-team collaboration, how you work together and combine things depends on your political and cultural relationships within your team. It can be a cross-domain kind of experience.
                              it_user330144
                              Sr. Systems Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It has a validated design and architecture in a stable and scalable solution that expands with just the addition of more clusters.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I’d say its worth looking into – the community using it is a great resource. Peer reviews are very important, as you're not getting a sales pitch, but real information.
                              it_user330141
                              Storage Engineer at Expedia
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The Citrix portion makes your desktop available anywhere on any platform with any OS. However, it has three to four technologies and someone needs to sort out which problem is whose responsibility.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Peer reviews are very important in our research.
                              it_user330123
                              Senior Systems Administrator at Plexus Corp.
                              Real User
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We like the streamlined integration for our data centers, although setup misconfigurations can cause outages.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It’s not perfect, nothing is, but it’s very good. I would say that it’s definitely worth the investment just for the ease of implementation and the pre-qualified support packages that are included. You know that the architecture and the implementation/environment will be supported by all vendors involved.
                              it_user330117
                              Storage Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It has a single-vendor support model in which NetApp and Cisco are support partners so there's no finger-pointing. Reporting, though, could be improved.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would say that it’s a great solution for customers who want to guarantee out-of-the-box compatibility and performance.
                              it_user330111
                              Sr Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The fact that everything is certified together means we don’t have to do much, although initial setup seems to be complex because we have UCS in place and are adding a NetApp cluster.

                              What is most valuable?

                              I think the most valuable features are the architecture and the support from Cisco and NetApp. The fact that everything is certified together means we don’t have to do much.

                              What needs improvement?

                              At this point, it's doing everything we’ve asked.

                              For how long have I used the solution?

                              We’re still implementing it.

                              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

                              It seems to be very stable. We’re kind of early on, just started the integration, but so far so good as it's more stable than our old platform, IBM.

                              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

                              We’re a fairly small shop so it will scale beyond what we need for it.

                              How are customer service and technical support?

                              The solution is verified so there is less explaining that…
                              it_user330105
                              System Engineer at Thin Technologies
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              The nexus code has been solid, but the licensing for fabric interconnects could be better.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I work with the support side. Having the support structure, having the availability of one line and, having two vendors for that one call is a huge advantage over other solutions.
                              it_user330099
                              System Engineer at Thin Technologies
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It's scalable out or up: if we need hardware or more storage, we just buy them separately. However, the UCS firmware code upgrade can totally stall and become a brick.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              You have the functionality that UCS brings, and that NetApp bring, in terms of their replication and backup products. It's got great potential. Don’t set it up by yourself, pay the professionals, as if it's deployed incorrectly, it can create giant headaches.
                              it_user330093
                              Senior Systems Specialist - Lead Enterprise Storage Administrator at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It creates a new database and copies the original, but doesn’t need to disturb the original if you don’t want it to. However, monitoring and reporting features are a little behind the older versions.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Customer references are important and peer reviews are very important. Sometimes we do a test or POC, but that’s hard to do.
                              it_user330084
                              Senior Storage Architect at Photobucket
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We have a 30-petabyte environment, and we're looking to FlexPod for our database infrastructure. However, more training should be made available.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              I would say that you should seriously consider it. It’s very worthwhile.
                              it_user328143
                              Network Services Manager at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We have faster backup times, can failover better, and have bigger clusters.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              If you’re looking for a mixture of companies and you’ve played the point-the-finger blame-game – it removes all that. FlexPod helps to minimize that kind of blame-the-other-vendors. When you have an issue, it gets resolved faster.
                              it_user328077
                              Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              We can roll it out by simply ordering another pod and having CDW and engineers install it.

                              Valuable Features

                              We can already see that the most valuable features is that everything is tested and certified to work together. The package price is also something we like about it.

                              Room for Improvement

                              I don’t think we have enough experience at this point to see the weak points.

                              Use of Solution

                              We have been using it for three to five months.

                              Stability Issues

                              We're migrating to it now and so far, compared to HP and our Dell chassis which was an old environment, it has taken care of the performance and reliability issues we were having.

                              Scalability Issues

                              The scalability seems to be a valuable feature to me; it's easy to roll out, as we just order another pod they install it.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              I'm only involved with the storage aspect so we…
                              it_user328083
                              CIP System Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 22, 2015
                              It's a flexible, stable solution that allows us to use the various component together with few outages.

                              Valuable Features

                              The most valuable feature is the flexibility and the ability to use the various components nicely together.

                              Stability Issues

                              It's very good as we've had very few outages.

                              Scalability Issues

                              I think its pretty good. We have been able to grow our environment without any major reconfigurations.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              Customer Service: NetApp support is great. We had an issue with one of our UCS plates and we thought it was an issue with NetApp, but then ultimately it was an issue with Cisco and we would have had to open multiple tickets. However, with FlexPod being a joint solution of NetApp and Cisco, having to get support only through NetApp solved our issue quicker. Technical Support: I personally only worked with NetApp support, which…
                              it_user330936
                              Director of IT Security at a legal firm with 501-1,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              It provides standardization, driving out variation in our system so that we only deal with NetApp and Cisco.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              We’ve looked at everything and did footwork, so just go with Flexpod to save yourself time and effort.
                              it_user330924
                              IT Infrastructure Architect at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              It provides us with unified support and a reference architecture, although I find it difficult to go through documentation in the service catalogue.

                              Valuable Features

                              Certified architecture Unified support

                              Improvements to My Organization

                              Unified support Reference architecture

                              Room for Improvement

                              The service catalogue and gallery. I find it difficult to go through documentation, and I would like to see user cases we can refer to. Would like to follow a specific work flow.

                              Stability Issues

                              There's been no issues, and it's been great.

                              Scalability Issues

                              With cDOT, it's very easy to scale out, and that's the reason we went with it in the first place.

                              Customer Service and Technical Support

                              It's been great, and any issues have been taken care of right away.

                              Initial Setup

                              It's complex because we didn’t buy FlexPod out-of-box, we put it together ourselves and went through lots of changes in our environment, so it's…
                              it_user330912
                              Infrastructure Architect at Echo Entertainment Group
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              It’s reliable, but has an enterprise cost; however, from an IT perspective it’s worth it.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It’s a good product, and I wouldn’t say not to go with it. If you are heavily invested with another vendor, for example HP, don’t change.
                              it_user330906
                              Pre-Sales Technician at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              It’s a proven architecture that works with tools for virtualization or private cloud environments, though it could be cheaper in Brazil.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Make sure you have infrastructure, as it needs to have a good datacenter infrastructure otherwise you won’t use 100% of solution.
                              it_user330882
                              Senior IT Tech-Architect, Storage at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              We were thinly staffed, but with it, we can properly staff to be more hands-on with our system.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Must have a sense of how everything operationally will be going into FlexPod. Must plan scaling up and out. The problem I run into the most is unanticipated growth, so keep track of growth factors and do not overextend FlexPod. It is usually a performance vs. capacity issue.
                              it_user330876
                              Technology Planner at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              We can scale each component differently and separately, but configurability for adding components could be easier.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              Make sure you have expertise in Cisco and NetApp components so you can operationally ace it over, because even though it’s a reference architecture, you have to know about each component. Have in-house expertise, otherwise, it’s the best of the products out there.
                              it_user330870
                              IT Director at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 21, 2015
                              It provides centralized datastores to all locations linked together with a datacenter fabric, but it needs a big block of technology between the reference architecture and the lego-type system.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              It loses points because they’re a little behind the competition in the hyper-converged infrastructure pace. When you get to see what the other environment sees, you know they need to catch up to others. It’s a good solution to implement, and easy to get to work, it’ll provide flexibility and agility you need for a datacenter, but it’s a start of the journey. You need to be on top of it.
                              it_user330603
                              Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Consultant
                              Oct 20, 2015
                              It brings us value because it can be upgraded and utilized for many years, though it could use a unified interface for all three integrated technologies.

                              What other advice do I have?

                              FlexPod is is not really a product, but more of an architecture based on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus Switches, and NetApp Storage. It is one of the best unified computing architectures out there, and is highly scalable. FlexPods are perfect for nearly any environment, can be scaled out to fit the needs of the company, have longevity, and can be managed globally. Get a vendor who knows what they are doing and they can help you be successful.
                              it_user328101
                              IT Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
                              Vendor
                              Oct 20, 2015
                              It's stable and we haven't had any outages. However, there's no single FlexPod support and we have to initiate calls with each vendor first.
                              it_user320889
                              Senior Solutions Consultant with 10,001+ employees
                              MSP
                              Sep 30, 2015
                              Solutions that we put up on FlexPod were best-practices configurations - SharePoint, Exchange, SQL. They can all be downloaded from the FlexPod portal which reduces the risk of incompatibility
                              A customer, a global law firm, was looking to move existing data into a new data center, so they had strong deadline. They had a very diverse set of technologies (Dell, HP, Cisco, VMware, Oracle, NetApp, etc.), and couldn't control costs or procedures when a new business requirement came up. I performed a gap analysis to determine what building block of technologies were needed, and the opportunity was right for the FlexPod solution infrastructure. You can use FlexPod to standardize the system and to have just a single control center and one vendor to work with. Solutions that we put up on FlexPod were best-practices configurations - SharePoint, Exchange, SQL, etc. and they can all be downloaded from the FlexPod portal. It reduces the risk of incompatibility and down-time from making…