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HPE Synergy OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

HPE Synergy is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Blade Servers. It is most often compared to HPE BladeSystem: HPE Synergy vs HPE BladeSystem

What is HPE Synergy?

HPE Synergy, the first platform built from the ground up for Composable Infrastructure, offers an experience that empowers IT to create and deliver new value instantly and continuously. It is a single infrastructure that reduces operational complexity for traditional workloads and increases operational velocity for the new breed of applications and services. Through a single interface, HPE Synergy composes physical and virtual compute, storage, and fabric pools into any configuration for any application. As an extensible platform, it easily enables a broad range of applications and operational models such as virtualization, hybrid cloud, and DevOps. With HPE Synergy, IT can become not just the internal service provider but the business partner to rapidly launch new applications that become the business.

HPE Synergy Buyer's Guide

Download the HPE Synergy Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

HPE Synergy Customers

HudsonAlpha, Virgin Media, EMIS, United

HPE Synergy Video

Archived HPE Synergy Reviews (more than two years old)

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Rami Chiha
Operational database administrator at American University of Beirut Medical Center
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good uptime and performance, yet easy to manage with a user-friendly interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The Online firmware update for the virtual connects has minimized our downtime windows."
  • "Technical support for this solution has a very good initial response; however, escalation takes time, and most of the time the first level of support cannot solve your case."

What is our primary use case?

We use the Synergy Frame to host the main infrastructure for a big project. We have multiple Synergy Frames that are all managed by a single OneView interface.

The uptime and the performance meet our expectations, plus the integration with 3PAR is very good.

How has it helped my organization?

The OneView installed on the Composers has a very friendly user interface, which helps to manage the compute modules in the frame, compared to management used in legacy technologies.

The Online firmware update for the virtual connects has minimized our downtime windows.

What is most valuable?

The features we found most valuable are:

  • Using only two virtual connect modules to support network for multiple frames
  • Ease of management using the OneView Composer
  • Online firmware update for the Virtual Connects, which are part of a single logical interconnect module

What needs improvement?

The OneView has improved a lot throughout the years with the release of the Synergy and OneView version 4, although it still has issues. The stability and smoothness of firmware upgrades for the compute modules can be improved by enabling full composability of the Synergy Frame.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our impression of the scalability is very good in terms of Composer and virtual connects, since you need only two of each for multiple frames.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution has a very good initial response; however, escalation takes time, and most of the time the first level of support cannot solve your case.

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

We used a different solution previously, but we switched because of the ease of management, and in addition, this solution is future proof.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is done by a partner and it is straightforward, but it takes time.

What about the implementation team?

Our deployment was handled by a Vendor Team, and they are very experienced.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other options before choosing this solution, including Dell PowerEdge M1000e and Cisco UCS.

What other advice do I have?

My suggestion is to go with HPE Synergy Composer v2 once it is released. 

Have HPE support with you while doing hardware upgrades.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Patrick Long
Advisor System Administrator at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Increased capacity has allowed us to implement the Blue-Green Deployment methodology

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of this solution are the ease of management and the integration with OneView."
  • "A faster Composer module would be a good inclusion for the next release of this solution."

What is our primary use case?

We're using Synergy primarily as a replacement for our C7000 Blade servers, which are going out-of-life.

We use VMware ESX across all of our Synergy nodes. On top of that, we have a mixture of workloads from web servers, application servers, and Microsoft SQL databases.

How has it helped my organization?

Using this solution has allowed me to devote more time to other tasks since the administration is so easy.

Our business needs are somewhat static, so we do not often have to implement new business requirements. However, when we have had to spin things up quickly, we were able to do that in this environment.

This solution has greatly increased the efficiency of our IT infrastructure teams. We have fewer administrators working on the infrastructure, and we’ve now been able to transition a number of those people into DevOps roles.

This solution has decreased our deployment time, although I cannot give exact figures. I can say that we’ve been able to implement the Blue-Green Methodology as a result of the increased capacity that we have in the Synergy environment.

Using Synergy has reduced our cost of operations because it allows more dense placement of the virtual machines than our previous solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the ease of management and the integration with OneView. The ease that we can allocate servers during busy times helps us to manage our IT landscape.

What needs improvement?

A faster Composer module would be a good inclusion for the next release of this solution.

I would like to see an increased variety of uplink options in the Virtual Connects.

The inclusion of these features would allow us to more easily grow our network infrastructure and accommodate future growth.

There are improvements that can be made in the area of OneView integrations and firmware, with respect to how the proper firmware versions are matched to the OneView installation that you have. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has been quite stable for us, so far. There have been a number of updates and the product is still going through a maturity cycle, so I expect that the stability will continue.

For the most part, our developers are not aware of the underlying infrastructure on which they're doing the work, but that’s probably a good thing because if they were aware then it may be for bad reasons. We’ve had a lot of success with continuous uptime on these boxes, so it’s not really noticed by our developers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the reasons that we purchased Synergy is that it's easily scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been a bit of a mixed bag. When we've had issues, we've called in and sometimes it's taken a while to get to a resolution. Generally, I would say that I'm satisfied with technical support.

We have used the HPE PointNext services, and they are very knowledgeable engineers.

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

We were using C7000 Enclosures and some Rack Mount servers. Our existing C7000 Blade Chassis Enclosure was performing well, but it is going end-of-support so we needed something new. We did an evaluation of Synergy and we found that it fit our needs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a value-added reseller and hired the HPE installation services to come with the solution. They assisted us with setting it up, and the experience was quite good.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI, although I do not have datapoints that I can share.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for licensing on the fibre channel uplinks, on the Virtual Connect, which is an add-on. This is in addition to the VMware and Microsoft licensing for the operating systems.

Our IT infrastructure costs have not been affected by this solution. Most of our infrastructure surrounding and supporting Synergy was already purchased prior to it being set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not look outside of HPE, as we're exclusively an HPE shop on the compute side. We looked at the available offerings and wanted to make sure that they fit our needs through a proof of concept.

What other advice do I have?

Synergy is definitely a solution that I would recommend for forward-thinking IT shops.

The biggest lesson that I have learned is to make sure that you do all of the available training sessions on the new technology.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about HPE Synergy. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
LL
System Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Saves significant time deploying diverse workloads, but the setup process needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "Where it used to take one week to re-image or upgrade our hosts, it can now take one day."
  • "The installation and initial setup process is complex and needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to run both our production and non-production environments. We currently do not have any cloud initiatives, but we bought it so that we can be future protected for the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Where it used to take one week to re-image or upgrade our hosts, it can now take one day.

This solution helps us with new business requirements because we have the ability to expand or add more frames, depending on the requests from the business process.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ease of deploying servers, profiles, and images.

Having that single pane of glass is a good feature for the management of our environment.

What needs improvement?

The vendor needs to focus on the features that are already included and make them better.

The installation and initial setup process is complex and needs to be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once this solution is implemented, it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the reasons we chose this solution is because it's highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't think that the technical support for the product is there yet. I think that they're building up people to that novel technology, but there's very limited knowledge at the first and second level of support for this product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is complex. The interconnects would not connect and nobody knew why. It took at least forty days to complete.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator for our deployment. We felt that they lacked in-depth knowledge of the product. They knew the service stuff, but if something went wrong then they didn't really know how to bring it back online.

What was our ROI?

I would say that we haven't seen ROI yet, but it was a way to get off of our old chassis and we had to start fresh. I would say that we will have our savings by year five.

What other advice do I have?

This solution has decreased our deployment time by approximately sixty-five percent.

My advice is that if you're looking for a product that helps you save time when deploying your hosts, then this is the perfect solution. It is flexible and can handle many different workloads.

The biggest thing that I have learned from using this solution is to be patient. Once it's up and running it's great.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
HB
Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
By automating we can avert human errors and have increased our efficiency

Pros and Cons

  • "We have more control over the firmware and how we are managing our physical servers."
  • "I would be more comfortable if Ansible actually rolled back the data used for automating platforms. If it could be communicated to the upstream Ansible, I wouldn't need to go back and forth and validate the libraries as we upgrade the Ansible version."

What is our primary use case?

We use Synergy for VMware and some physical servers.

How has it helped my organization?

There is no comparison between installing a server by hand versus having everything automated in place. That makes a big difference. By automating we can avert human errors. Life becomes easier and operations become much easier.

It helps us manage our IT landscape by reducing the amount of manual work we have to do.

In terms of implementing new business requirements quickly, so far my exposure to Synergy is the fact that we can automate everything. We can easily spin up a new virtual machine and scale up our capacity for VMware. If we need to scale out or scale up an application we can do it very easily. We can have the VMware infrastructure ready in no time.

Overall, it has made us more efficient. On the infrastructure side, we have more control over the firmware and how we are managing our physical servers.

Synergy has also decreased our deployment time and reduced our cost of operations.

What is most valuable?

  • It provides us with automation at the hardware level. 
  • Coordination through HPE OneView is great.

What needs improvement?

I would be more comfortable if Ansible actually rolled back the data used for automating platforms. If it could be communicated to the upstream Ansible, I wouldn't need to go back and forth and validate the libraries as we upgrade the Ansible version. The backward compatibility is there, but if we need to spend time testing the code frequently, it will make our lives difficult, and we might lose some production cycles.

For how long have I used the solution?

I'm just getting started with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. We wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't have any experience with HPE technical support.

What other advice do I have?

If someone is looking at HPE Synergy, c7000, or Cisco UCS, Synergy is worth a shot because it provides a lot of flexibility and automation. It can make the lives of operations team members, or whoever is managing the hardware, much better due to the automation. The biggest thing that I like about Synergy is the automation.

Compared to the other product that I have used, I would rate Synergy at eight out of ten. This is a cool platform. Compared to UCS this is a little better, more user-friendly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
St. Claire Mclean
Director of Infrastructure at Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions
Real User
Scalability helps us manage our IT landscape - we can add nodes as needed

Pros and Cons

  • "It has had a positive effect on the efficiency of our IT infrastructure team. The manageability of it is so easy, we're able to install it quickly, and replacement parts are easy to get in and out quickly."
  • "I would like to see more nodes in a single chassis so we wouldn't have to purchase additional chassis."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our analytics platform.

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to support the placement of devices a lot more quickly.

It helps us manage our IT landscape because it's very scalable, so we can add nodes as we need to.

When it comes to implementing new business requirements quickly, the solution is helpful. We had to build out a topology to support new software that we're running. We were able to just drop it in and, within a week, we were up and running.

It has also had a positive effect on the efficiency of our IT infrastructure team. The manageability of it is so easy, we're able to install it quickly, and replacement parts are easy to get in and out quickly.

Synergy has decreased deployment time. We have gone from about a week down to two days.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is its manageability.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more nodes in a single chassis so we wouldn't have to purchase additional chassis.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. We haven't had any issues with it so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is similar to the previous c7000.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't had to open a case with technical support, which is great.

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

We used HPE's c7000 previously. The switch was a customer-driven decision.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller. We've always worked with Comport and they're a great partner.

What was our ROI?

We were able to reduce our turnaround time on some of our projects, from upwards of three or four days down to a couple of hours.

The solution hasn't reduced our cost of operations or IT infrastructure cost. Our TCO is about the same.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't look at any other vendors for this solution.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely look into it. It's a great solution. Do your research to make sure that it's for you.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that HPE builds great solutions in blade infrastructure.

I would rate Synergy an eight out of ten, mostly because of the reduction in the number of nodes.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JS
Systems Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Enables us to provision dynamically and has decreased our deployment time significantly

Pros and Cons

  • "Cable management is a big feature, in addition to time to deployment. We can buy a new server and have it up and running very quickly."
  • "I would really like a way to validate the firmware in my specific environment before trying to deploy it. Those were the issues we had early on with firmware upgrades, particularly around certificates. All in all, having some level of confidence aside from it just having been tested generically would help. Something more specific to my environment would be very helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We do a lot with ESX and virtualization of workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

It streamlines network connectivity, fibre connectivity. It's made it all very simple, very easy. Once you get it set up, it's ready to go.

In terms of implementing new business requirements quickly, it helps with time to deployment. We bring a new server online and, within a few hours, we have it up and running and in production. It's absolutely decreased our deployment time by four or five hours per server.

Synergy helps with the efficiency of our IT infrastructure teams because I don't have to have the network guy do something for a new piece of hardware. Instead, I'm able to provision dynamically.

From a switch-port count and a fibre-port count point of view, it has definitely reduced our IT infrastructure costs.

What is most valuable?

Cable management is a big feature, in addition to time to deployment. We can buy a new server and have it up and running very quickly.

For managing our IT landscape I'm able to go into the profiles and the automating of firmware management across multiples nodes, and I am able to orchestrate all that with OneView.

What needs improvement?

I would really like a way to validate the firmware in my specific environment before trying to deploy it. Those were the issues we had early on with firmware upgrades, particularly around certificates. All in all, having some level of confidence aside from it just having been tested generically would help. Something more specific to my environment would be very helpful.

There is room for improvement in the speed; that would be the biggest thing. The time to deploy firmware... Everything takes a really long time. Having that all sped up would be nice. The 4.2 firmware release has helped tremendously with that. From my side, I see about a 30 percent improvement in speed already.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. Early on we had firmware issues but those have gone away. It's moving forward very nicely.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been good. Early on - we were more of an early adopter - there were some issues with support. Lately, support has been fantastic.

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

We were using straight DL380s before. In my previous life I used the c7000. The c7000 timeframe was up. We needed more density and fewer cables. It really wasn't too hard a decision.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a VAR for the initial deployment. Our experience with them was excellent. They knew the product. They had set it up before; it was very obvious. Their pre-planning was top-notch. We were very happy with them.

For the second deployment we did not use a third-party, we did that all in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We really didn't have a shortlist. We are an HPE shop from start to end.

What other advice do I have?

I am very happy with the solution. I have no major complaints. Support is what I expect from HPE support when it comes to these products. It has simplified our operations. I don't honestly know if it's reduced costs. It probably hasn't as of yet, as we're not full.

We're not so much using it for hybrid cloud at the moment. We're using it more for day-to-day operations. We used HPE's Education Services to move to the solution.

I would rate Synergy at nine out of ten. Everything has room for improvement. This is a robust, stable, scalable solution. I have no major complaints at this time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
LC
VMware Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helps us allocate more servers when needed, within the cluster

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include its dependability, reliability, and the ease of managing the system."
  • "One of the features I want to see, which I will see with OneView 5.0, is to have all the OneView consoles in a single pane of glass. That will make it easy to see everything in one place and not have to log in to multiple consoles."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for mission-critical applications and mission-critical databases. An example is that we host development servers on it.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of managing our IT landscape, the solution helps us allocate more servers when needed, within the cluster.

Synergy also helps us implement new business requirements quickly. We needed a new VMware cluster for a particular application. We were able to throw those Synergy hosts in there and create it really quickly for QRadar, and attach a lot of storage to it.

It's something that is easy to implement and get moving on and I don't have to worry about anything else.

What is most valuable?

  • Dependability
  • Reliability
  • The ease of managing the system

What needs improvement?

One of the features I want to see, which I will see with OneView 5.0, is to have all the OneView consoles in a single pane of glass. That will make it easy to see everything in one place and not have to log in to multiple consoles.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. It's easy to scale out: Throw a blade in there and apply a profile to it and move on.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great. HPE has always had great technical support.

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

We were running out of resources and some of our hardware was getting old and needed to be replaced. We used Cisco UCS and we still use it. We purchased both of them to leverage out our resources with our different vendors.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex because it was a new system for us; different than the c7000 enclosures that we used before.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller and our experience with them was very good.

What was our ROI?

We can put a bigger workload on there because the systems can produce a lot more resources now. I would say it has reduced our cost of operations; I couldn't imagine it doesn't. It has also reduced our IT infrastructure costs, although I don't deal much with the cost side of things.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I can't say that I had a shortlist because I've only got two vendors that I use: Cisco and HPE.

What other advice do I have?

Do your research but evaluate this system.

I rate it an eight out of ten because there's no perfect system. Ten is perfect but every system has its little glitches.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mohammad Alotaibi
IT Director at Kdipa
Real User
The newer technology is driving business and easing the administration process

Pros and Cons

  • "With OneView, we can take care of all our servers in one dashboard."
  • "We haven't seen any ROI, and it hasn't reduced our cost of operations."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our infrastructure. We have multiple servers, therefore we use it as our main infrastructure for applications to host our servers.

We don't have a hybrid cloud environment. We use on-premise.

It has made our IT infrastructure teams more efficient. Previously, we had a standard infrastructure, which was compute, power, and storage. They had to run from one place to another to create a virtual machine. Now they can do everything in one shot.

How has it helped my organization?

In our old infrastructure, we had very high I/Os. Now, with Synergy, this has been reduced.

The newer technology is driving business and easing the administration process.

What is most valuable?

Synergy is a composable infrastructure. To have the ability to create:

  • Workloads
  • Power
  • Compute
  • Storage.

This is what drew us to Synergy.

With OneView, we can take care of all our servers in one dashboard.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We never had any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used the technical support because I haven't had any issues.

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

Our infrastructure was very old. We had a lot of high I/Os. It was taking us a long time to create servers, etc. We knew that we had to change.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It took us around six hours to set it up. There were no complications at all, because Synergy comes as a box. You don't have to do anything. You just have plug it into the network, and that is it. It's done.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller, KDCC, for the deployment. They was great.

We used HPE’s Pointnext services to help move to this solution. They were great. The Professional Services of HPE were great. They came and set it up, making it an easy process.

What was our ROI?

We haven't seen any ROI, and it hasn't reduced our cost of operations.

The solution has decreased our deployment time by 70 percent.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It costs us around $60,000 a year.

The solution has reduced our IT infrastructure costs by 50 percent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Dell EMC, VCE, and HPE. We went with the newest technology, which was composable infrastructure. The others were just hyper-converged infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product. My team is very happy with the way the product is right now. It is an excellent product. We hadn't any issues with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RC
Manager IT Infrastructure at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Gives us more core count, memory, and graphical capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "We bought it with the intent to replace the c7000 workstation blades. It is bigger than the workstation blades in core count, memory, and graphical capabilities. So, it has broadened us in that regard, and we have more capabilities."
  • "It has affected the productivity of our development team in a bad way. When we first stood the hardware up 18 months ago, the image streaming capacity and capability were not very good at all. We had hoped that it would allow us to be more composable and be able to switch over from one version of an operating system to another version of an operating system. However, it wasn't ready for prime time yet. Therefore, we had to go back to a deployment of bare metal install. We are still waiting and trying to figure out how we can do the composable infrastructure."

What is our primary use case?

  • Graphical workstations
  • Replacing the c7000 systems
  • Analytics
  • DevOps, using containers.

How has it helped my organization?

We bought it with the intent to replace the c7000 workstation blades. It is bigger than the workstation blades in core count, memory, and graphical capabilities. So, it has broadened us in that regard, and we have more capabilities.

It is very easy to reproduce. We have a bare metal kickstart and deployment process, which are very quick and easy. We haven't yet taken advantage of the Image Streamer capabilities of the product just yet.

What is most valuable?

  • Flexibility
  • iLO
  • The interface to the back-end
  • CPUs
  • Memory
  • Graphics capabilities

What needs improvement?

It has affected the productivity of our development team in a bad way. When we first stood the hardware up 18 months ago, the image streaming capacity and capability were not very good at all. We had hoped that it would allow us to be more composable and be able to switch over from one version of an operating system to another version of an operating system. However, it wasn't ready for prime time yet. Therefore, we had to go back to a deployment of bare metal install. We are still waiting and trying to figure out how we can do the composable infrastructure.

We are all about graphics. I know that the Synergy has a sidecar on it, so innovation into graphics capabilities and more broadly used storage. Right now, we have 180 blades and 15 frames, but our only solution for storage is either onboard the blade itself or some network-based storage. We could probably bring some Fibre Channel into play. However, we would maybe like to see some innovation around the storage and those systems.

It still has some room to grow. For our solution, we need something between the c7000 and Synergy. Synergy is the high-end deployment, and we're still learning to how to do the composable infrastructure, so we can turn it around and make it look like this today and that tomorrow. The c7000 gave us a stable workstation remodel. We went from an Acura to a Maserati, needing something in between.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is not very stable because of the image streaming and the issues that we had with it, which were more software-based. The hardware is very stable. The software which runs the hardware part is where we had our biggest problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales really well. We have 15 frames of Synergy with five racks. It has three frames per rack, so it scales really well.

How are customer service and technical support?

On a scale of one to 10, the technical support is probably a six. It got better as we got deeper into the Tiered support. The initial support with its Tier 1 and 2 support weren't very useful or helpful at all. It was only when we engaged our Salesforce to help us get into the backdoor to talk to their Tier 3 team did we start to see things circulate.

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

It was communicated through to the sales team who supports us. We were looking for a replacement solution for the HPE c7000 workstation class blades, and this is what was recommended as a solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex. The cabling was such that it had to be done a certain way. It is one of those things that you want to not touch once it's stood up. That is our initial impression.

What about the implementation team?

We did use Professional Services to help us deploy the Image Streamer and database back-end. They set it up and left. We had to reconfigure it and move it from rack to rack. That is when it broke, then we had to reengage those people again.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. We have the ability to quickly compute. Instead of in the traditional way, one of the nice things that Synergy brings is that it is a big enough platform. We are putting a hypervisor on the system and carving off a portion of that to attach it to the graphics card,  then the remainder of the CPU and memory are available for virtual compute.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is more around the software for RGS, because we are deploying bare metal installs. It is mainly the operating system and any lights-out management. So, licensing is minimum. We are licensing it annually.

When we made the purchase of the hardware, we added Professional Services to it.

It reduced our IT infrastructure cost by a little because of the amount of capacity and it is bigger. I only have 12 blades in Synergy, where in the c7000, I had 16 blades. I lost four systems for customers in the way that we deploy systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We like HPE because of the technology they bring to bear. Other competitors have blade systems, but they don't have graphics enablement. HPE also has a product called RGS, which we use very heavily. That partnership alone is huge. Thus, we have a huge investment in HPE.

What other advice do I have?

Ask more questions to challenge the answers that the sales community gives. We went into the product thinking that we knew the product previously. That it just needed to be a maturation of the product, and it wasn't. I would poke more technical questions at them. Sometimes, with the bleeding edge, you have to be careful. We were one of the first adopters of it, and some of the bugs were still in it when we were ready for production work, so maybe it wasn't production ready.

It is a good, stable product. It will become more mature. Ask the questions of your sales team and the technical solution architect, ensuring that it's for you. Consider the total cost of ownership, and maybe starting out simpler.

It is touted to be composable. However, we haven't used it as composable. It is more of a replacement for an existing service right now.

The deployment time stayed about the same, because we deployed the same way.

It has added value to the process. It impacted us initially when we were deploying it. We were trying to troubleshoot the problem when we should have been under production, and we were about eight months behind deployment because of it. So, it impacted us in a negative way. With total cost of ownership, once we determine how to start using the composable infrastructure, it should add to that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TN
Information Specialist at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
With its modular design, we can add more to it when needed

Pros and Cons

  • "It is really easy to use, because it's GUI-based. It is not command line based, like mainframes."
  • "Instead of having Synergy vertical, make it horizontal. It is easier to stick in when it is vertical."

What is our primary use case?

Moving virtual machines over to Synergy.

In a hybrid cloud environment, the solution enables us to do SQL. We are able to move it up and take it down.

How has it helped my organization?

Storage-wise, I don't have to order more storage. It is so modular that I can pick and add what I need.

The solution helps to manage our IT landscape by allocating more servers.

The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly. We are installing weight scales across the state. We can bring up machine per weigh station quickly.

When our development team requests servers or services, we are able to bring it up. The return time of bringing up a virtual machine hardware is now quicker.

What is most valuable?

It has a modular design. We are able to add more to it when needed.

It is really easy to use, because it's GUI-based. It is not command line based, like mainframes.

What needs improvement?

There are some functions which are not clear cut.

Instead of having Synergy vertical, make it horizontal. It is easier to stick in when it is vertical.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it has been really stable for three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We were trying to order another system to be able to install at the state data center, and it was very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to talk to technical support yet.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We deployed in-house.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI.

The solution has reduced our cost of operations. It has also reduced our IT infrastructure costs. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I would go with Synergy. It is better than the Nutanix solution. Nutanix was really hard to implement, and it was very pricey compared to what we get from Synergy.

What other advice do I have?

Go with what is comfortable for the employees. We were using HPE for some time, then we switched off of it for some time. After switching back, our employees adapted to it quickly, because it was easy to use.

I wasn't here when they began installing it, so I can't tell what the deployment time was before. Over time as the teams get used to it, the return time is now two to three hours.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Michael Rohde
Network Specialist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Real User
Managing fewer servers saves us a lot of time and effort along with having everything in OneView

Pros and Cons

  • "Synergy is much easier to use, which is saving us time. We are able to set the profiles for firmware upgrades. This makes the process for the care and feeding of the IT environment much simpler, quicker, and cleaner."
  • "The technical support was about the only negative experience that I had. It was a mixed bag when we were first standing it up. We had some requirements from our information security department, and technical support wasn't able to give me immediate answers. They had to engage engineering, which they did, then they got me the answers. However, it took a week of back and forth conversations and phone calls to get it all worked out."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is VMware hosts. Since most of our environment is virtualized, it is our primary compute.

How has it helped my organization?

We have nine c7000 enclosures, and even with Virtual Enterprise Connect Manager, I would sometimes have to go on each enclosure to make changes. I have not run into a situation yet where I cannot manage all of the Synergy enclosures from OneView.

We have seen an improvement in the efficiency of our IT infrastructure. It is faster to do firmware upgrades through the deployment of new bladed servers.

What is most valuable?

I like the OneView management. It is much better than the old management for the c7000 enclosures, which is what Synergy replaces. It is a big step up, and it is much easier to use and quicker.

Synergy is much easier to use, which is saving us time. We are able to set the profiles for firmware upgrades. This makes the process for the care and feeding of the IT environment much simpler, quicker, and cleaner.

What needs improvement?

The setup experience needed some improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have only been running it live for four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it has been very stable. However, it is a small sample size.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems to scale nice. We're going to eventually replace all of our c7000 enclosures, but we're not going to end up having nine Synergy enclosures because we're going to gain so much better density. That is a big selling point. With the Gen 10 Blades, we can easily do a 3:1 consolidation, which will help us out a lot down the road.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was about the only negative experience that I had. It was a mixed bag when we were first standing it up. We had some requirements from our information security department, and technical support wasn't able to give me immediate answers. They had to engage engineering, which they did, then they got me the answers. However, it took a week of back and forth conversations and phone calls to get it all worked out. It got done, which was good.

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

I don't remember if our c7000 enclosures are end-of-sale yet, but it is pretty close. So, they got to go.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the setup was medium, but it was good. We didn't have to map things out. It was still faster than setting up what would have been with the c7000s, but it wasn't just a drop in, turn it on, and it worked. We had to configure the composer, figure out all our networks, and things like that. We had to do some network configuration, but there were white papers for all that. So, the setup was medium, and we were able to get through it pretty much ourselves with the help of AdvizeX.

What about the implementation team?

We did a remote install, then we engaged a third-party partner of HPE (AdvizeX) to help us with the configuration. They were very good.

What was our ROI?

It makes our deployment time go faster, decreasing the process time by half. The big time savings are on the upgrade process. That is much faster. For example, last time that we upgraded the c7000 enclosure's firmware levels for the OAs and interconnects, it was effectively 40 man-hours worth of effort. With Synergy in OneView, it was easily a quarter of that. It was such a better experience.

We stood up 11 Gen 10 Synergy blades, which ended up replacing approximately 25 Gen 7 c7000 blades. So, you're looking at a 2:1 consolidation in hardware. We're expecting that as the Gen 8s age out, we're going to do the exact same thing, and we will be more aggressive there, where we are looking at a 3:1 consolidation. Managing fewer servers will save a lot of time and effort, along with having everything in OneView.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have looked at Dell EMC MX7000 offering. In the interest of time and familiarity, we stuck with HPE. Bring in an entire new set of hardware infrastructure was not a good idea. There would be too many moving pieces, and we wanted to stick with something we knew. We have Gen9s in the c7000s, and we will eventually put them all into OneView. If we bring in Dell EMC, we now have two management platforms operating side-by-side, which is not a good idea.

What other advice do I have?

I prefer OneView a lot to the Enterprise Manager on the c7000s. It is so much cleaner and a lot better.

Keep in mind, because you can get a lot denser workloads, you're not going to just go, "Oh, I've X number of c7000 enclosures, or even DLs, so I'm going to get the same amount." You're going to get consolidation. You're going to get more one pane of management than what you did before. Therefore, figure out how to take advantage of that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KR
CEO at a tech company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Composability is the way to go, but faulty components required lengthy troubleshooting

Pros and Cons

  • "Composability... We show our partners the value of composability and how it can meet their needs."
  • "The main challenge we faced was that when it was installed it just did not work. There were faulty components and it took weeks of troubleshooting to find the faulty components, get them replaced. Getting help from HPE was difficult. Nobody knew about the product. It was a brand-new product and people had not been trained on it. That part was not a great experience."

What is our primary use case?

We give out certification training on HPE product lines. Synergy is one of the product lines. It's part of our composable infrastructure in our hybrid IT training. We use Synergy for giving customers and partners hands-on experience.

How has it helped my organization?

It gets us lots of training-development work because the product is changing all the time. It's a relatively new product. It was introduced a couple of years ago and it's changing quite rapidly. That's a benefit for us as we continue to update the training of it.

The key advantage that we teach people is speed to market, or speed to productivity, thus, reducing the time it takes to provision business services. That's the key positive aspect of Synergy.

What is most valuable?

Composability. We're developing training. We show our partners the value of composability and how it can meet their needs.

What needs improvement?

I would just like it to work.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is poor. It's a relatively young product and the management solution that drives the product shows its signs of immaturity. There is a new version being released this week. Things are getting better but they need to get better more quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From a scalability perspective, the platform is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is poor. We've had issues with the system. Firmware upgrades, for example, did not go as they should have gone. After placing a support call to HPE, several weeks later problems actually got worse as a result of what they instructed us to do.

How was the initial setup?

We were shipped the very early solution and it's installed in a data center in Michigan and we had other people do it. We helped them do it remotely but it wasn't hands-on for us. The kit is owned by HPE but it's managed by an external company and we work with that external company to use the kit and help set it up. Our experience with them during the setup was great.

The main challenge we faced was that when it was installed it just did not work. There were faulty components and it took weeks of troubleshooting to find the faulty components, get them replaced. Getting help from HPE was difficult. Nobody knew about the product. It was a brand-new product and people had not been trained on it. That part was not a great experience.

The setup was very complex. The intention for Synergy is that it's auto-discovery. You turn the power on and everything happens and it's all done for you. It absolutely did not work that way. If you have one faulty component - and we had several - it just does not do what it says on the tin. Again, it was an early production model, so we understand things go wrong. But again, getting support for the product was very difficult because nobody knew about the product because it was brand-new.

What other advice do I have?

Come on a training course. Find out what it can do for you.

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that composability is the way to go. No one else can do it. It will be a great win for HPE when it works.

It decreases deployment time, certainly, when it works. I can get an operating system or a hypervisor deployed within five minutes. Whereas prior, it might have taken me five hours to do the same job. It's quite significant. What we don't see are the 700 hours that we have to spend setting it up and getting past the bugs in the software to make it work. When it's working its fine. I don't tell customers this. However, it is marketed as a panacea and, with the appropriate work, it can be.

I rate Synergy at five out of ten. Once they resolve the issues, it'll be great. The product is only two years old. In another year, another two years maybe, it'll be fantastic. It's just, the reality is, it's breaking new ground. No one else has this solution and there are issues with it. It's possible that much of the skill that was within HPE as a company, is no longer with the company. As a result of people moving away from the company, HPE is left with insufficient expertise, especially in the support area.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
VD
CIO at GCC
Real User
Manageability Is Through OneView - I Can Get All Information About The Box Any Time I Want

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is its composable infrastructure. Everything I need is in the box. Manageability is through OneView, so I can get all the information about the box itself at any time I want."
  • "I'd like to see the firmware updates, as well as the built-in OneView and imager in Composer, become a little more powerful and faster."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is virtual desktop infrastructure. We use them to run VMware Horizon View for engineering applications and higher-end desktop users.

The primary workload is workstations using NVIDIA Tesla cards. It helps our engineering students to run CAD applications no matter where they are on campus, instead of having to go to a lab to do it.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest example is that, instead of having to buy a bunch of workstations - 29 or 30 for a room - we can just implement 50 VDIs and students can use them anywhere. Students don't particularly like to come to a lab just to do work. They like to work collaboratively. This gives them the ability not only to do that, but it also gives them the ability to do it in a classroom. Even if they're in a regular classroom, they have access to higher-performance machines to do simulations and that kind of stuff.

In terms of our IT landscape, it's self-managing. It's self-contained. And because it's OneView, it's the same management interface as we use for the rest of the infrastructure, so I only have to learn one tool.

When it comes to implementing new business requirements, if they need more machines, or the number of students increases in that particular discipline, it's very easy to replicate our current machines. Getting things online and being able to provide those workstations is much faster. Once we have it up and running, to deploy new virtual machines there is probably a 90 percent decrease in the time needed to get them up to speed.

Also, as far as the efficiency of our IT infrastructure team goes, we don't have a lot of bodies on our team. The easier things are and the more consistent they are, the more we can do more with less.

In addition, Synergy has reduced our cost of operations. It costs less to run that infrastructure than 40 to 50 standalone workstations. I would say our total cost of ownership is decreasing.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its composable infrastructure. Everything I need is in the box. Manageability is through OneView, so I can get all the information about the box itself at any time I want.

Set up is easy. If I need to add additional capacity, I can just slide new blades in and get the profiles from the previous ones. It's easy to expand.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the firmware updates, as well as the built-in OneView and imager in Composer, become a little more powerful and faster.

I would expect that newer blades that would go in it would have newer processors and be faster. It's pretty flexible with storage. There are new solutions on the storage front, that are going into it as well. I expect that portfolio to increase, just like with the rest of the solutions they have.

Other than that, I think everything's great.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable. We've had no issues. It's been rock-solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It easily scales. You can put three frames in a rack and they all interconnect, so it's not an issue there.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. We haven't really had to use it a lot, but the times we have had to use it, it's been very good.

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

We came to a point where we had to start replacing a bunch of workstations. We sat down and thought about what the best path forward would be and what flexibility we wanted in the product. Once we worked through that, this solution was a no-brainer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We've been using HPE products for a long time. We've been using blade servers for a while. We were coming off a c7000 solution, so it was really easy to understand what they were doing and just jump right in. It wasn't a big, major shift. Just an evolution to a better product.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller - NWN. Our experience with them has been very good.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a huge ROI. Instead of having to buy 50 workstations - and we didn't have room for them, where we would need another classroom or another area - we didn't have to invest in any of that. Air conditioning was already taken care of. Power was already taken care of because it's in the data center, so we didn't need to worry about outfitting a classroom with furniture, new workstations, and everything else.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've been an HPE shop for a long time, so we really didn't have any other vendors. We knew everything was rock-solid. It was an environment that we were comfortable with. All my staff is trained in it and it didn't make any sense for us to really look at any other product.

But honestly, I don't think there's any other product that is at that level today. Most products are probably two to three years behind. I had no problems. I was very comfortable with it.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you understand the whole solution. If you're used to doing things the old, manual way, make sure you understand what OneView does, and how it can automate and orchestrate bringing the platform up to speed, and then, what happens after that. If you do that, you'll easily see that it's a big time-saver and it's much easier to manage.

The biggest lesson I learned from using this solution is that it is a lot simpler than what I thought it was going to be like, when we were going to deploy.

I would rate Synergy as ten out ten because

  • it's easy to use
  • rock-solid
  • straightforward to deploy
  • easy to expand.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MI
System Engineer at Blue Shield of California
Real User
stateless Auto Deploy guarantees consistency across our ESX hosts, thanks to template-driven, standardized hardware processes

Pros and Cons

  • "On the previous HPE platform, we struggled because everything was independent. We had to manage firmware on each server, storage and network configuration on each server. Synergy is template-driven so we can ensure consistency of all of those settings. It allows us to standardize configuration and ensure consistency across the board."
  • "A big thing for me is moving InfoSight for ProLiant into OneView, or at least connecting it. Today we have to use the iLO Amplifier Pack and that would require us to reconfigure iLO on every single one of the servers, independently, to get that data into InfoSight. We're really looking for a single control and management plane."

What is our primary use case?

VMware is our primary use case for this solution. We run all of our production servers and non-production servers. That's what our cloud delivers virtual workloads to.

How has it helped my organization?

Today we're using a stateless Auto Deploy, which guarantees consistency across all of our ESX hosts, but that is only possible if we're using template-driven and standardized processes on the hardware. We can guarantee all of our network and our storage, the firmware baselines - everything is exactly the same for every system that sits within a cluster.

It has improved management of our IT landscape because we spend a lot less time dealing with inconsistencies and things like firmware and driver management.

Synergy also helps us implement new business requirements quickly. We can deploy new ESX servers faster than we could on the previous c-series blade systems.

It has positively affected the efficiency of our IT infrastructure team quite a bit in the last year. We spend less than a day deploying new hosts, where it would take us a week previously. So our deployment time is about one-fifth of what it was. We're able to deliver expanding capacity at a much faster rate. We're also looking to continue that into automation using OneView so that we can automate that process, rather than having an IT team handling all those steps manually.

It would typically take us about a week to deploy a new host and now we're at less than a day. So in terms of our cost of operations, given the reduction of our deployment times, down to 20 percent of the time it used to take, we're definitely saving time. That's time our engineers can spend doing other things, working on other projects and priorities.

What is most valuable?

Everything is template driven so it helps us standardize all the settings across all the many servers. On the previous HPE platform, we struggled because everything was independent. We had to manage firmware on each server, storage and network configuration on each server. Synergy is template-driven so we can ensure consistency of all of those settings. It allows us to standardize configuration and ensure consistency across the board.

What needs improvement?

A big thing for me is moving InfoSight for ProLiant into OneView, or at least connecting it. Today we have to use the iLO Amplifier Pack and that would require us to reconfigure iLO on every single one of the servers, independently, to get that data into InfoSight. We're really looking for a single control and management plane.

Also, Fibre Channel support within the Virtual Connect modules is lagging behind on the speed and the connections and configuration.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had quite a few issues with stability on this system, with the Gen10 blades - with memory specifically. It's been problematic.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good for our size of company. The way we're deploying ESX and the automation that we're doing through OneView, it doesn't matter whether we're trying to add one host or ten new hosts, it takes roughly the same amount of time. So it allows us to scale much quicker than we did previously.

How are customer service and technical support?

On a scale of one to ten, technical support is a five. We get decent support, but it could definitely be improved.

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

When they told us that the c7000 was being retired, we decided we didn't want to invest in a technology that had an end date. We started looking at Synergy as a replacement and started migrating to that.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty easy, but we did have familiarity with OneView prior to deploying it. That probably helped.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use a third-party.

What was our ROI?

I'm not involved with the financials, but from a labor perspective we have definitely seen ROI by reducing the time it takes for us to deploy. We're reducing the man-hours we're spending on deploying new systems as well as on maintaining the existing ones.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have a dual-vendor strategy, so HPE isn't the only vendor that we have. We're running Cisco and HPE, the two major vendors, and I don't think that any of the alternatives outside of those two have anything that can match the scale and ease of use of those two platforms.

What other advice do I have?

Look past the upfront, initial acquisition costs. A lot of your return on the investment is going to be in labor saved, as well as driving consistency and conformity in the environment.

I rate Synergy at eight out of ten. Overall, we're pretty happy. There are minor things, like the InfoSight integration into OneView and some stability issues which are more attributed to Intel CPUs than the platform. We've been pretty happy with it. Since getting it set up, it's been very easy to manage and maintain.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JN
Senior Server Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
We stick a blade in, build a server profile from the template, and it just goes

Pros and Cons

  • "It gives us ease of use. It's nice because we don't have to mess with networking once it's set up. Once it's done, we just put another blade in and go from there. We don't have to go back in, run more cables, deal with more data center stuff. We stick a blade in, use the server profile template, build out a server profile from that, and it just goes."
  • "I would like the ability to have my storage components accessed from any other frame across the backplane. If we have a storage module and we run out of space in that frame, it'd be nice to be able to share it across the frames. You can do it with hyperconverged. Why can't you do it with Synergy?"

What is our primary use case?

We use it primarily for hypervisors at the moment. We're looking at expanding into VDI, but it's primarily for hypervisors.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us a lot more flexibility for spinning up new hypervisors, compared to the c7000. We use the VMM tie-in. There's a VMM OneView plugin that works really well. We do one-touch deployment for our new hypervisors.

It helps us implement new business requirements quickly. If we needed to, we could spin up a number of hypervisors pretty easily.

In terms of the efficiency of our IT infrastructure, the capacity is pretty nice. The density that we get out of it is really nice. It's a regular chassis and the blades go up to about 1.5 terabytes or so. We fill them with a terabyte. We went from two c7000s, fully-populated, to one Synergy frame, half-populated. It frees up a lot of space.

It has also decreased our deployment time. When we stood up the hypervisors from images, it probably took us about three or four hours per hypervisor. With the VMM plugin that we have with it, all four of the new hypervisors we just deployed were done in about 30 to 45 minutes. As for our cost of operations, it has reduced our power consumption, at the very least. It has also reduced the time that we would put into a c7000.

What is most valuable?

It gives us ease of use. It's nice because we don't have to mess with networking once it's set up. Once it's done, we just put another blade in and go from there. We don't have to go back in, run more cables, deal with more data center stuff. We stick a blade in, use the server profile template, build out a server profile from that, and it just goes.

The networking is so easy. We came from c7000s and we had to deal a lot with Virtual Connect. The new networking stuff, the new OneView solution for Synergy, is probably the best part about it. We haven't upgraded it yet, but we're looking forward to updating it and seeing how easy that is compared to the c7000.

What needs improvement?

I would like the ability to have my storage components accessed from any other frame across the backplane. If we have a storage module and we run out of space in that frame, it'd be nice to be able to share it across the frames. You can do it with hyperconverged. Why can't you do it with Synergy?

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good. We had a DIMM fail from ECC memory. We didn't have any outage. It just isolated it off to the side. We have the remote support set up so they opened a ticket and had a guy out to us at 7:00 in the morning.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good. I think you can take it up to something like 21 frames if you really want to. We'll never have a use for that, but it seems pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support was a little busy the last couple times I've had to contact them. It was a new product. Support wasn't bad, it was just a little slow.

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

Our c7000s were getting old, end-of-life, and we wanted to condense. We freed up a lot of space in our data centers lately, and that was part of it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty easy. There's a learning curve to it, just like there is with anything else. There are "ifs," "and's," and "but's," but they cabled it up for us. It was pretty straightforward after that.

What about the implementation team?

We bought it through our VAR, American Digital. But most of the people who came out were from HPE directly.

What was our ROI?

We haven't really computed ROI. It was more of a lifecycle replacement that we came across.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

After buying it, I don't think there are any costs other than for regular support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked a little bit at Nutanix. We looked at the Cisco UCS chassis too. We went with HPE mostly due to the fact that we're already an HPE shop. We already had OneView. We were pretty happy with the c7000s. They were always solid. Synergy seemed pretty mature. I'm not a huge fan of some of the marketing around it. It works very well for what it does. They try and build it up to be things that it's not, for most people.

What other advice do I have?

It's a pretty good solution depending on what your use case for it is. If you're looking for a blade system, you're looking for density, and you're looking for something that's going to be easy for your guys to spin up and get going, have a look at Synergy.

The biggest lesson we've learned from using this solution is to double-check the cables that your VAR orders for you, before the product arrives. Other than that, we've been happy with the product overall. It's one of those things where when it works, it works, and there are no complaints.

I give Synergy a nine out of ten. It works really well. We've had good results with it. The only problem is, as I said, the storage module doesn't share across the frames.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BF
Senior Systems Engenier at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Condenses my compute into a more manageable rack space, reducing heat and power consumption

Pros and Cons

  • "It makes it simpler for me to manage my environment. It is one pane of glass, compared to multiple."
  • "The expansion was complex, because adding a second frame onto the original frame caused an outage."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for converged infrastructure (compute). We are using it for Hyper-V and our SQL environments right now. We are doing some DevOps on it, as well.

How has it helped my organization?

Spinning up an environment is much quicker, because I don't have to reconfigure networking and redesign everything from the ground up. I throw a new blade into the frame and configure it based off a template.

The solution has improved the efficiency of our IT infrastructure teams by taking less time to set stuff up, reducing our deployment time.

The solution has positively affected the productivity of the development team by creating environments quickly.

What is most valuable?

I was able to condense my compute into a more manageable rack space, reducing heat and power consumption.

It makes it simpler for me to manage my environment. It is one pane of glass, compared to multiple.

What needs improvement?

Stability when you upgrade needs improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, but it is challenging to scale it. It's not as easy as just putting in another frame.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great.

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

I was a HPE customer and knew I needed to condense the number of compute units that I could have in a rack space without increasing the size of the room.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The expansion was complex, because adding a second frame onto the original frame caused an outage.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller, PCM, for the deployment. Our experience with them was excellent.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We do CAPEX.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

HPE was the only vendor considered.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend an HPE product because it is a good, stable product.

Biggest lesson learnt: You should set up two in parallel. In case one goes down, you can fail everything over to the other one.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
LM
System Architect at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Real User
We haven't had any problems with the stability once it was set up, but the initial installation can sometimes be problematic

Pros and Cons

  • "We build out a whole stack at one time, so we don't have to worry about it until that stack is full, then that gives us time to get the next one ready."
  • "The speed in OneView and how it updates the entire configuration needs improvement. If they can do that, and it could be a little more clear on what impact different actions will have for certain things, that would be good."

What is our primary use case?

It is where we do most of our compute for the various different things for our homegrown software that we developed and use. We also use the product for a third-party software that we do, using cloud-based services. 

In a hybrid cloud environment, the solution enables us to a lot of databases, then different homegrown in-house developed stuff that we use for media servers and compression servers. We can also do management for workforces and optimization for workforces, in terms of the products that we provide.

How has it helped my organization?

We can get more density in the same physical footprint out of it, which has to do more with the density of the blades that go into the Synergy frames, because you can get less blades than you could with the old c7000s. There are just more cores and sockets with more memory available, so you can get denser with your applications. 

We build out a whole stack at one time, so we don't have to worry about it until that stack is full, then that gives us time to get the next one ready.

What is most valuable?

You don't have to have networking in every single frame, just have the interconnects. You don't have the traditional A and B side in the sort of multiple LAG groups, and so you really can sustain a lot of loss. The other side of that is if you need to sort of push more bandwidth up, you can do it because of the interconnects in the networking, and the same goes for Fibre Channel as well.

What needs improvement?

The speed in OneView and how it updates the entire configuration needs improvement. If they can do that, and it could be a little more clear on what impact different actions will have for certain things, that would be good. They do give warnings for certain things, but there are other things where they don't really give you a warning, then you do it and it will be rebooting something like the host (or whatever). If that is in a production environment, that is really dangerous. This is our pain point.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had it for maybe a year and a half to two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had any problems once it was set up. The initial installation can sometimes be problematic.

We have had some weird issues with the networking and interfaces. We had an interface where if it was the first interface to join a LAG group it wouldn't come up, but if it joined second, third, or fourth, then it worked fine. We still haven't figured that one out.

The amount of time that it takes to update the entire configuration because it has to go and update so much stuff: It takes quite a long time. Then, the potential for downtime when you do that is also problematic, especially if you don't have a full three or five frame set that you are working with. If you are going from one frame to two frames or two frames to three frames there is a potential for downtime there. So, we have opted to go to full stacks when we implement them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. You can manage with OneView multiple frame sets. We have chosen not to do that right now, but I can see where, as we get bigger, we'll want to implement that and maybe change the frame link up a bit so we can do that. However, we haven't done that right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was pretty good. They were good to very good, depending on the issue.

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

We had the c7000, and there wasn't anything new. We needed to move forward, so we could have a platform that we could rely on for the next ten or so years. Something that we could go and deploy, taking advantage of all the functions that it has.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was definitely different from what we were used to, so there was a learning curve. However, the more experience that we gain with it, the easier that it becomes. Every implementation has been sort of faster and easier than the previous one. We are to the point now where it is pretty straightforward for us.

What about the implementation team?

We used startup services for the deployment. The frustration with that was it was contracted out to third-party vendors, so it was sort of hit or miss for what you get with third-party vendors in terms of their knowledge. That was a bit frustrating. 

We will probably always buy the startup services. However, we will do the rack and stack along with most of the wiring in terms of the network and Fibre Channel. Then, we will let them run the interconnects through the actual configuration of the enclosure itself with the startup services links.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at Cisco UCS only because we thought it might be a good time to change things up, but we are really an HPE shop.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that it will work for you, your environment, what you have in mind, and what you want to accomplish. If you have a lot of small points of presents which are located around the world, this may not the best solution. However, if you are in a big data center or colocated data center, and you will be doing a lot of deployments, then I think this is a good solution.

Right now, we are mostly configuring profiles, the configuration of the frame sets, and the logical enclosure groups manually. We are moving towards having Synergy help us manage our IT landscape. That is what we are trying to get to next.

We are not using it as a fully composable infrastructure because we have storage outside of Synergy. It is sort of a hybrid of what we were doing before and what composable infrastructure really is, so that is where we are at.

It hasn't decreased our deployment time yet, but it can potentially in the future. We are trying to get not only to servers that we deploy, but the infrastructure that deploys the servers. We want to get to the point where that is all configured and deployed using infrastructure as code. We are a long ways from that, but that is where we want to get, and hopefully, we will get there.

It was the next generation of what was possible versus the old stuff where it was very confined to one frame versus multiple frames or you could make it composable and move workloads around easier.

We don't really have Synergy for our development environment.

Biggest lesson learnt: Pay attention to the nuances it. Take advantage of all the stuff which is built into the system. A lot of times, we buy technology and only use one part of it. If you use sort of the whole suite, then it works better. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MH
IT Infrastructure Architect at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Scaling is difficult, but it helps us bridge a gap that we are having moving off of old legacy systems

Pros and Cons

  • "It is helping us sort of bridge a gap that we are having moving off of old legacy systems, like HP-UX systems and trying to move over to x86. So, it is helping fill a hardware gap that a lot of our platforms have needed in the past."
  • "The initial setup was complex. From what I was told, there were issues initially with getting the SFPs on the floor for our data center and something with the image, but I think that was on our service provider' side. They couldn't get the image to deploy with the right drivers and stuff."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, we are mostly using it for building out data center services. The biggest things that we are using it for are large scale virtual farms. We have recently even started using it to have large shared database resources for shared platforms, like Informatica.

How has it helped my organization?

We are just using it as a server.

It is helping us sort of bridge a gap that we are having moving off of old legacy systems, like HP-UX systems and trying to move over to x86. So, it is helping fill a hardware gap that a lot of our platforms have needed in the past.

What is most valuable?

It is filling a gap in server size that we don't really have right now in previous generations.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to work more on the templates, targeting it to a larger scale organization which has to run 24/7. Maybe they can try to get that workload to target certain parts of an application that has to be on 24/7. The common example that we keep getting is with our animators. They have one template which is dedicated to their resources, and in the night, it does rendering. However, when we have stuff which is running 24/7, it's not really something that applies. So, maybe they can try finding more applicable use cases.

The solution has affected the productivity our deployment a little, but it has just been the normal getting used to the new system. I think once they get used to it, it will be fine.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems pretty stable. We haven't had any issues that I'm aware of. We have not had any outages.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Just considering how we're using it, we are really using it for the bare bones infrastructure. I think if we were using Synergy in probably the way that most teams or organizations were expected to use it, it probably scales a lot better for us because we are looking at it the bare bones CPU memory and how it works. 

Scaling is difficult, but that's always going to be the case.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't work with the technical support.

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

We started moving data centers, so we had to invest in a new solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. From what I was told, there were issues initially with getting the SFPs on the floor for our data center and something with the image, but I think that was on our service provider' side. They couldn't get the image to deploy with the right drivers and stuff.

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with HPE.

What was our ROI?

We have not yet seen ROI.

It has not yet reduced our cost of operations.

It has not yet reduced our IT infrastructure cost.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend that anybody who does look at Simplicity to look into Synergy. Look into it before they deploy. They should look and make sure it is compatible for their environment.

At the scale that we are at, we don't really have too many use cases right now where we can leverage all the technologies behind it. So, it's unfortunate but we are looking forward to getting to that point. We just have to slowly bridge that gap.

It is fulfilling our needs. It is not doing anything that has been too different than how we're already using it. Because of how we are using it as a bare bones servers, we just see it as a server.

We just haven't really integrated it into the public cloud or hybrid cloud. We are testing out Simplicity and Nimble now, so that might already be a feature.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DH
Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Using it on a temporal basis makes productivity of deployment significantly easier. I would like to see the type of hardware add-on operationalization made simpler.

Pros and Cons

  • "The temporal value of it. If I only need a particular amount of compute for a specific period of time during business hours, then at night, I'm running a bunch of batch jobs, or doing something else, that ability to swap a profile, swap templates, and have compute assigned to something else, saves significant amount of money. As long as you are tying it into the automation and orchestration layers, it becomes much easier to do."
  • "Continue the path of integrating OneView into a single product. A lot of different people have different OneView experiences based on which product they have used it for."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is really a replacement for the BladeCenter. Though, we would like our customers to see it more in the composable fashion that it has been positioned. The primary use case (as our customer see it) is they can't go further with BladeCenter, so they are choosing Synergy.

Traditionally, our customers have been using their BladeCenter, and now Synergy, to run any type of mid-tier applications or virtualized platforms that, for whatever reason, don't fit in the hyper-converged area. 

From a hybrid cloud perspective, Synergies are more seen for the potential of integrating into orchestrated and automated deployments, so they can have cloud-like functionality on-premise. They are not quite at that yet, and in the couple cases where we have deployed it, that has certainly been the goal.

How has it helped my organization?

We do have one customer who very specifically uses it for back office applications during the day (during business hours), then they will actually swap it into a scheduling facility at night. Therefore, those jobs that are running off hours can be used for it. So, we do actually have one customer who is doing that.

In another case, we have a customer who is heavily orchestrated, and we have written a significant number of automation tools for them. In that case, we are in the process of PoC'ing that automation process and tying that into the orchestration tools. Whereas in the past, both their hyper-converged environment, as well their ProLiant rack servers and their BladeCenter, would not tie very well into the orchestration.

Productivity of deployment goes back to the automation tie-ins and fluidity of the resource. If they can reuse componentry, knowing they can do that based on a temporal basis, and they have some type of scheduling facility, then this makes it significantly easier.

What is most valuable?

It has the next level beyond hyper-converged:

  1. It has that promise of combining the orchestration and automation.
  2. Being able to no longer have an isolated bare metal environments, then converged infrastructure with virtualized environments. The ability to have both platforms in one infrastructure. Then, simultaneously have the ability to go between them and isolate workloads while still having shared workloads. That sort of mix and match and fluidity of being able to reassign.

Secondarily, the temporal value of it. If I only need a particular amount of compute for a specific period of time during business hours, then at night, I'm running a bunch of batch jobs, or doing something else, that ability to swap a profile, swap templates, and have compute assigned to something else, saves significant amount of money. As long as you are tying it into the automation and orchestration layers, it becomes much easier to do.

What needs improvement?

Continue the playbooks with the automation integrations. More of that would be good, as it has been great so far. 

I would really like to see the type of hardware add-on operationalization made simpler in some way. How do I have a chassis and add in a second or third chassis, but not have to be so aware that it is number 11 versus number 12 within the frame? If they can address that, it would be a home run.

Continue the path of integrating OneView into a single product. A lot of different people have different OneView experiences based on which product they have used it for.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the past, there has been some question around the stability of networking components of it. It has been a long time since HPE has had a significant server issue, but from the networking component and newer networking components, there have been significant improvements from the past.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I love the idea of Synergy and its ability to scale out. Operationally, it is a little bit challenging to manage at this point. When you add onto it, you have to be very aware of where you are in the frame, on your count, and what components. You may have to move a satellite module or you may have to reallocate componentry, which is already there. That scale aspect is challenging. From a hardware perspective, it is not transparent.

From a scalability within existing resources, it is very scalable and much easier to use. E.g., I have deployment requests coming down from some orchestration layer and just need to add available resources and compute.

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

In a couple cases, it was really just sort of that end of life of BladeCenter. In another case, they saw the temporal value aspect and the customer thought that swapping would make a ton of sense.

How was the initial setup?

There is more to keep in mind with Synergy. Remember that our customers are coming from BladeCenters. Where after 10 to 15 years of it, and everybody found it fairly simple at this point, then they have this new paradigm of scaling out to many multiple frames, and so many more modules. It is a change in mindset. Therefore, some people will say that it is complex simply because of that. It is not that difficult though.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy with the help of HPE consultants. Our experience with the HPE consultants is very positive. They have been all over it, more so than the customer even.

What was our ROI?

For temporal use, when you throw on the fact that you're essentially doubling your capacity, right there you could claim a 50 percent TCO reduction. As far as ROI, that becomes a lot harder because it is dependent on the level of automation that you have built into that reallocation as you are introducing a step that wasn't there before either, where as you would have just built two different infrastructures and the cost would have been upfront. So, the ROI is really in the reduction of total costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It still sort of comes up occasionally against some of the HCI competitors, but it's a totally different approach.

Synergy is chosen based on that mix of being able to do bare metal, multiple types of virtualization and the fluidity of the resource rather than it being all virtualized, then fluidity.

What other advice do I have?

Focus on the fluidity of resources and view everything from that lens. Always remember that is the justification for some of the complexity. Once you can set it up appropriately, it will be worth it. If you view it purely from a non-fluid, assign this - just like you would a blade, then you may find it more complex, and in some cases, more expensive to manage.

Right now, there are pros and cons to whether it is affecting our customer's IT infrastructure. It is probably net neutral because there are some complexity from an operationalization aspect that increases compared to what they're used to. Being able to know what number frame it is within the Synergy frame. Operationally you are ordering different parts differently based on where you are in that count. That adds a certain complexity to them managing it on a growth and scale perspective. So, you are sort of giving up one efficiency to get the other right now. That is something that will be addressed better over time, and it is even better than it was two years ago already.

It hasn't proven to implement new business requirements quickly, but it certainly has that promise. In its worst case, it is just another hardware-centric solution. In its best case, the customer will have the automation tie-in to actually make this happen.

Biggest lessons learnt:

  1. You should be aware of your workloads from a time basis, which means you need to be monitoring and analyzing those workloads more. 
  2. The absolute necessity of automation.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
NW
IT Infrastructure Manager at a security firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Being able to maintain the hardware layer without impacting users has been key for us

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility to link them together and configure them gives us the ability to scale out easily, to add more compute resources as needed... The way that they're scalable and flexible means we can add additional servers in quickly... We're not spending a lot of time doing procurement and building of physical servers."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using it for our production server loads and for disaster recovery purposes. In terms of a hybrid-cloud environment, we use it for our database workloads. We have records management systems and dispatch systems which have critical databases which we run on these platforms.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Using the platforms along with server virtualization has made us so much more agile in bringing up environments for projects. We've been able to cut delivery times down drastically. Whereas in the past, if someone said they need a server it was going to take a week, now, we're able to do that in 30 minutes to an hour. That's one example of how the solution helps us to implement new business requirements more quickly. Having the virtualization layer over top means that now, when projects come up and they need servers, we can have those up and running within a day. In the past, it could have taken several weeks to procure the physical equipment and get it built and installed.

    On a typical server build, it probably saves eight hours. In our environment, we could be building and tearing down dozens of servers a week so just do the math on that. It's hundreds of hours in savings.

    When it comes to managing our IT landscape, in addition to the flexibility, maintenance activities have also been improved. Being able to maintain the hardware layer without actually impacting our users has been key for us.

    Synergy also streamlines the work that our infrastructure teams have to do. They configure things once, upfront, and build deployment templates. That, along with good documentation, means any member of the team, with very little training, is able to deploy systems.

    The development team is our customer. They have rapidly changing needs in terms of getting servers and environments set up quickly for them to be able to do tests; and then to be torn down afterward. The fact that it's so flexible and easy to do that speeds things up for them as well.

    What is most valuable?

    The flexibility to link them together and configure them gives us the ability to scale out easily, to add more compute resources as needed. With the nature of our business, we have so many projects on the go and constantly changing priorities. A lot of times we need to be able to make changes fairly quickly. The way that they're scalable and flexible means we can add additional servers in quickly. That's what is important for us. We're not spending a lot of time doing procurement and building of physical servers.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability has been great. We haven't had any major outages so far. We are still on some of the older BladeSystem c7000 enclosures. We're moving to Synergy although we've yet to move everything completely on to them. But so far, Synergy has been good and stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a good platform. It gives us the scalability that we need.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't personally used technical support.

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

    Synergy was just the next logical step for us, as we lifecycle out our old infrastructure. We've been using HPE technologies for 15 to 20 years. The next logical step, as our older blade enclosures reached end-of-life, was to go to the Synergy platform. We work with our HPE sales team very closely. They're more like a strategic partner for us. When they make a recommendation we take it seriously.

    How was the initial setup?

    There was a certain level of complexity to this because this was the first time for our staff in using this platform. There was some complexity. There are different options for the interfaces for the staff. It's a little bit different than what they're used to doing on the onboard administrator for the other blade enclosure. It was a matter of getting to know the new features. They took their time to understand all the capabilities.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it with HPE Consultant Services. Our experience with them is always good. Very thorough. They have local resources onsite who have good knowledge of the product. They're able to answer our questions. It's always been a good experience.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price point is a little high. We were able to get a good deal on a promotion, to go with it. It would be nice to see the prices come down a little bit.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to set up a face-to-face meeting with the product experts from HPE. If you go through resellers or vendors that's fine, but make sure you have the HPE resources there. They know the product the best.

    One of the lessons we've learned from using this solution is that you really need to take your time and learn the new features of these. There's so much. It's not just a simple blade enclosure and you plug your servers in and go. There are a lot of advanced features, with some of the composability stuff that we haven't even really scratched the surface of. The big lesson is to really learn the product and what it can do for you, because chances are it can do a lot more than what you initially think.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JasonWilliams
    Manager Engineering Services at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It provides one console with one place to get to everything, but HPE doesn't have the expertise internally to set these things up

    Pros and Cons

    • "Everything is in one place. We have one place to with OneView. It provides one console with one place to get to everything. The one interface makes it easier. We have one guy who does almost everything in it."
    • "The solution has decreased the deployment time for a new blade, saving us three hours."
    • "We have flaky things, like a lot of bad fans."
    • "The initial setup was complex. It was slow and just didn't work. Even HPE couldn't make it work for 45 days."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is primary compute. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    Everything is in one place. We have one place to with OneView. It provides one console with one place to get to everything. The one interface makes it easier. We have one guy who does almost everything in it.

    The solution has decreased the deployment time for a new blade, saving us three hours. However, it has not decreased the deployment time for a VM.

    What is most valuable?

    It is very flexible.

    What needs improvement?

    The biggest problem that I have with it is the speed of setup.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable after the initial setup. We have flaky things, like a lot of bad fans.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We bought it half loaded with 18 blades, so we can still add 18 blades. That in itself makes it pretty scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    HPE doesn't have the expertise internally to set these things up.

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

    Our previous solution was old. We were using HPE blade chassis.

    We switched a year and a half ago, then again eight months ago.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. It was slow and just didn't work. Even HPE couldn't make it work for 45 days.

    What about the implementation team?

    We use HPE Pointnext services to come out and change our bad drives.

    What was our ROI?

    As we move more workloads to the Synergy, then we will see more of a return on investment.

    It has reduced our cost of operations by a headcount of 33 percent.

    The solution has reduced our IT infrastructure costs by 5 percent due to headcount.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Since Synergies are expensive, our TCO may have gone up.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We always looked at HPE. It was really a choice between a blade chassis or Synergy.

    What other advice do I have?

    Except for the setup, everything else is fantastic. It is a really good product, but make sure you have a lot of time to set it up.

    We run VMware on it, and always have. So, it is either run it on the stack or run it on Synergy, which is the same thing for us.

    VMware helps us implement our business requirements more so than Synergy.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JP
    Storage Engineer at Brigham Young University
    Real User
    Well-designed and engineered with improvements over the c7000

    Pros and Cons

    • "Being able to connect my 3PAR arrays to the Synergy platform is the most valuable aspect to me."
    • "If it would be possible to connect clusters of five with other clusters, so that they could all share resources, that would change the game for us. It would make it a viable solution for us."

    What is our primary use case?

    We were evaluating it to replace some of our older infrastructure. We have Dell M1000e Blade chassis. We were doing a proof of concept for the last three months with it.

    It would cover all kinds of workloads. We have Oracle Databases, we have SQL databases, we have web servers. There's a VMware environment with VMs that manage all sorts of workloads.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In our case, it would not be an improvement over the way our company functions. We have unique scaling demands. Our storage demands scale very differently than our compute demand scales. So doing HCI anything doesn't really fit well, currently, with how we operate. But that's why we were testing it. We were trying to figure out how can we scale it, or can we scale it, so that it fits within what we're currently required to do. We are not going to be able to do HCI currently. We're looking at other solutions.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature, personally, is that I'm already very familiar with OneView because we manage 3PAR storage as well. Having familiarity with OneView and the 3PAR infrastructure, and being able to connect my 3PAR arrays to the Synergy platform, are the most valuable aspects to me.

    What needs improvement?

    If it would be possible to connect clusters of five with other clusters, so that they could all share resources, that would change the game for us. It would make it a viable solution for us.

    There is room for improvement with support. That's a big one because of the struggle we had getting the technical expertise which we needed. Improving support is hard to do. It's a global company. They've got disparate teams with disparate specialties all over the place and it's a very new product. So we tried to take all that into account when we were evaluating. In the end, before you push a product out, your support has to know how it works and how to support it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We worked with it for three months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. We didn't have any problems with the stability at all.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Obviously, it's very scalable. You're limited to five total - not chassis, they call them something else - but you're limited to five. So it is scalable to a point. But that's where we run into our problems because we need all of our servers in our infrastructure to have access to my storage. We can't segment out storage and have it only available to these five chassis.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We did use technical support and I would rate it poorly. On a scale of one to ten, I'd give it a five. It wasn't terrible, but it's the fact that it's such a new product and it doesn't seem like even the people who are supposed to be supporting it really understand it yet. 

    We went around and around in circles on one particular issue for about two weeks and it was a simple "check the box" in this area. When we finally checked the box, everything started working, but it took us two weeks to figure that out with their help.

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

    The solution we have now works but, like technology always has, it gets old and then you have end-of-life, end-of-support and you have to make other choices. Everybody's going HCI, hyperconverged infrastructure, so we're trying to evaluate that.

    How was the initial setup?

    Configuration was difficult because it's so new. Even the people at HPE weren't well-versed on how to configure it correctly. So it took a lot longer to configure than we thought it would. But once we got it configured, it functioned very well.

    It took us about a month to get it configured, to get all the bugs worked out. Then we were able to utilize it for about two months as part of our proof of concept.

    Ninety percent of it was straightforward. The ten percent that was complex was only complex because it's not very intuitive. You have to know where to go within OneView to find the options that you need. And because it's not intuitive, it's not easy for someone who has never done it before to do it. And it wasn't easy for the people who were supposed to know how to do it, either.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had HPE consultants and a VAR. We had about six people, four from HPE, two from our VAR, and our whole team working on it for a month to try to deploy it. It was a struggle.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We're also looking at the Dell EMC MX chassis. When we finished our HPE proof of concept, we started the Dell EMC proof of concept. That's what we're doing currently.

    What other advice do I have?

    The biggest lesson I learned personally, using Synergy, was that it takes quite a while to properly evaluate something as complex as Synergy. Two weeks in, I was ready to just say, "This as a piece of junk and I never want to use it." But two months in, it was actually working really well and I was trying to figure out how we could make it work in our environment. It takes a while, but if you can get it set up right and get a little bit of expertise in it, it's a wonderful platform.

    My advice would be to take your time. Get very familiar with it and make sure it's going to meet the needs that your business has, because it may not. Or maybe it fits perfectly. If you don't take the time to really study it then you won't know, and you don't want to get stuck. That's would be an expensive mistake to make.

    The product is well-designed and engineered. They've thought through a lot of the things that were problems with the c7000 chassis, for example, and they've made a lot of improvements. From an engineering perspective, I would give it an eight out of ten. It might be right for all workloads but it's not right for all environments. Our environment is one of those that doesn't fit well with HCI.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    BB
    VP Technology at Scalematrix
    Real User
    Enabled us to put four chassis in, running high-end processors and terabytes of RAM per blade

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's very scalable. We like the idea that we can put four chassis in one of our racks, and we can connect up to 25 chassis, so the scalability to us, and being able to sync all those into one management portal, is unheard of. You can't really sync that many blades and chassis together in any other platform."
    • "In terms of managing our IT landscape, it helps by reducing complexity... We've taken one of our virtualization guys and turned him into a Synergy guy, and he's been able to understand the networking, he's been able to understand the OneView, he's been able to understand the Synergy. He manages all of those rather than our having to have multiple teams associated with it."
    • "The initial setup was complex. We had a couple of bright engineers working on it, and they figured out a lot of things that they don't know... The problem was that they couldn't find documentation easily, to walk them through setup when they just didn't know the platform."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for public cloud right now. It covers a plethora of workloads. We have everything from the small, mom-and-pop, five-user accounting shop running QuickBooks, all the way up to data analytics running machine-learning on it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The main improvement has been around being able to expand the environment without building out additional infrastructure. We have the blade chassis set up. We throw an extra blade in there and we've just expanded our compute and ram. It's made it much easier for us to grow the infrastructure, once we put the foundation in place.

    In terms of managing our IT landscape, it helps by reducing complexity. That's really is what it comes down to. We've taken one of our virtualization guys and turned him into a Synergy guy, and he's been able to understand the networking, he's been able to understand the OneView, he's been able to understand the Synergy. He manages all of those rather than our having to have multiple teams associated with it.

    The solution has helped us to implement new business requirements quickly. We deployed the 8180 processor from Intel with it, which helped us empower much faster compute. We have actually been able to pick up more of those machine-learning clients.

    In addition, our IT infrastructure team is more efficient. We have fewer teams, fewer people associated with it. It has also affected the productivity of our development team, now. At the beginning, they didn't know how to utilize it, but now that they've been able to bridge into it a little bit more, it's sped them up.

    For example, we run our own panel and customer-interface platforms which are built in-house. They bring stats from the compute node and they bring stats from the RAM utilization into a customer portal that is API-driven. That one was always very hard because all of the infrastructure that we'd stand up was a bunch of 1Us. When a new cluster would come in, they would have to write the code for that cluster and it would take them a week or two just to put the right code together and deliver it to the customer. Now they've written it for the whole Synergy platform, so we just slide a blade in and it comes online.

    The solution has also decreased our deployment time. On average, we deploy a private cloud in about two weeks: Buying the nodes, racking and stacking, and then applying VMware to it. From there we, would install the OSs, etc. We've cut out the racking and stacking. We've cut out a lot of the physical deploy time. Now, we buy the blades and put them in an open slot. The networking is already set up, the infrastructure is already set up, so it's just VMware and the OSs, which cuts us down to about 60 percent of the time it used to take.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the control of the overall solution all in one box. With it being all together, it has really taken down the complexity of a multi-environment. Switches being top of rack, storage being separate. It's moved it all into one box.

    What needs improvement?

    There is room for improvement in the setup.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable. It hasn't given us a problem yet. No outages.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable. We like the idea that we can put four chassis in one of our racks, and we can connect up to 25 chassis, so the scalability to us, and being able to sync all those into one management portal, is unheard of. You can't really sync that many blades and chassis together in any other platform.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good. We had a struggle at the beginning. What happened was that we reached out and they didn't really understand what we were trying to do. We got more of the leadership from HPE involved and said, "Hey, this is what we're trying to accomplish. We're trying to set up a solution." They put some more advanced technical support in place and were able to solve it in under 24 hours. That helped us in initially setting up the solution.

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

    Our previous solution was 1U Dell EMC equipment. We were buying new equipment. we were also buying the 1U servers from HPE. But we needed a solution which had flexibility.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. We had a couple of bright engineers working on it, and they figured out a lot of things that they don't know. They don't always have experience around certain platforms. The problem was that they couldn't find documentation easily, to walk them through setup when they just didn't know the platform.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller, TIG. Our experience with them was great. They facilitated getting us pretty much all the information we needed.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI. Building it to be so powerful, we had six racks of 1 to 2U servers of Dell EMC equipment spread out throughout the data center - six racks of gear. We were able to condense down into four blades, because they are so powerful. That's a huge ROI and savings for us.

    It has also reduced our cost of operations. We have fewer teams focusing on the overall solution. We have a team of two right now, compared to the team of six or seven people assigned to the whole cloud solution in the past. From an operations perspective, we're probably saving a good $150,000 a year.

    The solution has reduced our IT infrastructure costs, cutting out those racks. A rack costs me the square footage. Also, if I'm using a rack for my cloud, I can't sell it to a client. Moving six racks into one has saved me a ton of overhead on the infrastructure side.

    In terms of TCO, I think we'll get there faster. While the blade is more expensive than a 1U-server - I'm going to buy a 1U server for $10,000 and it's going to support X number of clients - ultimately we get to the TCO faster because we're able to pack more into the density. That means our price per gig can be lower, but we make more margin on it, overall. We're able to get to that TCO faster because of the density that Synergy provides.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    VMware is part of the cost. We bought the chassis, we bought the solution. The blades are roughly running us $60,000 a pop right now.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We vetted out everything under the sun from the UCS side, the Cisco side, the Dell EMC side. They had new chassis coming out, chassis which hadn't been released yet, which they were showing me. 

    We really landed on Synergy because it was the most flexible out of all the solutions. We were able to get the power we were looking for in the chassis. Our data center is really built on density. We can run 52 kW in a rack, but with all the other platforms we were limited on the amount of power we could push in there. We liked Synergy because we could put four chassis in, running two 8280 processors, and running 1.5 to 3 terabytes of RAM per blade, making it a super powerful, 42 to 50 kW cabinet. We couldn't do that with any other platform.

    What other advice do I have?

    Most of the time, people look at our solution - the way we built Synergy - and they say, "Man, we don't need that much power. You built it with the highest processors you can buy, the most RAM you can put in there." I tell them it doesn't really matter, from a Synergy perspective, if you need a smaller solution, less RAM. Synergy is a good play for them, even though they don't need the powerhouse, because Synergy is a platform is solid. They could get gold processors, lower processors, put 512 of RAM in it, and the TCO for them would still be as good as we're getting.

    The biggest lesson we've learned from using the solution is that we should have gotten on it sooner. That is the main one. We weren't focusing heavily on our density before. Now we are. The thing we've learned is that for every new solution, whether it's storage or networking or whatever it is, we need to focus on the density side of things.

    We did a big vetting of HPE's Pointnext services which helps move to the solution. We spent a ton of time on it because we really wanted to make it work. Unfortunately, since we're a service provider, the model didn't work for us, but we may use it for storage, so it could work out.

    What does it not have? That's the harder question. Right now, it has everything we need. We don't really see anything, it doesn't have.

    I'd rate Synergy a nine out of ten because, after it was done, it was almost perfect. It was getting it done, at the beginning, that was our biggest struggle.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    DK
    IT Infrastructure Manager at a import and exporter with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    We're able to deploy development environments rapidly

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly, by using the Composer for efficiency. It has also improved the productivity of our development team due to the efficiency of being able to deploy via Composer."
    • "There is certainly a feature or two missing."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's our day-to-day production device. We deploy our workloads and VMs in clusters on it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly, by using the Composer for efficiency. It has also improved the productivity of our development team due to the efficiency of being able to deploy via Composer. We're able to deploy development environments rapidly. We have seen about a 25 percent reduction in deployment times.

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of use.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's absolutely reliable. Zero outages.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's easily scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is solid. We really haven't had issues with it, so we haven't had to go down that path much yet.

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

    We had aging gear. We went from c7000s into Synergy.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. We met them at the data center for four days. We racked, stacked, and deployed it. They showed me the ropes. It was easy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator/reseller. They were solid.

    What was our ROI?

    We've seen ROI through density and capacity into it. Where I had four c7000 chassis running a lot of standalone stuff, I was able to consolidate a lot of that and virtualize it. It has reduced our cost of operations and IT infrastructure costs, the latter by about 50 percent. With aging gear that needed long-term maintenance, consolidating into a chassis or two reduced maintenance costs.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We went with Synergy because it was the best-in-breed and the next generation, from the existing c7000s. We're exclusively an HPE shop, so we didn't really fish around.

    What other advice do I have?

    Definitely go with it. Use this product. It's best-in-breed. The biggest lesson we've learned from using this solution is to continue using this solution.

    I would give it a nine out of ten for sure because it's 100 percent reliable and for the ease of use. I seldom give anything a ten. There's always room for improvement, I'm just not thinking of a specific feature or two that are missing, but there is certainly a feature or two missing.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    KI
    Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Helps to manage our IT landscape, especially in setting up servers quickly

    Pros and Cons

    • "The Synergy environment provides us with one view. We're able to manage the entire stack, top to bottom, from that single view."
    • "Having a seamless DR implementation would help significantly."

    What is our primary use case?

    For us, it is a server refresh. We moved away from c7000 Enclosures.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The Synergy environment provides us with one view. We're able to manage the entire stack, top to bottom, from that single view.

    The solution helps to manage our IT landscape, especially in setting up servers quickly, and making sure that the server types are distributed in our various dealer centers. That way, it's not reinventing the wheel all the time. It also helps us reconfigure servers for specific tasks and allocate more servers during busy times.

    We are able to implement new business requirements quickly. For example, we are able to make sure that we implement DR capabilities at the snap of a finger. That's something that otherwise would have taken a couple of weeks to set up. We have the requirements already documented so we just replicate to other DR centers.

    As a result of the solution, our IT infrastructure is about 60 percent more efficient than it used to be. DR was a big issue for us. Also, server provisioning, especially with the approach of using server templates and profiles, speeds up the time to market for servers. That's something that otherwise would probably take a couple of days to get done. Now it's just a push of a button. We're talking about it taking seconds to a minute.

    In addition, I would say Synergy has decreased our deployment time by about 80 percent and it has reduced our cost of operations

    What is most valuable?

    Composability.

    What needs improvement?

    Having a seamless DR implementation would help significantly.

    There is room for improvement to OneView.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We are still in implementation.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is highly scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    On a scale of one to five, five being excellent, technical support is a four.

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

    It was just time for a hardware refresh. We had run to the end of our hardware refresh cycle. We are an HPE shop, so we came from a c7000 to Synergy.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. It's due to understanding the environment. My team had zero knowledge about the environment so we significantly leveraged resources from the reseller. Most importantly, we depended on them to bring all the technical expertise. We then got onboard to do what we could manage.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller. On a scale of one to five, five being excellent, our experience with the reseller was a four.

    What was our ROI?

    We are not there yet. We are still in implementation. There are savings but we haven't measured them yet. We know we will see ROI. In terms of TCO, it's still too early to know because we're building all the processes and everything needed to manage the environment.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Cisco UCS.

    What other advice do I have?

    Give it a chance. Go in head-first and, as you go through the process, you'll see that the benefits start showing themselves. But you have to make sure you have good governing processes implemented before you get in there.

    The lessons we have learned from using this solution include the need to have an initial idea or knowledge of how the platform should work. We learned what kind of processes we needed to put in place to manage the environment before actually deploying. We depended on the reseller to do that. Those are some of the challenges that we have gone through.

    We haven't gotten too much into the hybrid cloud environment. Everything is still on-prem. However, we run discreet workloads. I think the hybrid cloud environment is the next evolution for us. Similarly, HPE’s Pointnext services will be in our next phase of implementation.

    I rate it at a nine out of ten. It completely changes the way we do business and there are a lot of opportunities. It especially decreases the time to market significantly.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Willam Adam
    SVP Data Technology at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    We have had very low infrastructure requirements because of its simple setup

    Pros and Cons

    • "The processing time has been about 50 times faster and allows us to do AI models."
    • "The manageability is its most valuable feature. It is a fully managed platform, which is very simple to manage."
    • "The only issue that we had was our rack was too small. The product is heavy, so it took a lot to get it in there."
    • "I would like it to connect to the HPE Cloud Connect compute platform for simplicity of our infrastructure."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is for processing our analytics platform. The solution enables us to do all of our analytic workflows in a hybrid cloud environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The processing time has been about 50 times faster and allows us to do AI models.

    The solution has helped us implement new business requirements quickly with new audience requests because Synergy's compute power when combined with 3PAR has been really terrific.

    We have had very low infrastructure requirements because of its simple setup. It has helped us dramatically improve our SLAs.

    What is most valuable?

    The manageability is its most valuable feature. It is a fully managed platform, which is very simple to manage. It lets us set up servers quickly.

    It allows us to have better throughput.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like it to connect to the HPE Cloud Connect compute platform for simplicity of our infrastructure.

    Our IT infrastructure costs have gone up each year by 20 percent.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, it has been very stable. We've only had to reboot it once.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We like the scalability. being able to drop new nodes into the rack.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support has been very good. 

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

    Our old solution was too slow, and we were at risk of losing client jobs.

    I would have purchased the product sooner, but it didn't exist.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. The only issue that we had was our rack was too small. The product is heavy, so it took a lot to get it in there.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an HPE partner for the deployment. They were terrific.

    What was our ROI?

    We have absolutely seen ROI: The number of jobs processed and being able to process jobs within the allotted time frame, so we have not lost any jobs. Thus, the solution has certainly paid for itself.

    The solution decreased our deployment time. It only took 10 percent of the time.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We outright purchased Synergy. 

    Our TCO has been affected by five percent.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    HPE and Dell EMC were on our shortlist. We chose HPE Synergy because it was the superior solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    It handles everything that we are looking to do.

    Consider using it in conjunction with Nimble.

    Biggest lesson learned: Be more on top of what HPE products and solutions are available.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Victor-Hernandez
    CIO at La Huerta
    Real User
    You set it up and forget about it

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly with some app deployments."
    • "The solution has decreased our deployment time by 10 to 20 percent."
    • "I would like more storage with this solution, because we still need 3PAR or other storage outside the box for the amount of data that we have."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for SQL servers on HPE servers. We use the service across the company. We are in three countries. It serves all our users.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All our internal applications are on an SQL server. It improves performance when we use all applications on this one server.

    The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly with some app deployments.

    What is most valuable?

    Compatibility and scalability are its most valuable features.

    You set it up and forget about it.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more storage with this solution, because we still need 3PAR or other storage outside the box for the amount of data that we have.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for less than a year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is very good, but I'm still trying to scale more than I already have.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is remarkable and very good.

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

    We have a policy of server renewal every three to five years, so we changed all of blade servers to Synergy.

    We, as a company, need to know more about the solution, because I know there is a lot of software included that we are not using. I would like the solution to provide training, so we could be more knowledgeable about what is included.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. It was pretty easy to start up and use it.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a Mexican integrator/reseller for the deployment, who was very good. They are one of my best suppliers.

    What was our ROI?

    The solution has decreased our deployment time by 10 to 20 percent.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Top of the list was HPE. I didn't consider any other vendors.

    What other advice do I have?

    The solution is pretty good and very stable. It has a great support. It works as the brochure says, "It works perfectly." 

    We need to learn about the all the solutions that integrate well with Synergy. E.g., it has a monitoring solution that we need to explore.

    We also use Hyper-V. So, we are already using physical servers to run it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MS
    Server Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The stability is very good, but I would like a longer amount of data for bandwidth utilization on Ethernet ports

    Pros and Cons

    • "The stability is very good. We haven't had any outages."
    • "OneView is head and shoulders above the competition in this space."
    • "The lowest echelon of HPE technical support is sadly uninformed, unknowledgeable, and dependent on wrote scripts. They won't answer a question without going through their script. It's not like you're actually talking to somebody who has any depth or time using any of the equipment."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for this solution is virtualization.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is a continuation of converged infrastructure. That is why we are interested in it.

    The solution has reduced our infrastructure costs compared to the c7000 platform.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of this solution is convergence.

    OneView is head and shoulders above the competition in this space, though I would like to see some improvements to it.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like a longer amount of data for bandwidth utilization on Ethernet ports inside, as well as uplinks. The amount of data stored on them is way too small.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is very good. We haven't had any outages.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For me, the scalability is how much money that I need to spend on switches for how many frames, which ultimately means servers. To get the best bandwidth before the most recent product announcement, I have buy new switches every three frames. The competition is shipping a product right now where I only need switches every ten frames.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    it depends on what technical support you pay for, but the lowest echelon of HPE technical support is sadly uninformed, unknowledgeable, and dependent on wrote scripts. They won't answer a question without going through their script. It's not like you're actually talking to somebody who has any depth or time using any of the equipment.

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

    They introduced Synergy, and we waited for a while. However, the reason for investing in Synergy isn't for normal business functions or functionality reasons. The main reason was that we knew that we wanted to buy servers that we wanted to keep for five years, and there isn't a big future in the c7000 platform.

    Synergy is the same product in a different package.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We were direct through HPE.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure you understand your own decision-making criteria and what is important to your company. Investigate all vendor options. Question your assumptions.

    Get it into your lab and test it out before you make a sizeable financial commitment.

    The things that I think are important HPE doesn't, and competitors do think they are important.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PB
    Director at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    We have gained some efficiencies on the provisioning front-end side, but there have been challenges with external integrations to other platforms

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has improved our procurement and day zero provisioning. We are bringing in racks of Synergy which are not populated with the blades, then we are buying the blades and populating them, as our business needs. This has been pretty helpful to be able to sort of pre-package the data center with the Synergy platform, then deploy servers into it as we grow."
    • "It has been in the external integrations to other platforms that we have, which aren't HPE, where some of our challenges have been. I would like to see some integrations with non-HPE platforms."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case would be our virtualization platforms, ranging from our presentation layers to just commodity workloads. 

    I don't know that we're too much focused on hybrid cloud just yet, since we're a service provider. A lot of our clients are paying us to host their workloads. It's not like we're running our own IT and putting it in the cloud, as well. However, as we do move things there, these workloads are probably the ones that are most opportune to move to the public cloud. So, it would generate a hybrid scenario, as these are Citrix presentation systems, and also Windows and Linux VMs, which can move back and forth.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has improved our procurement and day zero provisioning. We are bringing in racks of Synergy which are not populated with the blades, then we are buying the blades and populating them, as our business needs. This has been pretty helpful to be able to sort of pre-package the data center with the Synergy platform, then deploy servers into it as we grow.

    The solution has driven us to use the OneView platform and have more alignment with HPE's strategic directions. We are still learning what that means to us, but at least it has put us in better alignment with where HPE is at. When we do find something that doesn't work, they are incentivized to fix it better than if we weren't aligned with their vision.

    Synergy has actually challenged us to rethink how our IT infrastructure teams are structured. So, we're still dealing with that. Our hope is that by having OneView, Synergy, and software-defined that we will realize the value statement over time.

    So far, the solution has helped us implement our new business requirements quickly. Synergy has the ability to have everything pre-packaged and being able to slide blades in. That is what we have always liked about blade architectures: We can slide a blade in, or if we need to move it, we can go move it somewhere else. There is less cabling to deal with, etc. It is one of the attractive things of the platform that we first got excited about it.

    What is most valuable?

    We bought in pretty early to the composability story and being able to software-define the compute. We are realizing a fair amount of that. 

    What needs improvement?

    It has been in the external integrations to other platforms that we have, which aren't HPE, where some of our challenges have been. We are still working on these.

    I would like to see some integrations with non-HPE platforms. The Synergy platform is working pretty well in most cases. It does what it is advertised to do. Integrating it into our larger environment that is not HPE products has been somewhat of our challenge. I would challenge HPE to go fix and address these gaps. Have a story there, because not everybody will run HPE throughout their entire data center. I have other suppliers in there, and they have to work together.

    What we are observing is to upgrade a whole rack of Synergy, so four frames when it's fully loaded, we are spending about 50 human hours doing that. There is a lot of work time and wait time in there. Overall, this work effort is spread across a bunch of people and the total time is about 50 hours. I don't know what percent increase that necessarily is, but it is a lot of work that we didn't do before. So, it feels like a big increase. That is still us rationalizing how the platform should be maintained.

    I would like something that makes it even easier for developers to leverage OneView. It is all API driven. However, if you are using the web GUI that is OneView, you can't get any feedback about, "If I click this button, that button, or that button, before I hit go..." Show me what the API call is. Help me develop code faster if I am not a developer who wants to go read the whole API guide. Help me point, click, and start to develop code incrementally.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability-wise, it has been pretty good. When we are doing maintenance events. we have had some hiccups. We have definitely lost redundancy. There was one incident where we had everything go down. For the most part, what we are observing is the redundancy in the platform is working reasonably well. With the upgrades, we are just losing redundancy. 

    We're not expecting it to go down. Our expectation is we will run our workload 100 percent of time, even while we're upgrading the platform. In some instances, that's happened, and in the ones that it hasn't, it is definitely a bug that the HPE team is trying to address.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't hit the scale edge of it yet. However, we like what the solution says it will do. There have been some instances where we have overrun some of the software scaling, even without being at a massive hardware scale yet in the network space inside of Synergy. They are working on this, and it is something that we hope will continue.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We often find ourselves having to get into the Tier 2 and 3 support or into the development teams. Based on our scale, and what we do with this platform and others, we tend to find more bugs that are edge cases for most other people. Therefore, Tier 1 support is of little interest to us. However, when we have gotten to the right people, the technical support has been really good.

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

    They stopped selling the old solution. We were using the c7000 blade infrastructure from HPE.

    There were other things that we could have tried to do to wire up our environment differently. Having more simplistic cabling, being able to pre-stage frames, and slide servers is the experience that we desire to have. However, if it doesn't work with the other suppliers in my data center, then the experience quickly stops mattering.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our environment is very complex. That had a fair amount of bearing on deploying this platform. The OneView tool promises to make things simpler. Sometimes, it overlooks some of the really edge cases of the configuration to make things simpler, and that's what we found. There would be another tool to go to behind the scenes to go do what we need to do or troubleshoot. So, we have challenged the HPE team: "OneView should be the one thing to go to. There should not be something else behind it, telling me to go login here, but rejecting me because I don't have that username and password, then making me call support to login." We don't like that.

    What about the implementation team?

    We worked directly with HPE. Our experience with them was good. They came to the table and really worked with us. We generated a lot of bug tickets and issues, so we had a lot of really challenging conversations. However, the fact that they were there to have those conversations is why we wanted them.

    HPE has brought people to bear for the project that would likely have come out of a Pointnext engagement in other cases. However, we haven't directly done something with Pointnext services.

    What was our ROI?

    We have definitely seen performance increases in the platform. A lot of that was related to just the componentry that is in it. We have sort of bought into the vision of where the platform is going to go and are hoping to see additional performance gains there. 

    Synergy feels a little heavy still on the day to upgrade operations, etc. However, we have gained some efficiencies on the provisioning front-end side.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The platform that we run Synergy on is all virtualized. Our primary cost is likely VMware.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    it was pretty much the top three: HPE, Dell EMC, and Cisco, when we started looking at new compute. 

    We decided to maintain our partnership with HPE because it's been around a long time. We know each other really well. We do a lot of business which is not server-related. They came to the table with their pricing models, investment strategies, and the partnership that they wanted to do to make their products fit better for us, which is why we chose to stick with them.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are deploying solutions that are well aligned with what HPE has designed this platform to do, then you will probably have pretty good success. If you are sort of weird, like us, and the things you do come off as strange, or whatever, there will be some things you will have to pay close attention to and watch out for. Therefore, you should really be partnering with HPE. You should be asking to talk to their development teams and getting feedback, such as, "Here's what we're seeing and here's how we're using it." Sometimes, as we've heard from the development teams, we've used features that they've created in ways they didn't imagine. We had some results that we didn't expect nor did they. So, that's what we're working on. If you think you will be in a similar situation, open that communication channel early and express that need to your account team.

    Deployment time has decreased, for sure. What we have detected is we think the care and feeding maintenance over time might be a little higher than what we had expected. However, that is part of: 

    • How are we going to structure the team? 
    • How are we going to plan the work?
    • How will the solution set get better?

    I don't think our development team really knows of the solution or has any interactivity with it. Therefore, it hasn't necessarily enhanced nor has it detracted from a developer standpoint either.

    In our environment, with what we are trying to achieve, it still has a ways to go.

    The biggest lesson learned is that if you really buy into software-defined and start moving to infrastructure as code, there is a lot of power potential there, if you can just stay the course.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Dan Loftus
    Architect at Argos
    Real User
    The automated updates and integration with OneView will ultimately help us run a more resilient infrastructure

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable features are the evolution of our existing HPE portfolio, the integration with our existing tool sets, and the enhanced capabilities that OneView bring."
    • "The post-sales activity needs improvement. There is some sort of convoluted spreadsheet that you have to fill in prior to the platform being delivered. It seems a little bit out-of-date and inefficient. Surely, there is some sort of web page configuration tool online that a customer could use. Then, it could be validated by somebody else, like a partner or HPE technical resource, then that would be a lot more efficient."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is virtualized workloads. The workload are typically packages and things that run on Linux. They are just general-purpose, virtualized workloads.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Synergy is a flexible product, so it helps us to manage our IT landscape in a more simplified, structured way.

    Once we get it in, it should help us implement new business requirements quickly.

    Capabilities, such as, the automated updates and integration with OneView, will ultimately help us run more resilient infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the evolution of our existing HPE portfolio, the integration with our existing tool sets, and the enhanced capabilities that OneView bring.

    What needs improvement?

    The post-sales activity needs improvement. There is some sort of convoluted spreadsheet that you have to fill in prior to the platform being delivered. It seems a little bit out-of-date and inefficient. Surely, there is some sort of web page configuration tool online that a customer could use. Then, it could be validated by somebody else, like a partner or HPE technical resource, then that would be a lot more efficient. A spreadsheet seems a bit out-of-date

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We are still rolling it out.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, the stability has been good. It has been rock solid.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    One of the main reasons that we have invested in Synergy was its scalability capabilities. It hooks back into the toolsets, which means you can manage vast amounts of infrastructure from one place, essentially.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't had to use the technical support yet.

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

    It was an evolutionary step for us. We have a lot of c7000 chassis, which was the precursor to Synergy. So, we used it as an evolutionary step because you could run it in blade format, as well as starting to make use of the more composable nature of it in the toolsets and features.

    How was the initial setup?

    It has been very straightforward to set up. We have had no real problems. Even from the onset, it's helped us out with stuff quickly.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used Tech Data for our deployment. They were very knowledgeable and quick to help us.

    What was our ROI?

    Our investment should return fairly swiftly.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We bought everything outright to start with. We don't do much consumption-based stuff.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at a composable system from Dell EMC. That was about the only one that is in the same type of league as Synergy.

    Synergy is an established product, which is the main reason that we went with it. At a time, Dell EMC had just released the PowerEdge MX7000. We are a more established HPE partner already. We received a good price and have a lot of support from HPE and the partner. We also bought an HPE Nimble at the same time, as well. The two products went together quite nicely.

    What other advice do I have?

    Take the time to understand the ecosystem and all of the capabilities, then use that to leverage further capabilities down the road.

    The more that we use it, the better that we will understand it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Marina Landeiro
    Service Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    You don't need to have the storage and communications apart, because it's all consolidated

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution help us to implement new business requirements quickly, since it is easy and quick to upgrade our capacity."
    • "You can always improve some things."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for ESXi installations. It is for private clouds with application servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It helps us manage our IT landscape because it is easy, standard, and very consolidated. You don't need to have the storage and communications apart, because it's all consolidated.

    The solution help us to implement new business requirements quickly, since it is easy and quick to upgrade our capacity.

    The solution has affected the efficiency of our IT infrastructure teams by being easy to install.

    What is most valuable?

    It is very standard and easy to install.

    What needs improvement?

    I am rating this solution an eight (out of ten) because it is really good. However, you can always improve some things.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. We haven't had any problems with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't used the technical support, as we haven't had any problems.

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

    We were using the c7000 blade system. We switched because we wanted to test something new. Also, it was announced that there would be other sales.

    We have a capacity plan that we do every year. When we estimated what we needed for the current year, we decided that we wanted to invest in Synergy.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very easy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator for the deployment. Our experience with them was very good.

    What was our ROI?

    It has kept our cost of operations stable.

    The solution has reduced our IT infrastructure costs because we have had to buy less services than we used to.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated HPE and Dell EMC.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good solution. We are happy with it. You should try it out.

    The development team is very happy with the performance.

    Biggest lesson learnt: Try new things, even if it wasn't your first choice. Always look for new things, and if they're good, then you should change.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Adam Barthel
    Cloud Architecht at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The ability to link chassis or frames together makes scaling simplistic, especially with the use of OneView

    Pros and Cons

    • "The scalability is very good. The ability to link chassis or frames together makes it simplistic, especially with the use of OneView."
    • "The initial setup is straightforward. The infrastructures as code enables you to fill out the configuration before you even deploy it, then it is just a one-touch deployment."
    • "Synergy could probably do some code enhancements to simplify the deployment a bit more."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is data center and tech refresh/cloud.

    This product is basically a step in our transformation to be more hybrid.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are still in the transformational phase, but the benefit will definitely be the infrastructure of code components.

    It does help us to manage our IT landscape with the ease of deployment through OneView.

    The solution affected the efficiency of our IT infrastructure team with the infrastructure as code and the ease and agility to deploy.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is its compatibility.

    The solution has decreased our deployment time.

    What needs improvement?

    Synergy could probably do some code enhancements to simplify the deployment a bit more. However, it is still a great deployment methodology overall.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In my experience, HPE has always been highly available and highly reliable. I would expect Synergy to be nothing less.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good. The ability to link chassis or frames together makes it simplistic, especially with the use of OneView.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't had to work with technical support yet, so the product was built well.

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

    We were using traditional HPE c7000 chassis. We needed something a bit more modernized to enable the company's transformation.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. The infrastructures as code enables you to fill out the configuration before you even deploy it, then it is just a one-touch deployment.

    I just switched companies. My old company did not use Pointnext services. This new company does use Pointnext services, and it's a lot easier to get the hardware on demand. You don't have to worry about making those hard upfront capitol purchases.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used ConRes for the deployment, and my experience with them has always been great.

    What was our ROI?

    The solution has reduced our cost of operations by at least 15 to 20 percent.

    The solution has reduced our IT infrastructure costs by at least 30 percent, mainly because of the density compared to our former infrastructure.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were looking at Nutanix, as well as the HPE Synergy. The Nutanix platform came in a little more expensive than the Synergy. Overall, we are pleased with Synergy.

    What other advice do I have?

    Take a serious look at Synergy.

    The development team hasn't been brought into it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Wayne Holland
    Services Support Supervisor at WSDOT
    Real User
    It has decreased our deployment times by at least a half

    Pros and Cons

    • "The single pane of glass management is huge, because in all our previous systems, depending on what we were managing, we would go to a different management point. Being able to go to one spot to get everything is helpful. I find that server profile creation is a lot easier in OneView than it was previously. We are able to stay compliant with firmware and updates, because we are assigning server profiles and reapplying them when there are changes. This makes everything a lot simpler."
    • "We had some challenges during the implementation and a few issues afterward, but they were all sort of related to how Synergy interacts with Nexus. Our Nexus on the network side is managed by another group, and they had just gotten Nexus, so they weren't really familiar with how Nexus even worked. Getting these two to interact well was the majority of our issues. It really didn't have anything to do with Synergy. It points to know the environment that you are putting it in and making sure you are dotting all your i's and crossing all your t's when you are figuring out what their requirements are to communicate."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Synergy for everything: Exchange, virtualization, and SQL. Most of our stuff is still on-premise. We are not really doing anything with hybrid cloud from Synergy right now.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It makes it easier to manage all of your infrastructure when it's more efficient.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the future proofing. As we buy new equipment, we are buying Synergy instead of continuing to buy c7000 blade enclosures and BL Series blades. Thus, I don't have to do a forklift upgrade in the future. 

    Also, the increased speeds and feeds, as we went from multiple bonded 1 gig connections to 40 gig. That was huge, especially with our virtualization density. When you are running 50 VMs on one host, you really need the the speed behind it so you don't have issues.

    Then, there are the ease of management and single pane of glass for everything. The single pane of glass management is huge, because in all our previous systems, depending on what we were managing, we would go to a different management point. Being able to go to one spot to get everything is helpful. I find that server profile creation is a lot easier in OneView than it was previously. We are able to stay compliant with firmware and updates, because we are assigning server profiles and reapplying them when there are changes. This makes everything a lot simpler.

    What needs improvement?

    For the storage modules, which can be put in a single frame, they currently can only be addressed to compute modules within the same frame. It would be nice to be able to use those to assign cross frame.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    For the most part, the stability is really good. We had some challenges during the implementation and a few issues afterward, but they were all sort of related to how Synergy interacts with Nexus. Our Nexus on the network side is managed by another group, and they had just gotten Nexus, so they weren't really familiar with how Nexus even worked. Getting these two to interact well was the majority of our issues. It really didn't have anything to do with Synergy. It points to know the environment that you are putting it in and making sure you are dotting all your i's and crossing all your t's when you are figuring out what their requirements are to communicate.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is pretty huge. The compute modules and everything in the Synergy system scales up very well. It has much higher speeds and feeds than we had before.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've done several engagements with the support from Synergy. They have all been really good engagements. The only thing that I can say which might be negative is they don't necessarily know about the Nexus connections either. However, once we got that figured out, it was good. We had several visits with engineers, when we had issues, who fixed everything. So, that was really good.

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

    As an agency, we looking at the future constantly and evolving with what is coming out. We are really budget constrained, so continuing to operate in the same method over and over again until you realize that you have to make a change, that is really expensive. So, we are always looking for new, better ways to do things. We looked at the lifetime of the c7000 enclosures and realizing that they are not going to be around forever. We wanted to roll into something which was going to be around for a while. to avoid five or six years down the road having to do a forklift upgrade of all of our systems. This is sort of how we operate. To save ourselves in the future from having to make big changes, we can sort of easily roll into Synergy instead of having to go into it all at once.

    How was the initial setup?

    I am sure that that initial setup was complex, but Pointnext made it look really easy.

    We purchased it already configured in the rack, which was huge because you roll it into the data center, then everything is already cabled, except for your outside connections. This saves you at least two days, if not more, of putting the Legos together of the system. Then, we were able to plug the system into our network and immediately able to start to configure it. This maybe took two hours to fully configure a three-frame enclosure with 20 compute modules in it. That was extremely impressive.

    Within the two hours, we were using the compute modules. Other than getting people to move off of their older servers into the frame, which is more of a business thing than technical, because you have to arrange outages, we were able to use the system immediately.

    What about the implementation team?

    HPE Pointnext came out and did the initial configuration. Our experience with them was awesome. 

    What was our ROI?

    It has decreased our deployment time by about half, maybe a bit more. We used Altiris Rapid Deployment before on the c7000s, but as time went on, that platform didn't work very well anymore. Then, we were doing a lot of things manually. Even though, we were really good at doing that, it is a lot easier again to deal with a server profile or image. So, we easily cut that time down in half.

    From the replacement costs versus the cost of the previous equipment, it has been much cheaper than previous gear. The performance and speed has enabled us to do more things that we weren't able to do before: Faster video streams, being able to have more hosts on a compute module, and have more efficiency all around, which has definitely paid for itself.

    It is a more condensed physical footprint than our previous hardware. So, we're saving money on power and cooling. We have three power distribution panels. We have the utilization measure. We were at more than 90 percent utilization on our three panels. When we virtualized, including Synergy, that utilization went down to about 60 percent, which was pretty big. While it may not be fair to say that it was all Synergy, because there were other things involved too. We had all these individual fan units from another company, when we migrated to 3PAR, that took less power, which was also huge. There was a bunch of stuff going on during that power reduction, but Synergy was a big part of it.

    Synergy has lowered our total cost of ownership significantly. I would say ballpark around 25 percent, maybe more.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We do a biannual renewal. I know how much that renewal is, but I don't know how much it breaks down to be just Synergy, since we have our VMware, all of our physical equipment, etc. all rolled up into one renewal, which is a little over $300,000 every two years. However, only a subset of that is the Synergy product. 

    There was at least about a 20 percent savings in cost over our purchase based on the purchase price of the compute modules themselves versus what we've had to pay before. It was significantly less.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I don't know if we compared anyone else. We have a very heavy blade-centric architecture right now. All of that knowledge and experience rolls right over into Synergy management. Whereas, with another vendor solution, it would not. We would be learning from ground zero. For us, it was more of an easier transition to Synergy than looking at another product.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely recommend buying it.

    Most of the requirements of newer applications are based on the availability of newer technology. So, you need more speeds and feeds. You need more proxy, faster storage, and more RAM. The compute resources required for today's workloads and emerging workloads are greater than it was before. This platform is allowing us to meet those needs without having to go out and purchase more gear.

    It doesn't really affect our development staff. Right now, their development environments aren't on Synergy. They are not actually using it yet. All of our production stuff is in Synergy. The development staff is using the old stuff still.

    The biggest lesson learned is knowing what you are connecting Synergy to, because there are caveats there and not everything necessarily plays well with Synergy. Make sure you are talking to your HPE techs about what you need it to connect to and what is in your environment that will work well. Also, that they have tested it and proven it. Otherwise, you're going to be their guinea pig.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    CS
    Technical Consultant at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Makes life easier when we are deploying new technology, but the stability is not good right now

    Pros and Cons

    • "It makes life easier for us when we are deploying new technology, as we have the building blocks already in place."
    • "We have been able to give the deployment team what they request more quickly. We are able to quickly deploy what is being asked of us. If the development team needs a platform of 20 servers to run a particular platform, we can give that to them within a day or two."
    • "The stability is not good right now. We have had a couple of outages where we have receive very good support from HPE. However, we have not been able to come up with cut and dried reasons for why the outages have occurred. They have not been able to be reproduced, so it has been difficult getting our trust back."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is virtual machines. We run VMware on them and virtual servers, so applications, web servers, and things of that nature.

    The solution enables us to run VDI, backups, and web platforms for our organization in a hybrid cloud environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It makes life easier for us when we are deploying new technology, as we have the building blocks already in place.

    It will put everything all under one umbrella, when we get to the point where the majority of our systems are all on Synergy. At this point, we are only 16 or 18 frames in. However, once we get everything onto the Synergy platform, they will all be manageable under one umbrella, and it will all be standard infrastructure.

    The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly. This is primarily from the standpoint of being able to deploy new servers and machines. As requests come in, we can turn them around within a matter of a day or two because we already have the building blocks in place.

    What is most valuable?

    We have been able to give the deployment team what they request more quickly. We are able to quickly deploy what is being asked of us. If the development team needs a platform of 20 servers to run a particular platform, we can give that to them within a day or two.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice if the OneView umbrella could truly be one view and cover everything. Synergy has its own version of OneView. ProLiant Servers have their own version of OneView, so it truly isn't one view. We also have other platforms within HPE that aren't covered by OneView at all. We have many views instead of one view, and it would be nice if that could be resolved. That would help us a lot.

    The timeliness of updates, firmware, and things of that nature needs improvement, as far as what we have to apply, and when, being able to maintain a consistent load on each one of our frames.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is not good right now. We have had a couple of outages where we have receive very good support from HPE. However, we have not been able to come up with cut and dried reasons for why the outages have occurred. They have not been able to be reproduced, so it has been difficult getting our trust back.

    We still have some questions regarding the stability of the platform.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    From a technical support standpoint, it seems as though the platform came out more quickly than the technical support behind it did. It is much easier to find good tech support people from HPE on the older product line as opposed to Synergy. Synergy is a bit more limited.

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

    We came from a blade environment. Now, we are on Synergy. It is a continuation of a product line that we have been using for well over a decade, and it is just familiar territory.

    We were already heavily into c7000 blades. Synergy is a continuation from c7000s. From our standpoint, at least from the server standpoint, the functions are basically the same. 

    The c7000 blade is retiring. Synergy is the next iteration of blade servers. Synergy is the next rendition of this type of platform, and it felt like a logical fit for us to move in this direction.

    We are able to deploy much more quickly than if we were running physical equipment or rack servers.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was fairly straightforward. It was just the basics that we would have expected in using a product that we were already familiar with in OneView.

    We did use HPE’s Pointnext services, and our experience was okay.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used both a reseller and HPE for our deployment. 

    What was our ROI?

    If I look back at the days when we were deploying physical equipment or just rack mount equipment, as needed, the product has saved us weeks.

    It's a relatively new investment. If anything, it has increased our costs at this point.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have a long standing relationship with HPE, between the technology, pricing, and so on. It was a good fit.

    What other advice do I have?

    The HPE Synergy is a good platform, but they need to look at management and updates to make sure that they know what they are getting into.

    HPE continues to make a good product. There is no doubt about that. It is a possibility that we could have jumped into this a little too early. It would have been nicer if it where a more mature product when we jumped in. Sometimes waiting a bit can be beneficial.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RC
    Systems Engineer at Scientific Games
    Real User
    Our maintenance and production times have been cut in half over our previous solutions

    Pros and Cons

    • "As we purchase and install more Synergy chassis, then we will be able to manage them together as one entity, as opposed to multiple separate cabinets."
    • "I would like the ability to take the storage tray that is in a chassis and share it out to multiple chassis, not just the servers within the same chassis. This would be more efficient with resources."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it as a VMware host. We're a highly virtualized environment, so we run several VMs per blade.

    How has it helped my organization?

    With the new purchase, we've been able to upgrade our VMware from 5.5 to 6.7 to the newest version for hardware compatibility.

    As we purchase and install more Synergy chassis, then we will be able to manage them together as one entity, as opposed to multiple separate cabinets.

    The solution helps us to implement new business requirements quickly. We build customer in a box solutions that we ship out to casinos to manage their environments. This gives us added flexibility for building those out for customers.

    The solution will affect the productivity of our development team shortly, as we have just purchased two of them for our development team to replace aging hardware. They will in production the next month and be on the same hardware. This will be a benefit for the development team to be able to develop in development on the same product, as we flip over to production.

    What is most valuable?

    The configurability of the cabinet is its most valuable feature.

    Manageability is a lot less of a headache with OneView. The OneView profile pushing profiles out to hosts is pretty easy. It has decreased our deployment time by 50 percent.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like the ability to take the storage tray that is in a chassis and share it out to multiple chassis, not just the servers within the same chassis. This would be more efficient with resources.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been very stable. We have no issues with the ones that we have in production.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    That is something that we'll be able to test more as we put more in. However, we are definitely looking forward to managing multiple chassis in one environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've had very good support. The initial setup was probably where we engaged with the most with tech support, and not a whole lot since then.

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

    Our previous solution is just an older HPE chassis. We have multiple brands in the data center, but mainly c7000.

    We needed to upgrade our hardware to be compatible with newer versions of VMware. Since we are basically an HPE shop, it was either newer blades for the c7000 chassis or a Synergy chassis. The Synergy chassis is the move of the future, which is what mainly influenced the purchase decision.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We did run into a little issue with the depth of the box, so we had to order a deeper rack. That just delayed it a bit. However, we could have avoided this ahead of time if we knew that it was a bigger than a standard chassis.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator for the deployment. They were very good. They were able to get us in contact quickly with the right people when we had questions.

    What was our ROI?

    Our maintenance and production times have been cut in half over our previous solutions. We don't have a lot of bodies, so saving engineer time is a valuable resource.

    We don't have to spend as much time managing it, so there is a savings of 50 percent over our older existing solutions.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The biggest cost is the VMware licensing. 

    In our whole environment, the cost is in the millions. On this particular chassis, the annual cost is 12 blades times approximately $40,000.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It was pretty much between Dell EMC and HPE. We are an HPE shop, and the Synergy chassis and the Dell EMC offering were pretty similar, so there was no real reason to change.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is worth a good hard look. I like the options which are available for the different slots, as opposed to just straight blades. It provides a lot of flexibility, and if that's what you're looking for, then you will definitely like it.

    We really haven't had any issues, other than size. Everybody has been going that way anyhow, so that is nothing bad. It's been a powerful system and reliable, so far.

    Account for the size and make sure that you have the proper space in the rack, then everything else will be fine.

    The solution has affected our TCO by saving us in man-hours. As far as physical licensing, power, heat, and cooling, it is all pretty much the same.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user784080
    Senior Hardware Engineer
    Real User
    Composable infrastructure allows us to build our own server profiles, then build up the infrastructure that we need from compute modules

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is first in class for composable infrastructure. It has the scalability that meets our future needs and the automation that builds into something that we are really looking forward to using.​"
    • "The composable infrastructure allows us to build our own server profiles, then build up the infrastructure that we need from compute modules."
    • "One of the issues that we that we have been having is with the firmware baselining. So, we need to just making sure that we get that working. However, we are in the early stages. It may well be that we just tweak a few things."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are going to use it for the SQL server and hypervisors, thus for virtualization. From our point of view, it is the compute power that we are really looking to use. So, expanding on what we have been doing with the C7000 series, and moving it into Synergy.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are just in the process of building it out. We have not had a chance to review what it will do for us in terms of what we currently have.

    We are hoping rather than having to do manual tasks. We can redeploy resources to do other tasks. Automation saves us time and effort when doing these mundane tasks.

    What is most valuable?

    The composable infrastructure, so being able to build our own server profiles, then build up the infrastructure that we need from compute modules. Just automating all the management tasks that we have for our server hardware.

    What needs improvement?

    It is hard to say because we have not fully implemented it yet.

    One of the issues that we that we have been having is with the firmware baselining. So, we need to just making sure that we get that working. However, we are in the early stages. It may well be that we just tweak a few things, then it does everything for us.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Trial/evaluations only.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It seems to be really stable. We did blow one hardware model, but I think that was just a build issue. Other than that, it has been very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    On the scalability, it looks like it is right there for us, which is really good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not used technical support yet.

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

    We previously used the C7000 blade infrastructure, but that was kind of one enclosure with servers, and they were able to scale using multiple frames, multiple frame groups, etc. 

    So, we were starting to outgrow our C7000 series. We started to grow our SAN network, therefore we had gone from 8G to 32G. Thus, our virtualization stage was growing, so we needed capacity. With the Synergy environment, we can just scale out. That is what we could not really do with the C7000 series.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our reseller installed it; a third-party.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No. We are an HPE outfit, so everything is HPE.

    What other advice do I have?

    Understand your needs, understand where you are going, and what your future and the future of the industry are. Make sure you invest and research into all the products that are available.

    Synergy is first in class for composable infrastructure. It has the scalability that meets our future needs and the automation that builds into something that we are really looking forward to using.

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Support, reliability, stability and the feature technologies which are included in the product.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user783954
    Server Technician
    Real User
    We're using it to experiment with shared storage but have had issues installing

    Pros and Cons

      • "​Because we're using 2012, we're having issues making templates."
      • "I think we were promised a little more than we were given. It's true, they are working very hard to try to help remedy that."

      What is our primary use case?

      Primary use is data storage.

      Performance is about a seven out of 10.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It hasn't improved things.

      What is most valuable?

      We've been experimenting with shared storage.

      What needs improvement?

      We just started. Because we're using 2012, we're having issues making templates and such.

      We're having issues with the install process, and integrating our installation with the new technology.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Still implementing.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We haven't had issues with stability because we're using 2012.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We haven't had to scale yet.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      They're okay, but they could improve. We have their technicians on site, and we think they need some more experience.

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

      We were using standard C7000. It was working fine, but it doesn't have shared storage.

      How was the initial setup?

      Straightforward.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Cisco. 

      What other advice do I have?

      Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

      • quick support
      • reliability, of course.

      I rate this solution a seven out of 10 because I think we were promised a little more than we were given. It's true, they are working very hard to try to help.

      If you're planning on going with Windows 2016, go ahead, use it. But expect to have some difficulties.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user783930
      IT Technology Team Lead at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
      Consultant
      Everything is combined in one chassis - storage, compute, networking; saves space

      Pros and Cons

      • "Everything is combined in one chassis, you have storage, compute, networking. So you save a lot of space in the datacenter."

        What is our primary use case?

        My primary use case was to familiarize myself with this new HPE product because I know it is a replacement for the old C7000 chassis, so for me it was interesting to see the new features, to know the product as a whole.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Everything is combined in one chassis, you have storage, compute, networking. So you save a lot of space in the datacenter.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable is the OneView interface. You can do all the management steps you need to do to configure it, and you can see everything for management, for error reporting, monitoring, etc.

        What needs improvement?

        I don't know because this was the first time I've seen this product and I'm not very familiar with it. I need some time to work on it, to play with it.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Trial/evaluations only.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I cannot say. I would need to test it in a proper environment.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        From what I've tested, it looks scalable.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We are very pleased with the support of HPE.

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

        We used other HPE products.

        How was the initial setup?

        It was easy to follow the guides. It was straightforward.

        What other advice do I have?

        The most important criteria for me, when selecting a vendor, is support.

        I would tell others to give it a try.

        Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
        it_user783915
        Network Administrator
        Vendor
        Data processing that took us hours now takes tens of minutes

        Pros and Cons

        • "Everybody noticed very large improvement in data processing. A lot of activity which took hours now takes, let's say, tens of minutes."
        • "When templates are created, there are some steps where you need to reboot the machines. Being in production, this is not a good idea. For example, if you reconfigure the network, you should not have to reboot the machine. You should just apply the new template and that's it."

        What is our primary use case?

        Primary use case is for Oracle Servers to store a large database.

        Right now the performance is good, but we have only had the solution installed in production for two months.

        How has it helped my organization?

        First of all, it's new hardware. So everybody noticed very large improvement in data processing. A lot of activity which took hours now takes, let's say, tens of minutes. So it's a very visible improvement in quality.

        What is most valuable?

        I think the ease of deployment is the most valuable feature.

        What needs improvement?

        When templates are created, there are some steps where you need to reboot the machines. Being in production, this is not a good idea. For example, if you reconfigure the network, you should not have to reboot the machine. You should just apply the new template and that's it.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Less than one year.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Right now, it's stable. But we have only had it for five months, three months in proof of concept and two months in production. But we haven't have any issues up until now.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We haven't had to call them. HPE installed it, that was about it. We have been able to manage it very easily since.

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

        We had some old generation servers, we needed to replace them. This was the newest technology, so we went with the newest technology.

        Also, we have been working with HPE for a long, long time. So we just stuck with what we know.

        How was the initial setup?

        I think we needed HPE only for the hardware install. After that, I don't think we really needed them.

        What other advice do I have?

        I give it an eight out of 10, because of the rebooting issue I mentioned above.

        It's worth acquiring this if you have a larger datacenter, or if you have a lot of operations being done on a daily basis. These are the main reasons why you should take this approach.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        ITCS user
        Solutions Engineer at Data Strategy
        Real User
        Highly flexible, we're able to provision different applications, add cloud-like speeds on-prem

        Pros and Cons

        • "We're able to provision different applications, different demonstrations, add cloud-like speeds on-prem, which is unheard of in the industry."
        • "Give us the ability to seamlessly migrate from one operating environment to another within minutes, which is invaluable."
        • "This is above and beyond anything else any of the competitors have on the market. If you're researching this, you're going down the right path."

          What is our primary use case?

          Internally, we use it for VSAN as well as Docker, with the flexibility to flop between the two solutions at will. We also demonstrate the solution for multiple customers.

          Performance is fantastic.

          How has it helped my organization?

          The big benefit that we are seeing is the fact that we are so highly flexible. It makes things more agile. We're able to provision different applications, different demonstrations, add cloud-like speeds on-prem, which is unheard of in the industry.

          What is most valuable?

          • The composable infrastructure with the Image Streamer.
          • Being able to seamlessly migrate from one operating environment to another within minutes, is invaluable.

          What needs improvement?

          I'm very curious to see what comes with 4.0.

          The big thing will be streamlining the Image Streamer process for deployment. The actual frame itself - Composer, OneView, all that - works fantastic. The more granular permissions that I know are coming are great. That answered a lot of our big questions and big customer demand. 

          Now it's about the flexibility and the simplicity of using the product day to day and getting new features stood up as customer demands come forward. I'm not sure exactly what I want next but I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Less than one year.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Stability is fantastic at this point. I think it's come a long way. I think with the latest versions, especially the new version coming out in December, it's been fantastic and we're looking forward to it.

          What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

          The scalability is fantastic. It goes from a relatively small size to as large as you want it to go. I've yet to find a customer that couldn't use Synergy to scale to their needs.

          How is customer service and technical support?

          I've used tech support extensively. They've been fantastic with the solution so far. I've been engaged on several support calls as we stood up our frame and got things going. We ran into some issues that were very unique, to say the least. We were engaged with support within minutes, case was resolved quickly, we were escalated when we needed to be escalated, and everything was seamless. I mean it was, overall, a great experience.

          How was the initial setup?

          It has gotten better. The initial setup we did was on 3.0 and that was overly complex. With 3.10, everything's been changed, revolutionized, the guided setup made things a breeze. I've been able to walk colleagues of mine through it. I'm able to demonstrate to customers how easy it is to set the frame up and get things going right out of the box. That's been an incredible change.

          We've gotten enough training that we're able to set the product up for our customers and walk customers through it without the need for having HPE expertise on site. Worse case scenario, they're a phone call away, but it's been so simple to use, it's been fantastic.

          What other advice do I have?

          For us, when selecting a vendor,

          • Simplicity is a big factor. We've got a very broad range of customers, including ourselves.
          • We're looking at what is fast, what is simple, does performance and value meet those expectations? 
          • We're looking for stuff where there's not a whole lot of, I don't want to say hands-on, but where there's not a lot of need to be nitty-gritty to get things going quickly.
          • The ability to customize things for our customers' environments is great.

          Those are all the features we're looking for when we're looking for our partner. We evaluate, obviously, agnostic across the board, as a partner. So we're constantly evaluating HPE versus Dell versus Cisco, and time and time again HPE wins that battle because of the simplicity; because of the feature-rich environment. They're just leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else.

          I would give it an eight out of 10 overall. It is a great solution. Obviously, we had a few stumbles. We still get a lot of questions of "Why Synergy versus the current generation products?" Some of those things aren't always apparent. I do know that with things coming down the road, with Photonics and the like, it's going to alleviate a lot of other things. It's a solution that's most of the way there. I'm looking forward to seeing it get across the finish line to be the all encompassing datacenter solution for our customers.

          There's no other solution that's similar. This is above and beyond anything else any of the competitors have on the market. If you're researching this, you're going down the right path. The best thing to do is actually get hands-on and get a demo. Contact HPE and start taking a look at the advance features and start looking at how your applications and demands are going to be met and how you want to customize your experience going forward.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
          it_user784098
          IT Architect at Unibase
          Vendor
          I love the satellite architecture, the management rings; well thought out, a mature product from the start

          Pros and Cons

          • "I believe, compared to the C7000, it delivers a significant amount of innovation and flexibility,"
          • "I love the satellite architecture for the Virtual Connect. I think this is great. I love the storage drawer, which you can present volumes to any compute node within the same frame."
          • "OneView, as a single point, a single management tool, it makes me delirious. It's really nice."

            What is most valuable?

            I believe, compared to the C7000, which is the mainstream in Brazil, it delivers a significant amount of innovation and flexibility, and I think people there will love it. The way Brazilians see things is that, "Okay, I need something that works. I need something easy to manage, because it's expensive, manpower is expensive. And I need a reliable platform, which is easily managed, so everybody can understand and use it with ease, with no problems, and that delivers value to their business.

            I love the satellite architecture for the Virtual Connect. I think this is great. I love the storage drawer, which you can present volumes to any compute node within the same frame. I understand why you cannot present storage to compute nodes on other frames, but that is a question that sometimes I get from customers. Why not? I say, "Okay, you have to have a cable running over and have another SAN switch on the second frame. It will not be easy. I don't know if HPE is satisfied with this approach. They're saying, "Okay, let's stick with the drawer presenting volumes within the same frame." But the satellite architecture it's incredible. It was very well thought out. 

            And the management ring, I think it's also great. 

            These advancements - regardless of the advancements on chips, on more memory, addressing, computing, etc., customers expect that - but with this architecture of the management rings, this is really nice. This is a very nice idea. 

            The Image Streamer, I see the value of it. Hopefully, customers will see the value of it, but I don't expect many Brazilians deploying Image Streamers, because they don't have this culture.

            OneView, as a single point, a single management tool, it makes me delirious. It's really nice. People developing using the API for OneView, I don't see it too much. Brazilians are still at the beginning of this idea of consuming IT as a service. Their approach is, "Okay, I have all the APIs exposed and I can program my own Chef recipe and simple recipe and use and orchestrate Synergy the way I want." They are still in the early stages of this, but maybe it will gain traction in the future.

            I rate Synergy a nine out of 10 because there's no perfection. But I think that in terms of the proposition of the product, what the product wants to achieve, they really achieved it. I was at the booth (at the Discover conference in Madrid) on the next generation of Synergy and I talked to an engineer. I asked what has changed? He said we changed some specs, etc. We delivered the Image Streamer composing Windows machines, we put the VC with an extra gig, etc. It was expected. It is a minor advance, in my opinion. This is not bad, this is good. This means they met their criteria, the whole criteria, in the initial launch of the product, so there is nothing to evolve into, all of a sudden.

            So, to really evolve the product from where it is right now, it will take time. That means the product was very well conceived, they mostly meet their goals for the product. The next generation, let's say the ServerSpec for Windows, it's just minor stuff, but we expected it, so this is a very good sign. It's a very mature product from the start.

            What needs improvement?

            What I would like to see is a little bit more of architecture-oriented advertising campaigns or events for customers; not on the product itself, but more on the way they advertise products. They are too focused on the features. This is okay, but sometimes what I see that people lack is, "Okay, I understood the features, but how can I use this in practical terms? How can I put my Oracle in there? How can I use it for a VDI? Can I architect a huge SQL cluster with it, and what would be the best way to do that?"

            I think that the documentation says that, but I don't see any events. I don't see any advertising in those terms.

            In the end, it's more like they are giving the components, but they are not showing what you can do with the components. You can see you have all this, but what can I do from this? Can I make a cake out of it, or I can do an omelet? I can, but how? That's the missing link. They need to give me some ideas on how I can use this in such a way that I achieve my goals. This is the only thing that I really think the product lacks, a little bit more consumer-focused mindset. 

            When you are talking about the product, talking only about features is good for me, for the partner, because I understand how to use the features to make the cake, but they don't.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            It varies from area to area. From the storage guys, I get very strong support. They are very sympathetic guys, good knowledge. They are very smart people and they are really willing to help. 

            From the networking guys, so-so. I don't know exactly why, but they leave you a little bit, let's say, on your own. But, in that area, the HPE documentation is very good. So you don't have to fall back to support often. 

            Servers, I don't really need support, because you can find your way around. 

            But with other stuff, software stuff especially, say Data Protector - now it's Micro Focus - it was a total nightmare. 

            So, it varies from area to area and I can see within HPE they have different approaches in different areas. The storage guys are more like a family. They work together, they are committed together. The networking guys, they are more "I'm a self-made man, so it's me, it's him," it's not us. I feel that more or less. And servers, it's okay: "What do you need, give me a yell. I'll help you with that." Simplivity, I haven't had any experience with Simplivity as of yet. So, I can't tell you anything about it. 

            But for Synergy, the Synergy guys, they are very good, really supportive.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            In Brazil, they have a culture of reusing things, they don't like to dispose of a server every three years or so. I know in Europe and United States, a refresh cycle of three years is absolutely normal and they are ready to scrap their G7, scrap their G8, and get the G9. But in Brazil you can find G5 easily, G5 and G6. They have this culture of extending the lifetime of the product as much as they can or until it breaks.

            With Simplivity, I think that we can address that very nicely, because as you can expand, it's the latest technology and you can put so many things in it. You can put storage, it can present every compute node, you can support satellites and expand the chassis. I believe that this will address this behavior that the Brazilians have and they'll say, "Okay, so I can invest in this platform now and believe that seven years from now, it will be the same. I will still be able to put hardware on it, I can still use it." And that will create fidelity from them for HPE.

            The only driver, I cannot state this strongly enough, the only driver that I face when with I'm a customer, and I meet Dell or I meet Lenovo there, is money. They like them because they're cheaper.

            I have never heard a customer saying HPE has a better product. I have never heard anybody say a Dell server is better than an HPE server; a Lenovo server is better than an HPE server. I always hear them say it's cheaper. This is what compels them to buy Dell, on whichever level, whether it's networking, storage, servers.

            What other advice do I have?

            I just took my certification in Synergy. I was one of the first technicians in Brazil who qualified for Synergy. The main driver for me to take the certification for this platform is because I deem Synergy like an evolutionary platform rather than revolutionary. I think the machine will be the revolution, but Synergy is an evolutionary platform.

            HPE is really the leading platform. I heard once that HPE is a company that is run by engineers. And engineers are passionate about it. Dell doesn't create things. Dell just manufactures things. That's why I love HPE technology so much, because I understand that HPE is really about engineering stuff and creating stuff and doing it better. Dell, they are just getting parts somewhere. They are assembling it, and they are selling it cheaper. 

            That's why I really love HPE and I'm a strong partner. There's a strong partnership with HPE and I don't see leaving it anytime in the future. I come to the HPE Discover conference very often, attended the last Discover in Las Vegas. I'm attending this one in Madrid, and every time, the same: My commitment with HPE gets stronger and stronger and I really love the technology.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
            it_user784032
            Service Manager at Tenne
            Vendor
            We expect to cut our delivery time from about six weeks to just days

            What is our primary use case?

            We're doing a new product line, we're now doing Big Data. We had the help of HPE on it. They advised we use this platform, so that's why we have it.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Shorter delivery times. Where we now have a delivery time of about six weeks, we hope to go back to days.

            What is most valuable?

            It's a bit easier to manage than the C7000s. But we're still finding out how it works, it's all new to us. And we're also using it for new concepts, the old systems we used were ESX. And these systems are used for Mesosphere and bare metal Red Hat deployments.

            What needs improvement?

            The deployment time of a system through OneView is pretty slow, but apparently that's being addressed in an upcoming update.

            For how long have I used the

            What is our primary use case?

            We're doing a new product line, we're now doing Big Data. We had the help of HPE on it. They advised we use this platform, so that's why we have it.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Shorter delivery times. Where we now have a delivery time of about six weeks, we hope to go back to days.

            What is most valuable?

            It's a bit easier to manage than the C7000s. But we're still finding out how it works, it's all new to us. And we're also using it for new concepts, the old systems we used were ESX. And these systems are used for Mesosphere and bare metal Red Hat deployments.

            What needs improvement?

            The deployment time of a system through OneView is pretty slow, but apparently that's being addressed in an upcoming update.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Less than one year.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            Also not a big point. It's stable, but all the other solutions we have are stable as well, so this is not a main point.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            The other solutions that we have are scalable as well. At least they are scalable enough for our needs.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            Good, very good. As far as we have a need for them, they are knowledgeable.

            How was the initial setup?

            It was pretty complex. We weren't allowed to do the setup ourselves, we had to have an engineer from HPE. In my book, that's complex, if I cannot do it myself.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user783993
            IT Admin at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
            Vendor
            Easy to swap and move around the datacenter, more versatile than traditional blades

            Pros and Cons

            • "They're easy to swap and move around the datacenter, for sure. They don't occupy too much space for what they offer."
            • "It's more composable, you can use storage as well as compute blades. So maybe it's more versatile compared to the traditional blade systems."
            • "The possibility of using storage directly in the frame in order to have bigger storage directly there, and not having an attached storage like SAN or NAS. That would be helpful."

            How has it helped my organization?

            As far as I know, the traditional blade system is not going to be supported from 2023. So we are trying to anticipate the need for this change towards Synergy, and perhaps moving a little bit early.

            What is most valuable?

            • They're easy to swap and move around the datacenter, for sure. 
            • They don't occupy too much space for what they offer.

            The structure is different yet similar because it resembles the traditional approach of blade systems. Perhaps it's more composable, you can use storage as well as compute blades. So maybe it's more versatile compared to the traditional blade systems.

            What needs improvement?

            From what I've seen, it's got pretty much what I think we need. Maybe after a little usage I can come up with new ideas, but right now it seems okay.

            The possibility of using storage directly in the frame in order to have bigger storage directly there, and not having an attached storage like SAN or NAS. That would be helpful.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            More than five years.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            It will probably be with us for a lot of years to come. We are still in the process of buying the first one, so maybe we're not going to use the full ring architecture from the beginning, but in the future, since we're going to have just Synergy and not the old blade systems, it's definitely a possibility.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            I don't know about the tech support. We have a consultant. There is a specific person that follows us and tries to help us in our needs.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            Domenico Vizzoca
            Delivery Manager at Harlan Italia
            Real User
            I was able to connect the new computer node to 3PAR without SAN expertise

            How has it helped my organization?

            This is the first time that we are using Synergy, so we don't yet have the experience to talk about this.

            What is most valuable?

            It provides the new computer node and connects 3PAR without SAN people to help me.

            What needs improvement?

            I think that they can improve the update because the update is problematic now. When you want to update the firmware, or when you want to update software on Composer, it takes a lot of time. A lot. For compute node, you need one hour for upgrading firmware. I think that is a big problem.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It became stable the second time. The first time, it wasn't. We had some problems but they're solved, and…

            How has it helped my organization?

            This is the first time that we are using Synergy, so we don't yet have the experience to talk about this.

            What is most valuable?

            It provides the new computer node and connects 3PAR without SAN people to help me.

            What needs improvement?

            I think that they can improve the update because the update is problematic now. When you want to update the firmware, or when you want to update software on Composer, it takes a lot of time. A lot. For compute node, you need one hour for upgrading firmware. I think that is a big problem.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It became stable the second time. The first time, it wasn't. We had some problems but they're solved, and now it's stable.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We want to scale in three frames this year, we suppose, because they want to change everything in the datacenter. They want to put everything on Synergy. Synergy with integration with monitoring software, and Docker. So, we wanted to do this.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            They are responsive. We don't have any problem at all when talking with them.

            How was the initial setup?

            Overall we've had a good experience. We have had a little problem during startup because the OneView software is older than the last release. During the update, we had some problems, but HPE solved them quickly and perfectly.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user783945
            CEO at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
            Vendor
            Provides a standardized platform which enables us to be more flexible with our applications

            Pros and Cons

            • "The benefit is that it's going to be maintained, contrary to what we had last year, when the maintenance went off for the last generation of the servers that we had there."
            • "After delivering the contract, they became a little less active. So, it needs some pushing from my side sometimes."

            What is our primary use case?

            The use case is to replace all stakes in all the different kinds of servers. We had some Dells, we had some old HPEs, Generation 6, Generation 7, and so on. We decided to put everything together and create a new datacenter, and move our computing power to a platform that will enable us to be more flexible with our old applications.

            We are just in the middle of the migration, and the problem is not the new stuff, the problem is to persuade our old stuff that it must perform more than one gigabyte per second. So HPE is helping us to replicate directly through the old datacenter to storage that we have underneath our Synergy Servers. 

            How has it helped my organization?

            The benefit is that it's going to be maintained, contrary to what we had last year, when the maintenance went off for the last generation of the servers that we had there. 

            I'm also looking forward to getting some adaptability, and to be more flexible.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Less than one year.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            As far as I can see, it's stable but, as I said, we have only been using it for six months.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We're in partial production. It's no longer a PoC. So far, we haven't hit any limits. 

            The limits are much above what we have used till now.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            We use tech support all the time. They were very active before signing the contract, and before delivering the contract. After delivering the contract, they became a little less active. So, it needs some pushing from my side sometimes. But, when the technicians come over, they connect with us. They are very, very supportive.

            I imagine it's an issue of numbers. There's no new business behind it now, so that might be a problem with the numbers. When you are trying to sell something, you're very, very active. When you are discussing with an existing customer, then you don't have the pressure from the business side.

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

            We had to switch to some solution. It didn't matter which one, we had to replace our old hardware anyway. It was last year when the Synergy came onto the market, and we asked HPE if they would take the opportunity to answer our RFP with the Synergy, and they won.

            How was the initial setup?

            I wasn't involved in it, but my guys were. They were trained, and I think that they said it was much easier than what they used to previously. So, they're fine with it.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We did evaluate other vendors but they fell short in value for money. There were vendors that were cheaper, but their solutions weren't that cohesive. And the match-point of all the RFPs was the complete software that is behind the hardware. That was something that really persuaded us to give them top technical points from all the RFPs.

            What other advice do I have?

            In terms of our criteria when selecting a vendor they include:

            • it must be someone known, someone with a presence in the market
            • someone with a good network of partners that can really help you
            • a company that is active such that they are not just walking away after you've bought their solution
            • reliability.

            There are three or four big winners, and we don't want to change because we have some relationships and some experience from the past. When we run into a problem, and someone helped us, that's something called business credit. Something which goes beyond the money.

            So far it runs as expected, which is really a nice surprise for me. When you are expecting something to be very fluent, and then, after using it for a year or more, you are seeing the downsides, which are very well hidden from the sales jargon. But, so far, we haven't come up against anything we didn't like.

            I think that the completeness of the offer is one thing which should be taken into account. Also, the longevity of the solution. You don't want to change the solution every two or three or five years. I think this solution is something that might last at least seven or eight years, which is fine for us.

            Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
            ITCS user
            Chief Technology Officer at vGRID New Zealand
            Consultant
            Provides composable infrastructure and central management.

            Pros and Cons

            • "Ability to easily re-utilize parts of the hardware for different purposes."
            • "We'd like to see faster networking in the back-end."

            What is most valuable?

            • Composable infrastructure
            • Ability to easily re-utilize parts of the hardware for different purposes
            • Central management with HPE OneView
            • Ability to see the health status of the entire infrastructure
            • Ability to quickly and easily deploy changes and see that they are successful
            • Simplify management of platforms

            How has it helped my organization?

            • Peace of mind.
            • Knowing that our platforms are running well, simplifying day-to-day management, so that we can do more with less staff and increase performance.
            • The increased scale of the back-end networking and the compute that we can deliver through it.
            • A single, unified infrastructure that can be optimized and makes our life easier by allowing us to be more nimble in the way that we deploy our platforms. If people are looking for a particular type of hypervisor or a particular workload platform, we can very quickly and easily change the way that our platforms are configured to meet those requirements without delay or hassle.
            • In terms of programmatic interface of the solution, I got to play around with it in one of the labs. It seems to be very feature rich and it is something that we'll certainly be looking into.
            • This automation will make our IT more efficient. It will mean that we can be sure that configurations are deployed correctly. It will take out a lot of the risk of people typing in the wrong information, or setting things up incorrectly. From a quality control point of view, it certainly will help us.
            • Software-defined infrastructure simplifies our operations, as it is nimble. We will be able to quickly and easily change how we use our infrastructure to meet our customers' changing demands.
            • We value a modular infrastructure with shared power as our infrastructure is in data centers. Being able to just walk in there or see a piece of equipment and get it installed without having to go through the rigors of cabling and configuration makes it so much simpler as we grow. We're a growing business, and we are deploying new hardware regularly. Simplifying that whole process is good from a resource point of view. If it's simple, it means that we don't have to go through lengthy contracts to get engineers to do all the hard work.
            • Automated life-cycle management of firmware drivers makes our IT operations simpler. It means that we can be sure that our firmware is up-to-date across our platform. It means we can very quickly and easily identify areas where we need to focus. It also means that we can report on a regular basis, rather than it being a special task that somebody does manually. Traditionally as the server pool grows, it becomes harder and harder to manage, but Synergy makes that easy.

            What needs improvement?

            We'd like to see faster networking in the back-end. I'm not saying it's slow at the moment, but we would just like more speed from a future-proofing point of view. We are seeing 25 Gig capability in our switch fabric so extending that to Synergy compute nodes makes sense. I guess it is a natural progression that is coming to the Synergy platform as well.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Our Synergy platform has been in place since April 2017.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            The system operates well and allows changes to be made with confidence. We have been through a OneView version upgrade and the deployment of firmware into the Virtual Connect components and the Servers without any downtime. This is the way it should be!

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            Scalability is perfect. It has plenty of network capacity and plenty of space for adding more service as we grow.

            How is customer service and technical support?

            We used HPE for the startup. During the initial deployment, we did have technical people on staff and we did a lot on our own. We were happy with the support that we received from HPE.

            How was the initial setup?

            I was involved in the initial setup, from a guidance point of view. I worked with the HPE engineers who did the original deployment and then on a day-to-day basis, just setting up the final bits and pieces. We added things as we went along. It was lengthy and I think we had a reasonably unique deployment, which took a bit of “to and fro” to get the completed solution in place. There are enough differences between Synergy and the old c7000 platform that you do need to put effort into your design. HPE helped with that process and we have ended up with a well implemented solution because of that.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We have looked at other vendors from time to time, but we have been an HPE shop for the last six years.

            The architecture was part of our decision to invest in a full venture.

            We consider performance and reliability to be the two main factors in choosing a vendor. In Synergy, we saw both of those, performance and reliability, being delivered.

            For us, it's all about up-time and a good performance experience for our customers and Synergy helps us do that.

            We knew that we needed to invest in this solution, because it was just the next step. We started with DL servers and we moved to the c7000 Blade Infrastructure. Synergy just seems to be the next logical step up. We haven't seen anything else in the market that competes with this kind of product.

            When looking for a vendor, we look for support. We want to know that we can call somebody and get support when we need it. We want to know that the parts are available if there is an issue. If there is a configuration problem, we know that HPE will fix it.

            What other advice do I have?

            Make sure you get a good plan in place. Think about your networking and your storage, so you can get it all configured as one. Use HPE's technical resources to make sure that all of the components are certified to work together.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            Bart Heungens
            Owner and CEO at Bitcon
            Reseller
            Good solution for customers with many blade enclosures and servers.

            Pros and Cons

            • "In the data center, you see customers with a lot of blade enclosures and a lot of servers, and this solution works fine."

              What is most valuable?

              In the data center, you see customers with a lot of blade enclosures and a lot of servers, and this solution works fine.

              I have one customer in Belgium that I know that is testing it, and they're quite happy about it. There are some challenges, but it is software. For software, you have developers.

              The hardware is there.

              What needs improvement?

              With the changing IT demands, they need to change more often and faster. We need applications to model tomorrow’s needs. We need more applications for changing users. There is a need for a more optimized infrastructure.

              For instance, I have a customer with 20 blade enclosures. In those 20 blade enclosures, there are 40 management modules that you need to update and manage.

              In troubleshooting, you have to determine if the issue is in one, two, or in all 20 modules. The diagnosis is harder.

              With Synergy, we only have two management modules instead of 40. It's an efficiency thing that needs to be improved.

              We'll see what will come next. We will probably see other types of enclosures, smaller or larger ones, and more options on the storage and networking side. This is the typical evolution of IT to go to more and faster.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Synergy is new, but the advantage is that technically, it's a ProLiant server, so it is stable. Proven technology with a lot of new features.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              HPE has proven track records worldwide delivering superb support on hard- and software. This is the same for Synergy.

              How was the initial setup?

              One of my things I do in my company is write technology blog which is quite technical for the type of audience that I have.

              I don't have a Synergy enclosure yet in my home lab, a.k.a., data center in my garage, but I'm quite sure that it is simple enough that my nine-year old daughter could install it.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              In my pre-sales role, I see other customers looking at competitive solutions, be it Intel, EMC, or Nutanix. They all have some strengths.

              The Nutanix solution is cool, because it's simple. But it's software and I'm not convinced about any of the hardware underneath it. Some people say, "Yeah, the hardware's not important." However, I have some real-life scenarios, cases with customers, in which it was proven that they had the software, they had the hardware, but they had a hardware issue and the software screwed up.

              I prefer to go for the HPE solution. This is not because Nutanix is bad, but they are just a software company, independent of the hardware. I feel more confident with HPE because I know they build the hardware and the software. If I have a problem, I can contact one person with one phone number and I can make contact. I know the hardware guy and I know the software guy.

              With Nutanix, for instance, this is not the case. They also say, "we have one phone number," but if they have a problem with the rate controller in their server, they have to call Dell or Lenovo. They have to escalate the case. They are not going to be able to solve my problem. They are going to escalate it.

              I'm with HPE. I know that HPE will solve my problem directly.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
              it_user685020
              Chief Infrastructure Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              We can get more things in the individual blades and deal with higher thermals on the CPUs.

              Pros and Cons

              • "Changing the form factor in Synergy allows us to have more RAM, which is significantly helpful for us."
              • "One of the things that I would like to see, and could be in their road map, is getting virtual connect to 100 Gig throughput."

              What is most valuable?

              It increases the throughput. We had a problem with the C7000 with the down-link speed to the individual blades and what the up-link speeds were. Memory was kind of a constraint problem for us.

              Changing the form factor in Synergy allows us to have more RAM, which is significantly helpful for us.

              One of the bigger changes is in that larger form size, we can get more things in the individual blades. We can also deal with higher thermals on the CPUs, which are all kind of significant.

              We're still testing the storage device to see exactly if that's going to be useful for us or not.

              The idea of taking 3PAR and directly attaching it could be compelling for us. We just have a few more things that we need to test out to see if they got fixed from the beta process.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It's mainly the fact that it gives us the next generation of the C7000, which we've been using since 2009. That gets us in that same useful pattern. The concept of virtual connect, OneView, is compelling. It extends our existing operational knowledge and gives us a longer run life with that kind of pattern. It still solves my issue with cabling and power in the data centers. It is using newer technologies which solve the issues we had with the C7000s.

              What needs improvement?

              One of the things that I would like to see, and could be in their road map, is getting virtual connect to 100 Gig throughput.

              What they're coming out with initially on the road map is a 40 Gig up-link on virtual connect. That would be one of the things that we'd like. Other things that would be useful for us would be adding an AMD CPU to their product line in the 2018 time-frame.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              We are currently testing stability. The beta system had some issues. They were supposed to fix them as they came up in production and we'll confirm that when we get to it.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              In terms of scalability, we're happy with it in general. We look forward to what we can do with it. We believe that it should be able to replace what we've been doing with the C7000s. It mechanically would reduce the number of C7000s that we'd be running. Because we're growing, we still need to add enclosures.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We have used HPE technical support for this solution in the beta process. We were heavily tied into that. They were great. Some of the bugs that they fixed led us to another bug. But when talking to the product manager, everything that we identified as a bug has now been fixed in the GA product. We'll just confirm this later.

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

              Before Synergy, we were using C7000s. We knew that the road map of that new technology coming in the C7000 was coming to an end.

              If you're going to buy that new capacity and you're not going to fully populate the enclosures, then you need to move off C7000 and go to Synergy.

              When selecting a vendor, I look for operational stability. One of the things that drove us to stay on HPE, as opposed to Cisco UCS, was the fact that UCS basically stops at the hyper-visor. HPE actually goes all the way up to the OS and beyond. If you have an issue with SQL, you can get help from HPE. You can't really get help from Cisco.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup, because it was still in beta, was complex. We discovered several bugs in the networking and bugs in the way some of the iLO functions worked. We were one of the more prolific groups in the beta program. Those issues should be fixed and we'll confirm that later.

              What other advice do I have?

              Think about where you want to be in five years and choose the products in the Synergy family that will help you get to that point. You have a lot of options and if you just buy what is cost effective today, you may find yourself in trouble five years from now.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user683247
              Solution Architect at One enterprise solutions
              Consultant
              Enables you to build, construct, and deconstruct your workload via software.

              What is most valuable?

              It is flexible. You can build, construct, and deconstruct your workload via software and through programming.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It increases efficiency and gives more time for IT personnel to do their work. You build it once and use it forever, or modify it slightly.

              It saves time to design, install, and manage workloads.

              The interface seems pretty wide and flexible.

              You can use any programming language or enterprise interface like Puppet or Chef. It is really agnostic in terms of the virtualization, so it is very flexible.

              Our IT department will be more efficient in terms of faster time to market, and being able to respond to businesses faster than before.

              The software design infrastructure makes it open to the API to enterprise products such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Docker. As I mentioned before, the ability to support other hardware other than HPE will make it a more universal product.

              The modular infrastructure is part of the converge system for scalability. If all of us are sharing the infrastructure, then discovery happens automatically. It increases the efficiency of the IT department. The dream of any IT staff member is to no longer worry about firmware. That's one of the high level high points, in that it is all embedded in the templates. You don't need to worry about firmware, as it is part of the workload.

              What needs improvement?

              I would like to see support for other vendors’ hardware.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It is still too early to tell, but so far, stability has been good.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability seems very promising, due to the architecture. We only have one frame, but from what I understand having gone through a lot of training, it seems like it's going be a good, scalable product.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              We haven’t used technical support yet

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

              We knew that we needed to invest in this solution, because of way the industry is going. You need to transform development in your IT departments. They need fast solutions. They need new development. They need a way where they can get their code and their workload to work fast.

              Previous to this, our customers put in the OS and middle-ware to get the application running. With this solution, all of this can be imaged once, streamed to the hardware, and it's done in minutes instead of spending days or weeks on it.

              When choosing a vendor, I look for the reliability of the technology. I look for openness of the solution and finding out who has worked with the vendor in the past, to bring in new recommendations from customers.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was straightforward.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              I have not evaluated other vendors. For me, HPE is in my DNA.

              What other advice do I have?

              I would highly recommend learning and reading about it. They should ask for the vendor to come and explain it, or I can explain it, as I am certified to do that. In today's world, there isn't a better solution to create a private cloud for them. Getting this solution is a no brainer.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user685002
              Leads IT Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
              Vendor
              Provides flexible and composable hardware.

              What is most valuable?

              It is flexible and composable hardware. You can really buy the stuff you need. If you want more storage, you can put in more storage. If you want more server capacity, then you can add more CPUs of memory.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It is kind of a new solution. We are using it now during our testing and development environment, so we can make it ready for production later. The idea is to buy them when we purchase new servers for the production environment in Q2 or Q3.

              What needs improvement?

              • The newer and faster Intel line of CPUs that are coming in GEN 10
              • The software

              OneView software is quite new and that will cause some improvements. Once we have it completely set up with the automation part, it will certainly help us in getting towards our vision.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              At this moment, stability is still good. HPE support helped us with the implementations, because we were the first customer in Europe who bought one of these. They were really helpful in getting us running.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is one of the main advantages. You can scale the different areas, like storage, compute, and memory, to your needs.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is very good. For HPE, this is also a new product. Not every field engineer has been certified, so sometimes they came with three people to look at it on our site.

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

              I already knew for a couple of years that we needed to invest in this solution. We've been using the blade systems, the C7000s, for 10 years already. We knew at certain point that this model was going to be replaced eventually.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was quite complex and it is being done by the HPE support department. It is not yet ready for customers to do themselves. In the end, it will be more straightforward. You will be able, at a later time, to automate and script it, so that eventually when you connect a new device, you will be able to have it automatically installed.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We evaluated Huawei, the Chinese company. When we select a vendor, we want one who can support and also deliver in all countries in the world where we do business. We don't want to have a vendor that can only deliver in Germany, for example. HPE can deliver in the USA, in Europe, and in Asia. That's important to us. We define standards in our headquarters. These are standard building blocks. We want to buy those in all of our data centers, all over the world: in Asia, in India, in China, and in the USA. That's important for us.

              What other advice do I have?

              I would advise getting in touch with a HPE account manager. I think doing direct business with a vendor is the best way of getting the right information. From what we've seen, it is better than working via re-sellers or partners, who are often smaller and only work in one country. It's better to deal directly with the vendor, which is usually the case with large companies. If you are a small company, you may have to go via a re-seller or partner. It depends on the size of your company.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user685017
              Solution Architect with 51-200 employees
              MSP
              The density and the flexibility that it provides are the most valuable features.

              What is most valuable?

              The density and the flexibility that it provides are the most valuable features. In the C7000, there was a memory density issue per-blade that was solved in Synergy's platform. On top of that, I value the composability of it. In other words, being able to create hyper-converged systems within the frame, rather than having to resort to rack mounts.

              How has it helped my organization?

              A great benefit is being able to create different solutions that aren't available in the traditional C7000 platform.

              What needs improvement?

              It's a lot more about some of the speeds and feeds, such as the 25, 50, 100 GB virtual connections. In addition, I would like to see improvement in the 32 GB fiber channel connection at the end of it.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              We have no issues with stability.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              I have not used technical support.

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

              It's just one of those products that as a partner, we have always tried to stay on top of. Previously, we had the C7000, plus other competing products, in our lab.

              When selecting a vendor, I look at how well things integrate together, as well as the ease of management.

              How was the initial setup?

              I was not involved in the initial setup.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We didn’t look at any competitor’s solutions.

              What other advice do I have?

              Look at the flexibility of the platform, as far as being able to have that storage drive to be able to do hyper-converge. It should not block your architecture. As you scale it out, you don’t have choke points on the network side, like you do in other platforms.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              ITCS user
              Gerente de Ingeniería Pre Venta at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
              Consultant
              It provides VMs and gives me the facility to create backups.

              What is most valuable?

              It provides VMs quickly and gives me the facility to create backups.

              How has it helped my organization?

              The rapid provisioning of VMs is the best improvement.

              What needs improvement?

              I would like to see better integration with other products.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              It is stable. It protects against crashes.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              We did not try to scale the solution.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support is good.

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

              We did not use a product previous to this one. When selecting a vendor, I look for innovation and support.

              How was the initial setup?

              I was involved in the setup and it was easy.

              Which other solutions did I evaluate?

              We evaluated Dell and Lenovo. We chose HPE because Synergy is innovate in the way that it delivers its services and I think that is very interesting.

              What other advice do I have?

              Check all the best practices about the configuration and the connection to the network. I would give that special attention.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user683274
              Systems Programmer II at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Vendor
              It has reduced a lot of our infrastructure down to a few systems.

              Pros and Cons

              • "Improved storage, scalability, and ease-of-use."
              • "I'd get the firmware to be a little more secure and a little more streamlined."

              What is most valuable?

              Improved storage, scalability, and ease-of-use. It is a lot packed into a small chassis/frame.

              How has it helped my organization?

              • It has reduced a lot of our infrastructure down to a few systems. This is opposed to larger, two and four use systems. It's knocked us down to a few frames and made it a lot easier to use.
              • A single unified infrastructure that can be optimized for all workloads via software makes our life easier. It reduced man hours, because we only have four people running the shop. The less time I have to spend on it, the more time I can spend in other areas.
              • The programmatic interface of the synergy API was clean, simple, and intuitive. This automation will make IT more efficient, as I will spend less time in front of the wheel.
              • The software defined infrastructure simplifies our operations, in that I can get more things done and pushed out to customers faster.
              • The automated life cycle management affirms where our drivers make their IT operations simpler. It's all in one place. You've got the firmware and the software that all comes down in one spot. You just apply it from there.
              • The architecture eco-system system was part of our decision to invest in it for the future. It took some doing. It took a buy-in from everyone through management. Given its price point, it took a lot more than that. It was an infrastructure change for us. We value a modular infrastructure with shared power and Googling with an integrated search engine. We end up with one single system to do everything. It's just easier to manage, as opposed to 20 servers where you've got to change out supplies, memory, and everything else. You've got to maintain all that. Now, it is just one unit.

              What needs improvement?

              Firmware. I'd get the firmware to be a little more secure and a little more streamlined.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              So far, the stability is good and it's running fine. I can't complain.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is good. I can take it and move it between two data centers, have one in each data center, and move things back and forth. That's mostly a function of the OS, but the hardware, being as robust as it is, works well.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              When I get to a human being, technical support is great. Up until then, it's a big challenge. They want to try to do a little bit by email, which drives me out of my mind, honestly.

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

              We didn’t use a previous solution. We are an HPE shop. We knew that we needed to invest in this solution because it was cool. The scalability is what did it for us. The next level progression was to go from the C7000 chassis. It just linked itself to the infrastructure that we're going to.

              When selecting a vendor, we look at support and cost point.

              How was the initial setup?

              The installation was very straightforward.

              What other advice do I have?

              Take the time to go through it. Put your hands on it, at somebody else's lab if you can. See if you can get a demo unit. Plug it in and try it.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user683229
              Senior Systems Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
              Vendor
              With the new servers and technology, we can have more resources, RAM, and CPU.

              Pros and Cons

              • "It's a fully integrated solution with OneView."
              • "We had an issue during the initial setup with the 40 Gigabyte cards. They weren’t working, so we had to work really closely with HPE support to get them to work."

              What is most valuable?

              It's a fully integrated solution with OneView. With the new servers and technology, we can have more resources, RAM, and CPU. We are using it primarily for VMware.

              What needs improvement?

              Now that we have the new generation, the G10, we have the security. That was one part that was missing. That is going to be important, because we will be running on Generation 9.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              The stability so far is good. We did the PoC in February and we are going to get into production in June. We have been running tests and it has been stable. We had some issues in the initial setup, but basically it's what we expect from HPE. We had an issue during the initial setup with the 40 Gigabyte cards. They weren’t working, so we had to work really closely with HPE support to get them to work. It took about two weeks to fix the issue.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is one of the benefits of using Synergy. We are able to add and grow without any problems.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              Technical support went really well. They were excellent in helping us find the solution to the issue. They were eager to get this done and they fixed it correctly. That was good.

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

              The lifespan for the C-class are going to be over in a few years. We are moving all of our production systems for a cycle. We have about 3-4 year cycles of use, and then we are going to the new platform, which is the correct option. We will not to go to the C-class, which is the old option.

              How was the initial setup?

              The setup was a little bit complex, because it was the first one. It is a new product, so nobody knows it too well. We are kind of learning on the way, but it is OK. It's a new technology, so I think it's normal. It still needs a little bit of ironing out to be completely integrated with OneView. There are still some issues.

              What other advice do I have?

              It's a new solution, but you are in good hands with HPE support. Use HPE support. They will give you a hand to go through the user experience, setup, and implementation.

              Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
              it_user683241
              Infrastructure Architect at FMOLHS
              Vendor
              The composable infrastructure give us one place to get alerts, monitor the performance and troubleshoot.

              What is most valuable?

              Ease of use, manageability, the time given back to the operations staff for managing and applying Synergy are the most valuable features.

              How has it helped my organization?

              It gives more time back to our operations team. It helps us track and report automatically to HPE for any issues.

              The composable Synergy infrastructure makes our life easier by having a single-pane-of-glass to go to. There is one place to get alerts, monitor the performance and troubleshoot.

              The Synergy API is new for us, but it is something that was common to us. We were familiar with the APIs and working with them, in the past. It is easy for us to use.

              IT automation gives back time to the operations staff, making it easier for implementation and deployment.

              HPE Synergy software-defined infrastructure simplifies our operations by quickening deployment, quickening roll-out and services to our clinicians and physicians.

              Although it is modular, the shared infrastructure is highly available. We know that there are power availability, redundancy network and availability in the redundancy throughout the stack. We're very comfortable with it.

              What needs improvement?

              In the future for Synergy, we would like to see SaaS connectivity and sharing of storage between frames.

              What do I think about the stability of the solution?

              Stability is great. The system functions in a high-availability mode, so we've done updates and stayed online. It's great for us.

              What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

              Scalability is good, we've got full frames so we've scaled all of our frames all the way up.

              How are customer service and technical support?

              The technical support has been awesome. They have worked with us, we were the first installation in America. They've been great with their support.

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

              Although the platform was new, we made the decision to invest in it because we believe in our partner HPE; they have come through in the past for us, and we have a long, standing relationship with them. We thought that this was just something else, even though it was bleeding edge for us, we decided to do the implementation and partner up with them.

              How was the initial setup?

              The initial setup was somewhat new, not just to us, i.e., the customer, but also to the implementation team.

              What other advice do I have?

              Get hands-on experience with HPE OneView. You need to understand Synergy and what your host will need from the connectivity and I/O perspective.

              Go for it.

              Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners.
              EG
              Sales Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
              Real User
              The most important feature is its composability.

              What is most valuable?

              The most valuable features about Synergy is the composability of it. Instead of always having to buying new resources and new pieces of infrastructure to support say, new applications or new projects, you can use Synergy's composability to create the workload that you need to support it. Then, you don't have to keep it forever. Once that project is over, you can reuse those resources, so I think that's probably the biggest, and I think, the most important feature of Synergy is its composability.

              What needs improvement?

              The whole point of Synergy is, you're going to have this central management. You're going to have the composer where you can build stuff, and a lot of it's built on OneView. I think they're using the same code, but they've done something different to it to make it easier to use. That means you're managing and you're monitoring your networking, your compute, your storage from it, but not everything works. If you have got Virtual Connect, that can be managed and monitored. You put in a Brocade switch; you can't as there's a limitation. 

              Also, the storage, the JBODs. Unless you're using VSA, I think it's tied to the frame that you're in.

              What other advice do I have?

              Try it and buy it.

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