What do you like most about FlexPod?
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The validated design is really important for us because it gives us a model on which to base our architecture and continued support for all firmware upgrades. It also provides consistency throughout the environment.
CVDs reduce risks for implementations. We always make sure that all installations are based on best practices.
With FlexPod, it is about the synergy of the server, the storage, and the whole management layer. Together, it is really about minimizing staff. You don't have to hire more people. You can work with the minimum level of resources and the availability is really good. We have had very little downtime.
From the Cisco side, the most valuable features of this solution are the data center density, the deployment, and the management of the servers and the networking.
We have significantly less latency now with our imagery.
Backup, restore, and ease of deployment are the most valuable features.
We initially started out with siloed clusters and now we've been able to cluster everything together so that we have multiple nodes in our clusters. We have multiples on different data in different data centers. We've able to do replication between data centers. That's been very beneficial for us as we look to derive a mature DR model.
Not a perfect ten because it could use better integration on the network side between UCS and the switching layerKnowing that everything works, having a single place to be able to find out compatibility and things like that are the biggest benefits of this solution. The fact that LACP is not supported on UCS blades isn't so great. It would be nice if it was.
The most valuable features of this solution are the integration and ease of use.
The most valuable feature of the solution is the flexibility in configuration and the setup.
The most valuable feature of this solution is the automation point because it's a lot less staff to have to manage it.
A valuable feature of the FlexPod solution is that it is all one architecture and I can call one number and get support for Cisco and NetApp without having to jump through open TAC (Technical Assistance Center) cases and do multiple things to get issues addressed.
The solution’s validated designs for major enterprise apps in our organization are very important. It's basically become critical to our organization to have that system functioning a 100 percent of the time. If that system is not functional, then our doctors and nurses can't provide the care to the patients in an effective way. So, it's important that it is stable, works, and easy to understand.
For us as an IT department, it helped us a lot. Before we implemented FlexPod, we were using different solutions all based on a virtual infrastructure. On VMware, before implementing FlexPod, we had a lot of problems doing backups with disaster recovery. After integrating it, it enabled us to have shorter maintenance windows, instant backups, instant recovery, which also minimized the number of alerts that we get from the application team and from the employees who were working on the application that something is not working.
The most valuable feature for me is that you can swap out pieces when you have to lifecycle your equipment.
The most valuable feature of this solution is the stability.
It runs our VMs. Our SQL databases are all on VMs, so everything is virtualized.
The ease of expansion is the most valuable feature.
The solution’s unified support for the entire stack is critically important because we cannot afford downtime.
The most valuable features of this solution are efficiency and simplicity.
NetApp is always coming up with features that I want before I know that I want them.
The best thing about this solution is the tight integration with VMware, Cisco, and NetApp from both a hardware and software perspective.
The most valuable feature is the one call number for support and the fact that all the documentation comes with it. They have all of the preprepared plans for the deployment model and we can just choose which one we want for VMware, etc. The hardware is all listed. We buy that and away we go. It's called validated design.
Things got a lot faster. We can pull and test in DEV systems much more rapidly and are clearing up a lot of DBA time. In the past, every time we tested it, we needed to be refreshed. In the past, it would take a day of our DBA's time, and now it's just point, click, and ten minutes later it's done.
I see the most value in the UCS portion. I love Cisco UCS.
Going from the old monolithic server and silo storage that they used to use is an improvement. With the FlexPod solution, just being able to manage and monitor the overall environment helps.
Our previous solution used to take 24 hours and now we're down to seven hours. It has really good performance.
The guides that we use to install FlexPods are always up-to-date. This is really helpful, especially if there is a new product with NetApp moving so far forward and Cisco as well. For them to join together and update a centralized document for the install process, it is really good. It helps us understand if there are features from the first version that we installed while upgrading that we need to implement. Those are in the document. So, we find that document useful and helpful when moving forward.
The solution has decreased the unplanned downtime incidents in our organization by 25 to 30 percent.
The solution makes our staff more efficient, enabling them to spend time on tasks that drive our business forward. The environment is more homogeneous, so there are not as many technologies to study and learn. People can focus on improving their knowledge in existing technologies.
The most valuable feature is the one support. Anytime that a customer buys a solution for a server, storage, or network, once they have trouble in their environment, everyone wants to find out who was wrong. With FlexPod, everyone is wrong and there is unified support. The best way to solve the problem is have it be everyone's problem, not just one person's problem. For FlexPod, you can call NetApp or Cisco, and I think it's the best way to solve the problem that the customer has.
Availability is the most valuable part of this solution. We have not had any trouble since we installed it.
FlexPod's unified support for the entire stack is very important. Before, the customers would log a ticket by Cisco and a ticket by NetApp. It's better when vendors can parter and look for a solution together.
It simplifies infrastructure from edge to port to cloud. It proves that deployment is easy and straightforward. There isn't any need to do extra work.
The solution’s unified support for the entire stack provides one stop shopping.
This solution has helped to make more things consistent within our organization.
The most valuable features are the Fabric Interconnect Manager and the UCS Manager.
FlexPod impacted us by making things easier to deploy. The solution is a private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environment. That's very important to us. We're doing a lot of hybrid cloud.
The solution can be innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking. FlexPod is very flexible and innovative. We can design it as we like.
This solution has given us a great deal of on-site storage that we didn't have before.
The most valuable feature of this solution is that there is one call for support.
The solution can be innovative when it comes to cloud computing storage and networking.
The Validated Designs are very good because they act as a reference to see whether we have done things properly.
The most valuable feature is that it is all-in-one, and it is easy to get support on it.
The product is easy to deploy and use.
FlexPod has affected the workload of our network admin team awesomely. We have fewer employees. It's good.
It reduces the time required to dynamically provide applications to our end users and developers.
FlexPod has improved our company as far as ease of management, stability, and redundancy.
All of our main applications run on this solution, and it has done a stellar job.
FlexPod is easy to setup, maintain and has great stability.
The agility is probably the most valuable feature for us. It's very easy to send out resources.
The ease of set up is probably the most valuable feature for us.
The solution has granular scalability.
All-flash storage and low latency I/O enhance performance.
The biggest lesson that I have learned from this solution is the ease of actually setting it up and learning it.
It is definitely easier for us to maintain and do build-outs, so it takes a lot less time to set things up for the customer.
It's a kind of one-stop shop as far as support goes.
For FlexPod, it is always trustworthy. I had previously never seen flex machines from other brands or associated with other products. FlexPod is a large investment and they are good enough to support it.
The data is available, compressed, and deduped.
It scales easily. We went through an upgrade of adding additional chassis, and it wasn't a big deal.
We have absolutely been able to save space.
The most valuable is the one support. I have a 1-800 number. I call one number rather than figuring out whether it's a network, compute, or storage issue. It is beautiful and works out nicely.
Our time from customer interest to time of deployment has shrunk a lot.
Our footprint is lower than it used to be.
It is absolutely resilient. It has built-in redundancy and multipathing. If there is an issue with one part, it doesn't fail automatically.
It can scale, compute, and storage independently by what we need.
It is innovative when it comes to compute, storage, and networking, because there are a lot of the storage efficiencies which allow us to keep a smaller footprint.
The initial setup is straightforward. It is all interface-based, so point and click.
The solution is innovative when it comes to compute storage and networking. Each environment has knowledge of another in a FlexPod environment. This would be difficult to operate separately.
Validate designs are a good. They work in the background to combine all the infrastructure and storage. They create automation which can create volumes and attach VMs directly to massive CIFS.
It's a common platform, which provides for ease of use between all of the blade servers. It uses all the same tech, moving service profiles seamlessly across from one blade to the next. There is also combined support.
We found FlexPod to be innovative when it comes to compute, storage, and networking. We've taken advantage of their storage optimizations to obtain better use out of the space. We upgraded to All Flash FAS (AFF), which has provided a huge performance increase that we haven't barely scratched the surface of. We have plenty of overhead, so that's always nice when taking on tasks which might have otherwise taxed a smaller system.
The solution is innovative. It handles virtual networking. Also, it can upgrade blades and continue working seamlessly, which is excellent.
FlexPod provides very small footprint. We can have it in our offices without bothering with extra cooling, as it is a small unit.
Our performance increase has been about 15 percent from what we previously used.
The solution is resilient, because it has good scalability, and other products in the market don't have this. It has scalable storage and service.
The Cisco Validated Designs are the most valuable feature along with the Industry-leading technology, put together; and the fact that it just works.
It simplifies everything. It gives you a single place to go if you need support or if you need to expand.
We save days of work when doing new service deployments. With LUN clones we have a template provisioned for the image of our hypervisor on our NetApps, and we can deploy a brand new hypervisor in under an hour. Everything is scripted. We just clone a template LUN and boot from SAN, so there are no single points of failure.
I have found the platform to be resilient, mainly because all the hardware is fault-tolerant. It has built-in HA, so if one of the components goes down, you're covered by the platform itself.
Because we use it everywhere, it is standard to set up. Therefore, if you can manage the set up in one place, then you can manage the whole infrastructure.
It allowed us to scale out as our business grew without any issues.
One of the easiest solutions to implement, maintain, and scale.
The most valuable feature is ease of deployment. Once I deploy the chassis and I have the back-end storage, configuring more UCS servers is very quick. I can deploy a new UCS server within minutes.
ONTAP is the core of FlexPod, so its most valuable features are: FlexClone, Snapshot, and SnapCenter.
I live by the Validated Designs. I do exactly what those designs say and I haven't had a problem as a result. For example, they used to do the FCoE. They figured out there was a problem and they went over to the NFS. I moved over and I agreed with them. It worked better.
The real benefit of this solution is that it is pre-architected with the ability to scale-up and scale-out.
The documentation alone that NetApp provides can guide anybody through the setup process.
The assurance and the peace of mind that we get from knowing if we had an issue with either the NetApp equipment, Cisco equipment, or our VMware enviroment, we can call one number for support, then everyone works together and nobody is pointing fingers all over the place.
DR has been tremendously easier.
Our customers get their applications to market more quickly, and it has taken the risk out of their business, because there is less for them to try to figure out.
The ability to converge a lot of different data and platforms into a single common platform, then scale horizontally and vertically.
It is easy to deploy, works well, the reps are good, and the support is great.
It is the overall collaboration between NetApp and Cisco to come up with a product that is best in class and best in breed. You are bringing together the best things about UCS and NetApp, as well as you are tying it together with the Nexus fabric.
FlexPods allow us to go through and roll out compute, having a converged infrastructure with the same level of simplicity that you would expect of a hyper-converged.
The consistent delivery that we receive from the products. We deliver it to different customers, and we know it will be a consistent end-to-end solution as well.
FlexPod gives us the opportunity to deploy a product which is fully built and racked with minimal touch installation when it arrives onsite, so we can do all the configuration remotely.
For our DR, we rely heavily on SnapMirror technologies to accomplish our disaster recovery in VMware SRM.
It took a server room where we had 280 servers and another with 180 and condensed them from 15 racks down to three racks. It's helping us in the data center with all our environmentals... In addition, we're getting the ability of VMware, which is virtualization, so now we have redundancy on all of our boxes, instead of them being physical.
It scales well. It allows us to have very flexible architecture but to have the same level of simplicity that we'd normally expect in hyper-converged environments.
Gives us a single point of contact for support.
The flexibility and data deduplication have been the biggest practical applications.
For the management side of our UCS, it is a single pane of glass for multiple people, whether it is data center, sysadmin, or server deployment.
It's a new architecture, really scalable and programmable. When you look at SDN propositions it fits very well in a next-gen data center.
It is extremely stable and well-supported because of the leadership and partnerships put in place.
Provides unified support: Being able to get a vendor from one company or another company on the line without having to go back through the call queue.
The most valuable feature is the ability to integrate different products into one validated design. That allows customers to understand and get the value out of the hardware, as it was designed.
It makes us more lateral and faster to production.
The product is robust, stable, and has flexibility.
It has simplified our support.
Technical support has been good when we have contacted them in the past. They have been helpful.
We have had great support, and this is when we have called for any problems, which have been very minimal to start with.
The virtual environment is a lot more efficient than physical boxes.
It has been a great product, primarily because of a lot of its deduplication features, and the out-of-the-box thinking on block level storage from NetApp.
It has had a big, positive impact, because now everything is centralized.
The advantage is being able to consolidate everything into a relatively small chassis.
It has never fallen out from under us when we were trying to do a critical push.
It is easy to add-on to the tool. If we need to add a new switch, a new server, or a new chassis for Blades, it is easy. It is not disruptive. You just do it.
When our clients choose to call NetApp or Cisco directly, the cooperative support model means they can get passed back and forth between the two organizations freely. It works really well.
It ships in a rack, so it is very easy to deploy.
Performance-wise, it is actually doing quite well. The end users are very happy with it.
It simplifies the management of our entire system.
The vendor delivers a fully-configured prebuilt system with a certain baseline on it.
I really like the architecture and I like the fact that on the storage side I can swap it out. Right now I'm on NetApp, I might go to Pure Storage. I have the flexibility. But as far as the equipment itself, the way it's all bundled together, from the UCS perspective, its rock solid.
It provides us with a lot of agility, on-demand or through orchestrations. We deliver hundreds of servers.