Choosing a right HCI Solution for an Enterprise
September 19, 2018
Choosing a right HCI Solution for an Enterprise
Sr. Practice Manager - Cloud & Platform
KPITInformation Technology and Services, 10,001+ employees
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with HyperFlex
KPIT uses HyperFlex for hosting production VM workload that demands high IOPs and compute. We run workloads like VDI, SAP, Oracle, SQL/MySQL, MongoDB and Redis Clusters, Microsoft Exchange 2013, Pivotal Cloud Foundry etc. Services running on HyperFlex are consumed by entire organisation of 12000 users. With HX, we have provided high availability to business critical services between the nearby data centres, and also have set up Disaster recovery for business critical applications across our regional data centre. Data de-duplication capability of HX helped us optimise storage space for services like Virtual Desktop Infra (VDI), file servers and FTP Servers.
- UCS manager in HX is truly helping us in doing one touch firmware upgrades. Scaling of HX cluster (in few minutes) is too seamlessly due to service profiles.
- HX does not hold you back by creating a single data store unlike other HCI products. With HX, you can create multiple data stores and allocate those to desired services. This help logically separate the install base on HX and removes confusion for the admins too.
- We run high IOPs workload on HX, and we never felt latency issues due to the Cisco backbone (as you get FI as a TOR switch and options to choose 10G or 40G speeds).
- With HX you truly enjoy a single window support from Cisco including for the top of the rack switch (FI in HX case). In other HCI infra, you certainly have to bank on to network switch vendor for support and bring HCI and switch vendor at one pane for troubleshooting latency related issues.
- While we increased our footprint on HX, we didn't added additional administrators to support the landscape. This was possible because of the simplicity in managing HX clusters.
- With HX we had setup stretched cluster between two near site data centres. This is a unique proposition in HX (we have 2 nodes in each data centre) and data centre failover works absolutely seamless.
- I feel that Cisco team should work hard in simplifying the HX version upgrade process. Currently there are many dependancies to be taken care of and the process is felt to be quite complicated.
- We have automated teething issues in day to day operations using PowerShell. However, when it comes to the HX Controller VM, we could not fetch desired details. Using PowerShell, we were looking to fetch the details like which is the master controller VM (truly useful while troubleshooting and while performing upgrades).
- Finally, if Cisco could give an option to add a datastore using PowerShell, it will help automate ops processes and provide a faster turnaround to business.
- In a nutshell, Cisco should open up more so that organisations can use scripting for automation and setting up custom alerts.
- HX made positive impact on our overall business objective and helped in reducing operational and capital expenditures almost by 60%
- We used to have huge footprint of FC SAN storage and highly skilled SME's to manage the FC SAN environments. HX helped in getting rid of costly SAN investments and we could move the skilled SMEs on higher work stack. With HX, we are able to effectively manage day to day operations with less skilled resources.
- We also benefitted largely from the single OEM support (Cisco end to end for HX, network fabric and hypervisor). In earlier case, we used to log service requests to SAN vendor, Hypervisor vendor and network fabric vendor separately. In case of inter-related issues between the vendors, our business used to suffer. These all challenges are removed by HX adoption. This is helping us support the business with maximum uptime ever. Our service SLA's are also improved by 70%
HX stacks up well ahead of the competition (we are running all the three HCI's) in terms of performance, stability, seamless integration with network backbone (no conflicts!), unified management of UCSM and most importantly, it helped us setup data centre level HA just with 2 node cluster per data centre and it is working flawlessly in case of failure scenarios. Cisco TACs prompt and skilled support and fastest deployment time (without issues). Even the node addition in cluster and data equalisation is superb!.
We have a varied workload (as mentioned earlier, right from SQL and NoSQL databases, VDI, Microsoft Exchange, SAP Oracle, Cloud Foundry etc. etc.) and for all our types of work, we've found HX absolutely stable in all aspects. HX finds great suitability if you are looking for creating a data centre with a high level of availability (stretched cluster - that too with just 2 nodes per data centre). Not only are we early adopters of HX, but since its implementation we have shared our success stories with many customers of ours, as well as in the reference calls from Cisco. Those who adopted HX on our reference have shared very good feedback.