Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is the #8 ranked solution in HCI Software. PeerSpot users give Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series an average rating of 7.8 out of 10. Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is most commonly compared to VxRail: Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series vs VxRail. Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 62% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 20% of all views.
Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2023

What is Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series?

The Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform is a purpose-built, high-performance, scale-out file system with a wide array of enterprise-class data management services. The data platform’s innovations redefine distributed storage technology, giving you complete hyper-convergence with enterprise storage features:

  • Enterprise-class data management
  • Continuous data optimization
  • Securely encrypted storage
  • Dynamic data placement
  • Clusterwide parallel data distribution
  • Linear and incremental scaling
  • API-based data platform architecture
  • A simplified approach
Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Customers

BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Ready Pac Foods, Bryant University, Bellevue Group, KPIT Technologies, City Harvest

Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Video

Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series pricing:
  • "When we negotiated with Cisco for the HyperFlex solution, they gave us a good price because they wanted to break into the market in Portugal for the first time. However, in general, I think it's a very expensive solution. It's a huge amount of money to acquire this kind of infrastructure."
  • "We have a yearly license."
  • "The licensing is perpetual and the only thing that you may need to pay for on a monthly basis is if you're going to use their cloud-based management features."
  • Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Reviews

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    Nuno Mendes - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Manager - Resp.Department at Parvalorem
    Real User
    Top 20
    High performance solution that makes it easy to efficiently manage VM resources
    Pros and Cons
    • "With our four HyperFlex HX hosts (consisting of processor, memory, and disk), the performance is very fast and we have no problems at all. In all of the five years that we have been using HyperFlex, we haven't needed to increase our budget to buy additional hosts."
    • "One of the biggest problems with HyperFlex HX is that if you want to adjust your solution in terms of processing power, memory, or disk capacity, you have to buy completely new hosts. From a financial perspective, it can be very expensive to do so, and from a legal perspective, there are all kinds of compliance issues we would have to sort out before buying any new solution or application."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a state-affiliated financial company that performs credit recovery from bad banking and we bought four Cisco HyperFlex HX hosts five years ago which came as all-in-one solutions with processor, memory, and disk. These hosts are all situated on-premises.

    Within the next ten years, when all credits have been recovered, our mission will end. Unfortunately, our current edition of HyperFlex will end sooner than that, because it will be end-of-life in 2024.

    What is most valuable?

    With our four HyperFlex HX hosts (consisting of processor, memory, and disk), the performance is very fast and we have no problems at all. In all of the five years that we have been using HyperFlex, we haven't needed to increase our budget to buy additional hosts. In my opinion, it's a pity that we will have to change it out for something else in 2024 due to it being end-of-life.

    What needs improvement?

    In our case as a credit recovery company working with the state, our infrastructure is fixed and stable as we don't have the same need for growth as other types of companies.

    That said, one of the biggest problems with HyperFlex HX is that if you want to adjust your solution in terms of processing power, memory, or disk capacity, you have to buy completely new hosts. From a financial perspective, it can be very expensive to do so, and from a legal perspective, there are all kinds of compliance issues we would have to sort out before buying any new solution or application.

    Since we as a company will only be operating for perhaps the next ten years, when our HyperFlex solution comes to its end-of-life in 2024 our next step will likely not be with HyperFlex or any other solution from Cisco. Instead, from a financial point of view, we will likely turn toward a cloud solution because, that way, we won't have to spend so much money on physical infrastructure. We are, after all, only a small company and HyperFlex can be very expensive for other companies of our size, whether in Portugal or elsewhere like the United States. 

    One other area for improvement is in regard to HyperFlex's integration with VMware. HyperFlex integrates with a specific version of VMware in such a way that HyperFlex doesn't always resolve security issues with VMware at the same pace as what you see in native implementations of VMware. This has happened in one or two situations in the past. On the other hand, the integration is otherwise adequate, especially in terms of availability and virtualization features (such as being able to split up each of our four hosts within VMware).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco HyperFlex HX for five years.

    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,331 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have servicing contracts with all parts of our infrastructure, but with HyperFlex you typically only need one person to manage aspects such as implementation and configuration. It does not need much in the way of maintenance, which makes working with it very easy.

    The one problem we have, though, is that when you have 20-50 VMs and you want to do updates for either HyperFlex or VMware, there's usually a bit of extra work to do in this process, not knowing whether your interventions or updates will cause problems. But overall, it's easy, and I would rate HyperFlex's stability a ten out of ten.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Cisco HyperFlex HX may be expensive, but this is offset by the fact that it is a highly scalable solution, even though we're only a small team at the moment. Our admin team is only four people, but there are about 200 employees who make use of its resources throughout our company. I would give it a ten out of ten for scalability in this regard.

    On the other hand, the scalability is somewhat reduced when you consider that our physical HyperFlex infrastructure will be end-of-life in 2024. Because of this, we are considering changing to a cloud solution, or perhaps another kind of physical solution, once our term with HyperFlex is complete.

    How are customer service and support?

    Cisco's technical support is knowledgeable and they understand the criticality of the solution. We have used their support about three times and each time they were quick enough to solve the problems we've had until now. This is a plus because we have to do frequent maintenance when it comes to applying security updates for all of our hardware and software.

    In the last five years, the only major incident that I can recall was when we struggled to integrate HyperFlex HX with our fiber optic switch redundancy system.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    Before Cisco HyperFlex HX, we used a physical server provided by HP. The reason we switched to Cisco's solution is because it was one of the first implementations in Portugal and Cisco made us a good offer to switch over.

    The offer they gave us was, more or less, the same cost as any other standard infrastructure of its kind, and at the time we decided that it was a very good investment. In the first proposal we chose to purchase three hosts, but at the end of the negotiation we added a fourth host because we knew that if we needed the fourth host later, we would have to pay more than in the initial offer. I don't know what the cost of a new Cisco solution would be nowadays, but back then it was a great investment, especially as compared to the standard infrastructure we had with HP.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was difficult mainly because the product was entirely new to us. I believe we were the first, or possibly the second, company in Portugal to implement Cisco HyperFlex HX, so naturally it was tough in the beginning. Fortunately, we had help from Cisco and the deployment, which took place over the span of a few weeks, was a success.

    After the setup, we thought everything would be easy, but still it was somewhat difficult for the reason that it was all new to everyone at my organization. After a bit more hands-on experience with it, however, it wasn't too difficult.

    The biggest challenge of our deployment was the integration of HyperFlex with our fiber optic switch as well as with our backup switch (for redundancy). When we shut down the primary switch, the HyperFlex infrastructure would sometimes go offline, causing about 30 of our VMs to enter into an unworkable state.

    We eventually resolved this situation by re-configuring the redundancy method for our switches, because they were originally acting as if we only had one switch and not two. This solution entailed splitting the switches into two types, one active and one passive, and after we implemented this change, the HyperFlex solution began working properly and we haven't had a similar problem since then.

    In total, putting this implementation into production from our previous VMware infrastructure took about two to three weeks, and if I were to give a rating for the ease of setup, I would give it a five out of ten.

    What was our ROI?

    The standard physical hardware was, admittedly, very expensive in the beginning, but everything has been good in terms of ROI. We have seen perhaps a 20% return on our initial investment and if we were to go back in time we would do the same again.

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

    When we negotiated with Cisco for the HyperFlex solution, they gave us a good price because they wanted to break into the market in Portugal for the first time. However, in general, I think it's a very expensive solution. It's a huge amount of money to acquire this kind of infrastructure.

    I would give the pricing a rating of eight out of ten.

    What other advice do I have?

    My main recommendation to others is to do the proper calculations in terms of processor, memory, and disk requirements. This will ensure that you have the correct number of hosts from the beginning, because adding a new host at a later stage may be expensive.

    Overall, HyperFlex HX is an excellent solution and we like it a lot, not only because it's easy to apply its resources whenever you need to add extra VMs to your infrastructure, but also because it allows you to manage all these resources in an efficient manner.

    I would rate Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    IT Manager at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    An all-in-one option that is stable and offers good management
    Pros and Cons
    • "The scalability of the product is quite good overall - as long as you plan correctly from the outset."
    • "Unlike other options, you need to pay a subscription to Cisco yearly instead of paying for the hardware outright, which makes it more expensive in the long run."

    What is our primary use case?

    HyperFlex is a hyper-converged infrastructure system that is a cluster of servers that provide compute and storage at the same time. Most other networking systems provide either computation separately from storage and networking. However, HyperFlex is a combined system that provides compute, networking, and storage in the same solution. That is, it gives you a single point of management for everything instead of separately for different components.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've adopted Hyperflex as the new Virtualization solution for our network. all new workloads will be created on Hyperflex, and all existing workloads will be migrated to Hyperflex over the next few years.

    What is most valuable?

    The product makes management much easier since there's a single pane of glass to use to monitor, manage and upgrade the system. 

    You can achieve similar performance for your system by buying separate components, however, HyperFlex allows you to achieve the same performance using one system. It's basically one integrated system. That's the most powerful aspect of it. 

    The solution is quite stable.

    The scalability of the product is quite good overall - as long as you plan correctly from the outset.

    What needs improvement?

    A disadvantage is the higher costs involved in using this product. If it were more affordable, it would be easier to recommend and HCI adoption rate would increase. Unlike other options, you need to pay a subscription to Cisco yearly instead of paying for the hardware outright, which makes it more expensive in the long run.

    The initial setup could be easier. Right now, it's a bit difficult. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used the solution over the last 12 months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been stable since we set it up. It's been very stable and providing good service. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We are considering expansion at the moment. The solution is easily scalable if it is planned correctly from the beginning. 

    Our previous generation is going to end support in two years. We're planning to migrate our whole virtualization infrastructure from the old generation solution to the Cisco solution. Basically, within one or two years, we'll be moving all our instrumentation and all our workloads will be moving to this solution.

    A minimum of three servers is needed. If these servers have good specifications from the beginning, it's as easy as adding another node. You can expand the solution with more and more nodes. That said, if the node isn't configured properly in the amount of CPU, RAM, and storage, then when you try to expand, you must either expand with more than one node to add more and more scalability, or you must upgrade the existing nodes.

    HyperFlex is hosting our financial systems. In terms of users, for management, it's just the ITT and we're managing the solution. However, if you consider people who are using the servers as infrastructure, then you can say more than 50 people technically are on the solution. Basically, the whole company uses the PBX system as an exchange for phone calls, for example.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't reached out to Cisco in terms of needing technical support. We've reached out for other reasons, however,  and they were very quick to respond. For this solution, in particular, we've been working with Cisco's partners  - and since our partner provides good support, then we haven't needed to reach out to Cisco directly.

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

    We used to have a non-converged solution before Hyperflex that had separate components, however, when we chose to go with a hyper-converged solution for our network, we chose HyperFlex.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not exactly straightforward or simple. It's a bit difficult, a bit complex. 

    Luckily, we had the support of the Cisco partner to install and integrate the solution. However, it would have been much easier if we could do it in a shorter time. 

    It is a complicated process for integration and it takes time. It can take several hours to install and configure the solution. If the setup process was faster, it could have been done in a shorter time. Basically, it took about two or three days to finish the whole setup. From unpacking to going online, it took us a few days. While the installation is a part of the process, the most time-consuming point was the initial setup.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had a Cisco partner that assisted us in the initial implementation. 

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

    The solution comes at a higher cost than if you had separate integrations grouped together.

    There are licenses included with the hardware, and then there are annual subscriptions that you need to pay. You need to pay an annual subscription service to Cisco for operating the solution. There are other solutions that are purely hardware and whatever licenses you pay, you pay one time along with the purchase, or if you need to expand. This solution has an annual subscription payment.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are customers and end-users.

    The HyperFlex is on-premise the hardware infrastructure. You can set it up with VMware ESXi or with Microsoft Hyper-V. We chose to go with VMware ESXi. It was a requirement of the other systems that we depended on. We could have gone with Hyper-V, however, VMware turned out to be the right solution. The system is hardware and it's compatible with both software solutions or hypervisor solutions. We chose VMware ESXi and turned out to be a better solution than Hyper-V.

    I would recommend the product to other users, as long as it's affordable for the company. The cost is high. It is about 150% more costly than a comparable older generation solution. However, if you can afford it, then by all means go for it. 

    I'd also advise new users to choose a higher-end specification for the servers. This is also important. That would make extending it easier. For example, the fiber interconnected component the solution sells is like a switch. It's sold per port. If you buy exactly what you need now, you have to replace the hardware when you want to expand. Therefore, plan for the needs of the future, not the present.

    Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,331 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    PeerSpot user
    Datacenter Team Leader at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Achieve the highest level of availability across data centers
    Pros and Cons
    • "We are providing this solution for the customer or converting the customer from a traditional environment to a hyper-converged environment which consolidates all management and support on a single port. This is the main benefit of using the hyper-converged versus the traditional."
    • "Cisco HyperFlex should decrease the amount of memory needed from the Controller VM that controls the physical discs. They control the discs by using the virtual VM over every ESXi host and the VM consumes memory and consumes more hardware resources. They have to improve that by decreasing the amount of required memory and CPUs to control this disc on the server."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for stretched cluster uses when the customer has multiple data centers and he won't achieve the highest level of availability. He can stretch the workload between different data centers giving him more availability when one of these data centers fails and the workload can be migrated and replicated to the other data centers. From an infrastructure level you achieve the highest availability. I am talking about 100% availability from a storage perspective.

    What is most valuable?

    We are providing this solution for the customer or converting the customer from a traditional environment to a hyper-converged environment which consolidates all management and support on a single port. This is the main benefit of using the hyper-converged versus the traditional.

    The stretching cluster features have the highest delivery of availability from a  storage perspective. You gain all the features related to or coming from virtualization because it is based on a virtualized environment. We already implemented VMware over hyper-convergence. We took all the features coming from the virtualized or VMware environment, such as high availability, DRS and sanity rules and we can segregate the workload between two data centers using rules to maintain the workload even if one of data centers fails.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of what could be improved, Cisco HyperFlex should decrease the amount of memory needed from the Controller VM that controls the physical discs. They control the discs by using the virtual VM over every ESXi host and the VM consumes memory and consumes more hardware resources. They have to improve that by decreasing the amount of required memory and CPUs to control this disc on the server. 

    From a technology perspective there is no problem. The main issue is cost-wise. Cisco costs more than its competitors.

    As for what I would like to see in the next release, Cisco already has a solution, but in a different profile called the CWOM, Cisco Workload Optimization Manager, and Cisco Intersight. This solution manages and optimizes workloads on the infrastructure and integrates them with the monitoring solution and gives insights and recommendations for the customers. I think it is included on solutions such as the VxRail which has the vROps, vRealize Operations Manager. Cisco did not include this on this solution, but in a separate solution. They have to have a logs server to collect all logs and give insights from all hardware. This is included in the Cisco Intersight but it is not included in the hyper-converged infrastructure solution.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series for six years.

    I am running it now on an implementation project for hyper-converged with a HyperFlex stretched cluster. A solution from hyper-converged, but not such a standard implementation - it is stretched between different sites.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No problem with stability. I have a customer and I have not spoken to him since the last upgrade one year ago. He didn't face any problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is scalable.

    I think you need one or two people maximum to operate it. They must have different technology experience from different perspectives because they deal with the virtual storage and the servers, but its concept is coming from computing and virtualization. Someone should have the knowledge of all the verticals.

    How are customer service and support?

    Cisco support is great. But when we ask about something, they reply with the standard schema, which makes me confused. Let's say I have a problem with a customer who has a problem in their Dell or Cisco servers and I open a ticket for it. Support replies please check, check, check, check. I know! I checked all this already. I know I have to check this before calling you. This takes time. We have to go directly to our customer and try to solve the problem. Maybe sometimes our customer is solving the problem. I don't like to give them advice that is only go and check one, two, three.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. The advanced solution was straightforward from an implementation perspective.

    There was no problem with implementation. It has improved since past versions which had many errors and many bugs.

    If our pre-requisites are ready, deployment and implementation take two days maximum.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series is that they have to study what the hyper-converged solution is and why they are going into hyper-convergence. Why not use the traditional way? This is the first thing. If they understand the concept, they can very easily go through the implementation because the hyper-converged solution is based on automatic implementation. We have a virtual machine capable of implementing the solution, but in the background there are many automated tasks running. If you don't know what is running in the background you didn't understand anything.

    You have to understand and then go through the automated implementation related to hyper-converged. Any new solution allows you to implement everything automatically, you don't need to implement different components and then integrate them with each other. You have to configure single machine. You can implement everything from that single machine.

    You have to understand why you are going to hyper-converge before you go to the implementation.

    You can dig into it, but you will not understand anything. If you're facing any issue, you can't solve the problem. So when you're implementing for other companies, Cisco or Dell or whatever, they are asking about the pre-requisites. You have to have these pre-requisites before going into the implementation because when you have more information relative to the customer side or the requirements and the pre-requisites, the implementation is straightforward. But if you lack all the pre-requisites you will face many problems and you will not be able to define where they are coming from.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series a nine.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Hussein Taha - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Enterprise System Administrator at Misr Technology Services
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Straightforward to set up with good replication and the ability to expand
    Pros and Cons
    • "The initial setup is very straightforward."
    • "They should give us a little more information about how to use the CLI and offer more commands."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our workload is very heavy. We always acquire support from the tech engineer from Cisco, and they are always there for assistance and provide us the necessary health and guidance. In our environment, we manage to patch our infrastructure regularly, and we don't want to miss any patches. This sometimes it requires a lot of effort, and sometimes the updates are not recommended, and we have to wait for the recommended version. The patch management can impact us in our scope. This helps us centralize everything to make things easier. 

    What is most valuable?

    One of the major features of HX is that you have the replication factor, and you have the option to copy your data - and not just once. You also have the option to copy it twice or even get a third copy. It depends on the RF while deploying the checks. This is one of the great benefits. That way, if there is a major outage and you lose one of the nodes, you still have your data, and the data store is up and running, and your service won't be impacted. This is very beneficial for our company as we own a service that should be up and running 24/7. It's related to one of the government sectors, and it's very critical to have it always up and to avoid any downtime.

    The initial setup is very straightforward. 

    It's stable.

    We can easily scale the solution. 

    What needs improvement?

    The port could be improved. They have a robo port and can build a cluster with two nodes. This one needs a bit more focus. They need to provide us with more advice or maybe some documentation or some instructions for best practices, so we can leverage it effectively. 

    They should give us a little more information about how to use the CLI and offer more commands. Right now, if we can't find what we need, we need to raise a ticket or send an email. Sometimes we don't have that time to wait for the ticket or the case to be assigned. We should just have access to information about the CLI and various commands.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the HX for almost three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's a stable solution. Sometimes we face an issue regarding the hard disk. We might find that it's unhealthy and must be replaced by Cisco. This can be easily monitored. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a scalable solution. 

    You can upgrade or add many hard disks so the business can keep continuity and scalability. It's also based on your business scope. We have ten branches. The ten branches are variants between the HX nodes. Some of them have ten hard disks, and some of them do not. Some of them have more. In any case, we find it very simple to scale where needed. 

    We have six system administrators working directly with the solution.

    I'm not sure if there is a plan to increase usage just yet.  

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

    We did not previously use a different solution. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution is easy to set up. Once you choose the cluster mode that you want to go through, you can put in all the IPs, and HX will start to build the clusters across the nodes. While it's a little bit complex at the beginning, when you get used to it, it's simple.

    We have two people available to maintain the solution once it is deployed. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a partner for support, and they do most of the work. We do a bit ourselves in-house as well. Some of us on the interior team have an HX certification and have strong knowledge of the solution. I'm working to be certified myself right now. 

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen an ROI while using this product. 

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

    I'm not aware of the exact costs of the solution. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at VxRail from Dell and Nutanix. We chose Cisco as we use Cisco a lot in our company.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would suggest new users read the documentation very well and prepare an action plan based on their design. They have to address all the possibilities and have a rollback plan in case something goes wrong. These points must be addressed. For beginners or some people who don't have this knowledge, they must consult a third party who has this knowledge to ensure they have done it correctly to avoid lengthy troubleshooting or any other issues.

    I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Deputy Manager at PacECloud
    Real User
    Top 5
    A robust solution with a workload that can handle anything, but it constantly needs to be updated
    Pros and Cons
    • "The workload can handle anything and has an extended capacity."
    • "The problem is that we always have to keep an eye out for new releases to make sure that the version we're running is up-to-date."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are one of the biggest cloud providers in Bangladesh, so we use this service and we are relaying the service to the end customer. We have many multinational companies, ODSMs providers, and banks as our customers, so it's pretty good, knowing that we have a kind of highly-loaded workload.

    What is most valuable?

    It's a very robust solution. There are a lot of products on the market you can access, but this is an end-to-end compact solution for the end customer. It's good, and it's a high-end type of product. The workload can handle anything and has an extended capacity. 

    What needs improvement?

    The problem is that we always have to keep an eye out for new releases to make sure that the version we're running is up-to-date. The way their infrastructure is updated and evaluated, they are always updating their firmware structure. That is the only challenge we are experiencing, but you have to look for the updates all the time, which is a challenge and everyone's very frustrated at this point.

    The cloud world is changing every day. It would be good if they added provisions for activities like micro-services and micro-segmentation. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for almost two and a half years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It isn't stable so far because the problem is that you have to update your version, and then also update your firmware to the latest development. If you're using an old version of any of them, it makes trouble. That is a challenge we are facing, but it is okay. The solution handled an enterprise where they switch the workload and run it every day, so it is stable in that way.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is scalable. We are using so many clusters, including standard clusters, self-encryption device clusters, and accessories. It is definitely a scalable solution. As a service provider, we have over 80 people using the solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have reached out to technical support so many times. The team is definitely excellent. It's clear they want to be the biggest cloud company in the world, so they're very supportive people. They have a lot of knowledge to share, and I'm happy to work with them.

    How was the initial setup?

    There are a lot of constants and there's a lot to do on the infrastructure and stories part, so there are different segmentations. Integration of the stories part is okay if you have a knowledge of what the stories require. After the stories part, you also need to reach out to the Hyperflex center version for service to the cloud. If you're using EMC or maybe data updates or other things, it's the kind of thing where you need to understand those first.

    For the later parts of the integration, you need to understand what you have because it really gets pretty complex. You have to integrate it with the gen network. It gets a little bit complex when there's micro-segmentation, or an application type of thing. You have to share that stuff with a lot of different segments, so I would say the network setup is pretty difficult and complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    Initially, we had a system integrator. They are from India and they initially helped us and guided us through it. They were here onsite and they worked with us and shared knowledge about how to do stuff and how to get the services. Initially it was definitely a challenge, but after getting the services and workload and testing so we knew what we needed, we moved into application. From that point we were able to do it on our own.

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

    We have a yearly license. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this product, depending on the context. It depends on what kind of services you want to run and provide.

    My company decided on this solution because of the stability, sustainability, and strength of the product. Also, they have so much support, and their people are knowledgeable. When you're having a problem, they will help you to find a solution. Whatever problem you are facing, you are able to solve.

    I would rate this solution as an eight out of ten. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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    PeerSpot user
    MinaMagdy - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Infrastructure Solutions Specialist at Fiber Misr
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Straightforward to set up and you can manage everything from one place, but it only supports one cache drive per node
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is that you can manage the whole cluster from the traffic interconnect."
    • "With the cache disk fails in Cisco, the whole node fails, and the workload goes down."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and Cisco HyperFlex is one of the products that we propose to our customers. This product is used for hyper-convergence in IT transformation and can be used for very heavy workloads such as VDIs or HAP HANA.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that you can manage the whole cluster from the fabric interconnect.

    The physical switches are more reliable than the virtual machines.

    using a virtual machine to manage the cluster, needs lots of pre-configuration & validation steps, as well may lead to cluster fail in case of the fail / corruption of the VM (unless you manage to have a valid backup to restore, with a valid cluster restoration plan), 

    despite the managing of the Cisco Hyperflex, it comes almost preloaded & stand ready for deploying, as well in redundant architecture, which reflect a solid base for managing & reliability deployment. 

    What needs improvement?

    They need to make many improvements to this solution but the most important area is the compression. Most customers are concerned with the compression for a specific workload, and then maintaining it. The performance and compression vary depending on the type of workload; for example with SAS HANA, Cisco forces compression and that affects performance very badly. At the least, the customer should have the option to choose what types of workload should be affected by the data reduction functionality.

    The second point is that they need to work on the erasure code. Cisco doesn't support erasure code, even over flash. If they fix this then they will only waste 25%. With replication and mirroring, it uses 100% of the allocated capacity. This means that Cisco needs to work on the architecture. I have conducted many PoCs and it is a problem that they need to work on.

    Cisco offers a single cache drive cluster, whereas VxRail offers up to four cache disks per drive. When the cache disk fails in Cisco, the whole node fails, and the workload goes down. But when it comes to VxRail, if a cache disk files then only the node fails and the workload remains up and running. This is an area that Cisco needs to work on. Essentially, they have to raise the number of cache disks that can be included in a single node.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been working with Cisco HyperFlex for the past four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a reliable solution

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This product is quite scalable.

    Our usage of this product may increase but it is up to the customer. For example, when a customer is loyal to Cisco, they will implement HyperFlex. On the other hand, if it's a customer with a hyper-converged infrastructure then they will definitely implement VxRail.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support from Cisco is responsive and depending on the problem, a hardware replacement is offered 24/7, which is good.

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

    I have experience with similar products from other vendors.

    HyperFlex is a very good solution, although not compared to Dell EMC VxRail. Both of them have many good features, although VxRail is better and yet, Cisco is more expensive.

    If you consider my customers to be a community, 70% of them have VxRail and 30% of them have HyperFlex.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. The length of deployment depends on the number of channels but for between four and five nodes, it takes approximately two weeks.

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

    This is an expensive solution, although Cisco will offer it free of charge when there is a large networking opportunity that arises. The licensing is perpetual and the only thing that you may need to pay for on a monthly basis is if you're going to use their cloud-based management features. This requires a subscription.

    What other advice do I have?

    Cisco offers the on-cloud management system for HyperFlex but most of our customers that are using a hyper-converged infrastructure prefer to build their own, private cloud. In most cases, they have this solution installed on-premises.

    Cisco HyperFlex is a product that I can recommend, although VxRail is my first choice. Depending on the customer, their environment, and history with Cisco, I will recommend one of these products over the other.

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Account Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    MSP
    Top 20
    Stable, with okay technical support, and a validated design approach for components
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution is stable."
    • "The initial setup can be a bit complex."

    What is our primary use case?

    We deploy these for our customers, we're in the reseller space.

    Use cases are typically around data center revolutions, consolidations in virtualization density, and being able to scale both up and out.

    What is most valuable?

    On the architectural side of it, there's the single pane of glass. In the hyper-converged, there is that validated design approach of having all of the components which should work together.

    The solution is stable.

    Technical support is better than most.

    What needs improvement?

    The pricing can always be better on everything. 

    The interdependencies of each of these functions and the configuration side are something that needs to be carefully architected so that if something isn't working in my memory stick, it doesn't have a cascading waterfall effect through the rest of my operation. The interdependency could be improved so that everything will not be so interrelated.

    The initial setup can be a bit complex. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been a partner with Cisco for over 20 years, and, as it pertains to HyperFlex, we probably deployed the first HyperFlex in the Northeast region - and that was probably four years ago. We did it when it first came out.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, it's way more stable than when it first came out. The earlier evolutions of this were like building the plane as we were flying it.

    How are customer service and support?

    Cisco tech support, as bad as it can be, is better than most.

    How was the initial setup?

    There's additional complexity around the solution.

    In a hyper-converged scenario, the financial outcome is that you need to further align your refresh cycles of your storage, of your compute stack, and of your networking. From the client-side, that can also lead to a little bit of solution lock-in, a slight vendor lock-in.

    Before, if I wanted to see maybe if my storage is up, and I'm looking at the time to adopt all-flash SSD or putting NVME in my environment, and updating my either blade centers, or pizza box servers, et cetera, it would all fit together. Even though that there's modularity built into the hyper-converged, there's still a little bit of a tax where you have to overbuy on other resources to provision that you want.

    You don't need a huge team to deploy the solution. A deployment team is lightweight. It's two different individuals or maybe three with project management included.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're a gold partner, one of their leading partners in our area.

    Historically, I'm not very much pro-hyper-converge as there's a lot to the market still. What happens is, if it's poorly architected, that if something's screwed up, everything is screwed up. That's the part of the issue with the hyper-converged. You've got it very tightly knit. However, there are still advantages to the separation of failure domains, whether that be your compute, your storage, your memory.

    I would take a Cisco Flex approach over a Cisco hyper-converged approach, all day, every day. It's the most widely adopted platform in the world for converged architecture and has a knowledge base that is way larger and has way more experience running. Also, just because you have to update one piece of it doesn't mean you have to update all pieces of it. My honest opinion is to still see what else is in the market to validate your approach to go with an all Cisco solution in the hyper-converged space. 

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Antony K - PeerSpot reviewer
    Solution Architect at COPYCAT LIMITED
    Reseller
    Top 10
    Straightforward to set up with good management and very good stability
    Pros and Cons
    • "The management feature is the solution's most valuable aspect."
    • "We need to be able to scale out and not just up. When you want to scale up or scale out, you are quite limited."

    What is most valuable?

    The management feature is the solution's most valuable aspect.

    Overall, the solution is pretty good.

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward. 

    We've found the stability to be very good.

    What needs improvement?

    The pricing of the solution could be improved. It's a bit too high. We find that most customers can not make it work with their budgets.

    When it comes to the virtualization layer, we have issues. We can scale up, and yet we can't add storage.

    We need to be able to scale out and not just up. When you want to scale up or scale out, you are quite limited.

    It would be ideal to have the flexibility to scale out whereby you are able to do a single type of commodity upgrade. For example, if we could upgrade the memory only, or upgrade the process only or storage only,.

    There is a general over-reliance on VMware, the form of the software layer which now includes things like Nutanix. Some customers - especially around Oracle - have a preference to not work around VMware. That's why we need more flexibility to be able to do any event on the top layer.

    It would be ideal if we had local support here in Kenya.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I can't recall for how long I've been dealing with the product. It's been a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is quite good on the solution. It's not buggy or glitchy. It doesn't crash or freeze. The performance is reliable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We primarily deal with small and medium-sized companies.

    While the solution can scale up, it can't scale out, and this is a problem for us.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is okay on the computer side. However, when it comes to the virtualization layer, that's where the problem is. I've been having issues. We can only scale up. We cannot scale out. I can't add an additional storage. We're trying to work this through with configurations and we're running into a lot of trouble.

    Also, we'd like to have local support in our country. Right now, we are lacking that.

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

    I also work with other vendors, such as Dell.

    For small companies and environments full of Cisco I recommend that a company uses Cisco, as the transition is easy as the UCS manager connects well to Hyperflex.  

    However, for an organization that doesn't have a clear growth plan, and grows randomly, PowerFlex is better, as it affords more flexibility and it's easier to upgrade.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is really easy if you are using Hyperflex money.

    I wouldn't describe the initial setup as difficult or complex.

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

    The pricing is high for the solution. The costs need to be adjusted. 

    The licensing is okay, however, the harder infrastructure needs to be adjusted.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a reseller.

    My advice to other organizations considering the solution is to make sure you plan before deployment and put into place a proper plan. The initial pre-project timeline puts into place a proper plan and based on your focus. It will make sure that whatever you put into place meets your requirements both right away and into the future. 

    I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: January 2023
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.