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NETAPP FLASH CACHE MOD 1TB-C R5 is rated4.60 out of5 by73.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We can spin up VMs quickly and FabricPool enables me to extend hyperscaler storageWhat is our primary use case?We are a multi-cloud provider and we use NetApp All Flash as the base for providing the cloud services.How has it helped my organization?It gives us the power and agility to spin up VMs as quickly as possible.We have also standardized on NetApp. All the storage that we have for our services runs on NetApp. Being standardized, it's easy for our Operations. We can train them on a single platform.It helps improve performance for enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs. With the power of flash, we moved from a traditional hybrid storage to all-flash. Having the full-fledged power of flash, and the controllers, it has doubled the performance compared to what we used to get.Finally, our total cost of ownership has decreased by approximately 10 - 12 percent.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the efficiencies that all-flash brings. It helps us reduce costs and be competitive in the market. It's quite easy to operate and monitor, to do business as usual.Whatever they talk about it delivers. It's fast, it's efficient, it's agile.With the new version, they have the FabricPool which works for me. I can extend the hyperscaler storage. The features we require today are present in ONTAP.What needs improvement?It would be great if they had a single pane of glass or a single dashboard where all the NetApp ecosystem storages could be viewed and monitored simply. That would help my Operations.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Being a service provider, we cannot afford any downtime. It's working fantastically as of now. It's sturdy and just rocking.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's an all-flash so you just add more clusters, nodes, and you're done. Scalability isn't an issue. That was one of the evaluation criteria, we needed something that would scale out.How is customer service and technical support?Tech support is not just for AFF, we have a long-standing relationship with NetApp. Overall, the support guys are very proactive. They help us with new fixes and patches - we keep up with them. We have a very good relationship.We haven't really had much of a need to escalate issues. We don't actually get into "escalation mode." We just talk with senior management and things get done. We're happy with the support.Which solutions did we use previously?We did not have any other flash solution. We were running a tiered storage approach but because of market demand, where our customers wanted efficient performance, agile cloud storage, that is what drove us to evaluate the newer technologies. With all the technical evaluations we did, we settled on All-Flash.We chose NetApp because we had the SolidFires in place and we already had the standardization. We also went with NetApp because of the partnership and the support that we get from NetApp. In addition, it proved that it was technically better than the competitors in the benchmarks.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the technical and commercial analysis, but not in the actual environment setup. That was taken care of by another team. The initial setup was straightforward but there was definitely a lot of planning that went into getting it deployed smoothly.Being a services provider, every customer has unique requirements, which makes it more complex for us. We took a good amount of time to understand, evaluate, and come up with a proper deployment plan so we wouldn't get into trouble at the deployment phase.What about the implementation team?We had an in-house team do it.What was our ROI?I haven't calculated ROI because, being into the OpEx model, since we're providing serivces, typically the ROI is 36-plus months. We're not there yet.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated Nimble, 3PAR, Dell EMC.What other advice do I have?You should definitely look at NetApp AFF and evaluate it.In terms of how long it takes to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF, we have a back-end provisioning tool so it's all automated. I cannot define it only with respect to AFF because the entire orchestration works. But on average, we take about five minutes to provision a VM.I would rate the solution at eight out of ten. It has definitely helped us bring our costs down and gives us a powerful storage at the back end to serve our customers. It would be a ten out of if they brought my TCO down even more.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-23T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dual Controller gives us great stability and allows us to do daytime maintenance on a controllerWhat is our primary use case?We use it for data storage for Citrix VDIs.How has it helped my organization?The improvement to our organization is in the ability to put more into the same storage platform. We came from EqualLogics and the ones we had didn't have that nice compression and deduplication to get a little bit more out of the storage.Also, the protection of the data, being able to replicate between sites easily. We were a "backup shop". The replication doesn't quite back up so I haven't won that fight yet, but at least it protects us offsite, easily.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are deduplication and compression, so we get more out of our storage. The replication is also important.What needs improvement?I would like to see a little more flexibility in customizing some of the SnapMirror stuff. We have been having a little trouble and, in the first round with tech support, they say, "Well, this is how we do it."It's not exactly throttled but it's limited in the number of connections it makes. We would like to be able to tweak that, to increase it a little bit, because we don't have half a dozen large areas that we are protecting, we have more like 40 or 50 areas. They run into each other a little bit and I don't want to spend time on them.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable. It's always there when we need it. With the Dual Controller, if one drops out, the other one comes right online. We don't use any iSCSI so there is a little bit of a latency break but, over the NFS, we don't notice that switch-on. We can do maintenance in the middle of the day, literally rip a whole controller out of the chassis, and do what we need to do with it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have not needed to scale it.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is generally very good, once they get a good idea of what the issue is. Occasionally you need to be a little more specific about your problem to get the right team working on it. But they're normally very good, very responsive, efficient, knowledgeable, and very patient. They're willing to take the time to make sure you understand their analysis and their recommended solution.Which solutions did we use previously?The reasons we switched were performance and the number of IOPS in the previous product. It was an older product which was dog-slow. Some of the larger file servers were the worst. And that played out to everything else that was sharing the storage with it.How was the initial setup?There were a few initial setups. Two of them were relatively straightforward and one of them was a little bit more complex, the AFF8080. On that one there were a lot more network interfaces to figure out where they go.We also leveraged the IP Spaces which was really good because we house some data for an affiliate, rather than somebody in-house, so that was amazing.What about the implementation team?We used a reseller for the deployment. The only problem with doing it that way is that I find we did not have a good idea of the current roadmap. On some of the projects we purchased for, we might have made a different decision had we known what was coming six or nine months down the road.Some of that was on us. We probably could have pushed for that, but having that reseller "middle-man" made it more difficult.What was our ROI?We haven't had the time to do a proper analysis of ROI yet.Which other solutions did I evaluate?The next closest option that we considered was Dell EMC.What other advice do I have?Try to get behind the sales guys to the people who do pre-sales tech support to really understand the roadmap and other aspects of the product. The sales guys are great but they're sales guys. If you can get to the tech guys behind them and really talk to them about what your problems are, and what you are trying to attack, I feel that works much better.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-23T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can rely on the IOPS being there. Latency is predictable and low, and snapshots do not affect it.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are the speed and the predictable performance. Compared to the spinning disk, I don't have to worry about IOPS anymore. I can rely on the IOPS being there. I can worry about CPU now. It's one less thing I have to worry about as far as performance.How has it helped my organization?The latency is very predictable and lower. It's very sustained, we know what it's going to be, and it doesn't get impacted by snapshots and so forth.What needs improvement?The AFF, which is what turns on the bit so that you can have an all-flash array compared to the hybrid array; I'm having troubles in my environment buying systems for smaller sites because I want the all flash array and I want the speed. I can go hybrid and still do SSD but it's making choices hard for me when I'm doing a lot of SnapMirrors and SnapVaults between sites.I want the all-flash but I know I can't because I have to have SATA for the low-cost SnapMirror ( ) and SnapVault. It'd be nice if they would turn the switch on per aggregate, or maybe even per node, so that I could use it on some nodes. That way I wouldn't have to choose. Right now, I'm having a hard time choosing between hybrid or flash. I want the flash but I can't get it if I have to go hybrid.I’m also looking forward to more CPU and power that's coming out in the AFF 700 and so on.Other than that, so far, I'm pretty happy.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We had a stability issue. We got bit by a bug that was a compression problem, and we had to do a WAFL check. It was the first time we've ever had to do that only on the all-flash array.The bug had already been identified, but nobody had hit it. We were the first one to hit it. The QA lab had found it. They should have notified all AFF customers before we hit it, because then we could have turned off compression and not hit it until the bug fix was released.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support needs improvement. We need access to the backend people without having to go through two layers to get to them, because we're always above the two layers. It's a waste of our time to have to work through them.Which solutions did we use previously?We previously used a different solution, which was coming to the end of its lifecycle.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was good. It's quicker, now that they've started sending out the pre-configured systems, or optimized systems.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There weren’t any other flash storage vendors ( ) on our shortlist. We were already in a four-year cycle with NetApp, so we just stuck with the same vendor.In general, when I look at a vendor, the most important criteria is that they have our interests at heart and want to partner with us. Since we're a non-profit organization, we need them to understand what we're doing because we don't have a lot of money to throw around. They have to invest in our belief of what we're trying to do. Cost is part of it, but we still try to pick the technology over the cost, first.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-20T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has SnapManager, something Pure Storage lacks, allowing us to copy production DBs.Valuable FeaturesThe speed is really the most important feature for us. The SnapManager feature is also very important.Improvements to My OrganizationIt will reduced query time because we have a lot of them that take a long time to execute. We created the database because we need to know which product I have available in the warehouse, and this is most important thing for me. Because we have the flash array, the queries to find this out will be much faster.Room for ImprovementThe product is great for us now.Use of SolutionWe bought it recently and use it for BI and partially for SAP. We are planning on implementing ONTAP.Scalability IssuesIt will scale to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: It's very high.Technical Support: It's been perfect so far.Other Solutions ConsideredI looked at Pure Storage and we decided to get NetApp because they have SnapManager, which Pure Storage doesn't. I need to create a copy of the production DB and without SnapManager, I cannot do this.Other AdviceBuy it if you need the speed and SnapManager.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-10T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Potential hardware issues have been removed from the equation.How has it helped my organization?It has improved my organization by being able to remove potential hardware issues from the equation; knowing that we're getting top throughput and performance from the system; and then being able to contain customer workloads within their subscribed tiers using QoS.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( )What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the low-latency, high-performance utilizations of the system; being able to deliver a high-tier storage performance for high-impacting customer applications.What needs improvement?There's nothing that I can think of that they haven't introduced with what they announced at a recent NetApp conference, with the built-in workflow automation, where you can basically deploy it in a matter of minutes for a dedicated workflow. They've built all that into the ONTAP 9. From my experience, that might be the only missing piece: If you have standard deployments to follow in those workflows, it's almost a push-button build, essentially.Across the entire FAS platform, or maybe even across the entire product line, I would like to see some sort of bare-metal deployment configuration standard. It would be nice if we could use DSC, Puppet or something like that to do bare-metal deployments within an environment for standard configurations, such as auto-support and so on. You can accomplish that now via PowerShell and scripting, but if you could have a server that constantly monitored that and kept everything within a standard configuration for that node; kind of like the rest of the industry is doing with platform standardization.You have a lot of flexibility to do that through scripting and other means, but there's nothing enforcing it. In other environments, for bare-metal hardware for compute, you can run Puppet or DSC (Desired State Config) through Microsoft. You can create configuration files for that physical hardware. If anyone goes in and makes a change, you could either alert or alert and automatically set it back to what it should be. Something to monitor, some way to do that at a bare-metal level, in the hardware-node configuration; that would be the only improvement I can think of.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is the same as the whole FAS series line; very stable, huge up time, non-disruptive upgrades and capabilities. It falls in line with the rest of the family.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It scales both horizontally and vertically with clustered Data ONTAP.How is customer service and technical support?I have not used support directly for the All Flash ( ).For other issues, NetApp support is not as good as it used to be. They've restructured their support organization a couple times over the last couple of years. It seems difficult to get a high-priority ticket through for an experienced engineer. It takes a while to get a hold of somebody who can actually help you with your problem.Because we're a partner and we have certified engineers on our staff, when we call in, we don't need Tier 1 support. It's very hard to get escalation up to an escalation engineer who's going to be able to solve our problem. It didn't used to be that way. I've worked with NetApp for probably over nine years now.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( )Which solutions did we use previously?We decided to invest in the All Flash FAS basically because of constant customer demand for a higher-tier, flash-based storage option. We didn't currently have anything with any other vendor available. It wasn't a storage offering that we had; not necessarily one that we thought we needed, because we use QoS and service levels within our environment, but customer demand mitigated purchasing an offering.Previously, it was all hybrid NetApp FAS. We run NetApp throughout our entire environment, but we didn't have anything dedicated flash SSD. We would run flash pools in hybrid aggregate configurations, and then we would use QoS and service levels to guarantee SLOs. Customers, not really knowing what they want, hear the word "flash" and think they want flash storage for their application. Then, when they ask for it, and you don't have it as an offering, you're now an incomplete solution. Out of industry necessity, I would say, we've added it to our portfolio.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was pretty straightforward, the same as any other FAS solution, except for when you get into the disk slicing and other features for setting up your root aggregates. It’s pretty standard configuration, pretty easy. That has been our experience.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at a couple of other options, just to see. It was between the All Flash FAS, which, because we're primarily a NetApp shop, was our first choice; we looked at Nimble ( ) and Tintri ( ) as potential other options; and then we also talked to NetApp about SolidFire as well.We ended up going with the NetApp solution because there wasn't enough of a compelling reason to switch to a different architecture, to a different competitor, to take us outside of our current architecture, standards. There wasn't a good enough reason to not make that decision.The main criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are full feature sets within a product, multiple avenues for manageability, and tie-ins to other possible orchestration applications; something that fits very well into the modern architecture and the direction that the industry's going, with automation, cloud and service on demand; and the ability to tie in to all of those, seamlessly into all of those requirements.What other advice do I have?Make sure that you understand the entire storage portfolio, that you understand your requirements. Don't get into the situation that a lot of people get into – that we typically got into ourselves – and purchase something because you need it as an offering. The All Flash FAS solution is a great solution and it fits right into your current infrastructure if you're running clustered ONTAP and you're familiar with All Flash FAS, but understand your workload and make sure you're getting what you need.I don't know that I have that good of a reason for my rating. Based on what I saw at a recent NetApp conference, when it comes to solid-state requirements, the SolidFire solution is probably more in line with that type of workload because you can set the minimum requirements. SolidFire introduced the minimum requirements for a workload, which will guarantee that workload that SLA. Within the FAS solution, you can just guarantee the SLO. You can set ceilings on everyone, but you can't guarantee that someone's going to get that performance every time if they need it. I would say that's the only thing, and then SolidFire fills that need in the portfolio. I'd say that would be the only reason why the All Flash FAS doesn’t get a perfect rating.We are looking into purchasing SolidFire as well.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-28T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely stable systems with solid performance and big scalability possibilitiesWhat is our primary use case?The primary use case that we have for NetApp's All Flash FAS is for on-premise storage that we've used for presenting LANs, NFS, and SIF shares for servers for analytics and ESX data storage.How has it helped my organization?NetApp AFF has improved our organization through the use of clusters. Previously we had migrated from Dell EMC and we had a lot of difficulties moving data around. Now, if we need to move it to any slower storage, we can move it with just a vault move within the cluster. Even moving data between clusters is extremely simple using SnapMirror. The mobility options for data in All Flash FAS have been awesome.AFF has given us the ability to explore different technology initiatives because of the flexibility that it has, being able to fit it in like a puzzle piece to different products. For example, any other solutions that we've looked at, a lot of times those vendors have integration directly into NetApp, which we haven't found with other storage providers and so it's extremely helpful to have that tie-in.This solution has also helped us to improve performance. We have hybrid arrays as well so that we can have things that are on slower storage. For the times that we need extremely fast storage, we can put it on AFF and we can use V-vaults if we need to to have different tiers and automatically put things where they need to be. It's really helped us to nail down performance problems when we need it to put them in places to fix them by just having the extreme performance.Total cost to ownership has definitely dropped because with deduplication compression and compaction always on, we're able to fit a whole lot more in a smaller amount of space and still provide more performance than we had before. Our total cost per gigabyte ends up being less by going to All Flash.What is most valuable?Some of the most valuable features of All Flash are the speed, integration with vCenter, being able to clone VMs instantly, and the ability to move data around quickly.The user experience with AFF is much like others of NetApp's products: fantastic. It's extremely familiar. It's very intuitive. We can find all of the features that we're looking for through the GUI. The CLI is tap complete so that if we aren't exactly sure what the syntax is for a command, we can just tap-complete it which makes it a lot easier than having to look up every single thing that we're trying to do and the way to do it.Our use case for AFF with the public cloud is that it allows us burst ability so that when we need additional capacity and speed instantly, especially if we need more and we haven't bought new nodes yet, it allows us to burst into the cloud quickly.The setup and provisioning of enterprise apps depend a lot on the automation, which has had really fantastic integration, just for being able to use things like WFA for provisioning. It has sped things up with the extra software that NetApp provides to be able to speed things along.What needs improvement?NetApp's always got their eye on new features and new use cases for things before we even get to them. It's been pretty amazing that they'll come out with new features, and we haven't even been thinking that this is a way that we might be able to use this in the future. I've been really excited about some of their other products, like SnapCenter, which is fantastic. We are also interested in the single pane of glass to be able to do snapshots and backups for anything in our environment, as long as it involves NetApp.As for AFF itself, I don't have any suggestions of what I would be excited to see. I think that adding the support for the rest of APIs to AFF would be super handy. I think it's something that we've been waiting for for a while which would be fantastic.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability's fantastic. In the past, I've seen problems with ONTAP where we'd hit bugs and things. Since NetApp has changed their development schedule to every six months with a lot more scrutiny on their code, and a lot more checking of their code before they include it, we've hit far fewer bugs. We've also had extremely stable systems with solid performance.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability's fantastic. Many times we have had to add capacity which included the compute power and the storage. We've just added HA pairs to the cluster and it's extremely easy to migrate over to those. You can just do vault moves to get over to the new nodes and then evict the old nodes from the cluster. The fact that you can scale up to 24 nodes gives you a great deal of scalability possibility.How is customer service and technical support?Their tech support is fantastic. NetApp is amazing with getting you through difficult problems. When you call into global support there's somebody that answers the phone quickly and they're extremely helpful. We have other NetApp resources like our sales SEs and people that help us out. There's always somebody there to point you in the right direction and help you to get the solutions to the problems you need.What was our ROI?There has been an amazing improvement on ROI due to racks base and power usage going to AFFs, like A700S's being so small and so efficient, take up way less space per terabyte which is a great improvement there.What other advice do I have?I give AFF a ten out of ten because there are amazing features on it. It's extremely fast, it's extremely usable, and the support's fantastic.I would advise someone considering AFF as a possibility for storage, I would tell them to look at all the features, positives and negatives of all the other storage vendors. In the past year, I've done an evaluation of a lot of different storage vendors and their features. The cost-effectiveness of their products and NetApp have come far ahead of all the others and so don't just buy into somebody from NetApp telling you these are all the great things about it. If you research all of the other companies and all of their offerings, I have no doubt that you'll decide that NetApp is the top provider. From the speed of their product to their flexibility to move into the cloud to their awesome support.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-12-30T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The user experience sets it above several competitors. Despite great geographic distances, it can present data in one location.What is most valuable?With any new technology, it comes down to the user experience. Once the system is up and running, I feel that the user experience itself sets it above several of the other competitors.How has it helped my organization?For us, it's mainly about being able to transition data from one location to another rapidly, and even do incremental updates. So, that aspect of ONTAP allows us, as well as our customers, to be able to leverage great geographic distances in order to seamlessly still present their data in one location.What needs improvement?The one thing that could promote NetApp's ONTAP product line to the next level would be a single pane of glass to manage all of the storage and networking resources involved. That's the big one. That would absolutely be a life-changer.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability has not been a concern once the system is up and running. However, before the system is up and running and during the installation, we've had some instances, but those aren't necessarily all a NetApp caveat. Those could be different hardware that's being installed in, different steps need to be taken. Getting through those sometimes is cumbersome.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We've put in several requests for some different scalable options because we provide one type of hardware. I would say that scalability went in the wrong direction when we went to NetApp Select. We had a meeting set up with the CTO at a recent conference and we were hoping to discuss different options going forward.They actually decreased the ability to scale with the new Select platform.Which solutions did we use previously?The pain point specifically is with our customers. They're needing to be able to take big data with them. Most people have that data center mentality and believe that I can always reach back into the data center. However, in some of the environments we work in, it's a DIL environment, which is Disconnected, Intermittent or Limited bandwidth. In those environments, taking some of that big data with you and being able to sync at a later time is paramount. NetApp ONTAP gives us that functionality.How was the initial setup?For me, it was the actual installation onto our company's hardware. There are several instances that came down to the unknown. The NetApp engineers, as well as my engineers, could not necessarily predict the installation difficulties. Once we overcame those, and started creating application notes for both our company, as well as NetApp's company, I believe it will help others down the road. It could help the software engineers to program different options into the installation.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We have pretty much considered everybody, from a Nutanix ( ) perspective to a Cisco perspective to a VMware ( ) solution and a couple other smaller mom-and-pop stores that are trying to get into the big data realm.We decided to go with NetApp over the competitors because for a lot of the customers, their experience with NetApp, is what has driven us to use NetApp in a lot of our solutions; because of their experience in terms of support and in terms of usability; because we're not having to retrain on a new platform. That's a big one for them because that's more dollars they're having to invest.The customer support is obviously a huge win for NetApp, even the pre- and post- sales staff. Then, the actual customer service representatives themselves do help. I would say that's probably one of the big ones. Once it's operational, as I’ve mentioned, it's very intuitive and very easy to use. Some of the setup steps, you get past those and it's easy to use and operate, and that's what they like.The most important criteria when I’m selecting a vendor are ease of use and management. And the reason why is because, as we take more technology and compress it into a smaller space, the knowledge base required for one engineer to be able to manage and operate that environment becomes very large. So, the ease of use and ease of management would be the one key thing I would focus on.What other advice do I have?Given NetApp's strength, size and customer base, they bring a wide array of knowledge to any solution. It's just trying to find the right solution within the NetApp portfolio that will meet the customer's needs. Instead of overselling the solution, find the one that meets their requirements the best and pursue that. The NetApp sales team, as well as their support, has done a good job at helping us to realize where those little niches are, to fit in the problems.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-24T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If I need sub-millisecond 300,000 IOPS, Flash FAS will provide that for us. And although initial setup seems very complicated, it becomes intuitive afterwards.Valuable FeaturesHands down, the most valuable feature is the speed of flash.Improvements to My OrganizationWith anything that’s flash, it comes down to speed. If I need sub-millisecond 300,000 IOPS, for example, Flash FAS will provide that for us.Room for ImprovementI've not been using it long enough to know.Deployment IssuesNone.Stability IssuesWe’re just starting out, so hard to say. So far, so good.Scalability IssuesSo far, it looks like it's going to be incredibly scalable as I just install additional nodes as needed.Customer Service and Technical SupportIt's fantastic. NetApp is awesome.Initial SetupOnce you’ve done one, it seems very intuitive. However, the first time seems very complicated.Other AdviceBuy as much as you can afford.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-10-29T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have had significant optimizations across the board. Performance has improved significantly.How has it helped my organization?NetApp has been excellent. Performance has improved significantly.Because it has been used to deploy the virtualization solution, the consolidation helped optimize its center space, in terms of power, cooling, and so on and so forth. Therefore, we have had significant optimizations across the board. Also, there are SVUs to deploy virtualization solutions for our customers.We are more like to consider NetApp for mission-critical storage systems based on our experience with AFF, which is currently being deployed for core banking applications as well.What is most valuable?* The Snapshot, SnapMirror, and SnapRestore functionalities.* It is very easy to manage.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is very stable. We've had no problems. Drives last for a very long time with very minimal failure, if any at all. Support is also excellent.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's extremely scalable with minimum downtime when one has to do the scalable solution.How is customer service and technical support?They are very efficient. Once you open a case, you have an engineer who is assigned and stay with you until the problems are resolved. We are reaching the right person quickly and easily.Which solutions did we use previously?Previously, we were using external drives for backup solutions before we came across NetApp. We switched because of the features NetApp comes with, then the ease of use.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup. It was all straightforward.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Price is always good, as long as price is coming down, especially for flash systems. The entry point for potential customers, who are looking at coming onboard for flash systems, it may be a bit expensive. It would be good if the price comes down.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There was EMC and IBM.NetApp has always had a good name in the industry for providing excellent solutions, especially with the added protection functionalities, Snapshot, SnapRestore, and SnapMirror features. It makes it easy to have One-Box that provides all the solutions a customer would need to protect their data.We decided on NetApp because of ease of use.What other advice do I have?We use both block and file storage.With the current release of the ONTAP also, it's going to be easy to migrate the data to the cloud, which is very good because of the trend of doing hybrid solutions now.NetApp is doing a perfect job. Just go NetApp. You won't go wrong.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* A solution which is fast.* It is reliable.* Support is excellent.* Ease of use.* User-friendliness.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2017-10-23T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The inline compression and inline dedupe features are valuable.How has it helped my organization?Right now, we've seen a few different systems that we're running on the all-flash system, where we've seen performance increases with application functionality. We have databases running on there. The database query is running faster. The application is running faster in general. It has saved us by not having to tax the system to get the data access going quicker, less network usage. People using the applications are able to perform their tasks more quickly.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( )What is most valuable?I'd say the biggest one for us, other than just being SSDs, was the compression; inline compression, inline dedupe. Previously, we used dedupe but compression in dedupe has helped a lot, just to be able to maximize our storage, not having to buy more disk and items such as that. That is the biggest one we've seen so far.What needs improvement?It’s difficult to say because there are already a lot of features that have been released that we didn't have previously, especially going from 7-mode to cDOT. ONTAP 9 sounds really interesting with better dedup and compression; the disk partitioning features that they are going to be doing with that. I'm eager to see what ONTAP 9 has. Right now, I believe were on 8.3, so we’re definitely going to be interested in upgrading that when it comes out.I’m not sure if I see anything that's really lacking because there are so many features that we still have not taken advantage of that we could probably use going forward; no specific ones that I can see right now.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We've only had it about two or three months. We haven't had any issues since we've had it up. It's been in production and has been rock solid so far. I don't have a long-term say on that yet, but it's been really good so far.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We're not a huge shop. Our previous NetApps have always been a two-node setup. Right now, I don't really necessarily see us scaling out any more. We were pretty much a 7-mode shop previously; now, we're a cDOT for these 8080 AFFs. With cDOT, it's very nice how you can scale it out and add more nodes to it. I don't necessarily see us taking advantage of that anytime soon. It's nice to have the option there.Which solutions did we use previously?We've had 30-40 controllers for about five or six years now and we've previously had the NetApp 2000 series. We have kind of been a NetApp shop. We've had different vendors like Pure Storage previously come in just to talk about stuff. I think the main reason we went to All Flash was the price point.When we were looking, we were doing a big project in which we were re-hauling a lot of our core infrastructure. We wanted to refresh the hardware on the NetApps. At the time, we were looking at doing a hybrid of spinning disk and SSDs; maybe doing flash pools and that kind of stuff. Then, working with our vendor and working with NetApp, we were going to need more space anyway so the cost of the new system plus additional shelves for the space was pretty much the same price at which they could give us an All Flash system. With the 4-to-1 compression and the similar features All Flash has to offer, it was kind of a no-brainer to move to that; a lot of performance increase as well, being on All Flash.A lot of our workloads aren't really disk-intensive, so we don't really need all flash, so at the time it wasn't needed, but the price point that NetApp was able to bring it in at was a deciding factor. Also, at the time that we reviewed Pure Storage, a lot of our systems were using multiple protocols on the same controller; we were using fiber channel, NFS, CIFS. The Pure Storage systems, at least when we reviewed them at the time, they didn’t really support all of those protocols on the same controller. We would have to buy multiple systems to be able to cover all our protocols. That made them more expensive. That was definitely a disadvantage for them.How was the initial setup?I was in charge of the original setup. I worked with our vendor to help actually do the install and configuration. It went really well. Coming from a 7-mode background to a cDOT was definitely a lot different with the lists and similar items to configure. It was very straightforward. We pretty much got it on the network within something like 30 minutes; got our VMware environment pointed to it and within a couple of hours, we already had data on it in the first half of the day.Which other solutions did I evaluate?I don't have a lot of experience with other vendors. We've reviewed Pure Storage, and even though we didn't officially have Nimble in, we've talked to Nimble at a lot of booths in some of the trade shows. They are pretty much the same as Pure Storage when it comes to some of their features, restrictions and similar items. EMC, I don't have any experience to speak for.What other advice do I have?I've been using NetApp for a long time now, so I really like NetApp, especially with the new ONTAP features, with clustering going forward. Give a good look at NetApp. They have treated us well and their product has been really rock solid for us.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-19T00:00:00-04:00