NETAPP FLASH CACHE MOD 1TB-C R5

Mfg.Part: FLASH-CACHE-1TBR5C | CDW Part: 2407932
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NETAPP FLASH CACHE MOD 1TB-C R5
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NETAPP FLASH CACHE MOD 1TB-C R5 is rated4.64 out of5 by181.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inline deduplication and compression are valuable. It's improved our tempdb access.Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable features are inline deduplication and compression.Improvements to My OrganizationIt's enabled us to move all of our database tempdb locations to the AFF and save 70% on storage costs.It's greatly improved our tempdb access. In our environment, we tend to use and abuse tempdb and as such moving our database tempdb locations over to that device has improved performance quite dramatically.Room for ImprovementBeyond the setup complexity issues I’ve mentioned elsewhere, most of the things that I wanted to utilize – transparent vol migration, transparent LUN migration, reassignment of volumes from one HA pair to another – have all been solved with either cluster mode or 9.0. Those are things that we do on a daily basis.Stability IssuesIt's just as stable as any other NetApp device, that is, very stable.Scalability IssuesWe haven't done a whole lot of scaling yet in our AFF solution. However, it appears to be quite scalable and now, with ONTAP 9, you can go up to 12 SAN nodes; it's been quite dramatically increased.Customer Service and Technical SupportIn general, I have not used technical support.Previous SolutionsI was involved in the decision to invest in the All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ). We decided to go with an all-flash solution for our ESX environment specifically because we had a business initiative to virtualize our database platform. In doing so, it was not performing as well as we would like on the spinning disk. Moving to an all-flash solution has dramatically decreased the OS latencies and increased performance of the OS, which in turn improved the performance of the overall application.We were previously using a NetApp FAS with the 10,000-rpm SAS disks; the 2 1/2" ones, the little ones.Initial SetupA cluster mode setup is quite complex, generally speaking, and quite involved; not as intuitive as I would like it to be. A one-click install would be nice, something where you can just have a GUI-driven system where you put in the IPs you want to use and the interfaces you want to install them on and call it good.Other Solutions ConsideredWe went to several different vendors; the two top contenders were NetApp and Pure Storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/pure-storage ). Ultimately, we went with NetApp for a couple of reasons: 1) the scalability of the clustering system, and 2) we're already a NetApp shop and so adding on to an existing NetApp environment made it quite a bit easier, especially with replication and data management techniques that NetApp already employed. The storage grid that NetApp is deploying across the infrastructure makes transparency and migration of data from one device to another environment a lot more seamless. Whereas Pure Storage is fast, NetApp is faster and their devices are data islands. Taking a step back, we just didn't feel Pure Storage was going to work for us in the long run.Our only experience with Pure is the demos that they brought us; nothing more than that. We talked to several of their customer bases and although they claim a lot of nondisruptive operations, they tend to be disruptive.We've worked with NetApp and it's kind of tried and true. We do upgrades, we do hardware replacements and everything is transparent and doesn't affect the users, which is really nice, especially considering we're a software-as-a-service company. The less we can take our customers offline, the better.Other AdviceIf you've already got NetApp, you can't go wrong.It's a fantastic system and it's solved a lot of our issues for application performance and it's probably one of the best storage systems I've worked with and yet the only reason I dock it a few points is because there's still the future. There's problems we have yet to solve, unknowns. There's always going to be issues in the future, we just don't know what they are yet, whether it's NPS storage, whether it's migration to the cloud. We have a business initiative to move to the cloud.There are a few oddities, only because some of our systems are legacy. We have the 7-mode system, which is our primary platform, and moving to the cloud is a little bit painful for that system. You have to spin up the 7MTT tool to get it to transfer the data and the 7MTT tool was not designed with cloud in mind. It was designed for migration of a 7-mode system to a cluster mode system within the same environment. When you're trying to move it from one environment to another environment to a different site with a whole new IP scheme with a whole new infrastructure, it's just a little bit on the kludgy side. There are things that don't make a lot of sense on that front. For example, it limits SnapMirrors to four per cloud ONTAP instance. We want more than that. We want hundreds. By default, the cloud instance is supposed to support 50 and yet we can only do four with the 7MTT.The most important criteria for me when selecting a storage vendor to work with are going to be speed, reliability and support. The better the support is, the easier they are to work with, the more likely we are to choose them.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It provides multi-platform support. FlexCloning is useful for database refreshes.What is most valuable?Multi-platform support is one of the most valuable features. It has lots of data protection solutions and cool new features, such as vol moves and FlexCloning. That's very useful for database refreshes.How has it helped my organization?We heavily leverage the FlexClone features to clone databases for various environments. We use the multiple protocol feature to support different operating systems and platforms.It allows us to be more flexible with customer demands and needs. It has not allowed us to save money, per se; there are other solutions that are probably cheaper in the flash arena, but this was a nice transition from our NetApp 7-mode to CDOT platforms.What needs improvement?I’d like better performance management tools and a federated provisioning tool to manage our storage. They're working on that right now. They don't have anything out of the box that comes with that at this time that I know of.For how long have I used the solution?I've been using AFF Flash for about eight months; we tested it 12 months ago.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's a very stable platform; so far, it’s been very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It scales very well. I'd give it about a 9 out of 10 on scalability.How is customer service and technical support?They have strong technical support. We've had some issues in the beginning with the technical support because it was a fairly new product, but they seem to be scaling up in terms of their support engineers.Which solutions did we use previously?We evaluated Pure ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/pure-storage ) and Tintri ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/tintri ). We're an incumbent customer of NetApp’s ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) 7-mode product, so for the migration from 7-mode to CDOT AFF was easier than transitioning to Pure or Tintri.Some of the competitors did not offer multi-protocol solutions, so the architecture for those solutions would have been a little bit more complicated.How was the initial setup?Me and my team did the initial setup. Setup was more complicated than their 7-mode platforms, but it's a necessary evil to provide the new functionalities within CDOT and AFF.What was our ROI?Moving to a flash ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ) solution was definitely beneficial.What other advice do I have?If you're not already in flash, you should probably start thinking about just buying just flash. Flash helps relieve some of the performance capacity management overhead that comes with traditional spinning disk platforms.What I would suggest to people that are looking at flash is to make sure they're able to do proper sizing. With buying flash, you need to also make sure your controllers are able to support the workloads you expect the flash to handle. I think flash removes the disk as the bottleneck, but then that pushes that bottleneck down to other hardware components, such as either the network SAN ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-san ) or storage controllers. Make sure that the rest of your system can handle it.That's what I would offer in terms of evaluating a flash solution, and to look into scaling out versus scaling up for flash.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-09T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The tools it has are helpful if you're not a CLI type of person.What is most valuable?Support's good. The product seems reliable. The uptime is good. We haven't had any major failures or anything like that. It runs all of our SAN ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-san ) VMware ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/vmware ) infrastructure with no problems, really.The tools that it has, such as OnCommand Manager and so on, they're helpful if you're not a CLI type of person. I actually like the CLI as well. They're both pretty easy to navigate, especially with the cluster mode. You can do the tab completions and everything in CLI now. That helps you to navigate through otherwise long commands.SnapMirror ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-snapmirror ), all the Snap technology, is pretty cool. You can do SnapMirror, the vault and everything like that.What needs improvement?The migration from 7-mode to cluster mode probably could be improved. The migration tool that they use, the copy free transition tool, it's new and it seemed like, while I was trying to get everything prepared, few people really knew much about it at NetApp. I had to make a lot of calls, send out a lot of emails to find out if the current version was going to do what we needed it to do. I was told, no it won't; then I was told, yes it will. I'd say they need to keep working on that migration tool.For how long have I used the solution?I have been using NetApp for about three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not really experienced any downtime to speak of. I did a migration recently from a 7-mode system to a cluster-mode system. While we were doing some of the migrations of some of the live VMs, our older ones started to max out on its processes. It didn't necessarily create downtime. It just kind of messed up our migration a little bit. We had to basically stop, regroup and then schedule it for another weekend. That'd be the closest thing to downtime, but I don't really consider it downtime, necessarily.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's definitely scalable, especially with cluster mode. You can just hook in another set of controllers, add disk shelves. It's definitely scalable.I feel like it's going to meet the organization's needs moving forward. As I've needed to add storage to it, I just grab another shelf and hook it up. It pulls in all the disks; you create your aggregates and everything. As far as if we ever need to add more controllers, you just connect them into the fabric, they come up and you can start sharing files, LUNs and all that stuff. It's definitely scalable.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is really good, knowledgeable, and responsive. Even with the migration I did, they sent out a professional services engineer at no charge to help us complete the migration of going from 7-mode to cluster mode between new hardware as well. We weren't just upgrading one system from 7-mode to cluster mode, we were actually upgrading and migrating to new hardware, so they sent somebody out and he assisted with the whole thing.The auto support and everything like that is good. When we've had a disc fail, they're calling, they're emailing, they're sending disks out. I get a disk the next day. Support is definitely good.How was the initial setup?Initial setup is not too bad. The cluster system I did not too long ago; you just console cable into it. It's got a guided setup on the CLI. After that's complete, you're on the network. You can use your web browser and access the OnCommand Manager application and start configuring SVMs and all that stuff. It's not super difficult. I know there are products out there that are probably easier. I've heard that Nimble Storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nimble-storage ) is supposed to be one that's really easy to use. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of complexity and everything, I'd say NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) stuff is probably about 7 for me. I've only been in SAN storage and everything for, like I’ve mentioned, about three years. I'm still relatively new to the industry of SAN storage. I'd give it about a 7.What other advice do I have?I recommend the product. I don't have a lot of experience with other solutions such as EMC Storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/dell-emc ), Nimble, Fujitsu ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/fujitsu ) or Hitachi ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/hitachi ). I've never really messed with any of them so it's hard for me to compare.I've been doing IT for a while. There some complexity to the NetApp stuff. I know that there are easier solutions out there such as the Nimble one. But overall, the NetApp AFF is a good product. You just need to know what you're doing a little bit or you're going to rely on support and other people. Take the classes. Make yourself familiar with it. That's what I've been doing.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We get a lot of compression and efficiency out of the dedupe, you can put a lot of stuff in a little spaceHow has it helped my organization?With the AFF, we can run VMs with databases now. That was one of the big features with the AFF, we needed the speed for databases. By moving them over, we can put VMDKs housing databases on there and use them on the VMware infrastructure now.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?The AFF we have, we use the in-line compression. The in-line dedupe, and the compaction saves us a lot of space because most of our AFFs house VMware VMDK files. We got a lot of compression, a lot of efficiency out of the dedupe because a lot of the VMware are similar with the OS, VMDKs, etc. It makes it really compact. You can put a lot of stuff in a little space.What needs improvement?That's a hard question to answer off the top of my head. I'd have to go through and evaluate everything. Right now, it fits our needs. I'd have to evaluate what else I'd like to see, I guess.While not for AFF specifically, for clusters in general, it would be nice to be able to have volumes everywhere. For example, now you have volumes tied to a node tied to an HA pair. It would be much better if you had it more like the way they do Metro Clusters, where they have a switch, and the storage is all attached to a switch. Then, they have a volume owned by something and have it should be able to move around to anywhere based on ownership of a volume, as opposed to between HA pairs. That would be a good improvement in their infrastructure.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The NetApp AFF itself, the FAS's, they're stable. They're in a cluster mode, they're HA, so we fail them over, we have upgraded fail back. We've never had an outage due to NetApp in the 12 years that I've been there.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability, it's like anything else. The ability now to take out and add shelves, pull out shelves from the middle of an array if you want, to upgrade them, to pull heads out, and put new heads in as a non-forklift upgrade. All that functionality and scalability is one of the things that makes NetApp really good for our environment.How is customer service and technical support?We use tech support for everything. Since it's a cluster, something that's not specific AFF, it's just nodes in the cluster. But we use support all the time.Tech support is like everything else. It's hit or miss. It depends on who you get and what the subject matter is. We had a Support Account Manager (SAM) at one point too and, when we had the SAM, it was a lot easier to work with their support through the SAM. We've dropped the SAM stuff.Sometimes it's difficult to escalate correctly and get the right people involved. It's not been as bad as it was before we had the Support Account Manager (SAM) though. Our SE helps a lot as well. It's pretty good support. We just had a support call yesterday with him and the guy we got was knowledgeable about what our problem was, so it worked out pretty well.Which solutions did we use previously?We've been a NetApp customer for 10 to 12 years now. We use their non-flash stuff a lot. We use hybrid flash, and after that, hybrid arrays. All Flash was the next logical move. Our next move is going to be the object storage, as well to spin off some of that data, the snapshots, on to object storage, because they've got flex groups.How was the initial setup?I was involved and it was seamless. We had a two-node star cluster with AFAs on them. NetApp did the install. A few years ago, we used to do our installs ourselves, as a company. Then we started using NetApp installation services to do them. They did the install. They inserted it seamlessly into our cluster. It came up, we had the arrays, and we could create aggregates on it, pretty much right after they got them installed.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We're using NetApp now as our hybrid storage. We have VMs on there. They wanted to put databases on the VMs. We said, "Well, we don't have the speed to put your databases on there. If you want to stay on the NFS structure with NetApp, the next logical solution is just to put you on All Flash, so we just throw some of those in the cluster and do a motion of your volumes over."For All Flash, we have a SAN infrastructure and a NAS infrastructure. We use the EMC for the SAN infrastructure, for the block. NetApp is the only NAS we have. There's not much else we can look at besides Isilon. Isilon just isn't fast enough. It's slower than what we had them on at the beginning. NetApp was really the only logical choice for that particular environment if we wanted to use NAS.What other advice do I have?The primary use case for our All Flash FAS (AFF) system is pretty much VMware and its servers. It's just for file storage right now, for NFS, for the VMware stuff. We're investigating using it for other things. It's also used as a Zerto, a web application depository for some of the Zerto replication for the VMware stuff.We use it for our mission critical stuff right now, as our VM infrastructure.The most important criteria, when selecting a vendor to work with is functionality. I look at the functionality of the systems, what they provide us, what the features are, and where they're going, and what we need. Then, after that, I'll look at support. Of course, my company wants to look at market share and similar thing to it, but I look at the those things last. I look at the functionality first.I give it a nine out of 10 because nothing's perfect. It works really well for what we want to do with it. It may not work well for other people. But in my experience, nine is where I would put it. It's functional, it's expandable, no forklift upgrades, and no disruptive upgrades, even for the OS or for the hardware itself. The flexibility of moving things around. All of its features, including its SnapMirror functionalities, make it really good for our environment.All the features and their flexibility is where I would give it the bigger rating. What would make it a 10 out 10 is better support.Regarding advice, it's the same advice you give to everybody. Evaluate what your criteria are, then look at NetApp. If you're looking for NAS, even for block, NetApp to me is mid-to-high level block. If you're looking for certain things in block, something else might be better, as opposed to FAS. You can look at NetApp for their other products. Look at NetApp for their file system for; FAS, look at their block stuff. Look at their stuff because all their stuff is available for use, it's just that the FAS itself is not suitable for everything, but they have other stuff that is.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For us, the most valuable features were the SnapMirroring, deduplication, and inline compression.Valuable Features:For us, the most valuable features were the SnapMirroring, deduplication, and inline compression. Now with 9.0, the compaction system, that's actually the big thing that sold us on it besides just the price in general. It was a very well-priced system for what we got. The data dedupe and inline, we're getting substantial rates. I think it's about 60-65% in general. That's a massive savings over what you would get if you didn't have any of that stuff.Improvements to My Organization:We have a job system that runs all the time; people can run what they call campaigns. It drastically increased performance. It decreased times by three times the amount. The amount of the CIFS shares increased from about 128 Mbps – it was only a 1-gig line anyway, to a 10 gig – to about 800 Mbps. The engine actually can't pull enough and it has caused a little issue here and there, because it's basically causing a race condition. We've had to program around race conditions because we haven't had a system that was this fast.It saved us a lot of time as well, substantial savings.Room for Improvement:If they could do the tabbing for the nodes, that would be spectacular. On 9, they offered more insight, so I can't really say that. We haven't upgraded both nodes. We have HA pairs, and one of them is still running 8.3.2. We upgraded our DR solution to nine first just to see if it causes any issues. So far, we haven't seen anything. They have a lot more insight into that; I wish they would have it on 8.3.2 but, what are you going to do?Stability Issues:So far, stability’s been excellent, and the update process was actually incredibly painless. We've upgraded twice now and I am surprised that it didn't cause any issues at all. Usually, you have to have some kind of user intervention. For this product, you just throw the image on there, click update and it's done. You come back about an hour later and you're happy.The GUI is really good, but if you don't find the option in the GUI, then the CLI is amazing. You can hit Tab and just tab out. The only thing is, they haven't done that on the nodes themselves but I was told they're working on that.Scalability Issues:We don't have that big of one yet. We originally quoted out a system of eight nodes, and it was going to be something like 12 GBps. That seemed like substantial amounts, considering what everyone else quoted. However, it actually was going to come in at about the same price for the AFF ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) compared to everyone else's quotes for disks. The reason they went with it is because of the trust with the vendor they were currently using and they just didn't want to leave.Previous Solutions:We were using NetApp before, but we evaluated EMC, IBM, HP, Pure Storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/pure-storage ), XtremIO ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/dell-emc-xtremio-flash-storage ) and Nimble ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nimble-storage ).It came down to XtremIO and NetApp. NetApp offered much, much more storage. And the cost difference to buy XtremeIO was huge compared to NetApp. NetApp just totally blew it out of the water on price. We got something like five times the storage for the price. It was really worth testing on that.Other Advice:Try out what you actually want to do, because that's actually the problem we had; some of our people swore up and down that NetApp wouldn't be able to do compression at the new rates that they got, or that we got. They said that Oracle doesn't compress and so on. We ended up getting them to stick some of their machines on our NetApp, and we showed them that you actually do get it.We actually bought ours and then we tried to show those other people before they got to the bidding table for theirs. They didn't really want to listen to the facts. They went with IBM. I wouldn't say they were not unhappy or anything. They realized that they could've gotten a lot more if they just went with our ideas instead of their idea. Actually, I was told it was more of a management thing; they actually didn't even want IBM, they wanted Oracle. It all comes down to what the boss says.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Maximizes Performance Of Our Critical Applications And Provides Flexible ScalingWhat is our primary use case?NetApp is introducing All Flash FAS with the all-flash array. Our customers like performance, they don't want to deal with latency. Using an all-flash array, our customers get impact from performance.How has it helped my organization?I can definitely say it has helped our orginization. We have an SQL application server, which is in our NetApp storage. The records contain the number of transactions. Since my company is a financial company, we always look into transactions. NetApp all-flash array is faster than we're used to. The read and write, and the random IOPS are all up to speed. I don't see much of a difference when I run the 100k random IOPS with a 70% read and 30% write, and vice versa, 70% write and 30% read. That's a big improvement that we've seen since we started using this solution. It is a valuable asset.What is most valuable?They have come up with good back-end architecture. The features are the same as NetApp ONTAP. The only change is all-flash. There are no 7k, 10k, or 15k drives, only flash drives.My favorite part is all-flash solid drives. All of my applications are running on an all-flash array. Before, we used to get too many severity tickets on performance, but as soon as we migrated everything to an all-flash array, our critical applications are at top performance.We are very happy with the user experience from the all-flash array. Because their usual latency for the application depends on the critical application - they used to see four-millisecond latency with the non-all-flash array - with the all-flash array, they don't even see microseconds of latency. They might see microseconds, but that is not impactful.What needs improvement?To be more competitive in the industry, they can develop deduplication, compression, and smarter features in the same array instead of all-flash.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's better with all-flash.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is good. Compared to the different vendors, the scalability is very flexible, in the sense that you can scale up to whatever you want, expand your storage, expand your clusters, expand your nodes. NetApp makes it possible. Some vendors have come up with models that won't expand their nodes, which creates the need to buy different clusters. For example, let's say I have four nodes. My four nodes have the capability of taking one million IOPS, but my storage backend isn't complete, so I can't expand that. So the nodes are of no use. NetApp is not only thinking from the customer's point of view, but they are also thinking about every other prospective use and they include a lot in all-flash drives.How is customer service and technical support?It's very good. I have never personally seen any issues with the technical support.Which solutions did we use previously?Our previous solution had performance issues. I see a lot of value in faster policies. I don't like when critical applications are running on drives with different speeds. When customers need to track all of their data and it's sitting on a 7k drive, the drive is working hard. The response is slow. With all-flash, it's better.How was the initial setup?The initial setup is straightforward. It's not complex.We have connected to AFF public clouds but I'm not really dealing with it.It took us less than two minutes to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF.What about the implementation team?We used NetApp, but we could've deployed it ourselves. NetApp Support knows the best practices. A good thing about NetApp is that even customers can easily deploy the storage. With other vendors, you usually have to entirely rely on them for deployment and all facets of the solution.What was our ROI?We definitely see ROI. We save a lot more money with this solution.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Using NetApp, our total cost of ownership decreased by 17%.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Other vendors aren't as straightforward as NetApp when it comes to the deploying, installing, and configuring. NetApp works more efficiently. By saving time, you're saving money.What other advice do I have?AFF has affected IT's ability to support new business initiatives. Nowadays, customers in financial companies are looking for more storage. From a business point of view, you need a faster response in order to compete with other financial companies. From the customer's point of view, they are looking for a faster response from their financial company. Using all-flash array, they can retrieve their old files within seconds. That's an important edge.AFF helps us improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics on VMs. It helps us with records. We need to be able to calculate more performance matters. Customers have complained that the performance latency exceeds more than three milliseconds for some applications. They will have delayed performance latency. When I used the 7.2k drives, applications could only support 300 accounts per second. If it was more than that, it would crash. NetApp all-flash array gives us one million IOPS.I would rate this product a ten because of flash. Because AFF is better for the customer, provisionally, deployment, and performance-wise.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-25T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ?Speed, storage efficiency mean no complaints from customers and we don't have to buy as much spaceWhat is most valuable?* Easy to manage.* It's quick. It's very fast.* We've been getting something like 27-to-1 compression, so it's been really good.How has it helped my organization?Because of the speed and storage efficiency, we have no complaints from the customer and we don't have to buy as much space, because we can compress it.What needs improvement?I know we're looking at cloud solutions, so maybe if they have something cloud-based, that might be something. It could be important soon. Right not it's not but it could change soon for us.For how long have I used the solution?Two years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We haven't had any down-time yet. So far the disks are really reliable, so I'm happy about that.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to buy any new flash for a while because of the compression. So far, being able to compress the data has been able to help us save money on buying more disks.How is customer service and technical support?I haven't had to use it yet. I've been able to do it myself so far.NetApp's been responsive on other issues. So far, on the flash side, I haven't had any issues to have to call them.Which solutions did we use previously?We needed something quick for our SQL DBAs, so that was the recommended path that we take, and it's been great so far.We were using the 600 Gig drives, regular SCSI drives, and they weren't fast enough. We switched because of the complaints of how slow the disk worked prior to us moving over to the flash.How was the initial setup?We had a vendor help us, but it seemed like it was pretty straightforward.What other advice do I have?Our primary use case is for SQL databases. We use it for block storage.We are more likely to consider NetApp for a mission-critical storage system, based on our experience, because of the speed. We have a cluster, so the high availability. Those are the two.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* Dependability, like at 3:00 in the morning, if I need help, they're there. That's really number one for me.* The willingness to be able to train me so I can do it and I don't have to constantly call them.Those are the two, my major factors.To a colleague in another company who's researching a similar product I would say, "Go for it." If they don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night saying their backups are slow, they've got to go with the fast disks.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-23T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Usability and consistency, we've never had an outage and backups are 90% fasterWhat is most valuable?Usability, in general. Currently, just basic functionality and consistency is all we really aim for.How has it helped my organization?Potentially. Hopefully just the consistency and integrity. That's our main goal as a small shop, compared to some.Hopefully, you never have to actually use those backups but those backups are probably completing 90% faster. If we had roll back to a backup, then we're going to have more consistency. That's the main thing - that I hope I don't have to use - that would be there for its benefit.What needs improvement?Lower the price. I would say being forced as a small shop wanting to go to All-Flash and being forced to buy all of the licenses that we don't use and we don't need, that was a bummer, and that was a stretch as far as convincing management. That's probably the only thing I can think of off the top of my head.For how long have I used the solution?I've been in charge of NetApp for three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I've never had a problem. We've never had an outage. All the upgrades have gone well. There have been a couple of hiccups getting to the point where you can upgrade, as far as configuration changes, but nothing that caused any outages, or data loss, or anything like that.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We'll see. We're only running about 27 terabytes in production right now. We're keeping everything else on our secondary FAS in our DR location. So we think it would scale well. But we'll see. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.How is customer service and technical support?We haven't used it for a while, and then only a little bit. Just conversing about upgrades and making sure we're set to go to various versions.They've been very knowledgeable. I haven't really had any problems with them. We haven't had anything critical where I needed an immediate response. So I also haven't worried that much about it.Which solutions did we use previously?We didn't need invest in a new solution but our support was up on our system. So we had to upgrade. We had a 15K SAS disk before that was sufficient but it was going end-of-support at the end of this year or the end of next year, so it was a good time to upgrade.We chose NetApp because we put a lot of money into the training already. I'm very comfortable with it. I like it. It's pretty industry standard. It's very a valuable skill. So I'd rather not go to some smaller start-up vendor and then, if I ever do look for a new job, I can say, "Yeah, I'm very experienced with NetApp," not whatever other company. And HPE was horrible four or five years ago.Which other solutions did I evaluate?I'm coming from a HP MSA and they were just horrible. Very unfriendly. Disks failing every week. Every month.We had a NetApp FAS8020 before and I thought it was great. We went from HPE to NetApp and there's no comparison. We looked at a couple of other vendors but they weren't as robust so we stayed with NetApp.We looked at a company called Datrium. They were not robust enough to fit all of our needs. I looked at Nimble Storage. I don't remember what the other company was. I didn't actually talk to them, but I looked at their product. Everything's basically the same price and so why not just stick with NetApp.What other advice do I have?We use it as our production stack, VMware, Oracle, and file shares for the most part, and use it for both block and file storage.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems, based on our experience, because we didn't have a disk fail in six years with our first FAS. That's hard to beat that. I hear different stories on that, but that's our experience. So I'm pretty happy.Everything runs well. The main thing that we've noticed is Oracle including backups at night, and queries and the like. Other than that, the database guys were the only ones that complained anyway. So they're happy now and that's my only job, really.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* Primary is data integrity (not losing my data).* Secondary would be uptime. With NetApp we haven't had any down-time.In terms of advice to someone who's looking for this kind of solution I would say do your research. You can't go wrong with NetApp. But make sure you're getting the right product for what you use or what you need it for. With the right use case.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gives us high performance and deduplication capabilities with simpler managementHow has it helped my organization?The primary use case for our Flash FAS is general storage for our hypervisor, software as a service provider. We primarily use it for storing our applications, web servers, file servers, and whatever other applications we have. We mainly utilize the AFF platform for the high performance and the deduplication capabilities. The management is a lot simpler on an AFF.What is most valuable?* Deduplication* Compressions* Simpler management* The performance is great.What needs improvement?I'm not sure there are any additional features which I want to see, except for maybe more compatibility within the hardware universe and more compatibility for cables and other hardware. Some better integration with the E-Series to give us more options to scale. The other issue though is a completely different product called HCI, so this might not even be an AFF request.It would be helpful if the compatibility matrix was a bit better. That's what we run into a lot. Our datacenters have a need for more flexible cabling and NetApp has very strict guidelines on what kind of cables you use. That's the only reason why I wouldn't rate it a 10 out of 10, but everything else is great.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is very good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Regarding scalability, on a scale of one to 10, I'd say about a five.How is customer service and technical support?Tech support is great. I'd rate it as a nine out of 10.Which solutions did we use previously?The initial reason for going to NetApp was that our original solution, which was Dell Storage, just wasn't cutting it. We did our own in-house testing, performance-wise, resilience-wise, etc. The Dell Storage just wasn't cutting it. Dell's other solution at that time was Compellent, and NetApp was just better. The initial reason we didn't go with NetApp was because of cost, but they were able to meet us in the middle and we just went from there.How was the initial setup?Not straightforward, there is a learning curve when it comes to AFFs, but once you understand the setup it's pretty easy.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Our initial perception of NetApp was it's extremely expensive and a little too inflexible. However, once we did get into the NetApp ecosystem, we realized that the cost effectiveness was greater than we originally thought.The cost effectiveness is due to deduplication compression, the number of managed hours that we need to maintain the system, and the flexibility of NetApp which is geared toward keeping their systems more resilient.What other advice do I have?I would check to see that you're okay with centralized storage because that's what NetApp's bread and butter is. If you want a centralized storage platform that is bulletproof, NetApp is great.We use AFF for both block storage and NAS storage. We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on our experience with AFF.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have seen a speed improvement, and our applications are a lot fasterWhat is most valuable?* The Flash component for performance* The management* ONTAP* The features that ONTAP now has with the availability to work with the cloud.How has it helped my organization?We have seen a speed improvement, and our applications are a lot faster.What needs improvement?Probably on the management side of things. It is very complex.For how long have I used the solution?Probably six months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Not really.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It is pretty scalable.How is customer service and technical support?Tech support is very good, so give it an eight out of 10.Which solutions did we use previously?It was an older system. It was a disc based system. So, we were looking for performance improvement.It was a natural progression from the previous system, so it was just more of an upgrade rather than a new system.How was the initial setup?It was reasonably straightforward. We received a lot of knowledge on the net about ONTAP systems, so the setup has improved.What other advice do I have?The NetApp ONTAP system is a very good system to work with and use. Very versatile and once you know how things work in the NetApp world, then it makes it very easy to keep the systems for a long time, to work with them, and they work very well.It is a brand new system, and it works extremely well. Performance improvements are as expected.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-15T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It makes for easy upgrades; you just add new nodes, move stuff off, and take the old nodes off ?How has it helped my organization?We're a hospital and we store all of our patient records on it. Everything that we do in the hospital is done on there. It does it for VMware as well as databases and Oracle, we do everything on it. It allows us to do our job.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?The capabilities of ONTAP is what drives me towards NetApp.Their ability to put more storage on smaller spaces through their deduplication compaction. Routines and thin storage are very valuable to us.What needs improvement?An additional feature that I would like to see better support for is block level storage, where they understand what's inside the LUNs as well as the LUNs themselves.Though with 9.2 coming out, there is very little else that I want. I think anything they add at this point is going to be just icing, because it's already meeting my needs.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I like the scalability, the clusters, being able to add new nodes and such. It also makes for easy upgrades; you just add new nodes, move stuff off, and take the old nodes off.How is customer service and technical support?They are very good, knowledgeable, and responsive. Though every once in awhile, you get a knucklehead.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?We were using an EMC solution before this one. We switched when we ran out of performance on what we had.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the setup.They preconfigured it at the factory and that is a pain in the neck. This should stop.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated EMC, Hitachi and NetApp.What other advice do I have?When choosing a storage, it's a matter of management. Once you've bought the storage, all your time is spent in management. So, look at the software as well as the hardware.We use it for block storage almost exclusively.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems because they have been excellent to work with and their product has been stable.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support and performance.Previous SolutionsWe were using an EMC solution before this one. We switched when we ran out of performance on what we had.Initial SetupI was involved in the setup.They preconfigured it at the factory and that is a pain in the neck. This should stop.Other Solutions ConsideredWe evaluated EMC, Hitachi and NetApp.Other AdviceWhen choosing a storage, it's a matter of management. Once you've bought the storage, all your time is spent in management. So, look at the software as well as the hardware.We use it for block storage almost exclusively.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems because they have been excellent to work with and their product has been stable.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support and performance.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-17T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for some SQL databases and a VDI solution. Initial setup is simple; they code the cabling.What is most valuable?The input/output is the most valuable feature. When you have high-availability applications that need high IOPS, it's kind of a no-brainer to have an AFF. We're using it for some SQL databases now, and a VDI solution.How has it helped my organization?We did see some massive performance increases on all of the SQL databases when we moved over; that made the database administrators pretty happy.What needs improvement?It's worked very well. I know we'll see improvements in disk. You'll get better processors and things like that, which will make them faster, but overall, it's fantastic for our environment. Improvements in disk and better processors would be something I’d like to see in the future, but you're going to see that anyway.I always get surprised when I see a new feature. Usually when something comes out, I'll see something and say "Wow, I would have never thought they would've went there." I'm not that good at future-casting.I'm sure that people have issues. I haven't had anything, though. It's been great.Maybe if it had some sort of game-changing technology. They're all very similar; that's the thing I learned through the POC process.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not had any stability or scalability issues at all, actually. It fit right into our current cluster, and everything works great. We haven't had any issues at all. It’s been absolutely stable.How is customer service and technical support?We have not needed to use technical support for anything particular on the AFF. We do have a support contract and we do have support issues from time to time, but nothing's come up with the All Flash, so far.In general, NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) support is pretty good; overall, pretty good. I've had a couple of things that needed to be escalated but overall, the staff is pretty knowledgeable and they work pretty well.Which solutions did we use previously?We drove the decision to invest in AFF a little more than our database administrators had. They were fine with the performance, but we were seeing some things on our side that made us think it was time to go with a flash solution. They were driving too much IO over SAS and SATA, and we wanted to make sure we had the right solution for them going forward. We also wanted to futureproof it a little bit.How was the initial setup?If you can set up any FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-fas-series ), you can probably set up a AFF. Initial setup is pretty simple, if you know that technology.The thing that I love the most about it is, being a NetApp customer for a while, they code their cabling; you know where the square plugs in, and you have a triangle and a circle. That makes it so much easier; they idiot-proofed it, very much. Then, of course, when you go through the setup and configuration, it alerts you if there's any cabling issue, so you can go back; that was kind of nice, too.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?I don't handle pricing. I did a little bit of the negotiation. I thought it was fair for the value that we got, especially compared to certain competitors that we looked at as well.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We're a NetApp shop, and we've had a very good relationship with them over the years. Nonetheless, for certain purchases – obviously, for a big purchase such as moving into the flash arena – we wanted to be certain, so we did look at a few other options.I felt like the AFF pricing was better. The fact that we had existing NetApp solutions and a great relationship with our NetApp partners was basically what won it there. I don't know that it necessarily does anything different than a competitor, but we've been very happy with it.In general, when I’m considering vendors to work with, I like solid solutions. I like good support. You wind up trusting people after you get through a few solutions and through a few things with them. That's important to me.What other advice do I have?If you have experience with NetApp, you shouldn't have any trouble with it. If you don't, I would suggest the training. It's pretty straightforward, but that'll always help.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2016-12-04T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We want the performance and high availability for our VDI environments.How has it helped my organization?As far as our VDI environment goes, it's allowed us to exponentially expand it. We've gone from essentially a trial project to a full-out deployment, corporation-wide, for VDI. It's allowed us to facilitate that quite well.For example, the bottleneck for speed was one. We’ve tried out some different solutions. We've got some Pure ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/pure-storage ) technology in there and we have a couple of other vendors. We've done a lot of business with NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) over the years. We've kind of decided to stick with them for a while.What is most valuable?We're changing over all of our older models to the new FAS stuff, the AFF especially, because we want high performance, high availability for VDI ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/virtual-desktop ) environments. We're having some pretty severe bottlenecks on spinning disk with VDI, of course. We're changing over almost all of our sites to the AFF to get the performance that we need for the VDI environment.What needs improvement?I would give it a higher rating if they would work a bit on the interface and similar items, especially the metrics that it has displayed, improvement on those, maybe a little bit more historical, maybe have some additional metrics on the graphs and stuff on that.Otherwise, it's a fantastic product. I'm quite happy with it now. It would have been nice if they would have jumped on the bandwagon a little earlier with flash but hindsight...Actually, they've already improved it quite a bit; the 7-mode to cluster-mode migration, which they've worked significantly on. We actually have one coming up sometime in the next couple of months for one of our sites, 7-mode to cluster-mode. We were originally anticipating that it would involve a significant amount of downtime. Now, we're at the point where they're assuring us there's no downtime.What do I think about the stability of the solution?With some of the older technology, we have had stability issues; with the NetApp technology. With these new AFFs, they've been rock solid.How is customer service and technical support?We frequently use technical support. They're great. Our SE's fantastic. He comes out all the time, helps us out. We've got a couple of other people that we have on speed dial that will come out and give us a hand when we require it; have issues setting up, making significant changes or anything like that.Which solutions did we use previously?Most of the time, investing in the AFF was a result of upgrading our current technology of stuff that we have in there, whether it be older NetApp stuff that we're replacing with a new AFF, or a need presents itself, such as a new project that we would have to look at. We don't have a policy of always having the newest technology in here, immediately; it's project-based or replacement based.We've been with NetApp before I got to the company. They've been with NetApp for a while and I worked with NetApp in previous companies as well.When I’m choosing a vendor like NetApp, I look at the support and how the company treats us as a customer. We don't want a company that's just going to sell us a nice, great big box, bow-wrapped, and then never speaks to us again. With NetApp, we've had a lot of continuity with, not only the SEs but, the sales staff and so on. They continually come in and make sure that we're good; checking to see if we have any projects that are coming up; checking to see if we have any problems that we need to solve with them; being very proactive and so on. Some of the other vendors that we've tried out have been, sort of, "Okay, it's in, thank you."What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?I don't get involved with the pricing, so I'm not familiar with that. I know it's a pretty penny, but I'm not familiar with that.What other advice do I have?Depending on what the project is, I'd definitely tell someone looking asking me for advice to take a look at NetApp. Although NetApp is a great product, it doesn't fit every single solution, the different sizes. NetApp is a little more on the expensive side, so it'd just have to fit whatever that they're trying to do, whatever their company is. I'd probably tell them to take a look at what's out there, what would fit them, but I would give a good nod to NetApp. They've always done us quite well.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I no longer worry about disk utilization problems.What is most valuable?For sure, the most valuable features are the compression and dedupe ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/deduplication-software ) on there. We gain so much more back than we thought we were going to get; that was one of the biggest things. I don't have to worry about any kind of disk utilization problems because of the spindles or anything; that's what we've always experienced.How has it helped my organization?We shrunk our footprint and get a lot more power for the same thing; makes it simple.What needs improvement?I would like to see compaction, the new feature in ONTAP 9. We haven't gotten that yet. We just got everything to CDOT.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability’s great. I have zero worries, unlike the 6080s; that thing was unstable as heck. This thing's great.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I like the scalability, too, because the footprint is small. You just add shelves, add to it, swap it out.How is customer service and technical support?We've called technical support many times. It's good. We're very hands-on in our organization, so the first level usually isn't that helpful. We usually give them about five or 10 minutes to work on it, then we say, “OK, let's escalate this; let's not spend an hour here”, but they're always helpful. It's just a matter of the first level being the first level; they don't have the insight to do any more.Which solutions did we use previously?We knew we needed to invest in the All Flash FAS because we were on 6200 series with 300 GB drives. We were very obsolete and we didn't want to go to a large platform, so we went to that. The price point was easy because they priced it so cheap.How was the initial setup?I was involved with the initial setup; did the whole thing. We build it, from the time they ship it. Once they get it to us, I take care of everything; networks, the whole nine yards. It’s straightforward. It's very easy, but of course we've been doing this for years, so it could be complex and we wouldn't care.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?The price keeps coming down and it's going to keep coming down.Which other solutions did I evaluate?I did not evaluate other options; that was it.What other advice do I have?It depends on their feature set. If they just need a niche product, they may want to go to a different platform; not that they need to, but they could consider that. If they're looking for something that covers everything, then the All Flash FAS will be enough.All of it's pretty simple. All the feature sets are very straightforward to me, coming from the FAS environment.I have given it a perfect rating because it's easy. Nothing's wrong with it. I don't have any problems. It's easy to set up. I'm good to go. I don't have any issues with it. It's very easy to use.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is that they consider our needs instead of trying to shove something down our throat.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-27T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It runs on a native ONTAP operating system and supports multi-tenancy.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are its fast performance and that it runs on a native ONTAP operating system, which is the coolest thing.How has it helped my organization?If you are looking for high-performance, reliable, multi-tenancy supporting equipment, then this is a very valid, legitimate solution with a proven background and history.If you have a system administrator doing workflow that you have defined, then it is not going to save you time or money. If you have some kind of automated system, even though you haven't paid for those services, then it is going to make a lot of difference. It will save time because this is a high-end, high performance solution.What needs improvement?See my comments regarding technical support.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The tool is stable. Over the past several years, ONTAP has proven to be very stable OS solution. People may have experienced latency issues, but my workflow and workload is significantly small, so latency happens on the fly and it is easy to fix quickly.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Based on what I've heard, this tool is highly scalable. Even though I am using it in our relatively small environment, the tool is highly scalable. Any medium to large size company can afford it and it will be a good fit.How is customer service and technical support?We do have premium support or regular support, whatever they call it. Every time we have an issue, we call technical support, and they get online right away. I have found them very helpful. The NetApp technical teams are pretty excellent in offering services.SolidFire is in the same boat as NetApp in terms of supporting this product. It is a fairly new technology for them as well. Comparatively, the level of support for this solution takes a little longer, but it’s all relative. It takes little longer to get support for this tool than it takes for any other FAS system.How was the initial setup?I was partially involved in the setup. It followed the same setup process for any other FAS system. It is pretty slick. The setup is pretty decent.I know it uses the same OS, so I don't see why it would be different than any other FAS system. It has a different flavor, but it is not completely different. It is not using an “out-of-the-blue” OS.What other advice do I have?This is proven technology. You cannot question its reliability and its high scalability. It is a very solid solution. If you are looking for high performance storage gear, it is definitely a very strong solution.We have been a long-time consumer of NetApp solutions. The reliability with NetApp is very valuable to us. We don’t want to put that at stake by trying another solution.I currently use several other NetApp systems, such as cDOT. We are pretty much a NetApp house.We are also using a number of systems in parallel with this tool. We have a EMC VNX unified converged solution, IBM DS, and IBM Storwize V7000.If I were a decision maker, I wouldn't go with only one solution. I prefer to diversify. That gives me more flexibility to keep vendors competitive and then they can offer me more. I don’t want to get locked into only one solution provider. I prefer to work with multiple vendors so I have more flexibility with price.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-05T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We're able to treat more patients now because our workloads are performing faster, though I'd like to see online duplication, which I believe will be available with 8.3.2.Valuable FeaturesFor us in the health care sector, the most valuable feature is quality of service because we're able to stop the workloads from taking over other workloads that are more important.We have storage virtual machines at work, so we're able to segregate and distinguish between different workloads. I think local HFL might as well form the natural process side of things, which is an improvement from 7-Mode.Improvements to My OrganizationWe're able to treat more patients now because our workloads are performing faster.Room for ImprovementI'd like to see online duplication, which I believe will be available with 8.3.2.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for the past four months or five months with lots of clinical applications that deal with healthcare, and VMs with SQL.Deployment IssuesWe've had no issues with deployment.Stability IssuesWe've had no crashes. We have experienced a couple of problems based on configuration and books. I believe these issues are going to be addressed in an update, but for now I think they are just focused on the reiteration of what the best practices are.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical Support7/10, as there were a couple of issues which took technical support some time to handle.Previous SolutionsWe have used Fusion-io for flash but nothing in SAN. We were looking to address performance issues, and NetApp addressed them.Initial SetupI think we took about two weeks to get up and running. We performed initial tests and diagnostic tests, all the results of which surpassed our expectations. We were able to get 400,000 IOPS from our system processor.Implementation TeamWe used a mix of three days with NetApp, another three days with a partner, and everything else was done in-house.ROIWe won't have a number until we've fully migrated, but so far it looks good.Other Solutions ConsideredWe were looking at Pure Storage and a couple of other vendors who had all-in-one solutions.Other AdviceI think it fits a lot of peoples requirements, but I'd recommend waiting until v8.3.2 just for the additional features and to resolve some books. Other than that, it's great.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It provides speed and performance for our transactional workloads for our databases.Improvements to My OrganizationThe most valuable features are the speed and performance for our transactional workloads for our databases. We saw it in terms of our workloads for our customers for our products that demanded high-performance transactions for, specifically, our Microsoft SQL databases.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable features are the speed and performance for our transactional workloads for our databases. We saw it in terms of our workloads for our customers for our products that demanded high-performance transactions for, specifically, our Microsoft SQL databases.Room for ImprovementI think for us, improvement would probably be the changes in how the flash is actually used inside the system and how we manage the actual disk and stripes within the system. That's what I'm being told. That's where I think the improvements will be realized in the system; how the data is compacted inside the system and realizing greater opportunities for your storage on that medium to get higher and higher disk usage inside of that. Today, I think we've been told you can get up to four-to-one ratios. We're hoping we can even realize that even higher inside those disk subsystems. Also, we're going to get more TBs of storage inside of it in terms of the 15-TB drives. We've heard 30-TB drives are on the way, maybe even the 60s and the faster adoption rates of those disk technologies, as they come through.We're looking at probably about a three-to-one ratio right now in the environment; it's highly transactional in our databases. Four to one would be a great improvement. We think we'll be better as time goes on. We're on the early release of the 8.3 series but until the next release of ONTAP, I think it'll just continue to see improvements as it moves forward.Scalability IssuesI did not encounter any scalability issues. How we're seeing it right now is that it's going to be very scalable in terms of architecture. It's going to be scalable within the data center because it's actually a smaller footprint for us. I think overall durability of this infrastructure will be really good as well. I think overall, it's going to reduce our operations because we're going to spend a lot less time troubleshooting performance; we’ll have a lot more time to be more forward looking in the design and implementation.Customer Service and Technical SupportWe're very happy with the support that NetApp brings to us as a company. When we challenge them with our current problems that we have or our customers that we service have, I'm very pleased with what they do for us. We have a broad scope of problems and NetApp has a broad scope of customers. That's why we chose them as our vendor.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Previous SolutionsI've been using this the whole time I’ve been with this company; this is basically everything we've run all along.Initial SetupI was not involved in the initial setup, just basically the attainment of the technology for our teams, for them to deploy it.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingIt's expensive right now. Customers probably have different viewpoints on it. It's expensive but we think over time all the prices are going to go down. It's going to continue to be driven down as technologies for SSDs continue to be released with NVMe coming out and the adoption of that technology. Spinning media will probably be relegated to archive solutions inside of our data centers from here going forward, as we end-of-life it.I do see prices going down; I don't think it has a choice. I think the businesses will drive it that way because I think the market will drive it that way, as you see all other companies fight the big cloud providers using SSD and driving the technology down as well.Other AdviceIf you implement AFF, find the right workload solution for what business problem you're trying to solve initially. For us, we found the problem and a solution for it. Does it help everything? Maybe not necessarily. It depends on what your application is and what you're doing. It'll help but it might not help everything. It depends on whether the price point is right to solve that problem. For us, the price point was certainly right. We're going to continue to work toward it. As we go through time, we acquired it. We've got a taste for it now. Our customers certainly do. We'll probably be buying more of it over the next 18-24 months.We think there is a time envelope where we're going to fully adopt it, but right now we're not too aggressive with it. We think we're just aggressive enough with the implementation. I think there's going to be a curve where the decline of spinning media will occur with the uptick of SSDs in our environment. An inflection point will happen where the price per GB will hit right in the middle and it'll be advantageous for us to do just SSDs only.When we look to work with a vendor, the important criteria are support from that company, along with the thoughtfulness of the implementation when they bring it to you and when you're bringing problems to them and they bring a solution. You're looking for them to look forward with you and address those problems or feature sets you're looking for. They brought the all-flash array out to us to address our business problems.I think as we continue to use it and the product matures, as we realize probably ONTAP 9 and the next feature set and versions and it grows, I think it'll continue to evolve and get better and better over time.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-01T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We moved from mechanical disks to flash in order to speed up our BI reports.Valuable FeaturesGoing from mechanical disks to flash ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ) was a huge benefit, speed-wise. A lot of big BI reports that we were running that would take hours, we can do in 10 minutes now. That was really the biggest impact. The user saw it immediately, the benefit of it.Improvements to My OrganizationWe're an electronics manufacturer. Shop floor people rely on these reports to make decisions throughout the day and we can, instead of having a once-a-day refresh, they can almost get it on demand.Room for ImprovementI would just like to keep seeing improvements in performance and efficiency, which it seems to have been doing between 8.3 and 9; it's getting better with every release.The user interface is a lot better. I think in 9, we do a lot of command line stuff, so I'm not into the GUI too much.Use of SolutionWe’ve been using it for six months. It's fairly new.Stability IssuesWe've had no issues stability-wise; we've been a NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) customer for 20 years and just rarely have any issues.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support is getting better. Historically, it's been painful. We had some challenges with support but over the last couple of years, I think it has gotten a lot better. We have a really good SE now that we leverage and our partner's really good as well.Previous SolutionsWe knew we needed to invest in a new solution because we lease our equipment and it was due for release return.Initial SetupInitial setup was easy. We had one small system. We have a lot of FAS systems; we have a single AFF right now. It's an 8080, with just one shelf. It was a very simple setup. We're familiar with cluster mode already.Rack it and call it good.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked at several other options:Pure Storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/pure-storage ), Nutanix ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nutanix ), and Tintri ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/tintri-vmstore ).We chose NetApp because all of our other storage systems are NetApp. We just liked being able to leverage the knowledge that we already had in house. We didn't see a lot of value in having another siloed storage system out there that we had to support. Price-wise, NetApp was very competitive, more competitive than we had expected.Other AdviceDo it. You won't regret it.I like the product, and am quite happy with it.When I choose a vendor, some of the criteria I look for are support, the ability to execute and a mature product line.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance is the number one feature. As far as scalability, we can extend to new nodes and move data around at will.What is most valuable?For the All Flash FAS, performance is the number one feature, above the reliability and scalability. First of all, the All Flash FAS is extremely fast. We're serving something in the neighborhood of a trillion transactions per month in SQL. We are getting great performance, submillisecond. As far as scalability, we can extend to new nodes and move data around at will. It's been a really good solution.How has it helped my organization?We are a customer-driven solution. We're running the environment and have some very demanding customers that require zero downtime, extremely good performance, and the solution has worked out extremely well for us.We have a software that is a learning environment for schools, higher education and corporate businesses. User software for learning environments. And they use our class as their learning environment.We need everything to be reliable and to work fast, and we have absolutely found that with NetApp.What needs improvement?I'd like to be able to move volumes between virtual machines, for one thing. That’s a little thing that has bothered me. I think I'm pretty happy with what the feature set is right now.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We had some bumpy roads early on, but it has been very reliable. We're doing very well with it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?With the ability to move data as soon as needed, we can expand and contract as we need to. It works out pretty nicely. We’ve had no issues in terms of scalability.How is customer service and technical support?NetApp’s technical support is second to none. I have worked with other vendors that have not been quite as reliable. But, getting support to come out is easy and reliable, and it's always top-grade help.I believe we have gone through EMC and Hitachi ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/hitachi ). I think that's it, actually. I personally worked with IBM ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/ibm ). IBM’s support was pretty good, too.If I was selecting a new vendor today, support would probably be the most important criteria for me. That has been the big differentiator for us; always pushing P1s for us. It's very easy to get support and prioritize it as needed; they help us extremely well.Which solutions did we use previously?I wasn't involved in that decision-making process, so I'm not sure what the driving force was. I was actually hired after the fact because I worked with NetApp in the past.How was the initial setup?I wasn’t involved in the initial setup, but I think the team found it fairly straightforward. We had good support from NetApp. We worked very closely with our account team. They walked us through very well and we had no issues getting going, as far as I know.What other advice do I have?I've been a NetApp advocate for many years, so I definitely say, look into it because of the performance, the stability, the scalability, the support.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-30T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We are looking for it to meet the workload demands of some of our real high IO clients.What is most valuable?We have some specific workloads that are pretty demanding that struggle on spinning media. We're looking to leverage All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) to meet the workload demands of some of our real high IO clients. That's primarily why we're looking at it.How has it helped my organization?The benefits are yet to be seen. We're currently putting it in right now. It's not in production yet. It's still being installed. We tested it. We're expecting a significant workload increase from our previous-generation platforms, but we'll find out soon enough.We just have experience with it in our testing. We tested it. It was a lot faster. We haven't put a full production workload on it yet. We expect it to be much faster.What needs improvement?I think it is on the product roadmap already, but I would like to see more of the cloud pools and tiering. Obviously, some workloads need the speed of flash, but some workloads also have pieces of it that don't. They'd be able to leverage the speed, but then age data moving off to object, spinning media or whatever would definitely be good for the future. It’s currently lacking that right now, but it's on the roadmap that I've seen, so I think they're heading that direction.For how long have I used the solution?I’ve been probably using it for a good nine months. We had some thorough testing and looking at what workloads we can fit on it. Then, we've been through a six-month install process. That's an internal thing for us.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We haven't used it much in production yet, but as far as we can tell, it is stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't really scaled it yet. We expect it to be scalable.How is customer service and technical support?We have not used technical support ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas/by_topic/technical_support ) specifically for this product, but in general, it's hit or miss. Sometimes, when we first call in, we get some medium-level resources that don't really solve our problems right away. Once we get to the escalation or higher-level guys, they're usually really, really good.Which solutions did we use previously?Our production environments are currently normal, non-flash FAS appliances. They are stressing the hardware significantly, so that's why we looked at All Flash. They run thousands of compute nodes. They want to run more but they can't right now, because the system is already maxed out. We're hoping they can scale that and run a lot more on the all-flash array.How was the initial setup?Initial setup is pretty straightforward. Especially hardware-wise, it's not much different than what we currently have; we're pretty used to installing.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We considered quite a few vendors before deciding on NetApp. We considered EMC Isilon ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/emc-isilon ) and a couple other smaller vendors. We eventually chose the FAS, primarily because we already have the equipment and the environment. It doesn't really change our support structure. We don't have to learn anything new. Obviously, cost is a factor, too.When selecting a vendor to work with, they have to have a good product, number one. They have to be a good partner. Cost is obviously a factor for everybody, but it's got to be something we need that solves our needs and meets our requirements. They have to be a good partner; it's not just, “Here, you figure it out.” They work with us to make it work, which NetApp does a pretty good job of, and then make it affordable for us.What other advice do I have?Look at TCO. Most people look at flash and just look at it as being expensive: “Can we avoid it and use something cheaper?” There are other savings besides just the straight-out, raw cost.I think it does what we need pretty well. I can't give it a perfect rating because we haven't thrown a giant production workload on it to see how it scales and works. So far, it's doing what we need it to do.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 Significantly increased our capacity and decreased our footprintWhat is our primary use case?We use it for typical data center workloads: Exchange, file shares, and SQL.How has it helped my organization?We have a big problem in our organization where I can't get the application engineers to give me performance requirements. Now, with the SSDs, I don't need to worry about that anymore. All of our applications are high. Our test applications perform at a higher level now.It has improved performance of our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs because we have a higher IO from the disk now. We run a lot of write-intensive VMs. For sure the solution helps out.Our total cost of ownership has decreased because of the nature of the SSDs, their mean time to failure is much higher. They don't fail as often and that's going to reduce it. And because we upgraded to the All Flash and the bigger SSD, we reduced our footprint. I increased my capacity 500 percent and reduced my footprint in the data center by 95 percent.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are* the IO performance that we get* the cluster part* the increased workload and performance with the SSDs.And the CLI portion of ONTAP, in general, is much easier to use.What needs improvement?It's a little behind on security. It's starting to get into multi-factor authentication, they just started to introduce it but not for all products. In my area, we are really big on security, using smart-card authentication. Multi-factor authentication is a big thing for us, being on the federal government side of things. We need all the products to have the ability to do smart-card authentication. That's the biggest one. That's the drawback of this solution. But otherwise, it's getting there. It's starting to catch up.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It has been very stable so far. It's about a year old, we haven't been using it for long, but so far it has stood up very well.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't needed to scale it yet. We probably won't. But obviously, because we are in a multi-node cluster environment, with the switches we can scale out very easily if we need to.How is customer service and technical support?I mostly interact with my sales engineer who is very sharp. The few times that I've had to interact with technical support, it has been very good.Which solutions did we use previously?The gear we were on was about ten years old. We always buy behind the technology curve. I noticed that spinning disk was going away and that the industry moving towards SSDs, so I wanted us to try to get ahead of the curve a little bit, to give us some more horsepower to do some more initiatives that we want to get done in the future.How was the initial setup?It was very straightforward. There are setup tools so if you're not very familiar with NetApp, they walk you through the process step by step: How to configure all the interfaces and the SVMs, etc. I'm more experienced with the command lines, so I deployed it that way. But it's very receptive to PowerShell scripting, so it's easy to use.What about the implementation team?We used an integrator, reseller, and consultant for the deployment. Resellers are resellers. I don't have a good or bad opinion of them. As for the integrators we had, I'd rather do it myself quite honestly. But it was okay.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Because we're federal government, we really can't choose. We've had NetApp for years. I did evaluate a lot of other products. Honestly, at the end of the day, storage is storage and disks are disks; it's all the bells and whistles on the front. Other solutions could probably have accomplished the same task. Ultimately, it comes down to dollars and cents, but I'm not really involved in that side of it. I'm sure they chose NetApp because of the cost.What other advice do I have?Know your workload, know your customer. Know what your requirements are, know what your future requirements are. Determine what's important to you. Think about the administrators, if you're not the administrator; I'm not, I just engineer it. Think about them and how they will use it. Think about the future, where you think your business will grow.When it comes to setting up and provisioning applications using the product, it depends on what you're doing. But I I can have an Exchange server up and running in about 30 minutes.At the moment the solution is not having any effect on IT's ability to support new business initiatives. I got it to support things like ADI and solutions like that. So hopefully, going forward, it will play a role in that. We have not connected the solution to public clouds. We do plan to in the future.I rate the solution an eight out of ten because there's room to improve. There's always room to grow. The security side of it: They have a large government customer base but it seems like they really don't pay attention to that side of things. There are a lot of security things, a lot of customers can't send their stuff offsite, and I'm one of them. So coming up with better ways to satisfy that part would be great.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great performance for OLTP systems.Valuable Features:ADP (advanced drive partitioning), which eases capacity management on smaller capacity platforms. Great performance for OLTP systems.Improvements to My Organization:The Oracle workload, which was previously deployed on physical servers with direct-attached storage, has greatly improved mostly with transaction processing speed. Latency has been almost eliminated on protocol and physical disk layer.Room for Improvement:Mostly security-related bugs on various DATA ONTAP for c-DOT versions. No comments on the physical platform itself.Use of Solution:Since October 2015 (10 months).Deployment Issues:Configuring ADP seemed a bit more difficult than traditional aggregate setup.Previous Solutions:Most of our current solutions are based on spinning media and hybrid solutions. Due to the greater performance improvement on flash systems ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ), the higher number of IOPS and less latency on the storage back end, I would recommend deploying performance-dependent workloads on SSD ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/ssd ) platforms.Initial Setup:The initial setup was straight-forward with the exception of the ADP aggregate setup and spare drive management.Implementation Team:Implemented in-house.Other Advice:Carefully estimate the IOPS profile of the workload that is going to be deployed on AFF as it is optimized for random I/O.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
Date published: 2016-08-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We compared this tool against EMC’s XtremIO head-to-head, and NetApp blew it out of the water.What needs improvement?There's always a little room for improvement.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have had no issues, but we never went to production.How is customer service and technical support?The technical support is excellent. Anytime we've had any kind of questions, our rep can help us or we'll call into NetApp auto-support. We have not had any problems. Tech support is knowledgeable and their response times are good.Which solutions did we use previously?We compared this tool against EMC’s XtremIO head-to-head, and the NetApp blew it out of the water. There was no competition. We were already a NetApp shop, so they were our preferred tool anyway. It has more features and links to my OS, innovative CIFS, and deduplication. We had the knowledge of the system already. It wasn't reinventing the workforce.How was the initial setup?The installation was pretty easy. It was my third setup, so it was nothing really new. There's only one minor switch that turns it into an AFF.What other advice do I have?We use the system to do stuff that isn't quite out yet. We love to do some oddball things. We're one of the first to use NetApp shift to compete and migrate away from VMware. We didn’t run into any issues with it, and it beat the competition.When looking for a vendor, it's usually value first, which is not the right way to do it. That's what it comes down to. The value and then next is feature set.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-14T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The most valuable feature is the performance; the latency with our high-IO database systems.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the performance; the latency with our high-IO database systems.How has it helped my organization?It's made a huge difference. We've cut hours off our job times, simply by moving the storage and nothing else. We can finally meet our production deadlines for job times. We can shorten our work windows down because we can complete the jobs faster.What needs improvement?There are two area’s that I think NetApp needs to improve upon, pricing structure and support.From a pricing perspective it’s just too complicated. With many other vendors it’s very easy to understand what you are paying for. A shelf of disk should just be 1 line item and the support for that shelf should be another. Recently we purchased an all flash FAS with 2 controllers and 1 shelf of disk (3 physical items); that invoice was 18 line items long. This makes it very difficult to create charge back/show back models.The other area for improvement is support. When it comes to simple things like replacing failed drives, support is usually responsive. For everything else getting good support can be difficult. A particular pain point is responsiveness and regular communication. If the ticket isn’t opened as a p1, it can take several days before someone calls you back; and when they do we have to continually follow up with support on ticket’s status. If we open a ticket we obviously need help, so we expect at least a daily update on our ticket, even if that update is “no update.”For how long have I used the solution?We have been using it for six months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I haven't had a problem with stability. It's only been six months, but it's been pretty solid.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to scale it yet, because we just put it in six months ago. Nonetheless, we did add it to an existing cluster and we’re able to move data over to it pretty seamlessly.How is customer service and technical support?We haven’t had to use technical support yet.Which solutions did we use previously?We previously used the FAS8040s, with a mix of SAS and SATA flash pools.We knew we needed to invest in the All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) or a similar solution by looking at our performance metrics and realizing that we were really struggling from an IO perspective. We just had more IO than our existing system could handle, and it was the next best option.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was pretty straightforward. We went to a boot camp prior to doing the install. We had a pretty good understanding of how it all worked, so the implementation was pretty easy.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We only looked at NetApp for the all flash because we were already a NetApp customer. We weren't going to change vendors yet.What other advice do I have?It was really easy to install, it was seamless to move the data over to it, and it's performing as we expected it to perform.The vendor relationship is really important to us when selecting a vendor to work with. We're a good people company so for us being able to relate to our salesman and getting a good understanding of what our needs actually are was really important to us. From a technical level it all comes down to it's need to be reliable and we needed a solution that we didn't want to hire people just to manage it. It needs to be able to just setup and we need to be able to run and grow with it.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 With Data ONTAP clusters, we've been able to unify our servers and have unified management of them. I'd like to see a web-based front end in addition to the CLI.Valuable Features:The most valuable features for us are the secure multi-tenancy to Data ONTAP and High Availability built into Data ONTAP that provides almost no downtime.Improvements to My Organization:With Data ONTAP clusters, we've been able to unify our servers and have unified management of them. We can also scale freely.Room for Improvement:I'd like to see a web-based front end in addition to the CLI.Use of Solution:We've been using it for three months, including the proof of concept.Deployment Issues:We haven't had any issues with deployment.Stability Issues:It's been stable for us.Scalability Issues:It's scaled just fine.Customer Service:Customer service is great.Previous Solutions:We previously used EMC, but we switched to take advantage of clustered Data ONTAP.Initial Setup:The initial setup was just fine and straightforward.Implementation Team:We implemented it in-house.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The technology took care of performance issues, bottlenecks.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the performance that we got out of it. With a previous solution, we had some latency issues and performance issues. When we got the FAS All Flash Array, that technology took care of those issues that we had, those bottlenecks.How has it helped my organization?It provides greater stability for our corporate database, which we host on the FAS. We have a much greater sense of confidence and reliability in our data solutions. It gives us more confidence that everything's going to keep working.In terms of manpower or cost, because we are a public agency, it's more about value as far as the service that we receive and the stability of the solution. Those are the key factors.What needs improvement?I'm not sure about room for improvement, only because right now we've just completed a major upgrade. At this point, we're very happy. We don't see anything lacking in that regard.Nonetheless, there used to be a product called Balance and it's been really replaced by something called Insight. From an operational perspective, the ease of use, we preferred Balance. Even though that product has come to end of life, we're unhappy about that.OnCommand Balance and Insight are two separate NetApp products, that provide the performance capture and logging features. OnCommand Balance is an older product and NetApp has announced that it will not continue this product anymore, as its replacement is Insight. The staff here have used both of these products and they prefer OnCommand Balance. Sadly, we won’t be able to continue using OnCommand Balance, as long as we would have liked to.What do I think about the stability of the solution?So far, we've had no issues whatsoever with the stability. It's beating our expectations for an enterprise-wide solution, whereas other solutions that have presented themselves as enterprise solutions haven't performed to the same degree.How is customer service and technical support?We've never had any issues with NetApp. In particular, the customer service I think has been far superior. Our business decision was basically based on NetApp's record with us for their customer service. We're making NetApp our single storage standard within our organization.Which solutions did we use previously?We previously used Oracle. There was a Pillar Axiom line for storage. We also previously had an EMC solution. I don't remember exactly what line that was.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We decided to invest in a new storage solution just because of the data growth that we needed. We're expanding our business content, meaning disaster recovery architecture. We needed to expand to an additional site.As I’ve mentioned, we had Oracle’s Pillar Axiom line. We also looked at Compellent, which is Dell now, and Dell fired them. Then HP. We used to have an HP EVA as well. We used that before. We looked at HP's current solution. We weren't happy with that one.We decided to go with NetApp over HP because of the experience we had with both of those organizations in customer service. NetApp, again, was far superior. Our requirements then to our reseller, or VAR, and NetApp was that we knew what our workload was and we needed to have a solution that would meet certain criteria, which was set on latency and bandwidth thresholds. The vendor, along with NetApp, was able to provide us with an evaluation unit that met those specs with flying colors.What other advice do I have?Understand what your workload is first. What is it that you're trying to accomplish so you set the proper thresholds and criteria for performance. Understand what your support service needs are. Is that important? How important? It's not always about cost. We found that in all those areas, with our evaluation, NetApp was a clear choice for us, based upon past experience. We continue to have success with NetApp.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-09T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Replication and performance are key features for us - we have extemely low latencyWhat is our primary use case?We use it for all of our VM storage.How has it helped my organization?I don't know if it improved the way our organization functions, but I know we don't have any storage outages or slowdowns at this point. We just did a refresh about six months ago to the A700s and we have been very happy with the performance of those boxes.Our latency is extremely low. We average below a millisecond.What is most valuable?The replication would be one of the most valuable features. That's not just on the All Flash FAS, but that's a big one. The performance is also good.What needs improvement?I'm not sure if they can do it. We are using encryption. I'd like the deduplication crossed volumes encrypted. But I don't know if that's really technically possible.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability has been really good. We've had just a couple of minor hardware issues but nothing big; DIMMs that were bad and that had to be replaced. But it's been very good so far.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I know it scales but we are not looking to scale it out at this point.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is a little hit and miss, at least with the particular things that I've called for. The SRA stuff that intergrades with SRM is a problem point. It's a pain point. The support personnel aren't always knowledgeable on that product. At times, they are not even aware what product is supported and what is not, when one has been deprecated and there is a new one out, and what the bug fixes of the newer version are.How was the initial setup?It was straightforward. We did greenfield. We went to two new data centers so the installation of it was pretty straightforward.What about the implementation team?We used an integrator. It was very good. We partnered with them a couple times before, which makes for a pretty easy and seamless transition. And ONTAP is easy that way anyway, but they do a really good job of making it an easy transition.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We were pretty heavily invested in NetApp. We did look at INFINIDAT, but it just wasn't something that we were comfortable with.What other advice do I have?The product is about a nine out of then. We have been very happy with the performance. There have been a few minor issues. We failover a couple times a year. In some of the failovers, the SRAs haven't worked exactly as designed. If the SRA was better, maybe not bundled in with the whole Snap solution, that might help.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The stability is solid. We are in a critical business and can't have any percentage of downtime.What is our primary use case?We use it for data storage, applications, and CIFS shares.How has it helped my organization?Through its Cluster-Mode, it's quicker. It also improves Exchange and SQL Databases.What is most valuable?* Compaction* Single-instance storage* Its compression featuresWhat needs improvement?I am still trying to wrap my head around all its features.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is solid. It doesn't fail on us, which is exactly what we want. We are in a critical business that we can't have any percentage of downtime. Therefore, if it stays up, that is what we want. We have been dependent on NetApp for almost a decade now.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?For capacity of storage, we manage about three petabytes of data. It is exactly what we need in terms of scalability.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is first rate. We are very satisfied with it.Which solutions did we use previously?Our last solution was at end of life and warranty. We went from NetApp to NetApp, so we stayed with NetApp, but we move to the latest, greatest solution.How was the initial setup?It's always a little bit complex when you're trying to integrate a new piece of hardware, with cluster mode as well. There's always a learning curve, but with that curve, there is knowledge which stays with me for the life of that technology. So, that learning curve is essential.We were migrating from Data ONTAP 7-Mode to its Cluster-Mode. Therefore, we had to get swing gear, then do the migration from loner gear and back onto our new gear. This was a bit difficult. It took us several months to do multiple migrations. Fortunately now, we are on Cluster-Mode and don't have to do that again.What about the implementation team?We used a combination of a reseller/consultant. They did a great job handholding us all the way for any type of issues that we had with mission critical data. E.g., multimillion dollar uptime everyday ensuring we had virtually no issues.What was our ROI?We have seen ROI, especially in terms of data points and availability.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We did not evaluate other solutions. Our history with Net App is that it is a stable platform and does what we want it to do. It's not extremely complicated, and it's something which is tangible that we have used and want to continue using.What other advice do I have?Figuring out the basics as to what NetApp offers. It is not something that you can just dive into as you will need to have a bit of background knowledge of it. However, there is plenty of help out to to learn the technology, and it's very tangible.Give it a go. I would recommend it. We are very satisfied with it and the whole deployment of it. We have almost seamlessly transitioned our production environment into a completely new hardware environment on the back-end.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-18T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inline compression and dedup enable us to run multiple copies of various instances due to space savingsHow has it helped my organization?The primary use case for our All Flash system is for databases. We use it to keep slave backups of our production databases running on-premise. We use it for file storage, not block storage.Before we purchased NetApp we knew it was fast and could do a lot of great stuff. After we purchased it, we were surprised because we're trying to run replication on MySQL databases in-house. When we ran those on a regular FAS 8040, the replication couldn't keep up. We weren't able to keep copies of production databases on-prem.Then, when we brought the AFF A300 on-prem, we were actually shocked that it even outperformed the replication that we were running on AWS cloud for database replications, that we run from different regions on AWS. It was actually replicating faster, which is amazing because you would think it would be faster to replicate a database that is running in AWS from another master database that is running in AWS. But our on-prem that's running in LA was actually faster by 15 to 20 seconds of replication time.It has improved the way we function because it has given us the opportunity to run, as I said earlier, an on-premise MySQL replication database. Before, we couldn't run it on-prem, so we had to poke firewalls to give access to developers to do queries - which we didn't like to do - out onto AWS cloud. Now, it's all in-house, on-premise, and it's allowing us to no longer run those open firewall ports that we had to do before.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?For us, it'd have to be the inline compression that it does and the deduplication. We're able to run lots of copies of different instances, because we not only use it for databases, but we use it to copy other VMs that we run as well. The fact that we can make duplicate copies and save a lot of space is very valuable.Some of the new features that are coming out with FabricPool are really exciting for us. The ability to be able to move cold data off to S3 bucket and do the tiering and the back-end, versus trying to do it with the customers or with our different departments. We have to tell them, "Hey, you need to archive this stuff. It's been over a year." We're really excited to see the FabricPool feature on AFF A300.It's fast, all the other features that it come with it, with the snapshots and all that, it's just great.What needs improvement?I think eventually it's going to come out, but what I would like to see is, right now we have the availability with FabricPool to do tiering, but just with snapshots on our volumes. I'd like to see that happen with the data as well, not just the snapshots.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We haven't had any outages with NetApp so far. It's very stable, I mean fully HA pair redundant. We can SnapMirror stuff off of it to another filer, it's great. It's awesome.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is great. Before we had the AFF A300, originally we started off with a 2552. We outgrew that, obviously, and we went to 8040. We were easily able to upgrade to an 8040, and then grow our cluster to add an AFF A300. Now, we have AFF A300, an 8040 in our cluster and it's just easy to scale up. It's a big feature and bonus for NetApp on that.Which solutions did we use previously?Before NetApp, we were using lots of cheap storage solutions. We were just running these servers with blocks of disks. They're made by another vendor, I can't remember the name. We would just buy these disks and use them up. Then, we ended up going with NetApp. Then, we do some on cloud stuff with S3 buckets. Really, NetApp was our first choice when it came to an enterprise solution, when we were ready to go.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Nimble was on the shortlist.What other advice do I have?We are definitely more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on our experience of AFF because of the support. A lot of the features; NetApp's constantly providing and innovating with stuff, and it's reliable. That's the bottom line.NetApp has been around for a long time. Their support is great, documentation is great as well. If you're a guy that likes to do it on your own, you can do that, read up the documentation. If you need support, they'll help you out every step of the way. It's great.My advice to a colleague who is researching a similar solution would be to really look into NetApp and all the features that they provide, and to really consider NetApp. I think you can't go wrong.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It sped up our data queries and we can work more efficiently. These queries are now done in seconds rather than minutes, affecting everything we do on a day-to-day basis.Valuable FeaturesIt’s really reliable and fast. My customers have several other NetApp systems, but here they really needed the low latency.Also, clustered Data ONTAP is valuable.Improvements to My OrganizationIt sped up our data queries and we can work more efficiently. These queries are now done in seconds rather than minutes, affecting everything we do on a day-to-day basis.Room for ImprovementI haven’t encountered anything the customer needs that this solution can’t do.Use of SolutionWe've used the 8080 for eight months and the 8060 for two months. They're used mainly for VMware products and SQL databases.Stability IssuesI haven’t had any stability problems yet with our current customers.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: 8/10Technical Support: We haven’t needed to escalate to NetApp’s tech support.Previous SolutionsI went from working with NetApp FAS to AFF, so I stayed in the family. The customer was satisfied with their FAS system but needed lower latency, so it was a clear choice.Initial SetupThe initial setup was very straightforward. When you've worked with NetApp for a while, it is very easy to setup their new systems. If you are new to the system, then there is a learning curve, but NetApp provides great documentation.Implementation TeamI implement it for our customers.Other AdviceIt’s a great choice, and you are on the right path using this product.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 When we move to all-flash, our response times were reduced to microsecondsWhat is our primary use case?We use it for NFS and CIFS to structure data. We have about a couple of petabytes of all-flash.How has it helped my organization?Some of the volumes for our response times were 30 to 40 millisecond. When we move to all-flash, our response times were reduced to microseconds. There was a tremendous improvement. In terms of the dedupe and compression, it is squeezing the physical size where we are now seeing an 80 percent reduction, which is very positive.The solution has affected IT’s ability to positively support new business initiatives.It has improved performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs. These improvements are a result of all-flash, throughput, reliability, compression, etc.What is most valuable?* Deduplication* Compression* Speed* The user experience is fast.What needs improvement?One of the features that I am looking for, which is already in the works, is to be able to take my code and automatically move it to the cloud. I believe this is coming out in version 9.4.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have been running it for two to three years. It hasn't gone down yet. It can't get anymore reliable than that.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Thanks to dedupe, our physical footprint is quite a lot. All the scalability that we have done, we have so far done it within our organization. We haven't expanded it physically yet.How is customer service and technical support?Since the product hasn't gone down in three year, there hasn't been a need to contact technical support.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. Nothing to it. The professional services from NetApp came in to help us out, and they knew their stuff.What about the implementation team?We used NetApp for the deployment and our own resources. The experience was very positive.Which other solutions did I evaluate?The vendors on our shortlist were Oracle, Dell EMC, and Hitachi.We chose NetApp because we were already using it, which make things simple, and its pricing. Also, some of NetApp's features are dominant in the market versus its competitors.What other advice do I have?With all-flash, you can never go wrong. I am in the process of converting everything to all-flash.We are not currently connected to the public clouds. We are looking to connect to them in 2019.It takes us days to setup and provision enterprise applications using this solution.We chose this solution because vendors are choosing all-flash over hybrid.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2018-11-26T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Using Snapshot, we are able to replicate/clone the production environments. Some workload balancing activities across the nodes are not transparent.What is most valuable?Two functions are valuable for us:* Snapshot: We are able to replicate/clone production environments to test the SW version up (e.g. the Oracle Financials upgrades).* MetroCluster: Our disaster recovery is based on two active-active sites. The MetroCluster feature allowed us to continue our operations (without business interruption) when we stopped one of the sites.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What needs improvement?This solution is based on the scale-out concept. Some workload balancing activities across the nodes are not transparent (requires server downtime).When moving volumes between controllers, you should always use the optimized path.FCP is doing this automatically, but NFS unfortunately not.So when moving NFS volumes between controllers, you will not move the load to the other controller.To do this, you need to remount the volume to the correct LIF.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We did encounter stability issues but nothing that interrupted the solution; more background type of problems.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We did encounter scalability issues, the solution is not delivering the requested performance (I/O response time for the requested IOPS).How is customer service and technical support?The technical support level is between poor to medium in our geography.Which solutions did we use previously?Previously, we were using the older generation of the NetApp MetroCluster (6240 unit). We switched as this unit was not performant enough, i.e., it had a high maintenance cost for the performance delivered.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Negotiate everything, i.e., including the price for the future capacity upgrades as part of the deal.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at EMC ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/dell-emc ), HPE ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/hewlett-packard-enterprise ), and Fujitsu ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/fujitsu ).What other advice do I have?You need to understand the limitations of the scale-out architecture.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-07-08T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use the speed for all of our database. It takes less time to get to the database and to get data back to applications.What is most valuable?The best feature is just for databases; the speed that we can use for all of our database, Oracle and SQL. For example, testing with our programmers, testing the systems; as far as the speed of getting to the database, getting their data back to their applications.How has it helped my organization?The speed itself means it takes less time trying to run queries.NetApp for me has been great. We went from about 30 physical servers and some blades, and now we're over 70 virtual servers and everything's on NetApp. Basically, our utility is about 95% NetApp for storage. There's maybe 5% that are actually outside of that. NetApp has been great.What needs improvement?We're using it with VMware; being able to do some mirroring to our DR site. The biggest thing I'd like to see would be the ability to break the mirror and stand up the DR site as a production site; see if there's a way to do that almost seamlessly. That would be a big thing to be able to do: if you lose your main site, stand up your secondary site and the customer has no idea.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We've had zero stability issues. We've had a disk go bad and the customer doesn't even know it. That's the best part about it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I don’t think we’ve had any scalability issues with it. I think it's great because every time they want more storage or a bigger size, it's easy enough to give them. Growing disk space is great with flash.How is customer service and technical support?We haven’t needed to use technical support.Which solutions did we use previously?We were not using a different solution beforehand. We had been using physical servers for all of our SQL and Oracle.Testing with some of our programmers, there were some issues with speed compared to physical servers, physical disks. When we did the testing, the older physical servers were actually faster than some of our virtual. We had to do some testing with that and we determined that by going to the flash, we’d get rid of that latency, that issue of slowness.How was the initial setup?Initial setup is a little bit complex, but we use a guy who pretty much builds all of our NetApp for us.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before choosing AFF, we looked around a little bit, thought about some Cisco gear, but decided we just wanted to go with NetApp from talking with a couple of other utilities that we know, that work with us. They were using NetApp, so we just gravitated towards it.In general, when I choose a vendor, the criteria that are important to me are stability, for one; longevity in the business already; and then, of course, word of mouth from other customers. How they treat their customers, how good are they at getting back to you. There’s nothing like having a fire and wanting your vendor to be there on the spot to fix it. Other than that, that's probably the biggest thing.What other advice do I have?Start with planning and whatever you think you need, double it. That's the word of mouth; that’s what most everybody says. We bought 20 TBs of flash to start, thinking that's all we would need, and in less than a year, we already reached 14 TBs.Once you go to it, you don't go back. Once everybody gets their speed, they don't ever want to lose that. The nice thing about flash is that it protects the poorly written code. That's our favorite thing to tell the programmers.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-30T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The speed and stability are the two most valuable features.Valuable FeaturesThe speed and stability are the two most valuable features. I've definitely have seen a huge increase in speed and bandwidth from when we've put it in production; it's been great.Improvements to My OrganizationWe use a lot of bandwidth in our company, so user experience is really improved because of that. The IOPS are high enough that there's no latency anymore.Room for ImprovementI’d just like to see them continue down the road of increased storage capabilities, bigger SSDs, and bigger flash. That's a problem for us; we use a lot of storage, PBs of storage. We definitely need to keep leveraging, expanding and increasing.I haven’t rated it higher because we haven't had it enough to vet it. So far, it's been great; haven't had any issues at all with it. Then again, we've only had it in production for a few months. We just need more experience with it.Use of SolutionWe have been using it for 6-9 months.Stability IssuesSince we've had it in the last 6-9 months, we’ve not had a problem at all with it. It's been great.Scalability IssuesWe haven't really scaled it yet. From what I've seen, it looks like it won't be a problem if we need to go down that road.Customer Service and Technical SupportWe have not had to use technical support yet thankfully, other than original installation.Previous SolutionsBefore we implemented the All-Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ), we had, and still have, a mixed environment of mostly Hitachi and Dot Hill. We also have LTO tape storage that we implement. I'm all over the board.Even though I was not involved in the decision process to invest in the All-Flash FAS, we selected NetApp and the All-Flash FAS because of the speed of the flash, the reliability and the stability; it stays up.Initial SetupInitial setup was just racking and stacking, basically; that was about it. Rack and stack is very straightforward; we had help from technical support to cable it. From that point on, it was pretty easy.Other Solutions ConsideredI wasn't involved in the decision-making process, so I'm not sure who else we were looking at, at the time.Other AdviceI would definitely recommend it. I think it's a great road to go down. Like I’ve mentioned, I haven't had any problems with it. The two things we were looking for, it does excellently.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are availability and knowledge: if something helps me go down the right path and pick it, if someone gives the pros and cons for everything we need, and be able to get a hold of them when I need to get a hold of them.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It allows us to shrink the maintenance windows and downtime, although it would be great to combine all the software solutions together under a single GUI.Valuable Features* Clustered Data ONTAP* Snapshot implementation for SAPImprovements to My OrganizationIt allows us to shrink the maintenance windows and downtime. It provides faster replications between systems because of the installed flash.Room for ImprovementONTAP has a lot of features that are really great, so I don’t think there is something missing that I'd like to have.However, the best way to improve would be to have better management over the solutions globally (not a part of the software OnCommand, VFA, etc. installed). It would be great to combine all the software solutions together under a single GUI and people can just activate different features as they buy a license as apposed new installs each time.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for four months in a multiple system environment with a lot of small writes. This was installed for an SAP HANA system as the persistency layer.Stability IssuesThere has been no downtime yet -- perfect stability.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical Support10/10Previous SolutionsWe didn't have anything similar in use previously.Initial SetupIt's a straightforward and easy setup. It was guided and we had the documents to install it. It took around two days of racking, stacking, and installation.Implementation TeamI did the implementation myself.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked also looked at EF from NetApp and chose AFF because of the snapshot technology.Other AdviceIt's definitely worth it if you need the speed.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 They keep the same operating system for all of their products. We're surprised at the low utilization and high performance.How has it helped my organization?First of all, we have very low latency. We just moved a good piece of our stuff over from spinning disk onto All Flash FAS. We didn't have performance problems before, but now we are screaming. Things are really fast with really low utilization now. We're surprised at the low utilization and high performance.What is most valuable?I like that they keep the same operating system as they do for all of their stuff, so you learn all their platforms. It's easy to learn and user friendly.What needs improvement?They haven't added all the features in that they have from everything else because they're still kind of new to the all flash game. They haven't added all the features in that you can get on a spinning disk system. It's getting there, but it's taking time.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not had any problems with stability.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability meets our needs.How is customer service and technical support?We have a support account manager through NetApp and he helps us out anytime we get stuck on something. We let him know about it and he jumps in and takes care of tickets or problems.How was the initial setup?We used their professional services. They came in an installed it for us and it went really well; flawless. They just went in and took care of it all. Then we just put our configurations in and away we went. I thought it went pretty slick.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Currently, we are comparing NetApp Flash with HPE for one of our customers for one of our applications. We are comparing those. I'm not involved with that, so I don't know really how that's going, but I know that that process is under way.What other advice do I have?I've been really happy with NetApp All Flash FAS, and I'd hope that others find the same success. I've been really happy with them.Before we started working with it, we moved input data and resources over. We virtualized the environment over to all flash and it went smooth. We didn't have any problems with it. There wasn't anything crazy we had to do for it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-16T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Storage M20 vs. NetApp All Flash FASImprovements to My OrganizationNetApp All Flash FAS:We're also using FlexClones, and we're able to flex clone our database to a test environment and a dev environment. We're able to keep it all underneath one storage system, so we don't have to manage multiple arrays to run test and dev.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Valuable FeaturesNetApp All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ):The speed and low latency are the most valuable features. My customers or users noticed an improvement in our EMR application, once we moved our SQL environment over to the AFF.I think the OnCommand System Manager has been excellent. I like the newer version myself. We're not on ONTAP 9 yet, but I do love 8.3.Pure Storage M20:It's just simple. There's no clustering. You take that complexity away from NetApp, you get rid of the clustering. It’s a dual-node controller system. You can have dual or single aggregates, whatever, the same thing. But they don't do clustering. If you wanted to mirror that data off, you have to purchase another Pure, plug it into the expansion port and basically mirror between platforms. Whereas in the ONTAP, your data is clustered, you've got HA failover. You still have HA failover in Pure, but it is just on the controller only.Room for ImprovementNetApp All Flash FAS:I'm not involved in the price-making decision. I just throw the number at the manager and say, "Hey, this is what I want."We're going to take a good look at Solid Fire for SQL environment.I’m not rating it higher because when we piloted our AFF against a Pure Storage M20, we were getting much better deduplication out of our SQL database on the Pure product. I’m told that this has been improved in ONTAP 9. The deduping compression ratios are more on par with what Pure has been able to do. It's not an end-case decision. We have plenty of storage available. Our database is growing. We'd love to keep as small of a footprint as possible, but we still have overhead room in case it does expand beyond what we're expecting it to. Nonetheless, in the future, I'd like to see better deduplication out of SQL ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/relational-databases ). That’s difficult to do; I get it.Pure Storage M20:I don't know what could be improved at this point. I haven't used it enough to know where they really are lacking in anything. It's fast, it's very easy to set up, it's very easy to maintain.Nonetheless, there is no clustered data. Your data resides in a single point, so then it's up to you to mirror it, replicate it, copy it, however you do it; DoubleTake replication or if you buy another Pure product and do their onboard replication. I guess It all depends on your pocket book, really.I would give it four stars because it's pricey. I do believe Pure was more expensive than the NetApp when we were pricing last time. Of course, that really varies on what time of the year it is. I think NetApp end of year is March or April. I'm really not sure when Pure's end of year is, but they call me every few months with a better price.Stability IssuesNetApp All Flash FAS:It is very, very stable. I'm noticing a difference between it and my FAS 2230. Storage efficiencies are much faster. Deduplication is awesome.Pure Storage M20:We didn't see any issues with stability. Of course, we only ran a demo for 90 days.Scalability IssuesNetApp All Flash FAS:We're looking to scale it up because our FAS 3220 is coming up for maintenance renewal. We're thinking we'd probably be better off chucking a couple more shelves at the AFF, and running our vSphere environment off those shelves because we're not touching the controllers on that AFF. I hate to say they're running ideal with 2,000 SQL users on it, but it's running very well.Pure Storage M20:Scalability is pretty much the same as on NetApp, depending on what controller you buy, how many shelves you can attach to it.Customer Service and Technical SupportNetApp All Flash FAS:Technical support is hit or miss sometimes. Sometimes I get the run around. I have to go through multiple support engineers to help me out with whatever issue I'm dealing with at the time. Other times, they've been spot on: The first guy I get has said something like, "Oh I can fix that for you right now." I think it really depends on the complexity of the problem.Pure Storage M20:I did not use technical support for Pure.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Previous SolutionsNetApp All Flash FAS:I was involved in the decision to invest in the All Flash FAS. We were modeling it against Pure Storage. We already had 3220 running for a couple of years, running VMware. I made the decision; I didn't want to split between multiple vendors. I wanted to keep it all underneath one hood. The AFF allowed us to do that. We could not put our SQL environment on spinning disk, obviously; not with the scalability that it's at or the number of users we have hitting it.We were previously using Fusion IO cards, striped. They’re PCIe slot cards – some are on x8 slot, some are on an x16 slot – with Windows striped between all those cards. That was what I walked into when I was hired by AHN. They were using SQL mirroring. In the event of a system failure, they could always fire up the mirroring to resume production. Doing it with a NetApp has pretty much eliminated that all the way.Initial SetupNetApp All Flash FAS:I was involved in the initial setup, which was very smooth, very easy.Pure Storage M20:Initial setup was very straightforward. You plug in a management port, you plug in your iSCSI, your NFS or your fiber channel ports, and you're up and running.Other AdviceKeep an open mind. Different vendors do different things in a different way. NetApp is highly complicated, it's very robust. In comparison, Pure's interface is about as simple as it gets. But they all support fewer protocols then NetApp.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is approachability. I like people I can talk to; if you get overly technical and it's all technical garbage and you're not really a personal type person. I hate to say it, but I base a purchase off that. If I'm going to be working with someone for a number of years, I want to make sure it's someone I can relate to.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-19T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have reduced latency from 100 milliseconds to just 1 millisecond. However, 8.3 is not as stable as 7-Mode as it gets stuck every once in a while.Valuable Features:The flash pool and flash cache features are most valuable to us because they automate storage tiering combine HDDs and SSDs.Improvements to My Organization:It's highly integrated with VMware and it's very fast. We have reduced latency from 100 milliseconds to just 1 millisecond.Room for Improvement:8.3 is not as stable as 7-Mode as it gets stuck every once in a while.Use of Solution:We've used it for three to four months for OLTP and our Oracle database.Deployment Issues:We've had no issues with deployment.Stability Issues:8.3 gets stuck every once in a while.Scalability Issues:It scales to our leads.Customer Service:9/10Previous Solutions:We moved because of the latency.Initial Setup:It's easy. If you know NetApp, it’s actually easier than 7-Mode.Implementation Team:We did it in-house.Other Solutions Considered:We didn't evaluate any other options.Other Advice:It makes things fast, but not as fast as IBM flash. Try it on real loads before you buy.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can quickly and efficiently bring the system up and shut it down, when necessary.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is how user friendly it is. For somebody in my position, I have to be able to bring the system up quickly, efficiently, and also shut it down, if there's a power outage, quickly and efficiently, without having troubles. It also supports VMware. That's what we use, but we use the NetApp as our filer; it’s our only filer.How has it helped my organization?I attended a recent NetApp Insight conference to find out more about how we can benefit from it, to understand it more so, that way, I can employ it better during high-tension situations.I never see the financial side, so I don’t know if we have seen any financial benefits. In terms of the manpower to run it, it’s me; I can do it myself. As a former grunt, I've been able to manage the system easily, ever since we got it four years ago. As far as administration, it only takes one person.What needs improvement?The graceful shut down feature is no longer there, in the version that I have. I believe I'm using ONTAP 7.0.x. on the FAS2040 and we’re also using the FAS2020.I don't know where it needs improvement because I'm not that well-versed in it.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is excellent. I've had no issues in the last six years that I've had NetApp flash storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ). Just recently, on one system that's been out and had a lot of controversy in it, we had a filer fail on us. We were able to get a filer the following day. It was excellent.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability was another reason why I attended a recent NetApp Insight conference. That's what I wanted to find out: where we're moving ahead, from here.We have enough capacity for what we do. I can have up to close to 120,000 separate widgets running simultaneously and delivering data to other systems. Everything works; no problem.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is excellent.Which solutions did we use previously?I didn't evaluate anybody; higher levels than me did that. I know that NetApp won the contract again, so they must be doing something right. My organization’s not going to give a contract to nobody, for a bad product.Right now, I'm concentrating our collapse-down strategy, where we're taking multiple systems and putting them all on one system. That's why I went to the NetApp conference. I'm curious to see how it's going to impact the filer; if the filer's going to need to expand. If we're going to be migrating to a new filer, etc.How was the initial setup?To get my certification to build it, I found it a little bit grueling. Everything is tailored to our specific organization, following the documentation. It's different documentation than what NetApp uses. I’m not familiar with the NetApp filer documentation.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-05T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Predictable performance has stayed below a millisecond. Low latency has been good.What is most valuable?The most valuable thing I have seen since we've got it is that predictable performance has stayed below a millisecond, which was not the experience we've had with spinning disk. So, I was looking forward to that coming in and giving my customers predictable performance, and it’s proven to be doing that for us.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What needs improvement?We're having a hard time deciding what goes on flash and what doesn't now. When we're doing replication, where you have an all-flash array and we're replicating between sites, we want this flash but we want to have SATA ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nexsan-satabeast ) for replication, as well, for a target. So, we're having a hard time deciding, should we go FAS or should we go all flash?While at the recent Insight conference, I talked to some of the more senior technical guys. They were able to give me the difference in impact on performance from a FAS running SSD and an all flash running SSD. There's not that big of a gap. And so, that gave me more confidence that we could go hybrid if we need to on our smaller sites, and then still get the replication done on low cost and not lose the big performance that we got out of flash.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It has been very stable, just like the other products that we've had from them in the past.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We bought small and hoped that the efficiencies would bring in what we need, and it did. But with everything going on in our environment, we actually increased it so that we can have a little more capacity. Right now, it's probably 2% utilized, which is completely different than a spinning disk, which is 70% utilized. So, the scalability's just easy to do; it's incredible.How is customer service and technical support?Support, I think could use a little bit of help. We can't seem to get to the backend guys fast enough. We've had conversations with them about that. So, we would love to see some of that going on and get better support quicker, to the right guy.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )How was the initial setup?Initial setup was very straightforward, with the new optimized arrays that you can purchase and they come in with a 10-minute setup. That did take away a lot of the steps that we used to do before. So, it did come in, we were able to just plug it in and in 10 minutes have it up and running.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We were already a NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-fas-series ) shop, so for us this was just adding it to the cluster. And it was time for us to do that with a hardware refresh, so we really didn't compare to others.What other advice do I have?The most important criteria when I’m looking for a vendor are stability and availability. Cost is always thrown in there, but it's not the first one. And then support is becoming more and more important to us; being able to get to the right person at the right time.From the All Flash, from being a NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/landing/report-enterprise-flash-array-storage ) customer for quite a while, having all protocols in one box is very powerful. And so, I would say, that would be a great thing to consider when you're considering the all flash array is, most of the all flash arrays out in the market today are block. They do have the file protocol, they're leading in the industry with it. And we've switched over to the file protocols quite some time ago. And we're seeing much more savings in operational costs because of the file. We take out the zoning and all of the block stuff that comes with it, and we're being very successful with file and we've reduced our operational costs significantly because of it.I'm very happy with it and the low latency has been good. It's met the mark.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-23T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's nice that we didn't have to learn a new interface when moving to flash.What is most valuable?It is cost-effective flash ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ) for us. It's a platform that we've used for quite a few years. We've been NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) customers for probably about eight years right now. You don't have to go in and re-learn any kind of new interface; it's using basically the same interface. Provisioning is ultra-fast and it just works.How has it helped my organization?We had a few databases that were using SQL databases that we were having some performance issues with. We moved them over to FAS and, no more performance issues. Basically, you throw a ton of hardware at a problem and that fixes it.A lot of the applications that we use are canned applications. We don't actually have the ability to go in and modify them. We’re kind of handed a bad deal in some aspects. We go in, we put that stuff on flash to see whether we can make this thing perform the way it's supposed to. We really don't have the option of going in and changing the code.What needs improvement?I recently attended a conference and one of the sessions was about performance data with ONTAP 9. They've addressed some of the issues that I'd like to see in that, such as being able to see where your latency is, and how much performance you have left in the array before you need to start looking at what we need to start moving workloads around.It would be a little bit nice if the monitoring was a little bit better and smoother, but we've not had any issues from that perspective. In the future, I don't want to have any of those issues.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We've had no stability issues so far with it; in fact, I've not lost a disk out of it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is not something that we're going to be concerned with right now, as far as adding; we can always add a tray. It's non-disruptive. That's great.How is customer service and technical support?For flash, we did use professional services to come in and help us get it set up but other than that, we've not had to make any phone calls about it. It's pretty straightforward.Which solutions did we use previously?At the time, we had been NetApp customers for quite some time. We had been using a FAS3220 and we were starting to see performance issues. Our sales engineer said, “Why don't you guys try take a look at this?” We did some research on it. We actually POC'd it with a few others, that will probably remain nameless at this point in time, and obviously, NetApp outperformed the others; oh, we loved that.How was the initial setup?Well we were a 7-mode shop and we were switching to CDOT. There's a little bit of a transition there. I won't say it's overly complicated; it's just some new things to get used to.The setup complexity is why I have not given it a perfect rating; not that it's a big deal. We had professional services come and help us do that but going from 7-mode to CDOT was quite a jump.I have a feeling that’s pretty common. We were going through the conversion on all of our arrays. We currently have three. It's getting easier as we go through the process more and I understand it. It would be a lot better if the transition was a lot more smoother.What other advice do I have?A lot of companies will tell you that they're the best at what they do. As a company, I think it's very important that you look at POCs to see if you can get them. Everybody can tell you they have the best product, but until you can actually prove it on your workload, you really don't know 100% for sure.When selecting a vendor to work with, as a company, we have had a tendency to just go and buy the "best of breed," which sometimes included arrays from multiple vendors. As a company, we have five different brands of arrays. You can't become an expert in something if you have five different arrays to work with. What we're trying to do as a company is to align to say, best of breed being, this is fantastic as a NAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/nas ) appliance so we're going to look at that and say, maybe we should look towards getting that. I think we're taking our shotgun approach and we're kind of moving it down to where you can be more specialized in what you do. As I’ve mentioned, NetApp is fantastic; it does block, it does NAS. It's a one-stop shop.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-09T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for backups instead of using tapes.Valuable FeaturesBackups are the most valuable feature, because our company has very intensive backups; we need it forever. They have to be fast, so we cannot keep them on tapes.Room for ImprovementActually, we are looking for better Oracle ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/oracle ) backups. In production, it takes about 24 hours to run the online backups. We decided to take the backups in the DR. Currently we do the backups in DR, we do not back up production. We were looking for some solution from NetApp; it could be SnapCenter. We are looking at that.That would make backing up faster. In the next six months, maybe, we plan to implement that.Stability IssuesFor the last two years, we haven’t had a major outage; so far, it looks stable.Scalability IssuesThe cluster mode is really, really scalable. Before that, we used to have 7-mode. We are migrating everything from 7-mode to cluster mode, and we are seeing huge benefits in our company.Before, we had a 7-mode cluster, and we were having CPU issues. We could not migrate a volume to another node without an outage. Now, we have something like six nodes. When we have a performance issue, we can just migrate the volume to a different node.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support is 7/10. I’ve had good experiences and also bad experiences.For example, we were in the middle of a performance issue, and we called support. The support person takes all the information, and then he confirms it that he received everything. He said hew would analyze the logs and get back to us. After two days, they started asking for more logs – "Can you send me these logs? We didn't get it." – even though we had confirmation that they had received them. We lost two days. Then, we had to escalate it, and only then did we get a response. We had to be proactive on our end too.Previous SolutionsWe previously used EMC ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/dell-emc ) products for backups, then we migrated our data to NetApps because of the SnapDrive, which is really easy to restore. I am not comparing it to EMC; but we are more happy on the NetApps regarding the backups. We see a big difference between NetApp and the EMC solution we were previously using, and it's multi-protocol. Right now, there might be many products are offering it, but NetApp has been offering multi-protocol for years. We use NFS, we use CIFS, we use iSCSI, we use fiber channel; all in one really. It's got everything in one solution.Initial SetupSetting up cluster-mode, initially, close to two years ago, was a little bit difficult, but after I started using it and after I went for NetApp training, I now feel it's easier than 7-mode.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingI haven't checked the new startup companies, but we compared NetApp with Oracle and EMC. NetApp costs a lot less than both EMC and Oracle. We looked at Exadata ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/oracle-exadata ), and we ended up buying all-flash because it offered a better ROI. Exadata was not even all-flash, but it cost more than the all-flash.Other Solutions ConsideredWe compared it to other vendors, and also with the return on investment we were expecting. This is cost efficient. We went to all the vendors to see how it would impact our IT budget.We have been using it for a long time. As our storage increases, we keep on adding NetApps because we are happy with it.Other AdviceI have been working with NetApp for something like 10 years, and I have worked for about a year with IBM and EMC. The choice depends on the company and the user. For some companies, NetApp might not be suitable for different reasons. For example, my previous company used fiber channel more.Every company thinks that NetApp is a NAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/nas ) solution, not a SAN solution. In that case, if they need a SAN ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-san ) solution, they think it has to come from a different company. My previous company thought the same way. However, we implemented some SAN on the NetApp side, and they're happy.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Before this solution, patients would have to wait for answers; now they get them almost instantaneouslyWhat is our primary use case?We use it for our EHR. We have 4,000 users who need to have access to a very large EHR called Epic. We are sharing a cache database through AIX servers.How has it helped my organization?It made everything faster. The user performance went from about eight seconds, for certain screens, down to three seconds per screen. That was the primary reason. Our users can multitask faster. The way Epic works is that you have multiple screens up at the same time. When you have multiple screens up at the same time and you have a patient sitting in front of you, speed is quality. Where before, the patient would have to wait for answers, now they get them almost instantaneously. Our users can run multiple things at the same time. For the users, the nurses and doctors, it is faster. All around faster.As for IT's ability to support new business initiatives as a result of using this product, we are upgrading to Epic 2018 next year. The older system couldn't have supported it. That is another reason we went to a faster system. Epic has very high standards to make sure that, if you buy the upgrade, you will be able to support the upgrade. They advised me, top to bottom, make sure you can do it. Our new system passed everything. It's way faster.We have VMs and we're were running VDI. We're running VMware Horizon View. We have about 900 VMs running on it and we have about another 400 Hyper-V servers running on it. Our footprint is very tiny now versus before. We now have some 30 servers running 1,000 machines where we used to have 1,000 machines running 1,000 machines. We have Exchange, SQL, and Oracle and huge databases running out of it with no problem at all, including Epic. It's full but it's very fast.It takes us a minute or two minutes to set up and provision enterprise applications using the product. We can spin up a VM in about 30 seconds and have SQL up and running, for the DBAs to go in and do their work, in about two minutes.What is most valuable?It would primarily be speed. That's why we got it. Storage is costly but it's very, very fast. Very efficient, very fast.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Zero downtime so far. We've had it for two years.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have not had to scale it. We bought it at about 128 terabytes and, right now, we are probably at about 80 or 90. Because of the upgrade, next year we are going to grow 30 percent. We will probably upgrade in 2020 or increase the space.How is customer service and technical support?Zero downtime, so we've never really called. The engineer who supports it will call for firmware upgrades or for a yellow light: "Why is it on?" For the most part, we haven't had any issues with it at all.Which solutions did we use previously?We were on a standard NetApp but we upgraded to the FAS because of performance. We had it in for a test and it succeeded. That's why we bought it.I have been with the company for 20 years and we have had NetApp for 20 years. We did switch over to IBM, about ten years ago, right before we went to Epic. But Epic said, "No IBM. NetApp." We were switching from NetApp to IBM, because IBM had a little bit of advantage, a long time ago. Then Epic came in and said, "No, switch back." So, we're back.How was the initial setup?We have clusters but our guy doesn't know how to do the cluster side of things. That's what the reseller did, primarily.What about the implementation team?We used a reseller, IAS. They have helped us. Our experience with them is good. We have had them for 20 years.What was our ROI?The benefit of getting the product, versus not getting the product, has allowed the clinic to do more. Since they are doing more, the return on investment is shrinking. We bought it two years ago and we have probably already paid for it.The old NetApp we had was paid for. The new NetApp was about $3 million and we paid for that in about two years. It was well worth it because we can do more. For example, our advanced imaging is all pictures, videos; huge amounts of data get used up. Now they can triple and quadruple the amount they could do because of the speed. So instead of seeing ten patients a day, they're seeing 30 or 40 patients a day.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?The total cost, the pricing of it, has gone up quite a bit.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Dell EMC. We looked at them briefly when they were EMC. We looked at IBM. But Epic pretty much says that NetApp sets the standard and we have to follow that.What other advice do I have?If you have the money, you can't compare it to what we had at all, you just can't. In fact, the one that we had for production for the entire clinic is now sitting in our DR as cold storage. It went from state of the art to boat-anchor in about two years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-05T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We do our upgrades in the middle of the dayHow has it helped my organization?We have been able to construct a business intelligence environment with nearly instant reporting for our parks, so they can determine where resources need to be put during the middle of a day. So, if there's a rainstorm, they can determine that we need to move people to front gates, we need to move pizzas here, etc. It enables realtime actions to events.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?The performance is the most valuable feature.The primary use cases for our All Flash storage system are primarily server virtualization and data storage for unstructured storage. We use it for both block storage and file storage.What needs improvement?The only complaints I ever had was with OnCommand Unified Manager and Performance Manager, and they fixed them in the last version.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's pretty reliable. We do our upgrades in the middle of the day, with parks open. If I'm not up at 3:00 in the morning doing an upgrade because of a risk, that's a great thing.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to scale yet. However, we built it so if we do, it's very simple to do. We could probably do it with an onsite staff and not need professional services.How is customer service and technical support?We have frequently used tech support. They are one of the best departments at NetApp. Without them, we wouldn't be able to operate the way we do.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?We had a different NetApp solution before. We actually started running the numbers, and due to the age of the systems, we were starting to lose multiple disks at a time. We were going to have a point where we lost data, so it was time to replace them. NetApp was the only vendor that really worked out during the quote process.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup. It was very straightforward. By the end of the process, we had it down to where we were converting an entire park within 48 hours.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Definitely go with NetApp. You're going to look at other vendors. They may come in at a cheaper price point, but you will pay in the end with management costs and downtime.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before purchase All Flash, we had a very high impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance sound storage. It is still very high as it is the only vendor we would consider for mission critical systems based on our experience at this point.We looked at some other vendors. They can't provide the single pane of glass management. We're a very thinly-staffed environment, and we need to be able to have a minimum number of people managing the maximum amount of resources. Other vendors don't do that.For example, we looked at EMC. Their primary problem was the pane of glass problem. They offered three solutions to do what we're already doing with one. Nimble was the other solution which we looked at, and they were protocol limited. They could only do iSCSI, which would have required a significant architecture rebuilt for us.What other advice do I have?Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* High availability* Reliability* Performance.We have to be able to do the three P's. Get people in the front gate, sell them plush "Bugs Bunnies", and sell them pizzas. If we can't do that, we have a problem.Previous SolutionsWe had a different NetApp solution before. We actually started running the numbers, and due to the age of the systems, we were starting to lose multiple disks at a time. We were going to have a point where we lost data, so it was time to replace them. NetApp was the only vendor that really worked out during the quote process.Initial SetupI was involved in the initial setup. It was very straightforward. By the end of the process, we had it down to where we were converting an entire park within 48 hours.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingDefinitely go with NetApp. You're going to look at other vendors. They may come in at a cheaper price point, but you will pay in the end with management costs and downtime.Other Solutions ConsideredBefore purchase All Flash, we had a very high impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance sound storage. It is still very high as it is the only vendor we would consider for mission critical systems based on our experience at this point.We looked at some other vendors. They can't provide the single pane of glass management. We're a very thinly-staffed environment, and we need to be able to have a minimum number of people managing the maximum amount of resources. Other vendors don't do that.For example, we looked at EMC. Their primary problem was the pane of glass problem. They offered three solutions to do what we're already doing with one. Nimble was the other solution which we looked at, and they were protocol limited. They could only do iSCSI, which would have required a significant architecture rebuilt for us.Other AdviceMost important criteria when selecting a vendor:* High availability* Reliability* Performance.We have to be able to do the three P's. Get people in the front gate, sell them plush "Bugs Bunnies", and sell them pizzas. If we can't do that, we have a problem.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-16T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Initial Setup Is Easy And Straightforward; There Is No Complexity.What is our primary use case?We are it for CIFS, NFS, and NAS. We are also using it for the cloud environment.How has it helped my organization?They have come up with top of the line inline deduplication. They are delivering compression and aggregate compaction, as well. Everything is improving with their new features coming out on a day-to-day basis.What is most valuable?* Inline deduplication* Compaction* I've seen them compress it a lot, which provides efficiency.These features are missing from other products in market.What needs improvement?The product should be more competitive and come up with additional features. They should keep the client always in mind and as the top priority. This would be the best way to compete with other solutions.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is stable. In my three years working with the storage, I haven't seen any issues with our NetApp product.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We started with a cluster of two nodes, then we reached a six node cluster. We have scaled this up, as needed, whenever we saw a requirement coming up from the client.It's pretty scalable. It can scale up to 24 nodes.How is customer service and technical support?From a technical perspective, the technical support is good.How was the initial setup?The initial setup is easy and straightforward; there is no complexity.What about the implementation team?We used our vendor partner for the installation. We do have multiple vendors with whom we deal with for the procurement of NetApp devises. So, we call with them to come and do the deployment for us, as per our company standards. Our experience with these vendors is good.What other advice do I have?I would recommend NetApp. It is a good product to use.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It offers low latency, high IOPS, and a small footprint with a large amount of data. The interface and the user experience could be simpler.Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable features are the low latency, high IOPS, and the ability to have a very small footprint with a large amount of data. The free controller upgrade program is a plus.Improvements to My OrganizationWe've taken the conversation around performance out of the picture now, and brought it more onto the application side.Room for ImprovementSimplification is probably the key thing right now; making the interface and the user experience a lot simpler, more streamlined, more like a lot of startup companies now do, so that there aren’t as many bells and whistles, knobs to tweak, so that you basically have a single pane of glass to do all your work. I see that getting better in this product, but not there yet.Use of SolutionStarted in 2014, using a FAS8080 with all SSD storage.Stability IssuesStability is excellent. We haven't had any issues with it.Scalability IssuesIt works pretty good. When we need more storage, we just add another shelf or just add additional controllers to the cluster if additional performance is required.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: ExcellentTechnical Support: We have used technical support on occasion. It’s been pretty good. It depends on who you get and when you get it. Overall, it's been good.Previous SolutionsWe were not previously using something else; we were always a NetApp customer before. We just wanted flash. We were using and we still are using spinning discs.The All Flash storage ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ) was a direction from the upper management: This was before the All Flash FAS was available. Reduction of the physical footprint of storage by going to SSD storage from traditional SAS or SATA drives. Reduced power and cooling requirements.Initial SetupI was involved in the initial setup. It was straightforward, because we actually did an all-flash FAS before there was an All Flash FAS. We bought a FAS system with the SSD shelves and made it into an all-flash FAS before NetApp had an offering. Since that time we have bought additional NetApp All Flash storage and deployed AFF systems to various datacenters across the globe.Other Solutions ConsideredWe ended up going with some other vendors for our SAN environment; we went with Pure ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/pure-storage ) because at the time there was not an offering from NetApp on the flash for the SAN side of things. Now there is, the All Flash FAS, the SolidFire, or something like that. At the time, there wasn't, so that's the reason why we went to Pure.Other AdviceThe advice I’d give depends on what the need is. If you're looking for a NAS-type device that's all flash, NetApp's still pretty much the king in the NAS environment.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is cost, and then of course whether or not they're a willing partner. That's one reason why we stayed with NetApp as long as we have: They're not always interested in selling us something as much as coming up with solutions for some of our problems.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have been able to successfully use their high availability as well as run online upgrades without any disruptionWhat is most valuable?It has to be the ONTAP System Manager. It is really easy to use and the interface is really clean. We are running 9.2 at the moment, and I have been able to configure it without a lot of assistance from the NetApp technical team.How has it helped my organization?We have been able to successfully use their high availability as well as run online upgrades without any disruption. It is the non-disruptive upgrade that has really impressed me.We use it for our VMware environment. We store our virtual machines (VMs) and use it to run our work loads. It is used for file storage.What needs improvement?I have been looking at 9.3. It looks like they already have some really promising features, with the ability to import into CSV. So, this would definitely simplify the configuration without having to do point and click.For how long have I used the solution?They have been very solid so far, in the five months that I have used the product. I have not seen any outages and their support is outstanding.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It has been very stable so far.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have scaled so far to another unit and have a FAS2620 that we recently added. We were able to get that up and running without disrupting the environment.How is customer service and technical support?Their tech support is very responsive. We have been able to put P1 cases in and we have gotten responses within the hour.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup. We have an AFF and a FAS. We were able to set those up in a cluster.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There were other vendors on the list, primarily EMC and HPE, as they are the other players. NetApp came in at a better price.I came from an EMC shop with block level storage and found that NetApp was a lot easier to manage and configure. From a learning curve, it was easy for me to set up and pick up.What other advice do I have?Definitely give them a chance and see if the solution works for your environment. If you are doing block level storage, maybe try NFS.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: price.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We're already cluster-mode so we can just slide the AFF into the existing cluster and migrate all our data across relatively seamlessly. The existing filers, are struggling on the load.Valuable FeaturesSnapshot, SnapMirror, FlexClone, and deduplication are features we use a lot of and which are valuable to us. We're also using light compression, which is a new thing on the AFF.Improvements to My OrganizationFor us, it's brilliant to have all the functionality that NetApp gives you out the box. We've been a NetApp customer for 14 years and it's great now that we can get that on all-flash and have the performance to go alongside the functionality. We've always wanted that performance. The really good thing for us is we're already cluster-mode so we can just slide the AFF into the existing cluster and migrate all our data across relatively seamlessly.Room for ImprovementFor us it's about getting stuff on the website faster and more reliably. Currently our existing filers are struggling on the load. So it's all about performance really; it could have better performance.Use of SolutionWe've been looking at it and talking about it for probably about three months. We've ordered it, and it's in the data center now. We've got the kit, it's just not in production. We'll hopefully deploy and put it into production this year.Deployment IssuesWe didn't have issues with deployment.Stability IssuesWe expect it to be stable.Customer Service and Technical SupportI think our experience has been a bit hit-and-miss. From a technical point of view, we were early adopters of clustered Data ONTAP and cDOT. We found that the support was limited on cDOT. We were using cDOT for the better part of three years and it's only now that it feels like the support team at NetApp has caught up. That was a challenge, and again there's been a lot of changes at NetApp around the sales side of the business and I think we've suffered a bit at the hands of that.Initial SetupIt should be straightforward because we know it; it should be straightforward.Other Solutions ConsideredTo be honest, we spoke to a lot of people. We spoke to Tegile, XtremIO, Pure Storage, SolidFire, and Nutanix just to understand the market because it felt like the storage market had moved on quite a lot over the last three years. Clearly, with us being an NFS house, it's all we've used. It came down really to Tegile or NetApp.We chose NetApp because it was an easier deployment for us because we already know it. We've got the skills. We know that it works and, I guess, NetApp has just got a bit more experience in the market. Their ability to execute is kind of a known for us.Other AdviceIt's interesting as in it's come down at a price-point now to where it's much more feasible than it was even two or three years ago, to go down the old-fashioned road. It doesn't mean necessarily it's the right thing to do, I don't think. I think it's important that as a customer you understand what your requirements are.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The systems actually started acting like real computers, not like a virtual system.What is most valuable?The valuable feature for us was, we started our VMware solution on a mid-tier NetApp solution. When we went to All Flash FAS our changes went form about a 5 or 10 millisecond response time to 1 millisecond. The systems actually started acting like real computers, not like a virtual system.How has it helped my organization?The benefits for our organization are that our customers actually noticed, and that's pretty hard to do sometimes. It was really good because they actually noticed the response times changing and that our virtualization system actually became more responsive for them.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Our stability has been very good. We haven't seen any down-time for five or six years probably.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability on NetApp is unforeseen. I'm sure we're going to buy more. I'm sure the fact that we are using clustered NetApp, we can take that stuff and move the next heads into the next cluster and then just migrate things, and nobody notices in the background. That's probably the best thing about the scalability.How is customer service and technical support?The technical support is really good. We don't use it that much because I have a few guys on my team that are really good with the product. But the technical support, whenever we need them, is great. We actually work with Sirius Computer Solutions, our partner. They help us figure out where we should upgrade to. They'll come in and they'll do technology things to make sure that we are going for the next solution that will help our product.How was the initial setup?We did the initial setup. I would say it was an eight out of 10. There were some issues but it was okay. They helped us fix it, and we figured it out. That's mostly because we just like to do it ourselves, because we want to see what we're doing and what's in our datacenter.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Yes, we evaluated other solutions but the NetApp solution seemed to be the best one for what we were doing, and for simplicity of moving from the current solution to the next solution.What other advice do I have?If a colleague was evaluating storage solutions I would tell them to buy NetApp. The decompression, the dedup, all those things that happen, are just better then everybody else's platform.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We needed something faster than NFC, and we now have a 30 second latency, down from 60 seconds. However, we had a few problems implementing the devices due to a lack of training.Valuable FeaturesIt uses multiple protocols and has all the implementation protocols that other products do not. We use CIFS.Improvements to My OrganizationWe needed something faster than NFC, and we now have a 30 second latency, down from 60 seconds.Room for ImprovementIt’s too early to know the features exactly, as we get what we need. We do need, however, more training, which NetApp wasn't able to provide.Use of SolutionWe have two devices, and have been using them for two weeks so far. We use it for VDI and Citrix. At the moment we are thinking of putting other workloads onto them.Deployment IssuesWe've had no issues with deploying it.Stability IssuesIt's stable and we've had no stability issues.Scalability IssuesIt scales as we can just plug in more devices.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: Customer service is great.Technical Support: No matter the time of day or night, technical support will always try to help.Previous SolutionsWe ran VDI on EMC for five years, and it ran out of performance so we had to offload. We then decided to turn to NetApp AFF.Initial SetupThe initial setup was straightforward and easy, but we had a few problems implementing the devices due to a lack of training and the fact that it was a very urgent implementation.Implementation TeamWe had great support from NetApp, but we did not do too much training. We have good knowledge of NetApp cDot. It took us a few days to install and configure.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked at XtremIO, Dell, Pure Storage, and Nutanix. We already have a NetApp environment, so it met our needs, and it was an urgent decision. There was no option, and we didn’t want to change back to block storage.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It improves organizational performanceWhat is most valuable?* Performance* Block storageHow has it helped my organization?It improves organizational performance.What needs improvement?* I want to see more send features.* It takes awhile to learn the system.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It does not matter much in our environment. We have not thought of scaling out.How is customer service and technical support?We have used the technical support. They are good.Which solutions did we use previously?We had EMC, then we introduced NetApp. We switched due to cost.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup. There was a little bit of an issue, but it turned out okay. Basically, we had to call NetApp for assistance during the setup due to an odd issue.What other advice do I have?We use AFF as part of a cluster with other NetApp class systems.I would definitely recommend AFF.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has extremely high performance, and the storage efficiency is far superior to a typical FAS.What is our primary use case?We use it for high performance, block storage, and file storage.The highest performance need apps are usually deployed on AFF. We're using adaptive QoS to identify what applications require higher performance and moving those volumes over to the AFF.How has it helped my organization?We are able to offer higher performance to meet the business needs. We see far less issues with applications complaining about not getting the throughput they need, the IOPS, or that they are getting to high of a latency. We put it on AFF and the issues go away.The user experience with AFF is fast and secure, with continuous access to data. Our users typically don't know where we're putting their data unless we have some benefit in telling them. If they say, "It's not fast enough," we put it over here, and they say, "It's good now. We're happy." Though, we have to be judicious in how we move it, because storage is a bit expensive. Although, the higher storage efficiencies somewhat compensate for it.The solution is providing IT more headroom so we can give higher performance to more applications. Like every business, our data footprint is growing. Our applications account is growing, and we're just able to keep up with it now somewhat better than we were before.We are spending less time putting out fires, so there's a tangible benefit right there.What is most valuable?* It has extremely high performance.* The storage efficiency is far superior to a typical FAS.* The administration is ONTAP, so it's not like you have a new platform to learn. Everything is consistent with what we have been doing for years.What needs improvement?On the roadmap, NetApp is improving the solution's storage efficiency, compression algorithms to achieve more space savings, and the management interfaces. We are looking forward to these feature additions in the next release.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Like every NetApp platform, it's very stable. Occasionally, we hit a bug, but you encounter that everywhere. We've never had any problems specific to AFF. Overall, our problems with NetApp products have been minimal. It is a solid platform.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It scales well, probably more so than the FAS. Because of the storage density with the SSDs, we can't buy enough SSDs to max one out.How is customer service and technical support?As with all NetApp tech support, it's outstanding. It is the best in the industry. It is very easy to escalate.Which solutions did we use previously?We didn't technically switch solutions. We just augmented it because we have been a NetApp customer for awhile. Thus, we're going from FAS to AFF, which is just a natural progression.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was not complex. Even though it's a higher performing platform, you run it, manage it, and administer it the same as you do any FAS.What about the implementation team?We have a VAR, Tego Data Systems, whom we work with closely. They know our environment as well as we do. So, when we come to them with a need, we don't have to spend a lot of time feeding them background. They're ready to hit the ground running.What was our ROI?Our TCO has probably stayed about the same per terabyte of user data.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at other vendors (Kaminario, Pure Storage, Dell EMC, and IBM), but decided that it made the most sense to stay with NetApp.What other advice do I have?I would look at the performance of AFF, its reliability, and its outstanding tech support.AFF is the wave of the future. Spinning disk will be going away and it just makes sense to go where the industry is going.AFF helps us improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics and VMs. We have moved our primary data stores for production over to AFF, and a lot of the problems that might happened have gone away.To set up and provision enterprise applications using this solution is quick. We're integrating it with ServiceNow, so it is a hands off storage allocation. A user submits a request and can have storage in five to ten minutes.We are not yet connected to any public clouds.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-20T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EMC VMAX 10K VS. NetApp All Flash FASImprovements to My OrganizationAll-Flash FAS:We were beginning to have performance problems. Our databases were getting larger and larger, and we needed to move to something that had that low latency, and this has greatly helped us with this.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Valuable FeaturesAll Flash FAS: ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas )One of the most valuable features is the very low latency, especially when it comes to the databases, very demanding applications. Also I like the very small form factor, compared with the older models; what used to take seven or eight racks now use four. It's just amazing. The savings in power, cooling, and everything else is just incredible.Room for ImprovementAll-Flash FAS:They could maybe make the documentation more available. Every time I want to find a document, I have to log in with my username and password. If I go to Google and look for stuff, it's sometimes hard to find. Things like that.They have several issues that have been solved with the new line of products that they showed us at a recent NetApp conference; they really solved a lot of things I didn't like. For instance, when you allocate spare drives, you can only allocate one spare drive per node. If you have one spare drive, you can either go through node A or node B, and once you assign it, that's it. You have to know if you need to use spare drives. With the new product line, that no longer applies. That is one thing I didn't like, but they fixed it in the new release.EMC VMAX 10K:If you look at their CLI or their GUI, it looks like there isn’t any order to anything; it's just horrible. To improve it, they would have to re-architect the whole thing from the bottom up. I don't see them doing that anytime soon, and I can see why not. They are very loyal to their customer base. People have been writing scripts for their systems for 30 years, and they don't want to break those scripts. In order to support those people, there are a lot of things they can't change, and that's what's really holding them back when you compare them to NetApp or something else.Stability IssuesAll-Flash FAS:I've only had it for three months but so far, no problems. It's been great; it's been pretty stable.EMC VMAX 10K:It's very complex, but if you get it to work after a very long process orif you have it working already, the thing never fails. You can use it, leave it on an island and you'll never touch it again. It's very stable, and we kind of like that.Then, if you want to change things around, such as take the data out and put it somewhere else, such as FlexClone, you can't do that; you couldn't do that with an EMC.Scalability IssuesAll-Flash FAS:I only have the one, so I haven't really scaled that all that much. It looks like from the specs and everything else, you can scale it incredibly easily.EMC VMAX 10K: ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/emc-vmax )We only have that one, so I can't really comment on its scalability. It looks like it could be scalable, but we're not thinking of going in that direction.Customer Service and Technical SupportAll-Flash FAS:I might have used technical support a couple of times when installing the All-Flash FAS. They were great. There were a couple of times when I had to get on WebEx with them and they walked me through whatever I had to do. It was awesome.When a drive fails in the NetApp, they send me a replacement and I just put it right in the array. I don't have to wait for anybody to do anything.EMC VMAX 10K:When it comes to the EMC, everything is so complicated that even when the drive fails, an engineer has to come onsite to change it. It is that bad.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Previous SolutionsI was not involved in the decision process to invest in the All-Flash system. It was just given to me, I took it and I just ran with it.Before we switched to the All-Flash, we were using the old FAS. It was also NetApp. It was a 3100 series. They got deprecated and we went to the All-Flash.Initial SetupAll-Flash FAS:I already had some prior knowledge of the spinning FAS systems. Compared to those, this was much easier. It took us something like three hours to set it all up. It was really fast.EMC VMAX 10K:I was not involved in setting up the VMAX. I just have to deal with it.Other Solutions ConsideredBefore choosing this product, we did not really evaluate other options. We have an EMC VMAX 10K array, and the thing just sucks. We also used it mainly because we are required by politics not to be locked to one specific vendor. As an engineer, I can tell you that NetApp is the best solution; we all know that. We're slowly pushing management to try to change their model. What NetApp sells you that nobody else has is the feature set; you get the FlexClone, the SnapMirrors, and it's all very easy to use. God, the EMC is so difficult that it sometimes makes no sense. It's a very reliable solution. If you get it to work, it just works but then again, I have so many things I can't really do with it.It's getting to the point that every time we get a new application, every time we get a new requirement for storage, we don't even think of the VMAX, we put it on the NetApp, because it's so much easier to work with.For instance, we have a UAT environment that can't really work with the EMC, because the EMC doesn't have a FlexClone capability that the NetApp does. Every time something else or something new comes in, we have to ignore the EMC and just put it on the NetApp. For the stuff that's working there right now, it works great, but for the new things that come along, it doesn't work so well.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are the ease of use of course, stability, reliability, and feature set.Other AdviceTalk to your peers. Go talk to the industry; talk to all the people in the industry. See what they're using. See what their thoughts are. I think that if we had done that from the beginning, we might not have done it the way we did. Maybe we would have gone NetApp all the way; I don't know. That's one of the things I would do I guess, in hindsight.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-16T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance is it's most valuable feature.Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable feature of the product is its performance; we haven't really put it to the test yet, but just overall performance and taking our existing workload and smashing it really.Improvements to My OrganizationIt has improved our organization with efficiencies for our developers and similar items; some of the work and the way they do it. It's actually improved their speeds quite significantly.Room for ImprovementWith the interface in System Manager, sometimes you have to go back into your aggregates from your SVM to see how your storage is going. It would be nice if you could see trends, so you don't have to keep tagging back and forth.It would be nice to be able to see the aggregate status/capacity from the SVM view. I realize that it is logically located as a cluster-managed component, but to be able to quickly view the usage of the aggregate, from a capacity point of view when provisioning new volumes, saves having to browse back into the cluster view.Use of SolutionI’ve been using it for about nine months. But, as I’ve mentioned, we haven't migrated all that workload yet, so we haven't put it to the full test.Stability IssuesSo far, so good; we haven't had any issue with stability.Scalability IssuesNetApp’s very scalable.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support has been indifferent at times. Probably about a year ago, I found the transition to the Indian tech support a bit difficult, at first, to deal with, in terms of quality, but that's improved. I've had a few dealings with them recently. I found them definitely a bit better now.Previous SolutionsI was instrumental in saying, we need to go to the 8000 platform, full stop, because we'd been on the 3000s for quite some time. Over time, they kept growing, and the performance kept decreasing.I used to work in the partner space. I'd see an environment with the 6000 series and we just threw everything at it; they didn't take a beat. So, I knew that by the time we were looking at upgrading to the 8000 series. I basically said, we need to forget about this smaller series and treat ourselves like a proper enterprise and go to the 8000s and get the right performance we need.Initial SetupWe actually had a partner assist us in setting it up, but it seemed pretty easy. It's a lot different with a cluster and IPs; you have to think about things differently. Other than that, it seemed pretty easy.Other Solutions ConsideredWe did not really consider anyone other than NetApp. We've always had a good relationship with NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) and we’re quite happy with how we can manage it.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with can be anything from cost to how they treat their customers. Some vendors can be quite arrogant. NetApp's always had a good setup. For me, I prefer to have the ability to call on our SEs when we've got issues and so forth. That's always been good. At the end of the day, at my job level, I wouldn't be making final choices for vendor selection any way.Other AdviceMake sure you don't jump into something that you'll regret later on. I think a lot of people are jumping into other smaller vendors at the moment and I think they're going to get burnt one day. Really look deeper into the solution and the products.I haven't really given it a full go yet, but so far so good.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-13T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The peak loads on a software install for VDI desktops now have lower latency. If the price for SSDs comes down and we can switch everything to flash, that would be an improvement.Valuable FeaturesThe features most valuable to us are--* A-SIS deduplication* vServer DR, which is a new feature in v8.3.1Improvements to My OrganizationThe peak loads on a software install for VDI desktops now have lower latency. Previously, we had a 3240 with HDDs. For normal operation the HDDs with flash cache were fine, but for virus scans and software installations/patching, we would start at midnight and end at three or four am. However, sometimes at four deduplication operations would start and that runs concurrently with the installation that isn’t complete. So as a consequence, we had terrible latency until 11 or 12 so our users were unhappy with that situation. With the AFF, we have absolutely no problem at all.Room for ImprovementIt’s still new so the only thing I can think of is if the price for SSDs comes down and we can switch everything to flash, that would be an improvement.Use of SolutionI've used it for three years. We're currently running VDI on it with ONTAP.Deployment IssuesWe had an easy deployment because we have a VMware environment where we use vMotion from the old FAS to the new AFF.Stability IssuesVery stable, 100% uptime.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: 8/10.Technical Support: 8/10.Previous SolutionsWe used FAS and we switched because of the above reasons.Initial SetupIt was straightforward.Implementation TeamWe used a vendor team who were 10/10.ROIStraightforward.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingThe situation before was terrible; we had things to do and couldn’t. It was a high pressure situation. 3,000 people couldn’t work for four hours. Now they can start working on time.Other Solutions ConsideredNo other options were evaluated.Other AdviceIt’s a good product, performs well and is easy to get up and running. If you need the speed, go for it.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 All flash disks allow extreme performance at low latency?.How has it helped my organization?The customer improved its time to market.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?I have found three main features to be valuable:Ease of use: Business continuity solutions are not typically so easy to manage from a storage admin prospectiveStorage Efficiency: Inline compression, inline reduplication, and other inline features allow space-saving without losing performancePerformance: All flash disks allow extreme performance at low latencyWhat needs improvement?There should be more functionality regarding tiering of the oldest data.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The solution is very stable.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The solution can scale-in and scale-out.How are customer service and technical support?I would rate the level of technical support 10/10.If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?The customer previously had the NetApp solution based on hybrid disks.They don't have a business continuity solution.How was the initial setup?It took one week for the startup to pepare the storage for use. We have migrated about 150TB of data in six months (VMware, Oracle, SAP, filesystem, etc.).What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Licensing is very simple: all flash solutions include the entire license. Regarding pricing, storage efficiency can lower the cost per TB.Which other solutions did I evaluate?The customer evaluated EMC and HPE.What other advice do I have?Involve a competent and certified partner.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-29T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Speed is one of the most valuable features, with IOPS being the most important.Valuable FeaturesSpeed is obviously one of the most valuable features, with IOPS being the most important for certain applications: database applications and so on; performance with certain applications that has blown away the benchmarks set by the providers.Improvements to My OrganizationFrom an IT perspective, providing that as a platform for these specific databases has made us seem like gods, in short. There is a perception of IT in our organization that we're not capable or we can't provide the services that the other departments want. When they come to us and we give them space on AFF, they're blown away by the performance, as are the people that are telling them, "No, you guys can't provide it. Use these guys or go with a cloud provider." We're more than capable technically and now more than capable technologically.Room for ImprovementI don't know if it's going to be possible in the short term to improve upon it because the drive technology is developing much faster than the processing technology, the CPU, that sort of thing. In the future, I'm sure they'll tackle that but right now, drive technology is accelerating.Use of SolutionWe’ve had it for something like a year and a half.Stability IssuesWe’ve purchased a second larger system and we've had no stability problems with it.Scalability IssuesIf one can afford the drives, then they're scalable. That's the caveat. Of course, there are some issues with scalability that come from the ability to crush your controller with so many drives behind it. If you have too many disk shelves, you can overwhelm a controller, one of the lower-end controllers. That’s a potential problem. It's not a problem we actually have, but it's something we have to be careful with because we have a mid-range AFF, and now we have an enterprise AFF as well. Now that we have the enterprise AFF, this isn’t an issue.Customer Service and Technical SupportI have used technical support through a provider, C-Store. They were great.Previous SolutionsI was consulted during the decision process to invest in the All-Flash FAS. It was an addition to FlexPod. We were told we needed to have flash storage to support an application when the truth was, we didn't actually need flash storage but there was an edict to do that. We went with the AFF in order to support the demands of a customer. We're happy enough with it to buy another.Initial SetupIn small ways. For the AFF, I was involved in the initial setup but not directly doing a whole lot of it. I consulted, and we set up the aggregates and all that based on specifications. It was straightforward and, again, we had good providers; good help makes things easy.Other Solutions ConsideredEMC was a possibility. I'm sure there were others. For me, it wasn't even a competition. I would have just said, "We're going with NetApp. We can talk about who's going to provide it but NetApp's the way to go." We were so heavily invested in NetApp already; also, most of our storage team had experience with NetApp and bringing in another storage vendor... learning curve and all that; we're already understaffed and over-utilized.When selecting a vendor to work with, they have to be able to both support and anticipate our needs, communicate efficiently and clearly. Sometimes that means making changes in the way they do business in order to facilitate our needs because we have very little movement in the way we do business. We're a public school, a lot of stakeholders. We are beholden to explain ourselves to a lot of people. Those kinds of criteria are very important. Whatever we're buying has to be worth the money because we're not going to get it again very soon.Other AdviceMake sure that an AFF is necessary before you buy one, because a FAS full of SSDs is very expensive and might not be necessary to meet your needs. You get plenty of IOPS out of a SAS and they are comparatively inexpensive so that you can increase your spindle count to make up for the IOPS of SSD; when you do that, you gain capacity too.Don't let yourself be bullied by a vendor saying, "This software solution requires this level of hardware to back it up," because NetApp has already proven that's not the case.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The scalability is excellent. We added a shelf three weeks ago and it took less than 10 minutes.What is most valuable?* The speed* Performance* The storage efficiency is very good.* We use the SnapMirror for disaster recovery, though not for tiering.How has it helped my organization?By moving everything to the All Flash Array, our outage times have gone dramatically down, if not disappeared completely, for the most part.We are more likely to consider NetApp for our mission critical storage systems based on our experiences with AFF. We are actually moving all of our production data onto our AFF system right now as it's been extremely fast and stable.What needs improvement?More reporting on a granular level within system command.For how long have I used the solution?I have personally used NetApp for 15 years now. A long time.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's extremely stable. We've never had an issue with it, even through multiple OS upgrades.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's excellent. We added a shelf three weeks ago and it took less than 10 minutes.How is customer service and technical support?We haven't used technical support yet.However, I would recommend if someone is researching NetApp and similar solutions that they take a look at the support offered by other companies and look at what Netapp offers as well.Which solutions did we use previously?Our existing solutions, which were Netapp, were basically just overrun.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup and it was straightforward.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at not only Netapp, but we looked at EMC which was the big one. Then we started looking at some cloud providers, but we actually moved away from that.We had a very high impression of NetApp as a vendor of high-performance sound storage before purchasing AFF, and an extremely high impression of them afterwards.What other advice do I have?The primary use case for our All Flash system is VMware. It's NFS-based, therefore it's NAS-based.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:Typically, with vendor selection, it's going to be more about the support after. Most of the features across the vendors that I've talked to are pretty much on par with everybody else.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It is stable, has enabled us to buy capacity as needed, and helps us refresh UAT/DEV environments as needed.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are the deduplication and compression, along with NetApp's Snapshot technology.I'm looking forward to the compaction feature after the code upgrade in a few months.How has it helped my organization?We have been looking for a flash solution that scales horizontally along with a proven application integration stack. NetApp has been helpful and stable, and enabled us to buy capacity as needed, as well as help in quickly refreshing UAT/DEV environments as needed.What needs improvement?The product still uses the concept of decoupling hardware with multiple HA pairs where system resources like CPU/memory is bound to a single controller. This approach definitely helps keep the system more resilient and stable, but it makes the environment a little complex for the end user to decide where to place their application for best performance. This is being mitigated by a few of the performance and automation tools they provide, but it may not be the most efficient approach in real time.For how long have I used the solution?I have used it for one year.What do I think about the stability of the solution?There were no issues with stability.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability in regards to capacity hasn't been an issue. The product really scales well.With regard to performance, storage pools/aggregates are tied to a single node, so a storage device/LUN can only use CPU/memory of that particular node.How is customer service and technical support?NetApp technical support has been excellent for years and they are also improving with their deep software engineering skills/customer reports.Which solutions did we use previously?We used to deploy other large storage vendor products that didn't integrate well with the application stack. Automation and efficiency has been a driver in the company, which made us switch to NetApp.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was straightforward.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Snapshot/FlexClone are the core licenses that I would recommend to others. Opt for a converged infrastructure like FlexPod, where the Cisco UCS server platform is involved.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated other large flash vendors including EMC and Pure. Every vendor has their own niche in the flash industry.What other advice do I have?Decide your current and future requirements in terms of performance, capacity scaling, application (SQL/Oracle/SharePoint/Exchange/SAP) integration, storage efficiency (dedupe/compression), operational overhead, etc., and decide on a vendor based on it.No vendor is perfect in every aspect, so chose the vendor based on your requirements and test them!!!Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-02-15T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Integrating it into our VMware virtual environment was very easy; it's flexible and makes DR simpleHow has it helped my organization?The big benefit is the performance increase over the previous versions and the previous systems.Also, to be able to do things such as moving machines around, moving volumes around, the little maintenance and everyday things you need to do. The tasks become that much quicker, and that makes it that much easier to do. You're not, say, waiting for a Storage vMotion to take half an hour to run, where on an all-flash system if it takes half the time of what you were used to. That's awesome.In addition, less time that you have to worry about troubleshooting stuff.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?Ease of use. To integrate it into our virtual environment is very easy, the integration with VMware is very nice. I think it's better than other vendors have. It makes it easy, even for people who aren't familiar with NetApp, to use. For example, a virtual administrator or Windows administrators who just come to it and need to provision a virtual machine that could use the VSE easily, as opposed to having to know how to connect this and that, specifically.Also, for disaster recovery, the SnapMirror; FlexClone for being able to do testing on the fly is pretty awesome. Being able to do tests very quickly, and within seconds have a clone up that you can attach to your virtual environment; and you can even have it automated, so you don't even have to do too much of the work.To be able to have that flexibility, do testing, do failover, disaster recovery testing, and restores with snaps that are super easy.What needs improvement?I've definitely thought about this at earlier times, where I would probably have more stuff than I do now. The integration is pretty good.I think there could probably be some more functionality out of like the VSC-type of plugins for the virtual environment.The backup-type of functionality that comes from NetApp is okay, but I could see some enhancements in that regard, too.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's definitely impressive. I haven't had a problem with the system. Been running it for about nine or 10 months now. It's stable, absolutely, 100%.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have a smaller environment, just a two-node cluster, one our primary side and one on our secondary side. One of the benefits that NetApp brings to the table is being able to add nodes to it if you want to, if you need more storage or you need more power, more processing speed - and boom! You can just add nodes and that's it.How is customer service and technical support?I've used them many times. There are always some techs that are better than others, but I've found that NetApp support is better than some other vendors, even non-storage related vendors, whose tech support you have to call.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?We mainly run virtual environments, VMware NFS. We were previously using just SATA and SaaS disk and we went to the All Flash and the performance was way better. It was a great improvement over the previous system.We maxed out our previous system in terms of its space and also the IOPS and the actual performance we were getting out of it, as we continued to grow.We were a small company. Our parent corporation rolled us into our own corporation, we did an IPO. Then we grew a lot from that, so we had our older system that we had previously and, as we grew, we threw more databases and the like at it. We saw the performance was definitely not able to keep up. Once we implemented the All Flash FAS, it really wasn't an issue any more.How was the initial setup?It was very straightforward on the setup.The upgrade was actually very easy too. We didn't even really need to do a traditional migration when we did our "migration" to it. We didn't have to do the setup by migration tool. It was easier to set up the new cluster next to the old one, and then set up intercluster links and SnapMirror all the data over, and then just bring that volume. We did a planned failover, like we would for a disaster recovery, where you just bring up the new system, bring down the old system; that's how we did it.Actually, we took that old system to make our disaster recovery, so we just sent that to our failover site and then we already had the data in sync too. We didn't have to do that whole process of syncing the data across the LAN, we were able to do it right next to each other on our LAN, so it was super fast, and then sent over our system, and then just resume the SnapMirrors.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We had NetApp already, so they were always a front runner, but we were looking at EMC, EqualLogic. And even, instead of having a NetApp, a different DR solution altogether, where we would have a third-party replication system that could replicate our data - instead of having another All Flash FAS or another FAS on the other side - and just relying on a different DR system altogether.Once we took into account the easy integration of everything, and how everything worked together, and since we already had that familiarity and that comfortability with it, it was easy to decide on NetApp; the company and the product.What other advice do I have?Right now we just use it for file storage. We were using block and file. I'm going to be using block in the future as well.In terms of my impression of NetApp as a vendor of high profile SAN storage, before I purchased AFF, I always liked NetApp. I was always impressed by the company in general, as a NetApp customer previously. But the All Flash FAS definitely has even increased that and enhanced my opinion of them more, based on the functionality, the new stuff in ONTAP 9. We were using an older 7-Mode system, so the transition was pretty easy; and just the overall benefits of the system and the new functionality.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission-critical storage systems in light of our experience with AFF because of the reliability, the ease of the failovers, and the high availability of the system.Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor include responsiveness of the company to their customers, what they need and they want. I feel that NetApp has a very good finger on the pulse of their customer. They have good relationships with their partners and the third parties, so it is a very easy transition when dealing with NetApp partners. It makes the actual buying, and dealing with the quoting, very simple.Also, in selecting a vendor, support is definitely an important issue; having someone to lean on if there is an issue - and when there is a mission critical issue - that you know you can rely on. It's important to have someone who is going to respond right away, so that you're not waiting for someone useful to help you.Do as much hands-on testing as you possibly can. It's hard to test it out in the real world. The NetApp Insight conference is cool because you can see the product up close and personal, and they do demos and labs. But definitely do your research, as much as you can and pick something that works, that makes sense for your company, and organization as a whole.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-05T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Having separate storage virtual machines with completely different setups for NFS and Windows solves problems the FAS hasWhat is our primary use case?VMware datastores over NFS for DL585 G7 hosts on a 10G switch.How has it helped my organization?NetApp FAS was unable to keep up with the I/O. A200 has performed without a problem.What is most valuable?Having separate storage virtual machines with completely different setups for NFS and Windows solves problems the FAS has when the domain controllers are unreachable.What needs improvement?The system commander web management is good, but it is easy to make bad configurations, and it takes a lot of jumping around to work a single issue.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-03-13T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enabled us to reduce physical rackspace on one project by 70-80% while providing performance and reliabilityWhat is most valuable?* Performance* Reliability* ScalabilityThey're important because it's critical user data. As a global bank we need to make sure that users' data is accessible at all times; that there's no outage window or things like that. Performance is key.How has it helped my organization?The consolidation, the physical rackspace. For example, we've got a project ongoing at the moment in consolidating our footprint from 20 rackspaces down into two. I think we've got a 70-80% footprint reduction in going from old FAS controllers to AFF.What needs improvement?There's not really anything that's standing out at the moment.Perhaps the node count on a block basis, even though we don't really use it that much for block, but that would be one.The only other thing from our point of view would be, on the storage efficiency side, the compaction storage efficiency - there's no way of seeing that on a volume level, you can only see that on an aggregate level.For how long have I used the solution?We've had All Flash installed now for coming up to two years. I think it was February, 2016 that we put in the first All Flash array.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The All Flash is very good. So far it seems more reliable, there's not been any issues with it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Good. We've not really had much scalability, so far, to grow that much on the AFF, but what we have had to do has been good.How is customer service and technical support?Very good. As an enterprise, trust me we've got quite a lot of the account team that were involved with this, so quite a lot of NetApp staff helped us out in the build, the design, the configuration, the maintenance, etc.Which solutions did we use previously?We were using NetApp. We were using FAS NetApp, and it was just the new system, the new growth that we needed.How was the initial setup?Straightforward. No different to any old system that we've put in before, so an AFF is no different to a FAS.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Dell EMC, NetApp, IBM.NetApp are our chosen vendor for IP storage.What other advice do I have?The primary use case for our All Flash FAS is user data: Windows user file data, application data, NAS IP data. We use file storage.We've just got a great partnership with NetApp. We've got NetApp installed in over 52 different countries. I think our hardware install base is over 600 systems globally. We've got a very good relationship.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage because of the reliability that we get with them, the support that we have with them, the infrastructure that they have available.The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are* Manageability* The customer base that they have* What enterprise accounts have they got* Cost is the main thingBy manageability I mean how easy is it to manage the infrastructure. You don't want to manage a complex infrastructure and have multiple use cases, of having issues which are hard to manage. Having a single vendor and being able to manage it through a single support center makes it much easier.My advice to a colleauge considering a similar solution would be: Depending on the work load that you've got, that you require your systems for, if you're looking for high performance NAS then you'd look at NetApp. But you've definitely got to be able to manage the estate that you've got, so depending on the size of the infrastructure that you have would determine the solution that you choose.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-19T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our TCO decreased significantly by condensing arrays and reducing maintenance feesWhat is our primary use case?We use it for block storage.How has it helped my organization?It takes no time at all for our production instance to be snapped over to development and QA servers.Because so many other features and products interoperate with NetApp, the IT team is able to expand our horizons and broaden our scope for future projects.What is most valuable?* SnapMirror* SnapVault* FlexClone capabilitiesWhat needs improvement?It takes a good administrator or someone with knowledge of the product in order to manage it. That was one of the downfalls that we had with AFF. We have a lot of offshore team whom we have to spend a lot of time training to be up to speed. However, once they're up to speed, they know the product pretty well, and it seems to be okay.The hardware is a little difficult to configure and operate. However, with the configuration and operation, you get a different nerd knobs that you can use to design and critique the environment.For how long have I used the solution?Less than one year.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is great. I like the capability and the upgrade functionality of all the clustered environment. We can go through and do an upgrade without worrying about any issues with the process.It takes a node offline, and we don't even receive an alert for that. We click a button, and it's done unlike other storage systems which are out thereWhat do I think about the scalability of the solution?One of the scalability problems that we've had is the amount of storage per node, as it is 600 terabytes. This still seems a little low. However, there is a compute issue with large capacity, so it's just smarter to add additional nodes into a cluster. So, the scalability is there.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is a little lackluster. Some of the issues that we've had were opening up tickets. They seem to be routed in the wrong direction or it takes one or two days to get a call back for simple tasks. However, if we want immediate assistance, we have to open up a Severity 1 case, and sometimes it's not a Severity 1. But if we need a response back within four hours, we'll open it as a Severity 1, then once they contact us, we can drop the severity of the ticket.Calling technical support with NetApp, you talk to ten unknowledgeable people to get one half decent person. It becomes frustrating, especially if you have an immediate need for an enterprise outage.Which solutions did we use previously?We were running into a lot of storage roadblocks that were performance based. Also, the IBM product that we were using was at the end of life for 90 percent of our enterprise.I spent 15 years with IBM. Anytime I go into a data center, and I see Big Blue, it is the first thing that I replace.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was very straightforward, but complex. With the new clustered environment, you have to have a virtual server instance to run anything through the cluster, so you have to create a B server and a data logical interface to use block, then you create a separate lift if you want it to use files. The virtual instances have to be in place before you can actually use the product.What about the implementation team?I did the deployment, integration, and migration. We've done two petabytes in less than six months, and we're almost done.The experience was great when it comes to our virtual environment. It was a very simple process. We use vMotion and it moves everything across. It is a little more painful when it comes to standalone systems and Oracle Databases, but the integrated migration product (Foreign LUN migration) that they have, once configured properly, works well.What was our ROI?Our TCO decreased significantly because we were paying maintenance on nine different arrays throughout the country. We've condensed those down to three arrays, and our maintenance fees from the IBM product dropped by over a half million dollars a year, saving us $500,000 USD.We just migrated two petabytes of data storage from IBM over to NetApp All Flash. Some of the performance improvement that we've seen is 100 times I/O and microsecond latency.Which other solutions did I evaluate?The two vendors that made it through the evaluation process were Pure Storage and NetApp. We had Pure Storage and NetApp proof of concepts. Both of them performed admirably. Pure Storage beat out on the performance, but on price per terabyte, NetApp was considerablely cheaper.What other advice do I have?NetApp, being the behemoth company that it is, if you're looking to have a solution provider be end-to-end when it comes to file, block, scale, and cloud, NetApp is probably the leader of the market.Depending upon an application, provision enterprise applications could take from a day to a week. A lot of times, if it's just a simple application that we need to install, it takes an afternoon. However, incorporating it and twisting the nerd knobs and making sure that everything is operating as efficiently as possible that takes a week of deployment to make sure it's on the right tiered disk and making sure it has the right connectivity and it is on the right network. Sometimes, on our old, antiquated network environment, it takes a little bit longer.We might connect to public cloud in the future, but we are not connect at the moment.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-23T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for Citrix XenApp profiles. It's fast and stable.Valuable FeaturesI liked the performance; it's fast. We use it for Citrix XenApp profiles and we would always have issues in the past from spinning disk with lagging profiles. They'd be slow to log in, which impacted end users. Since we've been using the FAS solution, it's been zero down time, very good response, no issues whatsoever.Improvements to My OrganizationWe live on the US east coast and when we have snow storms, a lot of users work remotely and that's when it impacts, as profiles get used very heavily. When you have three or four thousand users all logging in at nine o'clock in the morning, trying to pull down profiles because nobody's coming into the office and our company never closes, on spinning disk, the impact is very high. On flash, you don't see it, it doesn't even blink; cannot even tell.Room for ImprovementWhere I see room for improvement is their technical support.Stability IssuesStability is the same as the spinning disk solutions. NetApp solutions, in general, I think are very stable. I don't have any issues with them.Scalability IssuesI haven't had to scale the AFF ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ), in particular, so I would assume it would be the same as the spinning disk solutions, where we've been able to scale to multi-node clusters.Customer Service and Technical SupportWith NetApp's technical support, when you get the right person, you have a good response. Sometimes, it's a little hard to get to the right person. We have a support account manager, so he helps negotiate that a little bit, or facilitate that. I think NetApp support still has some work to do. Once you get the right person, you usually get the answers you need, but sometimes it's hard to get to the right person.Initial SetupInstallation was fairly simple.Other Solutions ConsideredBefore choosing this product, I didn't evaluate other solutions, actually. We already had this use case, in particular, running on a NetApp filer. It kind of was a natural progression to move it to a flash filer.Other AdviceI think that you need to evaluate your use case and do a proof of concept, testing on multiple platforms, and see what works best for you.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-13T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Consistent with ONTAP versions, and the speed and performance are assetsHow has it helped my organization?Reduced latencies, and the cluster data ONTAP, less down time, able to do upgrades, things like that, without much disruption.What is most valuable?I would say the consistency with the ONTAP versions and the speed and performance from the flash.What needs improvement?A shorter list of bug fixes would make it a 10 out of 10 for me. It looks like they're doing monthly releases now, so there are a lot more upgrades. It feels like a little too much, but we get to choose whether or not we need to pick that version or if we're going to wait. It's good not to have to wait four months for a patch.With some of the larger clusters being able to do a patch upgrade is helping. They still take three, four hours by the time you get the night started, finish things up, do the upgrade. The upgrades are very minimal. They've got the waiting period in between them, kills about 15 minutes of time. It'd be nice if that was streamlined a bit. I'm sure the engineers have that pause in there for a reason.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Normally good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I think we've got an eight-node cluster right now, so it's meeting our needs.It's been easy to tag nodes and scale out.How is customer service and technical support?It's always been a good experience. I've never had any issues getting the right level of support.How was the initial setup?Pretty straightforward.What other advice do I have?I would say the primary use case for AFF is a combination of database and virtual servers. We have both block storage and file storage.Our impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance SAN storage, both before and after we purchased AFF, was top-notch. We are definitely more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems in the future based on our experience with AFF, due to its reliability, ease of administration, cost.For us, reliability, cost, and just a good relationship are the most important criteria when selecting a vendor.It's reliable, fast, low latency, and we haven't had any issues with it. It's been quality.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We deploy high-demand applications, and it's the fastest we can get through this vendor.Valuable FeaturesIt's the fastest that we can get through NetApp. We're deploying all these high-demanding applications and it's the best of the best, so of course we went with it, being a big NetApp customer.Improvements to My OrganizationIn the transportation industry, we have a lot of demand for analytics and on-demand data, big data, and AFF ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) provides what we need in terms of the quick read and write.We spend less time thinking about performance and more time being able to worry about actual problems and the customer. Of course, the customer is the most important part of business.Room for ImprovementI would rate it higher if it didn’t cost as much. It's a bit pricey.Other than that, it's got what we need. I don't really have any suggestions for what it doesn't offer. I'm happy with what it has. I think it's only gotten better, especially with the 8.3 release and obviously ONTAP.Both the GUI and the command line have exactly what you need and I have no problem navigating either of them.Stability IssuesI have not encountered any stability or scalability issues; absolutely no issues whatsoever. The only issue is how fast we can put them in.Customer Service and Technical SupportWe have rarely required technical support. Usually, it's just a one-off type thing and I've never had any issues getting what we needed out of them. They're always knowledgeable; never had a problem.Previous SolutionsI was not at this company before they started using AFF.Initial SetupI was not involved in the initial setup.Other Solutions ConsideredI have not evaluated other options.Other AdviceBe sparing in capacity and don't just throw it around. Storage is cheap now, but AFF, as I’ve mentioned, is not cheap, so be cautious in how you use it. That’s something that needs to be analyzed before you start the process. It’s the kind of good homework to prepare. I think that goes for anything, but doubly for expensive flash. Just make sure that's really what you want and what you need.When I’m looking at vendors, I need them to know exactly what they're selling to me does. I need them to know the competition, so they're offering a fair comparison and not just offering a vendor lock-in type situation.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It allowed us to add flash to our existing platform.Improvements to My OrganizationIt's simplified operations because our storage team is so used to managing all of our stores using a single platform and by just adding flash to that same platform – the existing platforms – simplifies our day-to-day operations.Room for ImprovementTheir technical support needs improvement.Stability IssuesStability is 100%. We haven't had any issues with NetApp over all of the years we've been using them; it's a great, stable platform.Scalability IssuesOn a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a 10 for scalability.Customer Service and Technical SupportWith technical support, they need a little more help in there. I would give them an 8 out of 10.Initial SetupInitial setup it was straightforward. Because we're so used to the FAS systems already, it was easy to add the All Flash FAS system ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ); it was so much easier to deploy.Other Solutions ConsideredWe did a PoC against other vendors. The decision came down to the simplicity of the platform.We tested an EMC, an ExtremeIO, and we also did a Violin as well. As far as performance metrics, Violin actually beat all the other vendors but because of the stability and the financial turmoil with Violin, we felt a little skeptic about investing in a company that we didn't know what they were going to be tomorrow. Again, because we're a NetApp shop, to us, that made it so much easier to make the decision based on that.Other AdviceLook at the simplicity of the operations and the scalability of the products. Being a small company, we're big in storage but we have a small operations group, so I think simplicity just makes our team more efficient. Adding different tools or different storage vendors is just going to add a lot of complexity into our environment.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We moved volumes across the cluster without downtime.What is most valuable?What we like is the performance of the equipment. It's really much better than hybrid aggregate or machines with flash cache. We have been using the FAS series for a long time and it's still performing well. First we started with 7-Mode. Then we moved our databases to clustered data ONTAP. Today we have more than 24 nodes; we have a lot of machines working in cluster mode with all activities on site. It works perfectly.How has it helped my organization?We use an ONTAP cluster for the core Oracle DBs. The benefits are performance and the features we use, such as FlexClone to clone and restore the DBs everyday and to check if backups are properly done. These are great benefits.What needs improvement?In future releases, I would like to see improvements in performance. That's something that we always need. But the performance that we have right now is really good.Also, I'd like more features related to All Flash FAS with OpenStack or All Flash FAS with Manila.What do I think about the stability of the solution?In terms of stability, it is much better than 7-Mode. In terms of stability and performance, it is a very good machine with very good improvements. The cache layers are warm and everything is solid state; the kickbacks are really fast; better than other solutions. It is really good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We scale one or two controllers every year by adding an extra part to each cluster if we need it. Last year, we just bought a shelf, but in the previous years, we were increasing by one or two HA pairs per cluster; that's a lot for us. But, it's easy to scale. The most interesting thing we did is we moved volumes across the cluster without downtime and with a minimal performance impact. That's something that we couldn't do in the past with 7-Mode. So that's really good for the company. For a commerce company like ours, we can't support these functions with downtime; it must be while online.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is good, but it depends on the tool that you're using. In the past, we had troubles with DFM and we eliminated DFM from our infrastructure. Support for OpenStack, Cluster-Mode, and 7-Mode is really good. Because they have been doing it for many years. But in general, support from NetApp is really good.Which solutions did we use previously?We decided to switch to all flash because we needed better performance and lower latencies that are stable with higher IO. That's something that traditional arrays can’t do.How was the initial setup?We normally set up our clusters ourselves. We request professional services from NetApp when we want to add new machines into the cluster. But for other tasks, such as to configure, generate reports, create the aggregates and move databases across the cluster, we don't need technical support. It’s relatively simple.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We tried SolidFire also and we liked it. But we don’t use it for Oracle, we use it for OpenStack. We also looked at other companies. For example, EMC, which is a good solution, but it's really expensive. If you compare it with NetApp, the performance is the same. When using NFS, the best is NetApp. For Oracle, we are using NFS. NetApp does not have a competitor for NFS.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-04T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have some OLTP applications. It is useful for that environment.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are speed, latency, and throughput. We have a few workloads where we need speed, high throughput, and fast response time. We have some OLTP applications. It is very useful for that environment.How has it helped my organization?In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, the other thing is we are short on rack space. We can fit a lot of this storage in less rack space. It actually helps us reduce our cost, and increase efficiency.What needs improvement?Right now, even though they say that you can increase the cluster to a certain number of nodes, internally, the HA is only in two nodes. It is two-node HA architecture internally in the cluster. I think they should try to really scale it out, as a solution. For example, if you have a four-node cluster. Internally, it's still like a two-node HA. You have two-node HA and two-node HA, and you can't combine that into a four-node cluster. That is, we can combine them but internally, it's still two-node clustering. If one node goes down, you are exposed. You are only on one node in your HA.I have already spoken with the engineering folks. Maybe they can have a common back plane, so that every node can see all the shelves. They'll have to go to their hardware folks.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is very stable. We have been using it for the last 2-3 years and so far, it's been very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We don't scale it too much because we don't want a lot of workload in the same cluster. I'm sure we can scale it if we want to.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is really good; very experienced folks; very helpful; and easy to reach them. So far, so good.Which solutions did we use previously?We were using the hard disk version of ONTAP in our environment. We did a PoC with All-Flash. We saw the benefits of it, so we implemented it in our environment.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was very simple, very straightforward. We knew exactly what to do, so it was easy.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before choosing this product, we evaluated other options, but I don't think we can name them. We saw a lot of benefits. Here, we can have multiple protocols. The other vendors were only supporting specific protocols on their storage. We thought this would be more scalable in the future.What other advice do I have?So far, my experience with ONTAP is really good. It is highly available, easy to use, easily scalable, easy to implement, and so far, we are really happy with it. We are really happy with the performance, ROI, and the cost.I would give it a perfect rating if they reduced the cost – it is still expensive – and then, what I have mentioned about HA.The most important criteria for me when selecting a product are that it is highly available, scalable, and easy to use. It should be able to work in our environment, basically; in a mixed-workload environment.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-02T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TCO has definitely decreased and Implementation is dead easyWhat is our primary use case?My primary use case for All Flash FAS that we have is pretty much everything. It is the go-to storage device that we use for block fiber channel devices on our heavy SAP workloads as well as user base files and file shares for databases.How has it helped my organization?AFF improves how our organization functions because of its speed. Reduction in batch times means that we're able to get better information out of SAP and into BW faster. Those kinds of things are a bit hard to put my finger on. Generally, when we start shrinking the time we need to do things, and we're doing them on a regular basis, it has a flow-on impact that the rest of the business can enjoy. We also have more capacity to call on for things like stock take.AFF is supporting new business because we've got the capacity to do more. In the past, with a spinning disc and our older FAS units, we had plenty of disc capacity but not enough CPU horsepower and the controllers to drive it and it was beginning to really hurt. With the All Flash FAS we could see that there are oodles of power, not only from disc utilization figures on the actual storage backend but also the CPU consumption of the storage controllers. When somebody says we want to do this it's not a problem. The job gets done and we don't have to do a thing. It's all good.All Flash FAS has improved performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs which is enterprise applications, VM our powers at VM fleet as well. It does provide some of our BW capabilities but that's more an SAP HANA thing now. Everything runs off it, all our critical databases also are consumed storage of the All Flash FAS for VMs.For us TCO has definitely decreased, we pay less in data center fees. We also have the ability with fabric pool to actually save on our storage costs.What is most valuable?The valuable features are the fabric pool. We are taking our cold data and pumping it straight into an estuary bucket. Also, efficiency. We're getting about two and a half times upwards of data efficiency through compaction, compression, deduplication, and it's size. When we refreshed from two or three racks of spinning discs down into 5U of rack space, it not only saved us a whole heap of costs in our data center environment but also it's nice to be green. The power savings alone equated to be about 50 tons of CO2 a year that we no longer emit. It's a big game changer.The user experience from my point of view, as the person who drives it most of the time, is a really good one. The toolsets are really easy to use and from the service offered we're able to offer non-disruptive upgrades that just work and keep going. It's hard to explain good things when we have so few bad things that actually occur within the environment. From a users point of view, their file shares work, everyone's happy, and I'm happy because it's usually not storage that's causing the problem.What needs improvement?I would like for them to develop the ability to detach the fabric pool. Once we've added it to an aggregate it's there for life and it would be nice to disconnect it if we ever had to.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability with AFF has been really great. We blew an SSD drive which we thought may never actually happen and it just kept on going. We've not had any issues with it even though we actually went to a fairly recent release of data on tap as well that just works.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is a really cool part of the product in terms of growing. We don't see that we'll actually need to do much of that. We'll take more advantage of fabric pool and actually push that data out to a lower tier of storage at AWS and our initial projections on that suggest that we've got a lot of very cold data we're actually storing today.How are customer service and technical support?AFF tech support we've had a couple of calls open and it's always been brilliant. I really like the chat feature because one of the things that annoys me is the conference calls that usually come when you have to contact the hardware vendor. You get stuck on a webex or a conference call for hours on end where it's just easier to chat to the techo at NetApp in real time and if he isn't able to help you he'll just pass you on to the next one and you end up staying in the chat which means that I continue working while dealing with a problem.If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?We knew it was time to switch to this solution because it was costing us a fortune in maintenance, especially when our hardware was getting over the three to five year old mark. With spinning disc, it's not like we can neglect that because drives fail all the time and the previous iteration of storage we had was a NetApp FAS, so we've gone from NetApp to NetApp.What about the implementation team?We implemented in-house. It was dead easy. All you have to do is throw it in the rack, plug in the network and fiber cables, give it a name, and away you go. There is very little that actually needs to happen to make it all work. I think we managed to get one of them up in two or three hours.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We also considered Dell EMC and Pure Storage. The biggest reason we picked NetApp was the ease of actually getting the data to the next iteration but also the other vendors don't have a product that supports everything we needed which is file services and block services. It's a one stop shop and I didn't really want to have to manage another box and a storage device at the same time.What other advice do I have?I would rate AFF a ten out of ten. If I was in the position to tell someone else about All Flash FAS and why they should get it I would simply say just do it. I think everybody in the storage community is pressured to live on more with less and this product basically enables that to happen.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 snap capability and remote snap are valuable features. We've had no downtime.What is most valuable?With the FAS, the most valuable features are the snap capability and remote snap.What needs improvement?We would like to be able to import the share as NFS and CIFS at the same time. I recently came into three different scenarios where I needed to share the same data both to Windows and UNIX. Samba was not a solution that we could use, so it would have to be CIFS and NFS to UNIX.For how long have I used the solution?I’ve been using this for at least 5 years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not had any downtime with the FAS series. It has been very good and stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is good. It's going to meet our needs going forward. We are in the process of adding drawers to it right now.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is good. The problem right now is that NetApp is in the process of discontinuing old disks and the new disks are not yet available. We were in the process of upgrading, and I had to buy old disks that are going to be end-of-life by the end of the year, but new disks are not available yet.What other advice do I have?This is a good solution. I would recommend that they go for it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-17T00:00:00-05:00
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 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-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 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ) 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. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )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 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ).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. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )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 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nimble-storage ) and Tintri ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/tintri-vmstore ) 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 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nutanix ) perspective to a Cisco perspective to a VMware ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/vmware-esxi ) 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. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )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. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )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
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Previously, we had to reprogram every three months or so, so not having to do that with AFF is huge. Scalability is difficult, as the number of shelves is limited to 2 or 4.Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable feature for us completely depends on the workload. We've run it on various environments, including VMware. We were able to migrate to VMware with clustered Data ONTAP. That was important for us.Improvements to My OrganizationStability was something that was really wanted to improve on, and we've been ale to do that with AFF. Previously, we had to reprogram every three months or so, so not having to do that with AFF is huge.Secondly, we do a lot less daily maintenance than we used to. It's a fairly trouble-free system as we simply configure it and pretty much leave it alone.Room for ImprovementI had a few issues, but they were easy to fix. I would like for it to be more scalable as the number of shelves is limited.Use of SolutionWe installed it in July.Scalability IssuesScalability is difficult. The number of shelves is limited to 2 or 4, and the number of terrabytes we potentially have doesn't match to this limit.Customer Service and Technical SupportWe don't have a lot of contact with technical support because our engineers handle any issues. But the product itself has been excellent.Initial SetupThe initial setup wasn't easy, and in fact took about 6 years. It was a slow start, but of course it was new back then, and it takes time.Implementation TeamWe were one of the first and even the engineer had some trouble configuring it for us.Other Solutions ConsideredWe can't decide for ourselves so we ask the market, this is what we want to do, what should we buy? Then markers come with the products. There isn't a lot of choice.Other AdviceWe've had a good experience with it so far. Right now, we're using it for our customers, but if we were to also use it for ourselves, it would be too small. I'm sure they'll improve in the future, but we'll just have to wait for the solution to support ten to fifteen thousand users.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-13T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It offers reliability, multi-tenancy and network segmentationWhat is our primary use case?VMware multi-tenant and SnapMirror destination, multi customers' filesystem too, no problem with multi AD and domainHow has it helped my organization?* IOPS* Reliability* Multi-tenancy* Network segmentation* easy to maintain and configure starting from a correct initial setup. focus on network conf in particularWhat is most valuable?Reliability. flexibility and multi tenant. we host 20 client virtual dc on our a200.I scaled out our previous 2 node cdot cluster on the fly by adding cluster's switches and then the 2 node a200, after that data migration between fas 2554 and a200 was made non disruptively and on business time.What needs improvement?The full bundle is too expensive. It's needed to implement native replicas (i.e. snapmirror) and backup (i.e. snapvault) featuresFor how long have I used the solution?Three to five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?our system is very stable and reliable, of course it needs to be maintained and monitored, even in case of network switch failure a200 keeps to serve data, very important is the initial setup, so you have to focus on the final architecture.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?very goodHow are customer service and technical support?tech support is very responsive and effective to find solution to some issues, most of the issues can be resolved reading KBsIf you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?fas 2554, need to scle out with space and performancesHow was the initial setup?initial setup maust be done by cli, storage space privisioning made by gui, good interaction with vmware with vscWhat about the implementation team?I'm the vendor team and storage administratorWhat was our ROI?I need to ask for it to my ceoWhat's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?full bundle too expensive I.e. full licenses to implement native replicas and backupsWhich other solutions did I evaluate?starting from a fas 2554 it was the best solutionWhat other advice do I have?good deduplication and compression ratioDisclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:solution provider, datacenter
Date published: 2019-02-19T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has a high quality of integration that is way beyond the competitionHow has it helped my organization?It has a high quality of integration that is way beyond the competition.What is most valuable?Its efficiency and scalability are the most valuable features.What needs improvement?The scaling needs improvement. NetApp is limited for scaling options.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?With other options, you need to buy a couple of different products to achieve the same outcome.What other advice do I have?In comparison to other options, NetApp is the most complete. It is the single software choice that can give you every option that you need in the enterprise world.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-01-21T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I think it is a very stable product.What is our primary use case?It's, mainly it's for storage, we have various databases with different applications and we are using it just for storage, mainly as just a storage for our systems.What needs improvement?A while ago, they performed slowly, but now they are quite fast.I think the major thing to improve is in terms of the implementation, especially where that technology is implemented for the first time. Be sure the partners are well aware in terms of what needs to be done from the moment the sale is initiated, or a purchase order is provided, to the point of being implemented.For how long have I used the solution?Less than one year.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I think it is a very stable product.How was the initial setup?Implementation was not easy.What was our ROI?When evaluating a possible solution, I look for:* Technical Capabilities* Scalability* CostWhat's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Always consider whether you can afford the solution.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We also looked at IBM and EMC, but eventually we chose NetApp AFF because we already had people experienced with NetApp AFF. We did not want to invest in new technology completely.What other advice do I have?Make sure that you are very clear in terms of what you want to buy. Your specifications have to be very clear, so there are no gray areas. From there, it`s up to which vendor provides you with the right proposal, and if its cost-effective go for it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-25T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Provides the ability to quickly recover your data, which it makes available and accessible.Valuable FeaturesThe ability to recover your data really fast is valuable, as is the availability and accessibility of the data.Improvements to My OrganizationIt helped us a lot with our storage infrastructure because we were using another vendor, XtremIO ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/dell-emc-xtremio-flash-storage ). prior to this and things were really slow. We used to have to fight fires every day because users were not able to access their files or the files were not responding the way they should.Room for ImprovementI see room for improvement everywhere because the technology is here. We are using it and every day we are trying to improve. That's the reason why I haven’t rated it higher.Specifically, the current pricing bothers me; pricing is very high. It's expensive. That's the reason why I can't just provide a review and hope that people would jump onto it; pricing is usually a driving factor for a lot of companies. It’s a major issue, even though my company had the money and they spent it. Nonetheless, we had to prove that it was the solution we were looking for. A lot of other companies would not be able to afford this type of solution, so they would have to look for alternatives. Those alternatives would be other companies, start-up companies that are pretty much doing the same thing. Sometimes they are better than the ones that were the innovators.Stability IssuesIt's been really stable as long as you have it configured correctly.Scalability IssuesAs with stability, it's been really scalable as long as you have it configured correctly.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support is very good. I like the call home feature, where we don't even have to do anything. Most of the time, we don't know that anything’s broken and we receive an email saying, "Hey, go fix it." So, it's good.Other Solutions ConsideredWe didn't really evaluate any other companies. This was the one everybody else was using. All of the reviews actually helped somebody make the decision. This solution had proved to be working; it was proven to be working at the time. We're very happy with it but we find it expensive.Other AdviceDo your research. Find what would work for you. Find what's affordable to you. Most of the time, we purchase stuff without thinking about the maintenance. Maintenance is usually a killer when it comes to all these things because once you own it, you think you are done with spending money but maintenance becomes a very big issue for a lot of companies. After a while, they drop the support and everything. At that point, there's a new version that's out there and you can't use it, so that's when you have to dump all the money you just put in and start with something new. Study your environment. Make sure you are getting what you want. What you need.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inline deduplication and integration with SnapManager allow us to set the storage with the Exchange team and forget itHow has it helped my organization?Our use case is really just our Exchange environment right now. In terms of block or file storage, we present it to VMware and then present it off as RDM's to the virtual servers. Our AFF is not currently part of a cluster together with other NetApp FAS systems.Because of all the inline deduplication and the integration with SnapManager, it allows us to set the storage and forget it with the Exchange team. They do all the restores through the Snap Single Mailbox Restore.And it's quick, it's fast, even though IO is not huge for the Exchange environment, it's still nice to have that speed for when they do have that need.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?Its integration with SnapManager products, really, is the main reason that we've stuck with it. Without having that integration it wouldn't allow our Exchange team to operate without us.What needs improvement?For us, probably the best feature would be an ONTAP-as-a-whole feature, the fabric pulling directly to cloud with unaccessed blocks over time. For us that would be the feature to revolutionize where NetApp stands, and bridge their connection with the cloud. It's actually a feature that they're introducing now, it's just not mature.Right now you're only aging snapshots up to the cloud, and only if the aggregate is at 50% or more. It would be cool if the feature was that the fabric pulled just aged/unaged blocks. Who cares if a block is still there or not after it hasn't been accessed in three years? Just age it up to the cloud, if suddenly I need it just pull it back.That should be automatic without extra things. You could use FPolicy to do it one way or you could do it a different way. But if that was just in the array and part of the normal hybrid flash pull array with the fabric pull on the end, to get rid of that extra old data.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's really stable, in our experiences, this stuff has been pretty rock solid.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to deal with scaling yet.How is customer service and technical support?I use NetApp's tech support all the time. I actually think they've done a great thing - the introduction of chat support has been really great.Increasing hours for that would probably be good because it's easier to be on a chat call and be troubleshooting with something. Sometimes a lot can be lost on a phone call.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?We've been a NetApp customer for a while so we've used disk-based and hybrid storage from them.We use Nimble for our primary VMware storage right now. We haven't switched that back to NetApp yet. We're going to see how the next few years go and then we'll figure out from there.We were using Exchange, we were using NetApp storage before, and we knew the SnapManager products were a huge part of that. And when you couldn't get the same functionality out of trying different things with different vendors, you don't want to beat your head against the wall reinventing the wheel with what you're doing. It was a natural progression for us.How was the initial setup?It was pretty straightforward. Our need and setup for it wasn't crazy.What other advice do I have?Our impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance SAN storage before and after we purchased AFF was good. For our primary VMware storage, before, we went with a different vendor for a little while. Then we pulled back to NetApp for this, because of the ease of functionality and ease of use relationship with ONTAP.Based on our experiences with AFF we are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems in the future because of its reliability. We've tried out other vendors, and we might end up going back to NetApp for those solutions, given our different experiences.When selecting a vendor to work the most important criteria for me would have to be:* Support - To me, that's the most important. Being an engineer, you have to rely on the support people to know what they're doing.* Ease of use, what you're familiar with, obviously - NetApp has a big community out there so it's easy to look up other stuff, and to find other opinions, and work with the information that's available, in the information age that we are in. In some cases you might find other solutions compared to when you call support. Support is down to looking through the same thing you are.As for advice I would give to a colleague in a different company who's looking at AFF and other similar solutions, it depends on how they support their Exchange environment. But if they were willing to pay for the SnapManager and the Single Mailbox Restore suite, it's really hard to beat what NetApp has done with it. If you set up everything properly, and restores are pretty much a non-storage event, you can mostly push that off on your Exchange team, and just worry about when they need large data increases.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-05T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gives us high performance, improvement in IOPS, reduced latency, and it's easy to manageWhat is most valuable?* High performance* Good improvement in IOPS* Less latency* Easy to manageHow has it helped my organization?Functionally it did improve our company. It improved internal customer performance.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability wise, it is also good, although we have not had to scale yet.How is customer service and technical support?It is good. I rate it nine out of 10.Which solutions did we use previously?We have other storage as well but we have been using NetApp for a long time.We have a weekly call with the NetApp representative, we have been getting that from them. From them we understood that we needed to get a new solution.Which other solutions did I evaluate?EMC. We chose NetApp over EMC because support is good.What other advice do I have?Our primary use case is databases using NAS file storage. Our impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance SAN storage before the purchase was that it's good. Now that we have it, we still think it's good. We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems because of the improvement in the performance.In terms of selecting a vendor, in the case of PoC, we look for more support and faster responses.I would advise a colleague researching similar products that this is the preferred solution.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-24T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rendering of FAS is so much faster than what they used to be and restore is twenty times fasterWhat is our primary use case?Our primary use case for AFF is for all of the filers. We're also doing a lot of workloads for virtualization. All of our virtualization workloads are currently running on All Flash FAS.How has it helped my organization?We use almost all of our virtualization workloads on All Flash. Before we migrated to All Flash we used to use a different vendor for NAS solution. Some were NAS and some were Block storage. Now, logging ETLs are maybe ten times faster currently than what they used to be. We are getting amazing speeds off of FAS that we never had before.We also use a lot of the AFF for end user storage. All the shared file systems, all the file systems that a particular user has, as a G drive, E drive, F drive or shared drives between various customers and various departments are all running off of the All Flash File system. So now, the rendering of FAS is so much faster than what it used to be. On top of that, we used to do Block. We would take Block, we would do NFS or do Samba to share those file systems for the users. Now, because they are coming straight off of NFS 3 and 4, the speed is marvelous. They are almost five to seven times faster rending all their files, saving all their files, retrieving all their files. It's amazing.I don't know how much IT support has any bearing on All Flash File system. Now the only thing that we have provided that is better now is the speed and stability. Now if you can add that to capabilities, then, of course, IT has provided additional capabilities of having faster rendering and just getting their work done a little quicker.The biggest workload that we have is maybe 95 to 97% of all virtual workloads are now running on All Flash. It has dramatically changed the way all of our VMs work. Now, not only they are faster but a couple of things that are in addition is that we do snaps off of our flash storage. Not only are the workloads faster but if the virtual machine goes down, the restore is 20 times faster now than it ever used to be. We don't have to go to a spin disc, we can just flash off of our flash back onto a no spin disc and the restore takes almost seconds to come back.Total costs of ownership have two different values to them. One value is just strictly the capital cost of it. Number two is the operational cost. You've got to look at the CapEx and how much it cost. That is currently a little higher than it would be in two or three years. Now, Apex is where things are getting really nice. The maintenance is less. The discs failure are really low. Data issues or corruption is really low. The CapEx is currently high and Apex is getting to almost insignificant numbers.What is most valuable?The most valuable features for AFF are the speed, durability, back up, the time, the workloads that we are using currently are much faster than what they used to be. We're getting a lot of different things out of All Flash.We have not connected our AFF to public cloud yet. We are not sure if we are going to do it because of PHI. For any healthcare, it's extremely important to safeguard the security of your patients. We are looking very deeply into how we are going to either go to public or keep some for private. Also, because data analytics is coming our way we want to make sure that the data that we are going to do analytics on is not on public cloud. Because of ingress and egress, we don't want to pay a lot of money to pull it back. We are not there yet but maybe in the next year and a half we will think about it publicly.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Two things have happened with stability. Number one, the platform that renders the file system is so much better. It's ONTAP and NFS, they're much more superior. The stability of the file system is much better. Behind the scenes, the cache is better, the CPUs are better and of course, there are no spin discs, so it's all flash. That is way more stable than what it used to be. Coupled together, the stability is maybe six to seven hundred times better now than it used to be ten years ago. That's just the way it works now.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is almost a catch 22. It's excellent because you can quickly scale, it's ONTAP, you can keep adding clusters without a problem, both the nodes, the controllers and of course the disc or the flash itself. The bad part about having scalability is the expense. It is currently extremely expensive, to be able to scale so fast on flash. What a lot of people are doing is that they make part of it all flash but as the data gets bigger, the archival, the older, the colder, migrate onto a slower, less expensive disc. That's what we are doing as well.How is customer service and technical support?So far NetApp is amazing. It depends on what type of team you have. What type of sales team that you are working with. Our sales team is phenomenal. Our support goes through them and they know all the right people to call and we get great support. Now, that is not true all across. There's great support, and there's some mediocre support. For us it's phenomenal.How was the initial setup?The initial setup for AFF was very quick and almost painless. We had professional services come in, they put it together and before we knew, we were carving all our discs, all our LUNs, and migrating data. Of course, the data migration was also really fast for us. We used to have older infrastructure. A little less than a year ago, we got brand new infrastructure that's all flash and we migrated it less than a year ago. It was no pain whatsoever.What other advice do I have?I don't think anybody is doing a NAS solution or a filer solution better than NetApp. If you only talk about NetApp's filer, All Flash, I would give you it a nine and ten out of ten. It's one of the best of the breed currently in the market.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-01-03T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has a very fast response time, although it needs higher IOPS.Valuable FeaturesThe most valuable feature of AFF is that it has a very fast response time. This is a very crucial performance for us.Room for ImprovementIt needs higher IOPS. Pure Storage is better with that.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for two months.Deployment IssuesWe had no issues with deployment.Stability IssuesIt hasn't crashed, so it's been stable so far.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: Customer service is good.Technical Support: Technical support is very good.Previous SolutionsWe were running on NFS.Initial SetupThe reason the initial setup was straightforward is because we've got clustered Data ONTAP on their hybrid system, so we know how to do the installation on our own.Implementation TeamWe implemented it through NetApp.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked at Pure Storage, but only on paper.Other AdviceIt depends on your workload, as you have to add an SSD, so take it only if you need it because the whole thing is expensive. On the other side, if you do need this solution and it does not meet your expectations, you should change your settings, and move from NFS to fibre channel.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly stable, it gives us the speed and reliability we needWhat is our primary use case?We use it for electronic medical record storage.How has it helped my organization?Because we use the production environment and copy down to test environments, we've taken it from days to hours.What is most valuable?* Speed* ReliabilityWhat needs improvement?The next solution needs to simplify the day-to-day operations.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is excellent. It's highly stable. We've just never really had a failure since we put it in. It's been two years.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?There have been no issues of scalability, for our use.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support has been very good. We use scripting called WFA, and we've had a little bit of an issue with that, going from the first generation to the second generation. But the actual hardware, product, and support itself have been excellent.Which solutions did we use previously?We were moving to a new data center, so we needed it.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was complex. The fact that it has to interact with both IBMs - AIX - and with the Epic application, means there are three vendors in the mix.What about the implementation team?We used an integrator, Sirius. Our experience with them was excellent. Sirius already knew the environment it was coming from, the reseller was an IBM flash storage environment. They brought it over to a NetApp flash environment.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There were really only two on the shortlist: IBM and NetApp. We chose NetApp because we had an opportunity to make all of our environment NetApp.What other advice do I have?I definitely recommend it. It's very complex to set up. Everything is. Even though it's complex, NetApp, out of the other two options, would probably be the least complex.I would rate it a nine out of ten. We haven't had any failures in the production environment. The only issue, as I said, is that we've had some trouble with the scripting. Otherwise, we'd give it a ten.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Competitive in terms of performance, storage efficiency, feature richness, and scalabilityWhat is our primary use case?* All flash* SAN and NAS server virtualization* Databases (OLTP and OLAP)* File shares* Test or developmentHow has it helped my organization?After testing with early ONTAP 9 versions including storage efficiencies, we found that AFF systems can decrease the data footprint with MS SQL databases (real customer multi-TB DB) to 1:4, while aggregate dedupe wasn't available at the time of testing and post-compression and dedupe were disabled. Snapshots, provisioning, cloning were not included in the result of 1:4 data reduction. Alongside with AFF systems, we tested EF & IBM FlashSystem for comparably in price. AFF showed not only the best storage efficiency, but also the best storage performance (based on overall application performance, using MS SQL DB).Therefore we found AFF systems very competitive in terms of performance, storage efficiency, feature richness, and scalability.What is most valuable?* SAN/NAS scale out* Online data migration* Data compaction* Application integration* Cloning* SnapshotsWhat needs improvement?* No RDMA capabilities in CIFS (SMB) and NFS protocols.* No pNFS with VMware VVOLs.* No direct storage attachment available. Most configurations require additional switches for data access.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.I previously worked for a Distribution Company. My current company does not have relations to NetApp at the moment of writing this review.
Date published: 2018-08-12T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It definitely has some advantages for running database transactions. SnapMirrors will give us the opportunity to virtualize the database.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the speed. Quite frankly, we got a smoking deal on it. We like the integration with UCS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/cisco-ucs-manager ). With the number of transactions we use, using NFS mounts has not proved successful in the past. AFF definitely has some advantages for running database transactions.SnapMirror ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-snapmirror )ing is also valuable. Previously, we’ve just had localized storage in the servers with RAID 5 and we’d just run backups. Having SnapMirrors is going to be awesome. It also gives us the opportunity to virtualize the database. We can just snapshot the things. When one dies, rather than try to do a restore, we can just pull out the latest snapshot and let replication catch up from there.For how long have I used the solution?We've had it for about a year; possibly a little more. We've pretty much just done a proof of concept on it until right now. Right now, we are rolling our databases onto it.We're using UCS for front end, and because we need the speed, we're spinning up databases with all the data on AFF.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I believe it will be a stable solution. I realize we're going to lose disks over time. That's the nature of SSDs. They’re are getting better, and I presume they are going to get better in the future. With our support for spinning disks in the past – we have very little monitoring – basically, the filer tells us, “Hey, you’ve got a bad disk,” and the next day the disk shows up. We have spares, so we just pop a new one in. We’ve had excellent support.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?As far as I know, it will scale with us. With our databases, we're not going to need that large of a footprint. However, we have some other projects that we're testing out at this time. I believe scalability will be an issue. As far as I know, we’ll just pop more shelves in and we’ll get the scalability.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is outstanding, period. They're fast. We know people there. As a matter of fact, our previous engineer is now an SC again. He came from NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ), worked for us for about seven years and now he's back at NetApp. Our former CTO was at NetApp. I think my manager was at NetApp. If not, he was at a partner of ours. So, we have a very good relationship. When we call for support, they answer. You cannot say that about everybody.How was the initial setup?A lot of what we've been doing is migrating from 7-mode. We have run into some pain points. I don't know that it's necessarily NetApp's fault. A lot of it is just our inexperience. Some things we hadn't really thought of; moving the LIFs, that sort of thing. We've had some major network storms that we weren't expecting. Had we read deep enough into the documents, I think we would've found that before we tried it.What other advice do I have?Depending on what you're looking for, I recommend looking at FlexPod ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/flexpod ) as well as AFF. Price it out with some of the other solutions that are out there. I am not that familiar with what EMC ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/dell-emc ) and some of the others have to say. Compare and contrast, and figure out what is it you're trying to do. I used to be in the sales role in a very large company that's not around anymore. Customers always appreciated it if when I told them, “Hey, you're overbuilding this. You're going to spend way more than you need to.” That’s my advice.When I select a vendor to work with, I look at a little bit of everything. With reputation, obviously, NetApp has the leg up there. We have a deep and longstanding relationship with them. When new vendors come along, we like transparency. We’ve had people come in and say, “Oh, we have this solution. It’ll butter your toast and fix all your problems, all at the same time,” and clearly that's not the case.We had a vendor come in one time that was going to do quite a bit with our databases until they saw the size of our database. They very politely said, “Well, we can’t scale to that.” We thanked them, and I appreciate that kind of honesty. Obviously, we didn't do business with them, but later on down the road, if they came in and said, “We have a solution now,” I am more inclined to listen to that.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 It gives us enough IOPS to manage our whole system.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are that it's all flash and it's super fast. The only problem is, it's a little too fast in some situations. It's actually causing problems with our applications because it's too fast.Other than that, it's great because it gives us enough IOPS to manage our whole system. Except for that one, it works great.How has it helped my organization?We're able to bring in a bunch of SANs together, into one solution, instead of having a bunch of separate ones. We had about two or three other ones we were using, and now we just use one.What needs improvement?It's as fast as it's going to be. The problem is the whole application somehow manages to eat up 450,000 IOPS, which is insane. It just has bursts of speed because it's programmed badly. We've been trying to fight with the vendor about that because that was originally why we went with the solution.Other than that, I can't see any areas with room for improvement right now. I haven't used it for too long. It's only been a couple of months, because it's relatively new.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability hasn't been an issue at all. It's just been that one program, pretty much, lately.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability hasn't come up yet. It's pretty nice because we're planning to expand on to an offsite location, as well, to have redundancy. Scalability seems pretty good.How is customer service and technical support?We haven't yet needed to use NetApp technical support. We have gone with the vendor that sold us the NetApp. They've been helping us with it, when we have any questions. We haven't had to directly contact NetApp.Which solutions did we use previously?We were having performance issues with that specific application and we were trying to fix that. Then, once we moved, we came to the conclusion it wasn't the speed problems; it was the application itself. So now, we're trying to get them to fix it. It was actually more proof of that for them.In general, when I choose a vendor, the important criteria that I look for in a vendor are cost and performance. That's what it comes down to: Who has the best prices? The most bang for your buck.How was the initial setup?Initial setup seemed pretty straightforward. The vendor pretty much took care of most of it, but it was more of the implementation of the VMware. That's what we were working on, or what I was working on, anyway. It was fairly simple.Which other solutions did I evaluate?I think we looked at EMC a little bit, but I think they were too expensive. They were out of our price range, and we wanted to go all flash. That's pretty much why we chose NetApp.What other advice do I have?Make sure all your applications aren't the problem with what you're trying to fix. There really weren't that many problems with it. It just worked. It works like any other SAN really; it's just really fast.There’s probably more VMware-type issues that you might have to run into. I’d look into how to set up a lot of iSCSIs if you have a lot of databases. Other than that, it wasn't so bad.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-12T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We were very pleased with the average speed in the past, but it’s now consistent. The performance is consistent and that’s much more important than that it's faster.Valuable FeaturesFor me it’s important that my flash system is a part of the NetApp storage system. It’s just an extension of it. My guys can use the same comments, the same tools, the same application integration as they did before. The VDI migration for example, my VDI guy doesn’t change anything. That’s a really good offer for us because then all the tools we can reuse all the integration. It’s just another disk wipe that’s there and that, for me, is the most important reason.Flash is, for us, a default for databases, VDI, and VMware. We still have some other disks which we bought two years ago, so we migrate step by step. The VDI was the nicest to start with because their benefits were the highest as we got unpredicted workloads for the VDI’s and that is very well handled by the flash.Improvements to My OrganizationFirst, when you think of flash, everybody says that it’s faster, but that’s not the main reason. Of course it’s all related to it, but for example, with the VDI, we were very pleased with our previous disk system which also aligned with flash rules. But I was not pleased that my guys were spending a lot of time in managing their VDI’s, taking care of it, that they don't do the same thing at the same moment. When they were deploying, it was by 10, for example, not 300 at a time. They did that at night instead of during the day because they were generating a lot of iron on the disk system and the performance were going down.Honestly, we were very pleased with the average speed in the past. But it’s now consistent. The performance is consistent and that’s much more important than it being faster.They did a very good job already now with 8.3. If we also compare 8.2. to 8.3, there are a lot of performance improvements already there.Room for ImprovementIt needs to be cheaper, as we want more but can't afford it.Use of SolutionWe've used it since April or May.Stability IssuesIn general with NetApp AFF, especially from version 8.1, it’s very stable, and with 8.2 I even can say that it will never die. That’s, for us as a hospital, very important because we’re always on, we don’t have maintenance windows, we don’t have time for big changes as we’re always on the fly, so updating for us is beyond us.Scalability IssuesThat’s not a problem. It scales enormously well. We have more than six petabytes today. We have a lot of 8000’s in different guides with MetroCluster, and then because we’re already clustered from 2000’s, there’s 7-Mode systems that we now are migrating to the cluster.Customer Service and Technical SupportWe always have tickets that takes longer than you expect, but I don’t see a difference with other companies. Sometimes it works very fast and then all is good and some of the issues take a little bit long for us. And also what I find very important is your critical tickets, are they handled perfectly?Previous SolutionsWe tested another solution, but it didn't integrate well.Initial SetupWe're very knowledgable with NetApp, is the initial setup was very straightforward. If you're anew customer, the whole system comes complete pre-configured, so that's very, very simple. If you buy the pieces separately, then you have to configure it yourself, and if you're not knowledgable with NetApp, it's going to take some time to complete.Implementation TeamWe do it in-house. We do it completely by ourselves because we like to do this. Also it’s important because we really want to understand it very well. How the system works in general and by doing the set up by yourselves it gives you already the knowledge of all traffic.Other AdviceGo with flash. We not have more free time because we can just press a button and deploy three of 500 VDI's at once. We don't have to invest in high-performance disks because we use flash.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-13T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from They've always been really supportive, easy to get ahold of, and easy to work withWhat is most valuable?* Performance* Contingency, failover, and data recovery* It's a good vendor.They have always been really supportive, easy to get ahold of, and easy to work with.The primary use case for All Flash is improved performance.How has it helped my organization?* Better performance* More reliable systems* Less space needed versus competitors of similar storageWhat needs improvement?Simplifying the solution for performance, though they are already working on it. Also, making the UI more user-friendly couldn't hurt.For how long have I used the solution?Over five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable. We haven't had any problems in our environment.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It is very easy to scale.How is customer service and technical support?Customer Service: We have a good relationship with our representatives through them. Our sales representative gave us a lot of information as far as moving forward with upgrading stuff.Technical Support: It has been used quite a few times and we always have always had a good response from them. They are very knowledgeable.How was the initial setup?It was very straightforward.What other advice do I have?We use both block and file storage.NetApp is the leader in the field for high performance and storage systems. They have always been our primary go to. We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on our experience.Advice for someone looking at similar products: Just do the research beforehand and you'll be able to tell what vendors separate themselves from the rest as far as other companies' reviews out there. I would definitely recommend NetApp All Flash FAS.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: compatibility and communication. Being able to rely on them whenever we need them.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-16T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It ??takes us just minutes to set up and provision an enterprise application using the toolWhat is our primary use case?We use data storage for our big environment. It creates an environment where students and teachers can work together.We did the installation two months ago. Now, we are reviewing its affect on behavior over time, which has been incredible. We have less latency within all applications.How has it helped my organization?There are many reports accessing the applications. We receive them very quickly. We used to wait a long time for them. Now, you just need to wait a moment.It takes us just minutes to set up and provision an enterprise application using AFF.What is most valuable?* The most valuable feature is the backup, which is fast.* The data analytics are an incredible tool.* The equipment is superior quality.* If you need a replacement part, they will provide it.What needs improvement?We would like to have more behavioral reporting. We would also like to have more optimization and credit check reporting.In addition, I am waiting for the version that has SnapMirroring with FlexGroup.For how long have I used the solution?Less than one year.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is 100 percent. I don't have any downtime.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I am very impressed with the scalability.How is customer service and technical support?The technical support is invaluable. If you need answers to a problem, they provide good answers. I am very happy with it.Which solutions did we use previously?If you are compare it with our last application, IBM FS840, AFF is incredible in comparison.How was the initial setup?The setup was not complex, but we have good project management skills.What about the implementation team?We used an integrator who was very professional and helped a lot. They finished the implementation on time.What was our ROI?We have seen ROI.Our TCO has increased by 15 to 18 percent.What other advice do I have?I am not using VMs today, but maybe in the future I will.We have not yet connected to public clouds.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-25T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy scalability is key; clients don't know what their sizing needs will be in the coming yearsWhat is most valuable?Scalability, really, for us. We have a lot of customers who purchase other companies and they need scalability; the NetApp solutions really lend themselves to that.I think for us the pricing point was pretty important too. In Australia, we find that selling solutions now, the features and functions are one thing, but the price point is pretty important as well, and NetApp provides a good price point.How has it helped my organization?There is a variety of features and benefits to customers using this solution. A lot of our customers are coming over from EMC, and the integration with cloud is pretty important to them. NetApp has a lot of roadmaps on cloud inspiration. That's important to them. That's one of the reasons I'm here, to understand more about the cloud inspiration, and having those on-site/off-site features. A lot of people are now looking at cloud. There are a lot of hardware solutions that are coming up, and NetApp really lends itself to them.What needs improvement?I don't really know. After this conference, maybe I'll have an idea of other features that I'd like to see, but at the moment the features provided are adequate for the customers' needs.I don't give a 10, or a nine out of 10, straight off the bat. I'd like to work more with it before I can give it a better rating.For how long have I used the solution?Probably about two or three months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?So far, no issues at all.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Most of the companies we do solutions for acquire other companies, so it's important to them at the beginning to know that, even though they don't know what their sizing is going to be like for the next three to four years, if they do purchase companies and a lot of data comes on board, the solution is easily scalable.How is customer service and technical support?I think I did one call with tech support and it was pretty quick. They got me the right answer immediately and I think the call was closed within one day.How was the initial setup?I've actually shadowed a NetApp consultant and it looked to be straightforward. I can't wait to do my own in the future.Which other solutions did I evaluate?EMC, we do a lot of Celerra and VNX implementations; HPE EDS, and Hitachi.My experience so far, compared to other solutions, All Flash FAS has been pretty good. I think the documentation in NetApp is pretty good. I think the interface and your working tools are pretty good, compared to some of the other vendors where, with them, it gets complicated. I think other vendors have add-on components to their solutions. NetApp's seems to be native. Those are great benefits to us.The way my company integrates with customers is our sales force checks with the customers, they decide on a solution and then it gets passed over to technical, which I'm part of. We inherit the solution and then we try to make the best of it. We do give our sales boys a lot of pros and cons for each type of vendor.I suppose that's where the sales guy, when he has his initial discussions, works out a technical solution for the customer at a high level and then also works out a price point.I'd say the price point's an important factor. I think a lot of solutions provide similar functionality and I think that the edge would really be the price point, for us.Sometimes the customer has had a relationship with another vendor and they get to a point where they'd like to move over to something new, because of support issues, or there might be some kind of issue with their sales rep. Lots of factors sometimes influence them. That's why it's important for our sales force to exactly understand what the issues are.What other advice do I have?The most important criteria when selecting a vendor start with, "Is it going to work for the customer?" We'd like to do best-of-breed for customers and we don't like to just push a solution down because of any relationship with the vendor. It must work for the customer.So far, NetApp solutions that we have put together have worked for the customer. It is sometimes hard to get NetApp into a customer when they have another vendor, like EMC. It's hard to push the other vendor out, because not only the storage but there are also other parts that the customer sometimes aligns to a certain vendor, so it is hard to push it.Do good research. Make sure that the customer doesn't have any pre-existing relationships that might deter them from going to another vendor; that's really important. Sit down with the customer and go through the pros and cons of it. Sometimes it's good to point out the cons as well, so that they understand those and not realize those six months or a year down the track.I've had a really good experience. It's pretty straightforward. It meets the customers' requirements. The price point is really good. But I'm going to reserve the 10 out of 10 until I get a bit deeper into it.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2017-11-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The business copy solution has become faster using SnapMirrorWhat is our primary use case?A centralized storage solution for Telecom organizations. Where NetApp FAS 6200 was connected to HP-UX, AIX, Linux, VMware, and Windows, this storage is used by the OLTP solution (database and application) as well as a data warehouse application.How has it helped my organization?* Operational load to system administrators has been reduced by utilizing the user-friendly storage.* Earlier the Bill Run process (monthly bill processing for post paid telecommunication subscriber) was taking two to two and a half days in each cycle, while storage was a old model XP from HPE. After migrating to NetApp, it is has come to only six hours.* The business copy solution has become faster using SnapMirror.* Assured by RAID-DP, the organization started hosting their OS in NetApp rather than using local HDD of server. It improved the system performance, especially in the area of swapping/paging. Also, SAN boot ensured a higher level of redundancy in the OS.What is most valuable?* The Snap: including the Snapshot and SnapMirror. They are good for taking a copy of production, which can be used for reporting, contingency, backup, etc.* Scripting: NetApp is actually more ONTAP. It has a very good command-line interface, which is user-friendly to system administrators when implementing automation using scripting.What needs improvement?The graphical interface is still heavy and slow. Needs more improvement in this area.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Yes. It was a bug in an older version related with NVRAM. However, they have fixed it in both the FW and ONTAP levels.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?No issues.How is customer service and technical support?The technical support team is really cooperative. I have experienced slow responses several times, if the ticket has only been opened in portal. On the other hand, a single phone call to them improved the case support tremendously.Also, if the AutoSupport is well configured, then you need not to do a monitoring. You will get call and mail when any issue is completed.Which solutions did we use previously?Earlier used EVA, MSA and XP from HPE. In order to enhance our capacity, we proceeded to switch to NetApp. Interestingly, after proceeding to NetApp, we discovered more features, which we had not even thought about.How was the initial setup?Setup was simple and easy.What about the implementation team?Implemented by vendor (local partner and OEM engineer). They are really experienced.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?So far, I understand the cost is less than many other storages of same/similar performance benchmark. If you go for Replication, Vault, and NAS, please ensure that the license has been ordered at the very beginning. However, licenses can been added or modified without rebooting the system at any time.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We considered the product from EMC.What other advice do I have?This can be used as a storage (SAN/NAS) as well as a SAN's volume controllerDisclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-01-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We're using only about one fifth of the formal capabilities of the systems. We're still running Oracle DW and 50% of the system is consumed, but this is not causing any issues during daily business.Valuable FeaturesThe GUI that does the daily maintenance and system manager with SnapMirror and deduplication are very useful for us.We used the system manager for developed distribution.Also, the latencies are extremely low, below 0.5 milliseconds.Improvements to My OrganizationI'd say we're using only about one fifth of the formal capabilities of the systems. We're still running Oracle DW and 50% of the system is consumed, but this is not causing any issues during daily business.We're also able to move volumes across aggregates.Use of SolutionWe've used it for about three months for Oracle EW and VMware. We have it with 50TB flash and an SSD shell.Deployment IssuesWe've had no problems with deployment.Stability IssuesIt’s very, very stable, no issues at all. The primary system is flash, which is very responsive, with latency very low, below 1.5ms. We are early adopters of it.Scalability IssuesThe scalability is excellent. We still can grow a lot into it and add more databases.Customer Service and Technical SupportThe level of technical support depends on the ticket. It’s generally good, and sometimes excellent. Some cases are not as completed as I would like them to be. On average, it’s 7 out of 10.Previous SolutionsPreviously, we used EMC.Initial SetupDeployment was really very easy because we were somehow experienced with moving the system into other data centers. We went into a similar exercise about the end of last year where we moved into different areas of the data centers and have been running two data centers. We used Data Guard for Oracle workloads so the downtime was very low because we simply had to switch over during migration. The skill set was already there in the company. We almost did not need any system administrator. They provided the amounts for running NFS.Implementation TeamWe got a partner to do the setup. Their knowledge was there and we had no issues.ROIIt's working as expected, but we didn't calculate an ROI.Other Solutions ConsideredWe did not, and when I joined, I proposed using NetApp and this was accepted.Other AdviceI would absolutely encourage everybody to implement such a system because it's really, really performing so good and latencies are just excellent. We're on the SSDs which have been productive for three months.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It’s the same OS as the regular NetApp FAS, so you don’t need to learn anything again. I'd like to see a one-click-and-start feature for the initial setup.Valuable FeaturesRight now, it’s the ability to have full flash based solution with NFS that's most valuable for us. Because Pure Storage does not offer that, only block storage, we need NFS for our services to work.Improvements to My OrganizationIt's improved the speed, obviously, compared to what we are used to, and the latency. It’s the same OS as the regular NetApp FAS, so you don’t need to learn anything again.All the storage for the VMs are hosted on the platform of individual companies. When you host everything on NetApp, everything needs to grow and shrink for each customer. They don’t know what their customers are using it for, but NetApp allows us to be prepared for anything without knowing anything.Room for ImprovementI'd like to see a one-click-and-start feature for the initial setup. That means software that just asks you a few questions and takes care of the rest.Use of SolutionWe're in the process of starting a partnership, and we've been a client for five years.Stability IssuesSo far quite good.Scalability IssuesThe 8080 is the biggest product at NetApp so you can scale very wide. With this kind of product we have no problems at all.Customer Service and Technical Support8/10, the two points missing is the same with every tech support, even if the customer knows very well what the issue is. Tech support still needs to go through the script to arrive at the same conclusion.Previous SolutionsWe started with NetApp five years ago and are still with them now. At the point we started, there were no competitors. At that time, it was a really great choice and it still is today.Initial SetupCluster mode setup was complex to do the first time, but everything else was straightforward.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked for support, stability, and that we don’t have a vendor who would disappear two years later. That is one reason we didn’t chose Pure Storage, because we don’t know where they will be in a few years. We needed a trusted partner.Other AdviceIt is still cluster mode, and is complex to set up the first time. You have to plan a long time ahead during the initial setup because you don’t know how you will want to scale.We only looked at NFS because that’s what we need. If you need flash speed and NFS today you only have AFF. If you are looking at SAN, check out all the companies and features to compare them.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We’re starting to partner with them.
Date published: 2015-12-10T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Supported our overall business initiatives, they've done a great job with cybersecurityWhat is our primary use case?We have a pretty amazing story about using AFS. When I went into this organization, we had a 59% uptime ratio, and at the time we were looking at how to improve on efficiency, and how to bring good technology initiatives together to make this digital transformation happen. When the Affordable Care Act came out, it started mandating a lot of these health care organizations to implement an electronic medical record system. Of course, since health care has been behind the curve when it comes to technology, it was a major problem when I came into this organization that had a 59% uptime ratio. They also wanted to implement an electronic medical record system throughout their facility, and we didn't have the technology in place.One of my key initiatives at the time was to determine what we wanted to do as a whole organization. We wanted to focus on the digital transformation. We needed to determine if we could find some good business partners in place so we selected NetApp. We were trying to create a better, efficient process, with very strong security practices as well. We selected an All-Flash FAS solution because we were starting to implement virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware.We wanted to throw out zero clients throughout the whole organization for the physicians, which allowed them to do single sign-on. The physician would be able to go to one specific office, tap his badge, sign in to the specific system from there. That floating profile would come over with him, and then you just created some great efficiencies. The security practices behind the ONTAP solution and the security that we were experiencing with NetApp was absolutely out of this world. I've been very impressed with it. One of the main reasons I started with NetApp was because they have a strong focus on health care initiatives. I was asked to sit on the neural network, which was a NetApp-facilitated health care advisory group that focused and looked at the overall roadmap of NetApp. When you have a good business partner like NetApp, versus a vendor where a vendor's going to come in, sell me a solution and just call me a year later and say that they want us to sign something, I'm not looking for people like that. I'm looking for business partners. What I like to say is, "My success is your success, and your success is ours." That's really a critical point that NetApp has demonstrated.How has it helped my organization?Everyone looks at health care because health care has been an amazing organization to be in. We're seeing the transformation of how we're becoming a digital company. Every organization is becoming a digital company, and we're starting to see the advancements of technology really come in to place. Your new CEO is the patient, and that's the bottom line. That's my CEO. As an organization and as a technologist, I have to build a very strong patient-centric strategy that focuses the technology on the patient's needs, because at the end of the day, that patient could choose to either go to your organization or to another. We want to keep that good loyalty and that good specific patient in our organization, and we want to make sure that we are creating very strong, asynchronous tools that benefit a patient both inside and outside the organization. That's why I always say patient care is number one. AFS has supported our overall business initiatives.Applications are a critical point. I think that All Flash FAS is an amazing thing when it comes to speed, efficiency in what it's doing. We've been very impressed with regards to it as well. We look at different initiatives, and we're starting to focus on different initiatives when it comes to data analytics and data mining. Having that specific availability, and making sure that we can focus on those initiatives and those strategies, we're very confident that the solutions that we are choosing with NetApp are going to give us the edge advantage of moving forward into the future.I think when you look at artificial intelligence and at machine learning, you look at predictive analytics. You have to have very strong data silo in order to get that clean data. I think with all the data that we're creating in this health care organization, we need to make sure that we can create well-structured data which will allow us to data mine that information to come out with some good valuables, meaning better patient care, better ways to reduce readmission rates, better ways to increase revenue. There are so many benefits in regards to good, strong data mining that produce great analytic reports.Right now we do have a very strong cloud initiative. We are moving forward to the cloud because the thing is I think the future of health care, the future of artificial intelligence improvements is really moving a lot of these health care organizations over to the cloud where there is that data mining capability of really bringing in all these algorithms and all of these good collaborations because collaboration is definitely key. If we can collaborate, and if we could start focusing on more of interoperability, meaning that we're sharing information more successfully, because right now, health care, has no interoperability. Everyone talks about interoperability, but we don't have interoperability. You go from one facility to another, it's like you're getting completely different services. I want that information from one facility to another to go and share information, which I think is going to be a success, because, you come to one facility, you get poked for lab results, you get exposed for radiology results, meaning radiation, then you go over into another organization that's saying that they can't retrieve your lab or radiology results and now we're going to have to re-poke you and re-expose you to radiation. Those are problems.Another one of my main focuses is on cybersecurity initiatives and cybersecurity improvements. I think NetApp has really focused a lot on cybersecurity. I was really impressed on some of the cybersecurity sessions that they had because you figure health care's one of the most attacked sectors out there and we hear about these health care organizations being ransomed all of the time. If we do get ransomed, we need to think about how we are going to restore that information and making sure that we have the capabilities that are in place. NetApp has done a great job with it. They do see a huge priority when it comes to cyber security, so it's very important for them to continue to focus on those initiatives.What is most valuable?The user experience has been absolutely amazing. We're about 80% virtualized on the desktop standpoint, so we do utilize VDI very highly. Using the All-Flash FAS solution, we had to basically determine that there was going to be some efficiencies and some speed as well, too, because you figure we're giving all of these health care users a virtual desktop, plus the utilization of All-Flash FAS, we need to make sure that their specific process is really rolling and moving in an efficient way, because the health care industry is a fast-paced organization. We're basically taking care of patients' lives. The technology that we bring has to be very efficient to provide the best patient care that we can have, and NetApp All-Flash FAS has really proven that point.What needs improvement?Considering that NetApp has health care view and that really strong health care initiative, they really need to consider what they need to do next to improve better data sharing and to make sure that the information that we are sharing with one another is fully encrypted, meeting HIPAA and HITECH regulations as well.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability has been pretty amazing as well. I came to an organization that was 59% uptime which was throughout the whole enterprise. That's a major problem because when you start measuring downtime, that is a loss of revenue for the organization. Since I've implemented a lot of these new strategies, we have done a complete 360. We've implemented these strong technology initiatives that have really produced better business efficiencies. We went from a 59% uptime to a 99.9% uptime ratio, which is absolutely mind-blowing. If you look at the before and after pictures, it's going to blow minds because we've been able to do some amazing things. We're a three-time Most Wired winner, which is given to health care organizations, top health care organizations making the most progress of health information technology. It's been an honor to have been able to design the team that I have, the very strong core team, and the good initiatives that we've had together because I always say that we must leave our egos at home. Collaboration is definitely the key to digital transformation, and we need to come together to make a difference in the future.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability, the improvements that we see with AFS, and the reliability has been such a critical element. I think the technology that NetApp has, especially when you look at a disaster recovery standpoint because you figure we're a health care organization and any type of outage is considered revenue loss, we really want to try to avoid those specific elements.How are customer service and technical support?Tech support has been absolutely amazing. I think on the technical aspects as well, my staff is able to get great support from the NetApp technical support resources that we have. Wha...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 It provides high performance and low latency that our retail application requires.Valuable FeaturesWe use it for our high-performance requirement, low-latency requirement databases. That's at the core of the retail application; what we've connected are non-virtualized AIX databases running Oracle and DB2.The valuable features are the high performance and low latency that the retail application requires.Improvements to My OrganizationWe have a six-node NetApp cluster for our regular 8080 FAS systems, and we have two cluster nodes with All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ), so it enables us to manage this high performance, low latency, application workload in the same fashion as we treat all of our other data; the SnapMirrors, the SnapVaults, the snapshots, the user control. We can use the same toolkits for everything.It provides ease of management and the ability to manage it as one unit.Room for ImprovementOne of the limitations we found with the All Flash FAS, using ONTAP version 8.3.1, is that we could not do foreign LUN import directly to the 8040. We had to stage that through the other cluster node before they ended up in the regular place. There were some limitations and some gotchas on the initial migration path.Use of SolutionIt was installed about a year ago, and the full workload was deployed around March of 2016.Stability IssuesStability has been good. We have had no stability issues at all whatsoever.There have not been any latency issues.Scalability IssuesSo far, we have about 40 TB of raw space. On top of that, comes all of the inline compression, the dedupe and all of those features and functionalities. It's not a huge system but it's IO intensive. It's on the order between 40,000 and 80,000 IOPS.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support is pretty good. We don't call on support all that often. We're well handled in house. For the AFFs, we haven't really had too many support issues at all.Previous SolutionsWe replaced 2 E-series, and the decision was made to get a larger cluster mode system with two nodes of All Flash FAS, specifically so it would be one cluster, and could be managed as one cluster.Initial SetupI was involved with the initial setup. It was fairly easy; a little bit different from a traditional FAS but very well managed by NetApp as the install engineers.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingI don't see the price of it, but my company must think that it provides plenty of value at whatever price we are paying for it.Other Solutions ConsideredBefore choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options. We went with NetApp because we were already using NetApp. The strategic direction at the higher management level was to go with NetApp.Other AdviceThe mix we currently have with 8080 for traditional spinning disk workloads for VMware and file sharing – those kinds of things – mixed in a cluster with the All Flash FAS system, does everything we could possibly ever ask of the system. One set of management tools, one set of skills to manage all the capability, I think it’s an excellent solution.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It provides the simplicity of having a pool of storage and not worrying about issues such as IOPS, the number of disks, or carving up aggregates.What is most valuable?For me, the most valuable feature is the simplicity of being able to have a pool of storage and not worry about: How many IOPS do I need? How many disks? Or carving up aggregates. Everything can just share. I can just go with the simple features of the GUI to allocate storage quickly ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/storage-management ) and not worry about anything.What needs improvement?The management tools ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/storage-management ) with NetApp really need improvement, in general; just giving good, simple tools for evaluating performance and performance headrooms, and seeing where you're about to run into things. ONTAP 9 seems to be taking steps in that direction, from what I've seen of it. This is my first ONTAP 9 system. I think they're making progress there. Until I have some more problems with the system and see how the tools serve me, I can't really give better insight on that.For how long have I used the solution?I have been using it for about a month.What do I think about the stability of the solution?So far, it has been very stable; no downtime. We had some random error messages but no downtime issues; just getting used to the new ONTAP 9.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It looks like it will meet the company’s scaling needs moving forward. We don't have a high-performance need out there, so it's more about a simple solution than scalability, in this particular case. So far, it looks like it'll meet our needs.How is customer service and technical support?We found NetApp support to be a mixed bag. Sometimes, it's real good; sometimes, it's real bad. It can take a while to get things escalated to the people you need it escalated to. I'm not terribly different from most of the industry, I'm sure.We get our support through Datalink. We have to go through Datalink first and then get escalated to NetApp support. It adds another layer there, but costs a lot less.For this project, the support has been pretty good. So far, I’m happy with how it's going.How was the initial setup?It's a simple setup. What we spent our implementation time on was getting the fiber channel LUNs presented to the host; that went really well. The problem is, we need to configure it in Wisconsin and then we shipped it across an ocean and had some non-IT people install it into a rack and turn it on. That was the complexity. We all added it ourselves. With that said, because it was a simple, one-shelf system, they were able to get through it and get it done. There was one cable that wasn't connected right. Support helped me track that down, and then I had them go plug it in right. They turned the connector upside down and then it worked; what a shock...For this install overall, for NetApp's part, it was simple; we have the complexity.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at Hewlett Packard, EMC, a Nutanix solution, and probably a couple more I can't remember. Nutanix ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/nutanix ) had been way out there; just a totally different way of doing it.What other advice do I have?When selecting a vendor to work with, for whether or not we talk to them, I think we look at those things like reliability and reputation.As far as who we choose, once we've got that process started, it tends to be the vendors that are willing to work with us in the sales process and give us lots of answers; give us lots of demos. We like to get a feel that they actually understand what we need; that the tech teams and the local teams that we're working with are capable of understanding what is going on technically; and they're not just fly by night: "They've been working here for three months and now they're going to move on." We try to figure out whether they have capable folks in the field. Does the sales team care enough about us to make a deal versus just saying, "Here's a price. You can take it or leave it."?Unfortunately, we don't have budget, so a lot of our decisions do come down to dollars. We spend a lot of time looking for teams that can do both. Who's going to come in cheap, yet still give us all that personal attention and support, and feel like they're going to be partners with us in the process, rather than just a reseller that's going to kick us over to support? We want people who are invested in making us successful, and not everyone's willing to do that.We needed something that could do multiple protocols. We had a need out there for CIFS and NFS and fiber channel storage. NetApp was one of the few vendors who has a solution that's capable of handling all that and is easy to use.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-19T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We deployed it to troubleshoot storage performance.Valuable FeaturesThe performance gains over traditional FAS systems and spinning media make it invaluable for an organization. We specifically have deployed it to troubleshoot storage performance. We don't really have a use case for it other than to troubleshoot at this point. It's allowed us to validate that there are no problems with the storage and to leverage the All Flash system to show that storage wasn't the issue.Improvements to My OrganizationIt's reducing troubleshooting time to identify which major functional area the problem has been in. We're able to identify quickly now that, whether storage is or is not a contributor to any troubleshooting that we have going on.Room for ImprovementAt this point, I don't really have any comments on room for improvement because we don't have a lot of use case in our environment right now. We don't actually have a use case other than troubleshooting. Right now, we don't have any high-performance data that needs all flash at this time.Obviously, keeping the scale and leveraging higher-capacity, solid-state drives is great to reduce power and cooling and space in the data center. That's not really a NetApp thing, that's more of a Samsung thing, who are our flash vendor. It’s absolutely something we’re looking forward to improving on. They're essentially getting rid of SAS in our environment as they grow. We purchased it with the 3.8 TB drives and they've done well to reduce a lot of space. All Flash FAS has been touted as something to get rid of SAS, and we like the fact that it's able to mask some of the issues that we have inside of applications just due to the performance gains that we get. I’m really just hoping that they keep on that, providing higher stability for applications that have had problems in the past.Pricing can always be improved. We noticed that the pricing on it was very similar to the caching pricing, which is held at a premium even though this is storage that's not for caching only. It's not like a flash pool where you've added it to an aggregate to increase performance. This is your base disk. This is actually where you're storing data not just for caching. That's one thing that we saw in the pricing, but as solid state prices come down, the pricing is going to get better.There isn’t anything that I wake up in the morning and think, "If only had just did this," or, "If only this was a little bit easier to use, that would make my day." We keep a very simple environment by design, and so we really try to eliminate any complexities that are out there. We're all file-system storage so we don't have any fiber in our environment. It just keeps everything simple. As far as the interfaces, our group has been using the NetApp interfaces for years and we’ve grown used to them.Stability IssuesSo far we haven't had any major stability problems with the platform. There was no real trouble with installing it or migrating to it. We don't have any problems at this time, but we don't have a lot of performance data on it right now, either.Scalability IssuesScalability seems great. We purchased an AFF8080 with only one disk shelf, so we're able to scale much larger than we are right now.Customer Service and Technical SupportAs far as NetApp technical support, we've had one case open with them for the All Flash FAS. We haven't used any professional services, but we've used the support group for one small issue with deployments. They were great; they had a fix with us faster than anyone had expected.Previous SolutionsTo a certain degree, I was involved in the decision process to invest in the All Flash FAS. I recommended of it and then obviously, higher up the food chain, they decided to go with it.We weren't previously using anything else with all flash. The company I was with was a NetApp consumer long before I got there. No real big changes on the commercial side of what we bought; just kind of investing in the new technology of all flash.The decision to invest in it in the first place was strictly for performance testing, to make sure that applications weren't running into performance issues with spinning media.Initial SetupInitial setup was done through me in combination with professional services. We had them do the racking and cabling through a VAR that we use, but then we specifically had joined it to the cluster and configured it.Initial setup was pretty straightforward. We were able to leverage some of the documentation on the NetApp site and get through it in under a week so.Other Solutions ConsideredWe weren't really considering any other vendors. We have a very good relationship with NetApp and we've been really happy with them.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is the support infrastructure; we have to have good support. For business-critical applications, if there's downtime – it happens – but we need a support organization and infrastructure that can help us. We'd leverage a support account manager to get the best out of support and we've had very good success with NetApp so far.Other AdviceI can't really give any advice because I don't really have anything to compare it to. We've deployed and it's worked well for us, so I would definitely recommend it but I can't recommend it against anything else.We haven't seen any issues, but it's software and hardware so there will be one at some point.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-01T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Raw speed has reduced our latencies significantly and management tools make admin easyHow has it helped my organization?Our biggest use cases for the AFF are virtualization and data bases. We use it for file storage.For any of the performance intents of applications, it's just been night and day from when we put them on. We had them on spinning disk, then converted them to the AFF. The latencies have become really low and my customers are all happier for it.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?Speed. it's very performance designed. It's designed to have a lot of high speed.I like what they're doing with their management tools. It makes it really easy to manage them. They're always improving and going with those. It's been really great, especially with the APIs. We can use them to make our calls and to manage it. It's been good for us.What needs improvement?Cleaning up false positives on alerts. We get a lot of those. If we could find some way of not getting so many, so that the alerts that do come in are real and valid, and not so many false positives, that would make a big difference.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We've been really happy with their stability. We did run into a bug that nobody else knew about and they came up with a patch for us to help fix it, and it's been rock solid ever since. So we're happy.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?With their clustered ONTAP we can scale as big as we need to.How is customer service and technical support?I've been happy with them. They've gotten me the answers every time I've called in. I haven't had any problems with getting the escalation I need. I just ask for it and they're able to kick it up and get the response that we need.How was the initial setup?It was a little complex. There were a few changes that we were not privy to. For instance, they had the 40 gig converged NIC that we didn't even know was available until we got it. Learning how to adjust that and manage that was a little bit different, it was a little bit of a learning curve, but it was not horrible at all.What other advice do I have?We've been a customer of NetApp for a long time and they're a good, strong company and we have a close partnership with them. We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on our experience with AFF because they're a great company to work with. They put out some good products.The most important criteria for us when selecting a vendor would be* somebody who is stable* somebody whose industry standing is a big deal* and then price point.They're a good strong system. I don't think that anything is perfect, but it's pretty close. It takes care of everything that we need. It's a fantastic solution. We haven't regretted getting it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The benefits are automatic; the power consumption is very low and the performance is very highHow has it helped my organization?The benefits are automatic; the power consumption is very low with the All Flash and the performance is very high. So, it helped us to better serve our customers to do the VMware data source.What is most valuable?The scale up version of it is the most valuable feature. You can go to 24 nodes, which is very cool. We are primarily using VMware environment. We use it for VMware data source for our hosting customers. We have 32 petabytes of data on NetApp's storage, so we definitely use it for primary storage.What needs improvement?Going forward, I would like more performance analytics on it, on the area itself, instead of using some other tool.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable.We have a 9.1 operating system on it, and it's very stable. We did an upgrade online, and we had no issues. We did a failover testing, and nothing. It's solid.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability is good.How is customer service and technical support?I use it for small issues, like how to configure using multiple VLANs. It was pretty easy to set up, and the technical support were very good.Which solutions did we use previously?We decided, as a company, to not buy any more disk storage for our primary customers, and that's the reason we needed All Flash. NetApp was a perfect fit because we could grow as we needed and it scales out the architecture works for us. We were looking for a high-performance, small, low footprint block rate, and NetApp fits in right there.How was the initial setup?Very straightforward. NetApp already does all the installation for us. They just come in and set the IPs, etc.What other advice do I have?It's a pretty solid solution. If you're looking for a block solution, or file solution, on flash, you definitely have to look at it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I expect it to provide us a lot more speed because of low latency and clustered Data ONTAP, although the current version has some problems with global deduplication.What is most valuable?Clustered Data ONTAPLow latencyMy company uses mostly NetApp products, so I have existing knowledge of using their products.How has it helped my organization?We're still testing it, but I expect it to provide us a lot more speed because of low latency and clustered Data ONTAP.What needs improvement?They still have to reduce in price when compared to their competitors. Also, the current version has some problems with global deduplication.For how long have I used the solution?It's not yet in full production, but I have been testing the product for few month now with VMware.What was my experience with deployment of the solution?I've had no issues deploying it in our test environment.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We do not expect any issues, and have had none so far.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It has problems with deduplication when done globally.How is customer service and technical support?Customer Service: Their customer service is one of the best, and I am a demanding customer.Technical Support: * Tier 1 – room for improvement as they hold onto tickets for too long* Tier 2– much more seriousHow was the initial setup?From my experience with NetApp products, initial setup is going to be nice and easy. We are very techy, so it was easy for us.What about the implementation team?The majority of work was based on existing knowledge, but we also got help from the vendor.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We considered Kaminario and XtremIO. We chose NetApp in order to utilize current resources.What other advice do I have?It has better adaptation than pure flash solutions such as XtremIO. It’s important to learn the weak spots of the suppliers in the market, and I can say that I have great expectations for the migration of the flash array to disc via cluster.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-30T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gives us the performance and flexibility we need; Snapshots are really impressiveHow has it helped my organization?One thing we see is the kind of flexibility NetApp is giving, taking the Snapshot and other features; wherever we want to keep it, we can keep it. Those things, are really impressive. We don't have to look into that traditional backup model like a tape backup model or protecting your data.What is most valuable?Performance. Mostly with our default settings it's good. All of the factory settings are fine. We don't have to tune it.What needs improvement?In the future, a few things.Performance. Mostly with our default settings it's good. All of the factory settings are fine. We don't have to tune it. We want to see that in NetApp. It's very important from the operational perspective.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's really good. We would say 99.99% up-time, we are seeing that with the NetApp product. It's really good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?On a scale from one to five, I would say four.How is customer service and technical support?It's really good. We're getting the right response, so everything worked.Right now, in current scenarios, we don't get many issues with the NetApp products. We mainly use them for the upgrade.And so far we are getting good response in case the case of a disk failure or some cluster issues, then NetApp support is there, really.Which solutions did we use previously?We have a kind of recycle policy, and the end of warranty. We look at every purchase in the last three years, book value. We'll use that analysis as our first indicator.The second one, the demand from our customers, our internal customers. What kind of application they are going to use, what kind of power they will need. We'll check with NetApp, our account team, whether there are any new solutions available from NetApp, or we can use the existing one. Mainly the NetApp account team will help us on this.How was the initial setup?I'm only involved in upgrades. They're pretty simple, and their documentation is very clear, and it's all really nice.What other advice do I have?Our primary use case for All Flash is just as an alternate solution of storage. We are just exploring how it fits us. We use it for file storage right now but we have a plan for block storage also.We are more likely to consider NetApp for mission-critical storage based on our experience with AFF. We are in the very initial stages of the AFF storage. It's very good. We are seeing good performance with it. But still, we need to see, with our mission-critical applications, with NetApp... Because right now we are just using the file storage, and we did not put any mission-critical applications.Our company has certain policies a vendor has to meet; first they must meet our company basic criteria to be a vendor. For example, a vendor has to be in the market for more than this many years. Then, we look at other areas like how good they are in the market and how stable their products are.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good performance when moving very large amounts of data to the cloudWhat is our primary use case?We are in the process of moving to AWS and we are using this solution to help move all of our data to the cloud, using the tiering and other functionality.We have approximately fifty AFF clusters spread across three locations.We plan to use this solution for artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications, but we are still in the PoC right now. It is something that my team is working on.Our DR and backup are done using SnapMirror.How has it helped my organization?This solution has helped simplify our IT operations. We can easily move data from on-premises to the cloud, or from one cloud to another cloud. NetApp SnapShots and SnapMirror are also helpful.The thin provisioning has allowed us to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We are shrinking the data with functions like deduplication and giving almost two hundred percent. It is very helpful.This solution has allowed us to move very large amounts of data without affecting IT operations. We have moved four petabytes to the cloud. We have moved data from on-premises to the cloud, and also between clouds. It is easy to do. For example, if you want DR or a backup in a second location, then you just use SnapShot. If you have a database that you want to have available in more than one location then you can synchronize them easily. We are very happy with these features.Our application response time has been improved since implementing this solution. The AFF cluster is awesome. Our response time is now below two milliseconds, whereas it used to be four or five milliseconds. This is very useful.The costs of our data center have definitely been reduced by using this solution. The power consumption and space, obviously, because this solution is very small, have been reduced.We have been using this solution to automatically tier cold data to the cloud. I would not say that it has affected our TCO.This solution has not changed our position in terms of worrying about storage as a limiting factor.What is most valuable?The most valuable features of this solution are the deduplication and the ability to move data to different clouds. We have been using Cloud Sync and Cloud Volumes, and we have moved four petabytes using Cloud Sync.What needs improvement?It would be very useful if we could do the NFS to CIFS file transfer, but it is not supported at this time.We are finding limitations when it comes to moving data to AWS.For how long have I used the solution?We have been using this solution for ten years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability of this solution is fine. We have not experienced any downtime or any issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is something that we are spending time on, but it is an internal issue related to seeking financial approval. The scalability of the solution is not a technical issue.How are customer service and technical support?The technical support for this solution has always been number one. There is no doubt that they are getting more responsive and more technical.If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?We performed a PoC using Cloud Volumes and Cloud Sync, and we were happy with the time, durability, and availability.How was the initial setup?The initial setup of this solution is straightforward.What about the implementation team?We can install this solution ourselves.What was our ROI?We have seen ROI from this solution.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated a solution by EMC, but we found they their filesystem was not as robust. That is the read that we chose NetApp.What other advice do I have?We are really happy customers and this is a solution that I can recommend.I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.Which deployment model are you using for this solution?On-premisesDisclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-11-16T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from There is no latency whatsoever. It is stable and fully redundant.How has it helped my organization?It reduced the overall latency in our Citrix infrastructure. We have a pretty robust Citrix infrastructure. Before putting in the All Flash FAS, end users would see a lot of latency. That's been the biggest improvement, along with a lot of improvement in the overall performance of our SAN and a few other data intensive applications.There was noticeable latency before the All Flash FAS. Since the All Flash FAS, it is extremely fast, no latency whatsoever.What needs improvement?I would basically just like to see improvements with the reporting; consolidating metrics, performance and any sort of issues. Right now, there are a lot of different tools, a lot of different places to go to see the overall health of the system. I would like one place, a dashboard, to see everything. I know there are some things that NetApp has released and are releasing, but we haven't gotten to the point where we've implemented those yet.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is extremely stable; never had any down time or issues with it. It's fully redundant. All of the updates have pretty much been non-interruptive; it’s an extremely stable platform.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It scales out well. It’s a new All Flash FAS and we looked at the overall capacities that we needed before. It's only been in place for about six months. From a scalability perspective, we know that it will scale out if we need it to, but it's a new implementation, so no issues or anything like that.How is customer service and technical support?So far, we haven't needed to use technical support for this one, yet.Which solutions did we use previously?We did not previously use a different solution. We were a NetApp shop before that, but we were using a different controller and we weren't an All Flash FAS shop. We could see the latency. We used all the utilities, so we could see what was going on, the need and how it would help our business.How was the initial setup?Initial setup is generally straightforward, but NetApp has good technical articles and guidance on moving from one NetApp controller to another NetApp controller. It was pretty straightforward for the most part.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at a number of other flash systems and solutions for our latency issues. At the end of the day, we just decided to continue and move forward with another NetApp controller.Reliability and availability are the most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with. We need them to be available. There are a lot of vendors out there that have a lot of people, but if you're building a reputation and you can't get the people you need, then it's a problem, regardless of how good the controller is.What other advice do I have?It does what it’s meant to do; works extremely well in our environment. We have multiple data centers and the replication works really well. Overall, it's pretty easy to use.Look at your individual company's needs. In general, look at your nice-to-haves and must-haves, and then weigh the options and see what works best. NetApp has been a great, established company. We've had a good relationship with NetApp for a long time and so we would recommend them to a colleague.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If we have any issues, we can call into NetApp and their support is really goodWhat is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the support. If we have any issues, we can call into NetApp and their support is really good.Speed and reliability of the data's access is the main reason why we went with All Flash. We mainly use All Flash for file storage.With the new all solid state, it has really good performance.How has it helped my organization?We have had NetApp for many years. It's been reliable. If we have a disk go bad, they send it out with all the auto support features. We're hands off and all that stuff is being done behind the scenes. That's really valuable.The primary use case is to put all of our data on NetApp, all of our primary data anyhow. Our SQL databases are Oracle databases. We even have all of our SIF shares on there right now just because we don't have that much. We're probably looking at 120 terabytes of data. We don't have that much, so we are able to put everything on All-Flash.What needs improvement?It would be nice to have better integration between SRM and VMware, as I've had some issues with that. Though this may just be our particular system and may not be a global issue.Also, maybe include additional instructions on how to set it up properly.For how long have I used the solution?We have been a NetApp customer for many years, so we had all SATA/SAS drives before. Just last year, we got the All Flash FAS system. Every year, it gets better.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have been with NetApp for many years and haven't had any issues. If we do, NetApp is there to support us.How is customer service and technical support?It's really good.What about the implementation team?We had a vendor come in and they set us up.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Obviously depending on the price point, NetApp is obviously a little more expensive than your generic Dell SAN solution or whatever.What other advice do I have?It's reliable. The speed is good. We've tried to push the thing to the max and it's almost impossible. The CPU of our host gets limited before the storage gets limited, therefore backup solutions for it is easy.Depending on what your needs are, obviously NetApp would be the way to go.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It requires less real estate in the data center, saves power, and adds serviceable IOPS.What is most valuable?With All Flash, the benefit we have seen is the real estate in the data center has really shrunk by leaps and bounds. We went from having a huge rack full to provide about 10 TBs of storage to using just two shelves to provide 72 TBs of storage with solid state. It saves a lot of power and adds to the IOPS that can be serviced.What needs improvement?I would like to see end-to-end automation that would enable service providers to get the infrastructure with faster provisioning, decommissioning, or even performance analysis; end-to-end includes compute, network, storage and applications.We are interested in seeing more compatibility with other virtualization platforms, especially with Oracle. That's a vast area. There seems to be two worlds: Oracle is on one side; VMware, NetApp, Cisco and all of them are on the other side. They need to come together to integrate and provide more compatible solutions. We are Oracle service providers for Oracle databases and applications. It’s a niche area and FAS still isn’t there.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The ONTAP OS is stable. We have the performance of the SSDs. We have the CPU processing speed, which helps us support 1 million IOPS.I think we have a couple of options for the ONTAP versions: the 8.3 version and the new 9, which I think just reached general availability. We intend to use the 8.3, which is more stable in our environment for SATA, SAS and hybrid. We will continue to use the same stable ONTAP version for our All Flash.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?As I mentioned, scalability with respect to the space is very nice. cDOT gives us the scalability to expand the cluster. So we have a two-node hybrid. We added two more, making it a four-node cluster. We can expand it to eight nodes in a pure SAN cluster.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is nice. It has been working well for us.Which solutions did we use previously?We have traditionally used SATA disks; then we migrated to SAS, and then to a hybrid which included a flash pool. Now we have embarked on all flash. This journey has been really exciting for us. We have used each of these storage systems to package storage services for our customers.We were previously using HPE 3PAR. I was not involved in the switch between 3PAR to FAS, and I’m not sure why we switched. When I joined this company, we already started with NetApp.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. There were no problems. We usually have a professional service engineer in the data center, and we have certified engineers within our organization to work together to design and implement.What other advice do I have?It has usually been a unified computing platform with NetApp All Flash; so you get NAS and SAN protocols from the same box.I would encourage my colleagues to evaluate multiple products, and find the right fit for their use cases.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-05T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deduplication? saves space because we use it for VDA.What is most valuable?The important features are space savings, deduplication, compression and compaction. By enabling the deduplication, we save a lot of space, because we use it for VDA. We also see some performance improvement compared to the SAS spinning disks.How has it helped my organization?This solution gives us better throughput, better performance and better space-saving efficiency. These are the benefits the user group has seen.What needs improvement?They should really prove the performance numbers they show you. They provide some general performance numbers, but performance varies for every different customer site and different workloads. What they say it will do doesn't necessarily match what it does. But we have seen some difference in workloads other than the VDA. So they should say, “For this kind of workload, here are the performance statistics and for other workloads, it varies.” They should not simply say that these numbers apply to every situation. That should not be the case.We assumed that the performance statistics they provide are applicable for everything and we purchased it. Then, we found that this is not a scalable solution. We did not get the performance we expected. They could provide a clear indication that the numbers they show are only for a particular type of workload. They could also improve the performance to match the numbers.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability is good. We have been using NetApp products for a very long time. We are the first customer for NetApp and we have been involved in various other FAS deployments. Stability-wise, it's gotten better.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Three years back, we deployed many customer systems; we have a big 24-node cluster. So scalability is very good.For this particular deployment, we have only one HA pair. Currently, there is no requirement to grow from a scalability point of view. Our requirement is very small. In the future, we may think of adding additional HA pairs and we can grow that scalability; we can distribute it in the future.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. It was just like any other FAS system. Just install and enable some features for the AFF systems. It was not like a regular FAS system, but other than that, configuration is exactly same; simple and easy.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Initially, we approached multiple vendors for this kind of solution.We have a NetApp on-site PSE and a systems manager – a NetApp group – sitting in our company. They suggested, “Why don't you explore this All Flash FAS for the VDA?” Then we evaluated the E560, a NetApp product, as well as AFF. We also evaluated other vendors such as XtremIO from Dell EMC.Finally, for the simplicity and the flexibility, we thought of going with the AFF system.This is a newer deployment. We used to use just the FAS system with the spinning HDD. We have changed it to all-flash.What other advice do I have?You definitely should consider it.One important factor for working with vendors is flexibility. The ease to use many features like FlexClone, SnapMirror and disaster recovery features. Other than that, the support prospect is very important to us. So the storage unit itself was not the only thing we considered before deciding to go with this particular solution.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-04T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It’s a flash array that works seamlessly with other NetApp products.Valuable Features* SnapMirror* Migration abilities* Easy backup solution* Snapshot abilityImprovements to My OrganizationIt's certainly better than our previous Pure Storage system. It’s a flash array that works seamlessly with other NetApp products. They have the ability of other FAS as well as of flash.Room for ImprovementIn a metro cluster, the bridges are fiber heavy, limiting the performance. This is its only disadvantage.Use of SolutionWe've used it for two months.Stability IssuesSo far so good. We've had no stability issues.Scalability IssuesIt's met our expectations, and we still have room to grow and scale out.Customer Service and Technical Support7/10 due to having unsolved tickets.Over the last year, the quality of their technical support decreased, but it's getting better again.Previous SolutionsWe previously used Pure Storage.Initial SetupIt's very easy. We've been using NetApp products for five years so its just another NetApp system for us.Implementation TeamWe did it in-house.Other AdviceI would say if you need high availability across different sites, then think if the right product for you because of speed limitations.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The key features for us, in medical treatment, is its high availability and multiple layers of redundancyHow has it helped my organization?It gave us a lot more peace of mind, because before we had a SAN solution that worked - it gave us the ability to have Microsoft SQL clusters for our treatment. This adds an extra layer of protection with the high availability, the multiple layers of redundancy, having SnapMirrors so we can replicate and do snapshotting. It's just given us a lot of peace of mind.When you've got patient-data, you've got to make sure it's there.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?Probably the biggest single thing would be the high availability options, because it's medical treatment, so it's got to be pretty much up - because we do treatment with it.Performance is excellent. In fact, it's so fast that we're not really even taxing it all that much.What needs improvement?I don't know if I could come up with another feature. Of all the new hardware we bought for the new building, it's the only thing that we've yet to have any troubles with.Maybe the reporting tools, the performance reporting tools. Performance is excellent. In fact, it's so fast that we're not really even taxing it all that much. I know they're getting better on that but I suppose that's one thing I'd improve.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's been perfect. We haven't had anything wrong with it.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I think it's excellent. We haven't scaled it up yet because it was a new system, so we haven't added to it. Actually, we did add a shelf to it, but it's awesome. You just plug things in and they go.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support has been excellent. Excellent. We've had our resident engineer who comes out all the time and assists us on things. We went to add that shelf in, he came up. We wanted to make sure we were doing things right, as in adding the disk in, and where to put it, and how to balance the system. He came right up there and helped us the better part of an afternoon, and just showed us things, and what to do.It was great. Never a complaint.Which solutions did we use previously?We were using Hewlett-Packard P2000s, and they were fine, but it was basically just a rack of disks that allowed us to do SAN solutions. They were actually pretty good, too. They didn't have the high availability features, and they couldn't do replication. They could do some snapshotting, but it was nothing like what we have now.What happened is, it was kind of an end-of-life, they were getting real old, long in the tooth, and we needed more room. When the entire enterprise looked at vendors, they had brought on NetApp. When we looked at it, we thought, "This is great," and here we are. That's why we bought it. It just filled in. It did everything we needed it to do.We've been extremely impressed with NetApp. I like the interface. I like all the tools they give us. The support is incredible. Our rep is awesome.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Hewlett-Packard, again, was one. EMC, because we do actually have some EMC stuff. And NetApp. That was basically our list. I think IBM was in there for a little while, but I think they kind of fell off. I remember hearing about it, but I didn't know anything about it. That was our short list.What other advice do I have?Our primary use case for the All Flash FAS is medical data storage. We use it for both block storage and file storage at the moment.We're more than "likely" to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems. It's already mission critical. This is cancer treatment. That's what it's doing.Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are support, features, and support. Can I say one twice? Because I know in healthcare, if something goes wrong, and we can't get it back up and running, patients are affected. If cancer treatments stop, it's really bad. Or somebody's mistreated? The feds come out, and it's a criminal kind of thing, so we've got to make sure that nothing goes wrong. So, I'd say support twice.My advice to someone researching a similar product would probably be pay attention to growth, scalability. That was probably the other big thing with our P2000s. There was no way to scale. If we wanted to do something, we had to buy a whole other product. Once we ran out of room on that one thing, we had to basically look for something else. You have to do a data transfer. With the NetApps, we can just add on these racks of disks, and scale out with more controllers. I'd say that's it. Just make sure you pay attention to growth, and things like that.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-23T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Allows us to increase capacity, update hardware without having to take an outageHow has it helped my organization?It supports our virtualization, our VMware environment.We're more nimble. We can move from block to file. The ability to have all of the efficiencies that come with it. The dedpulication, the compaction, the compression, give us those capabilities to get more bang for the buck.What is most valuable?The fact that we can move forward, increase capacity, update hardware, without having to take an outage.What needs improvement?There are a bunch of features that are available but aren't vetted for enterprise use yet, at least not in my environment.Better stability, not releasing features until they are fully functional, or at least giving us a software train that doesn't add them until they are fully functional and proven. Right now, the long-term support model is nice but it still has features in it that are not ready. At least not for our environment.What do I think about the stability of the solution?NetApp's base solution is very solid. The latest, greatest features of course are not always that stable. We avoid those. If we stick with the tried and true, we have no problems. It's very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's extremely scalable. With the cDOT, you have the ability to add many, many nodes, and that gives you that capability of also being able to upgrade portions of it without taking the entire thing out.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support, the first wave is a little bit rough sometimes to deal with. However, once you get to the right resources, it's quick in action.It's actually kind of hard to deal with the first level because of the questions and we already have visibility into the triage sheets that they are asking us the questions from, and we've already gone through those. So we've moved beyond that dependence on the first level because of those triage sheets that are publicly available on the website.Which solutions did we use previously?It's been there as long as I've worked there. So, before that, CIFS, user shares, that kind of thing. It was never really an option for high performance storage.We've been using Netapp for many years, long before I even came to the company.How was the initial setup?It was very straightforward.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We're multi-vendor. We do EMC and NetApp. We will look at others but most don't have the track history that we are looking for.What other advice do I have?We use AFF for both block storage and file storage. We are more likely to consider to NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on our experience with AFF. With clustered data ONTAP, it's actually a true enterprise solution that has upgrade paths that don't require actual downtime.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor solution is the ability to deliver in the long-term.The TCO makes it a very desirable solution. The efficiencies are more than worth the money. It means you can have a small footprint but support a lot of different solutions within the datacenter.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2017-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Improved performance, fast data, have resulted in additional customer revenue and better serviceHow has it helped my organization?It has resulted in more customer revenue. We've got a very diverse crowd as far our customers go. Different customers are asking for faster, more performance, more service, and AFF pretty much delivered that.What is most valuable?The performance. The flash performance helps move data pretty fast.What needs improvement?I don't know if it's really specific to AFF, but metrics as far as performance. I would like to see a lot more of that.Also, ZAPI is kind of difficult to use. You know, it's SOAP-like, it's not really SOAP. I would like to see it more of a REST-based JSON, instead of XML.One of the biggest things that would really help is if it were driven like AMQP on the EMS would be really nice, so I can actually see when things are being created instead assuming things are created based on API calls.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable. I don't think I've noticed any problems with it at all. It's one of those things you don't really think about until you run into a problem. I haven't run into a problem, so it's actually very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's scalable. As far as NetApp products go, in general, they're very scalable.How is customer service and technical support?I haven't used it directly. We have residents so usually, if I need support, I go to the resident or one of the Professional Service guests that works with us. But the support they provide is excellent.How was the initial setup?I'm generally not involved in initial setup. Usually where I get involved is after it's gone through RDS, and I do the automation orchestration as far as our customers' provisioning and billing, etc.What other advice do I have?For the most part our use case is databases. We use AFF for both block storage and file storage. We've got arrays for both. We've got a very mixed NetApp setup. We've got some that are just AFF, some that are AFF FAS systems - flash pulls and the like.I've always been a fan of NetApp. I've dealt with other vendors but I like NetApp because when we need support, they're usually there, they show up, whereas other vendors don't quite do that. As far as AFF specifically, it's just another good product that NetApp put out. We're definitely more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems in the future, based on our experiences with AFF due to the support that NetApp provides. Very good supportWhen selecting a vendor to work with, the most important criteria for me are* support* generally performance - if it's a performing product* scalable is always good.I would pretty much tell colleagues to go with NetApp because of the support. When something goes wrong, that's usually the most important thing to me: how do I get support? NetApp's always delivered on the support side.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-02T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Has powerful tools for managementWhat is our primary use case?Mixed sharing between Windows and Linux using CIFS and NFS is the best solution you can experiment with.How has it helped my organization?* It provided an amazing response time for all apps, with websites getting better stability, and QA for all final users.* Implementation to share volumes between Windows IIS and .NET, and between Linux Apache and PHP.The best is you can use the same volume for different flavors of OS. In fact, that feature gives solutions to some cases where you have limitations for some applications when it does not support the OS, maybe when you have old apps that are not possible to migrate.What is most valuable?* Its incredible performance* Stability* Proactiveness for possible errors* Powerful tools for management.What needs improvement?Communication with the customer for showing and exploring the new technologies is available.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-03-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My client's data warehouse system and ERP is ten times faster with Flash FAS than with hard discs. Inline deduplication would be great to have.Valuable FeaturesWe find the flexibility of having the access protocols all in one box and clustered Data ONTAP to be the most valuable features.It's quite simple to install and fast to integrate into existing ecosystems. Also, it's very easy to handle the monitoring on an enterprise grade.Improvements to My OrganizationFor the company I installed this for, their data warehouse system and ERP is ten times faster than it was before when they were using hard discs. We can work much faster on customer situations and requests than before.Room for ImprovementInline deduplication would be great to have, but everything else is fantastic.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for six months to help run VDI, server virtualization, OLTP databases, date warehouse, and mail subsystems.Stability IssuesNo failures yet at the four customers I’ve installed this for.Scalability IssuesIt is expandable as you can mix it with normal High-Availability pairs, so it's very scalable.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: Customer support issues have normally been cleared up in one business day, so it's been really great.Technical Support: Normal issues like performance problems and parts replacement are infrequent and are taken care of quickly.Previous SolutionsI’ve only been working with NetApp products.Initial SetupIt only took one day for the initial setup of a normal system, including performance and system monitoring. So setup is quite fast and straightforward.Implementation TeamI implement it for our customers.Other AdvicePartner choice is important when using enterprise storage. They can give you a lot more help when you have questions, train you, and give you other managed services if you need. You can combine this with normal hardware support. There are three levels of partners--Normal reseller: You order the product and NetApp will send you a technician to install the system.Professional Services Partner: They install the system and implement a complete solution like VDI environments. They will not normally provide support cases, and it normally reverts to NetApp.Service Certified partner: They will give you the hardware or replace your hardware (normal hardware service), help you with updates and maintenance work, install the AFF in the field, and they can give you a more managed services background. This same partner can help you with hardware replacement, software hiccups, and problems with the surrounding ecosystem.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We have never had a failure. We can upgrade as we move along with zero downtime.What is our primary use case?We use it for medical systems.How has it helped my organization?NetApp has always been very reliable. We have never had any data losses. They are a work horse.What is most valuable?I found the reliability of it to be the most valuable feature because it supports all the patient critical systems in our hospital. We have had the NetApp system for 18 years with no downtime.What needs improvement?I would like to see if they could move the virtual storage machines. They have integrated a DR, so you can back to your DR, but there's no automated way to failover and failback. It's all manual. I'd like to see it all automated.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have never had a failure.Over the past 18 years, it has been extremely easy to upgrade to newer products and technology. We can upgrade as we move along. So, we have been able to keep up with the newest technology with zero downtime.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability is endless. There have been no limits that we have come across yet.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support has been excellent. We have local technical support. If we give them a call and need somebody onsite, they could be there within ten to 15 minutes.Which solutions did we use previously?I think we were previously using IBM FASt100 in the 2000s. From there, we moved on to NetApp.How was the initial setup?I never found it to be complicated, but I have a lot of experience with NetApp setups.After upgrades, it's very intuitive and easy to pick up.What about the implementation team?A NetApp support person did all our installations, upgrades, etc. Our experience with them was excellent.What was our ROI?We have been able to utilize and leverage equipment which was purchased a decade ago up until this past year. So, we were running disk shells for 13 years and all we were doing was upgrading the filings and controllers, and using the same disk shells. Therefore, we were able to do something where we didn't have to invest that much. Recently, we had to upgrade all our disk shells, but it was a lot less because the technology had changed a lot since those times. It is faster now, and we have SSDs. We have larger drives that are 4TBs and 6TBs. Everything can condense so we are saving disk shell space and rack space. We are paying less now than we did at that time. So, we've gotten our money's worth out of it.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Look at the different options that NetApp offers. Look for a model and option which fits your needs correctly. Don't buy a low-end product for a high-end job.NetApps offers a lot of different options. Just take your time and work with the consulting teams. Lay out what your needs are to ensure you are purchasing what will help you be successful.What other advice do I have?We have put our trust in NetApp, and they have given us the customer support and a stable, reliable product.Sometimes, I have to get rid of the equipment and upgrade because it is no longer supported. It's not like we are getting rid of the equipment or upgrading because there's something wrong with it. It will last forever. I have had disk shells that we've had to just let go, which are still working, because they aren't supported.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-24T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MetroCluster provides business continuity and is a critical part of our contingency setupWhat is our primary use case?* Using NetApp AFF 8060 in two-node MetroCluster configuration.* Used for NAS protocols only.* CIFS and NFS provisioned through several SVMs (vFilers).* Shares for normal company office files, Oracle Middleware binaries, Citrix profiles, and more.How has it helped my organization?Used to run an older FAS with FC drives. We were always having trouble with performance. AFF is fast, with low latency, and plenty of I/O headroom. Management is fairly easy as we know our way around NetApp from experience with the old FAS.What is most valuable?The speed is important; no more problems caused by high latency.MetroCluster provides business continuity and is a critical part of our contingency setup.What needs improvement?* FC and ATTO bridges are still needed for cross datacenter replication.* I would like it to be an IP as our network is mainly IP-based.* The ATTO bridges add to the total cost of the system.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-01-21T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A flexible solution for a variety of workloads.What is most valuable?Snapshot, de-duplication and the efficiency; the storage part and the efficiency.What needs improvement?The part of flexibility that I can add more… of growth, to enhance the solution.To add more nodes, to put in additional new clusters ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/high-availability-clustering ), and to integrate everything in a set environment with many types of workloads.For how long have I used the solution?For three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It’s very stable and there is great flexibility to work with this solution.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Today, we have two pairs of controllers which form a cluster where I can have various types of workloads between the two devices. And, it has great flexibility in order to alter a client that is using a slow disk to a faster disk.Which solutions did we use previously?We used another solution from NetApp with 7-Mode and we are progressing to this new solution.How was the initial setup?It is very simple, let’s say, any person who has never even worked with storage can perform a load to the server very easily.What other advice do I have?Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: The ease of putting a number of technologies, for example, a backup, in a single solution. I don’t have to worry about other solutions in order to integrate, to format a new product and deliver it to my client.Yes, I recommend the solution, and I even introduce myself by calling the clients to try the All-Flash, and after the client tries it, he/she does not go back to another player or another solution.Anyone who gives All-Flash a try won’t go back to what he or she had before.I would give it a nine because there is a lot of flexibility in this solution. We are service providers and our clients have diverse demands, within this solution I can assist a greater number of clients in a variety of workloads.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-30T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has improved our applications' overall performance, and it has simplified our management of itWhat is most valuable?It is the flexibility of configuration. It is optimized for flash, so we do not have to manage the configuration of what optimizes flash, but we do have the flexibility to configure what optimizes our environment.How has it helped my organization?It has improved our applications' overall performance, and it has simplified our management of it.We use it for all of our VMware infrastructure as well as for our X-ray data storage, for the short-term storage. We use both block and file storage.Now, we can manage failed disks in our SAN before we replace them or manage how quickly they are replaced. All these kind of decisions, we can make. This flexibility is critical to having a comfort level with our environment.What needs improvement?Being able to move SVMs from one cluster to another.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have had two issues:* There was a server and one of the heads rebooted because there was a system failure. We were unaffected, because the system stayed up and running. So, that was awesome.* We had an issue, which was a self inflicted outage. Unfortunately, that one actually took our entire environment down. This was our own fault.Overall, the stability has been pretty amazing.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is excellent. There has never been a question as to whether it could scale out. It has been more a question of, "Do we have the finances to be able to do it?"How is customer service and technical support?They have always been good about being responsive. I love the auto support. The people that we get on the phone are usually pretty knowledgeable, and if they are not and they don't know what to do, then they hand it off to somebody who does.Which solutions did we use previously?We also have Pure Storage.How was the initial setup?It was pretty straightforward.What about the implementation team?We did have a rep on site as well that helped us with the installation. We have used it as part of a cluster to connect with other methods.Which other solutions did I evaluate?NetApp does a good job of being able to provide a lot of options for its customers and supporting those options with information. Even before AFF, we always used NetApp for mission critical stuff.What other advice do I have?It offers everything we need.If you are considering this solution, ensure you do the research and know what you are actually getting. Also, make sure you know what your needs are before you start doing that research.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from With SAP databases, there's significant performance improvement.What is most valuable?We decided to use the All-Flash because of speed. Most of the time, when we looked at the SAP database ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/sap-hana ), what we found was, by using the All-Flash, we got almost 100% improvement on our jobs.How has it helped my organization?The best part about it is the density; otherwise, earlier, we used to use a lot of 300- or 600-GB disks. It saves space, saves power and makes us more efficient. The main thing is performance. If you can get the report done in half the time, it's good.What needs improvement?I would like to see the All-Flash FAS support virtualization better. I find that lacking in some areas; application and for disaster recovery. I know we have to do a lot of setup and we need to know exactly what needs to be done, but I would expect NetApp to make those best practices available automatically. Why do they say, “Do this, do this,” when they could say instead, “For DR, click this button”, which would automatically implement the best procedure, rather than having to figure it out yourself? That should be automated.There are several other improvements that can be done, especially with the clustering. I don't know why we had to make back-end decisions. With software-defined networking, most of the decisions can be made at the front end. Right now, how NetApp works is, you get the data to the head, take it to the back end to make a decision and then pump it back. I just want to eliminate the switch in the back to the cluster. Why not make those decisions? Maybe they need to do something on the software-defined networking; maybe have some module in the switch to make the decision at the front-end, distribute the workload for the clusters in the back. I really don't like having another switch in the back. You know your data comes from this network.What do I think about the stability of the solution?So far, we have not had any major stability issues because I look for stability, then performance; the product has to be stable first, then comes the performance.My uptime is 99.99%. Other people say “All five nines,” but I say, “Hey, when the CFO or the CEO wants access and it's down, it doesn't matter what you're doing.”Stability is very, very important. The first thing is stability, then performance. Performance is important because performance is everyday work. Stability is like, you say nowadays, “IT infrastructure has to be like air. You don't look for air, right?” You can automatically breathe it like that. Storage has to exist all the time. That's the main criteria on stability.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?So far, I don't know the exact size that we have. I know we can add more storage. We just procured some more disk shelves to add. I don't know the limits. I probably need to go check out how large we can be.Also, we're trying to keep our environment separated. That way, there's no contamination. There are also regulations and other things we have to worry about. If we're putting everything in one box, putting all the eggs in one basket, we need to be really careful about stability, performance, and making changes.If we want to scale out in the future, I think the system is capable. We should not have problems; I hope that will happen.How is customer service and technical support?We might have used technical support a little bit but most of the time, it is working, so I don't think we made any calls. I don't think we are using it. We're paying for it but we're not using it much.Our vendor was good, they did the initial setup; they helped through the setup. If you set it up right the first time, you probably don't have to mess with it a lot. If it is stable, there isn’t much else to do.Which solutions did we use previously?We were previously using NetApp with spinning drives, and we were also using some of the EMC DMX ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/symmetrix-dmx-4-series ).Now, we are using NetApp exclusively.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was pretty easy. I think it only took maybe half a day to do everything; put it in, power it, connect all the cables, configure it. I think we put it in production within like half a day; not difficult.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We did run the eval and our PoC through other vendors, other storage suppliers.There were two other flash players, and we finally ended up going with NetApp All-Flash ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-fas-series ). The reason being the migration would be much easier. We added our existing cluster to the same cluster, so that we could do the migration whenever we are able to do it. We didn’t need a big downtime to migrate it.Also, when we buy other technology, we have to have people to manage it. We need to decide whether, “OK, do I need to use the current talent pool to migrate to All-Flash, or bring in a new player where we have to support both?” It adds to the cost.When we are selecting a vendor to work with, we look at whether they want to work according to our interest or according to the vendor’s interest, because we need to make sure they can support us in the long run; that they are reliable; and that they have good people who know the product and have a good attitude working with customers. Most of the technical knowledge and other things, you can acquire, but attitude is important.What other advice do I have?If you are a NetApp customer and considering a new technology, you need to look at the additional cost of doing things or administrating another thing. If you are completely moving from NetApp to a new vendor altogether, can they do everything? Transitioning from one storage to another takes a long time. At the end of the day, your servers and other things, they don't have anything there, like transient, that you can replace any time. But when it comes to storage, your storage is important.If you give me the storage, I can do pretty much everything. If your data is available, you can figure out how to reroute it or do things with that, but if your data is not there, you have servers, everything is useless; network. Everything is useless. I still see people invest a lot of money on networking. I say, “Look, if the storage is not available, you don't need network; you don't need servers.” You need to look at your storage; it’s very critical. It has to be stable, perform well and you need to be able to protect it. If those things are there, you can take the storage anywhere and make it work. If you don't have compute, Amazon EC2 ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/amazon-aws ) can give you compute, Azure ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/microsoft-azure ) can give you compute, but you need to protect your storage.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-13T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The compression, dedupe, and speed are the most valuable featuresWhat is most valuable?* The compression* Dedupe* The speedWith the ONTAP, the flexibility is also a nice feature.How has it helped my organization?We've had quite a positive response since we've moved to the AFF for our VCD and our VDI environments. The feedback from the end users and the virtualization team that manages it has been very positive.We have a fairly large vCloud, vCloud Director (VCD) environment, which we use for our AFF systems, that and VDI. We use it all for file storage.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is solid.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It scales out very well. We have not had any issues trying to move anything around or when it comes to expansion. We haven't had to expand the AFF yet, but other ONTAP systems are very easy to expand.How is customer service and technical support?They're very professional. They usually find the issues, within the first couple of calls. The software support for all the SNAPManager products, sometimes the support is a little iffy on that, but the hardware support and the ONTAP support have always been pretty solid.We had some issues with SNAPManager for Exchange around Snapshots not getting deleted, and it's been an ongoing problem for us. We haven't really come up with a solution yet. That's still been a problem. It's gone around the block a few times in support. In support you get a new guy, they start over with a case, that's been the frustration.Which solutions did we use previously?It was all disk space, it was on a FAS system, it wasn't AFF. We switched because of growth. The amount of IO that we needed from our existing system just couldn't handle it.I felt that NetApp was a little late to the game, but I guess that made them a little bit more mature when they got there. However, I've always been a fan of NetApp, an advocate.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup and it was very straightforward.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at Pure. We looked at some of the Nutanix stuff, but it just wasn't what we needed.What other advice do I have?I have been an advocate of NetApp for a long time. It's a good company, has good equipment, and good support. I am more like to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on my experiences with AFF.Our current AFF is not part of a cluster of NetApp FAS systems, we have other systems that are multi-node clusters.Definitely, heavily look at NetApp and its AFF solution. It's a rock solid platform. That's my recommendation.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: stability and longevity. That's why I'm looking at some of the other Flash providers out there. They haven't been around long enough really for us to know that they're going to be there when we need them. NetApp has been a pretty solid vendor for us.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We spread it out across multiple environments using multiple protocols.What is most valuable?One of the biggest features, that we've been able to use the most, is spreading out across multiple environments using multiple protocols. Getting all flash in place for us has been really helpful in consolidating a lot of those environments down to a single network structure, as opposed to spreading way out, across fiber and copper. That's probably been the biggest thing.How has it helped my organization?Our organization is very VMware ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/VMware ) heavy. Going from old spinning media up to all flash has been a night-and-day difference.What needs improvement?I was at an executive briefing meeting recently. One of the things that I brought up, that I will continuously bring up whenever asked, is that it seems easy enough to upgrade the OS straight from the OnCommand management software, but one thing that seems difficult is updating disk firmware and qual packages. They almost require you to have a TFTP HTTP server in order to download those files. The easiest thing for me would be to have something on the GUI to just grab that package, drop it in and update it. That's what I want to see. I hope they add that; additional ways to update not just the OS but disk and shelf and qual packages and all that other firmware. If there was a central page to just upgrade all of that other stuff in ONTAP, that would be fantastic.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability has been fantastic. We've previously had other vendors for storage, and there have been issues. Ever since we've had the all flash in, we’ve never had a problem.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability seems to be something that is a non-issue anymore. If we need space, we can throw in a shelf. If we need more compute, we can add more nodes to it. That was part of going into the purchase of our all flashes, knowing that we can scale both down and up. We haven't had to yet, but we know that it's there.How is customer service and technical support?We occasionally use technical support; not too often. I did get certified right before we bought it, so I've been able to do a lot of my own. We have a good relationship with our SE and I've been able to reach out to him. We have several resources available to our company. We've used them, but not a lot.When we have used technical support, it's been top-notch.Which solutions did we use previously?I was not that involved in the decision to invest in the All Flash FAS. I do know that, because I did have experience with it, I probably influenced some of the purchasers within my company. They knew that they had somebody on the team that was able to work with it.How was the initial setup?In our particular scenario, we had a failing. We had another vendor storage array that was failing. It was a Hitachi that was all spinning medium. When that went down, we reached out to NetApp. They were able to help us out with CDW to get us loaner equipment while we were purchasing the all flash.There was a little bit of complexity there. However, once we got the all flash in, we were able to cluster it together with the loaner equipment and move everything over on the back end. There was no impact to VMware ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/vmware ), and everything else was as smooth as could be.Which other solutions did I evaluate?At the time, I don't think we were considering any other vendors, only because we were moving towards becoming an all-NetApp shop. This was the go-to thing. We did have a relationship with NetApp before. We had previous spinning FAS arrays. We do have some E-Series and so on. We do have a good relationship with our NetApp reps, so that probably went into a lot of it.What other advice do I have?Offering advice is pretty difficult for me, because there's a lot of good to it. It depends on the application; that is a big thing. Smaller environments can probably benefit more from the E-Series ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-ef-series-all-flash-arrays ). We're multi-client, so having the ability to break it out into SVMs is really helpful. The biggest thing is, if you've got multiple clients and you need to deliver performance to them, the AFF is hard to beat.The two biggest criteria for me when selecting a vendor are knowledgeability and accessibility; being able to reach the people that support us, and having them know exactly what to do. I'm not expecting the first person I call to know it all, but them being able to say, "I know this one person that can help you out." That's good.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-30T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent user experience, the speed enables initiatives to include more databases and reports in the all flashWhat is our primary use case?Our primary usage for All Flash is for the Oracle database.How has it helped my organization?All Flash is improving our organization because we used to have the databases on different tiers and now All Flash is reducing the report time. All of the reports and processing is taking less time, so all the information is ready in the morning for the executives to make decisions.This solution is also bringing up a new initiative for our company to include more databases or more reports into the All Flash because of the speed of getting the information.For enterprise apps, we mostly use Oracle. All of the Oracle applications have been improved a lot since we began using All Flash. All of the processing and ETL, for instance, used to take 25 hours, now it is taking three. That improves a lot of parts of the price of applications.TCO has decreased. After we acquired the AFF 8080, we got a couple of A 700s, and they are cheaper than the 8080.As the main uses for the all-flash we have is for Oracle. For us to provision a new VM with new databases takes 35 minutes exactly.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature for us is the speed of the read of the information. We can get the information as fast as possible.The user experience we are getting from All Flash is excellent. The performance is great. The administration is exactly the same as all the other storage in NetApp which is great. It is very good, we are so pleased.What needs improvement?I would like to see the ability to include more applications from applications to managed storage. If we can have more applications or more interface in more applications, that would be great.For how long have I used the solution?One to three years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is even better with version 9 with all the Oracle databases including OVM, which is a virtualization of the Oracle.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability of the All Flash is the same as the other. We can increase the amount of storage needed as we need it. As we buy them we just add them up with no downtime required. We just go ahead and increase the size, that is it.How is customer service and technical support?NetApp tech support is so good. Their tech support has always been so stable and the people are so good in case of any failure or any good feature that needs to be updated or features that supposedly can help with performance to improve some performance. NetApp support is one of the best that I deal with.What other advice do I have?I would rate this solution a ten for the huge improvement in performance between All Flash and the hybrid storage to the All Flash with the ONTAP 9. From 8.2 to 8.3 to 9, the performance is almost double. Ten is the best answer I can give.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 Pricing is competitive, you can get it up and running quickly, and it's easy to use.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are cost, performance and usability. NetApp’s really good with usability; to get it up and running quickly and usable.How has it helped my organization?We've been using for our internal cloud environments, for internal cloud storage. Response time's very fast. Capacity's very good. Performance is very good; it's quick.What needs improvement?We've only had it in production for about three months, so we don't have a lot of time with it. For what we're using it for, it's been fine. I don't know of any issues or anything that we need to do, that I would request additional features right now, aside from the scalability improvements I’ve mentioned.I know we use external monitoring. There's some level of monitoring on the systems themselves, but we do use a lot of external monitoring, whether it's NetApp versus third party. I know with ONTAP 9, they're working on more monitoring capabilities and more features within the unit, but they don't have that yet. I would like to see more monitoring onboard, on the system, instead of having to throw another third-party system at it.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I've been a NetApp customer for quite a while, at least 12 to 13 years. Stability's never been an issue for any of our systems that I've been associated with; it's been very good. We haven't had any issues with those units, knock on wood, so far; it's been good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability has been OK. We've been scaling them vertically instead of more horizontally because you can only scale the FAS horizontally so far, so we've scaled out vertically.I would like to see them improve its ability to scale vertically. With flash, you can only drive so many IOPS, the controllers can only handle so many IOPS. There's a limit; there's physics, a mathematical limit that they can do.How is customer service and technical support?It's been a long time since I've actually called technical support with a case. I try not to call tech support. At my level, I usually need something like a third-level support. You call in, you have to say what your issue is, they can't help you and then they have to pass it to the next person and then usually it's third level. Usually, it's a third-level, advanced person that I would need to speak to.They've been fine. Once you get to that level, someone that's knowledgeable, support's fine.Which solutions did we use previously?In this environment, we were using spinning disks. When we needed to expand capacity, that's when we decided to go with all flash, and NetApp made it very price competitive. They were trying to push those units, so it was worthwhile to get flash instead of more spinning disks.How was the initial setup?NetApp's initial setup is very straightforward. It's very easy to get up and running within a day, as long as you have the cabling in place and the power, but that's outside of NetApp's control. Once you have that infrastructure in place and they come on site, it's very easy to get up and running within a day.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before choosing the All Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ), I also considered Hitachi. We chose NetApp because NetApp is in our internal cloud, and that's what we were expanding. We didn't see the need to switch vendors at that point. NetApp's easier than Hitachi HNAS to get up and running.For my manager, price is the most important criteria when selecting a vendor to work with. NetApp's been very competitive with pricing over the last 2-3 years.NetApp's features are easier, and the capabilities are a lot more advanced than Hitachi and other vendors that we look at. The software's much more mature than the other vendors. That's why I like NetApp. It's easy to use. It's easy to get down to what you want to do with it; the features and capabilities are there.What other advice do I have?Everybody pretty much can do the same. The issue is how complicated it is to get to what you're really trying to do. That's the one thing that I've seen. NetApp does a good job. They're much more mature, as I’ve mentioned. It's easy to drill down to get to the data, get it set up and get it configured, and it works.We've only been using it three months. We haven't hit any issues with it yet; I can't say that we won't, but I'm not expecting to.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-27T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It provides sub-millisecond latency, especially with SQL and Exchange.Improvements to My OrganizationWe switched over from an EMC array that didn't have dedupe. Now with the AFF model, we were able to do compression and deduplication across the board. I think it's like a 4-to-1 compression rate.For example, we did probably about 20 TB of space and in the EMC side, it was about, I would say 70 TB but we're not even finished yet.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Valuable FeaturesOne of the things that we like is the sub-millisecond latency that we find, especially with SQL and Exchange. Everything's working faster than it did on our previous unit.Room for ImprovementI would like to see them improve the GUI. It's not really AFF; it's across the board. The GUI is a little antiquated in my opinion. Looking at the other GUIs like the HP, which we've used, and also the Unisphere for EMC, they look a little bit snappier. The NetApp GUI looks a little old.Also, the way you create storage, where you have to create a volume and then a LUN underneath it is kind of, in my opinion, a waste of time. If it could just do it in one shot, that would be easier.Stability IssuesWe haven't had any stability issues, but we've only had the product for about two or three months. It's stable; so far, so good.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Previous SolutionsWe recently moved from EMC to NetApp. We were pretty much running out of space on our current infrastructure for storage and we knew that we needed something else.Initial SetupInitial setup was straightforward, but it was because we used professional services, to have somebody come in and let us drive as they guided us. The console is pretty basic, but the professional services answered all of our questions, which made it easier for us.Other Solutions ConsideredWe did a bake-off with HP, NetApp and EMC, and picked the NetApp solution. ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas )Pricing was a pretty big reason we chose NetApp, but it wasn't up-front pricing; it was pricing across the four or five years that we were going to keep the unit. We also chose them because of the amount of IOPS sent and the sub-millisecond latency requirement we had given them for performance metrics. Also, we were able to just add discs rather than add controllers, which we had to do with the HP and the EMC.Generally, when we choose a vendor, we pretty much always go with Gartner because if we have the service, why not use it? NetApp is always up there, along with the other ones that I mentioned. That helped out a lot, along with the sales reps, of course. The technical team for both sides and the things that other customers say about it.Other AdviceDefinitely use professional services, because there are a lot of moving parts and they can guide you through the best practices. If you are going to do it, give your current performance metrics to NetApp or whoever else, so that they can see how much storage you're using, how much it would be if it went through the dedupe scenarios and also what your response time should be at the end of everything.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-16T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It has sped up our IOPS and made it a lot easier for usersWhat is our primary use case?We do storage across the United States.How has it helped my organization?We have SQL clusters across the United States. It has sped up our IOPS and made it a lot easier for users.What is most valuable?* Uptime* Ease of useWhat needs improvement?I would like them to roll in global monitoring instead of having to buy another product for it. If it was built into the solution, that would be awesome.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We haven't had any issues, so far.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We are scaling up to the new solution. We haven't had a lot of scalability yet. We are looking forward to what it can do.How is customer service and technical support?Our technical support experience hasn't been very good. However, we are hoping with our new contract that it will be a lot better.Which solutions did we use previously?We were using HPE EVAs, which are very clunky and old, so we moved over to NetApp.We were just bought out by another company who has been using Dell EMC. They're not happy with that solution, so we brought them into NetApp.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was a little complex, because we weren't very knowledgeable in the NetApp at the time. We were using a third-party, and they didn't have a lot of technical individuals, so it took a while to get it out.What about the implementation team?We used a reseller, EVOLTECH. It has been okay so far. There are not a lot of technical individuals with their group.What was our ROI?From an application standpoint, we have seen a lot of return investment on the speeds and responsiveness of the actual storage.Which other solutions did I evaluate?NetApp and Pure Storage were on our final shortlist. NetApp just came in with a better price point that my VPs and CIO couldn't refuse.What other advice do I have?Do your research. There are a lot of different storage vendors who have a lot things which are good. Pick the one that you feel is best for you.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We moved from an old 7-mode cluster using old SAS drives to a new all-flash pool, mostly for performance purposes.Valuable FeaturesWhen I’m looking at a vendor to work with, I'll be blunt: I don't want to worry about it. I don't have to deal with it. I don't want to work with it a whole lot. I'd like it to be, "I have a use for it and I want it to do that". I don't want to have to do a lot of configuration, tweaking or perpetual updates and patches. NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ), specifically, was very, very good about one-time patches, no-downtime patches. They work well from a it-just-works standpoint. I can't always say that about all my vendors.Room for ImprovementThere is room for improvement in the migration step. The no-copy copy has a lot of caveats. We felt like they weren't brought up early in the process. They were gotchas as we moved through the process. None of them were earth shattering or show stopping, but they often resulted in another night of work, another evening worth of work, or we had to shut down this over the weekend to make this happen, that we weren’t really planning on. That would be the change, but that's just at this point.These setup hangups are why I’m not giving it a perfect rating. It’s close to being perfect, but I am going to have to round down in this situation.For more detail:We had a head fail – fortunately everything failed over as expected, but obviously having a system that’s less than 4 months old fail is hard.Post hardware repair the new head needed a manual intervention to get all of its firmware where it needed to be, which did cause a downtime for CIFS users. We were able to schedule for after hours, but downtime is not something we ever really want in our storage systems.Stability IssuesSo far, it is a stable solution. We haven’t had it that particularly long. We haven't had many issues with it.Scalability IssuesIt’s met our scaling needs.Data is growing everywhere, so we’ll work with the data we’ve picked up and it will help us for the next calendar year. I fully expect we'll need to add more more shelves within a year.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support is excellent. They are very responsive to our questions. As I’ve mentioned, we did a 7-mode cluster transition; there was a lot of learning on our side and they have been very patient with keeping us informed, getting us up to date on what we need to do on the storage side end.Previous SolutionsWe're still in the VMware ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/vmware ) environment but we moved from an old 7-mode cluster using old SAS drives to a new all-flash pool ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-flash-array-storage ), mostly for performance purposes. We had some expectations and we're blown away. They all paid off, to the point the users actually saw big changes as well. We knew we'd see things on the back end, but we weren’t sure they would trickle down to the end user.Initial SetupInitial setup was both straightforward and complex. We used their tool that provides a no-file-copy copy. The goal was to switch all of our existing shelves to our totally new heads. It was sold as being fairly painless, no-change process. In practice, there were a fair number of changes, a fair number of tweaks, but that's from a purely time perspective. The amount of time it would have taken us to actually copy the data was nothing compared to the hour of downtime that we actually had to do the head shelf. From that perspective, from a user’s perspective, everything paid off quite well. From the admin side, there was a little bit more work than just turning off a switch and flipping a switch.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helps with application performance due to storage efficiencyWhat is most valuable?Performance.How has it helped my organization?* Application performance* Less capacity required due to storage efficiencyWhat needs improvement?More performance features. We need our jobs to run faster.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Yes, it is stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Yes, it is scalable.How is customer service and technical support?Helpful for troubleshooting.Which solutions did we use previously?We did not have a previous solution. We chose NetApp because we have other NetApp systems.How was the initial setup?It was an easy setup. It was done very quickly.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2017-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Provides low latency and high performance, but cloud retrieval needs improvementWhat is our primary use case?We have a range of customers, from manufacturing to oil & gas, in Malaysia. We have been using NetApp for quite some time, but now performance is a big issue for our customers, along with other challenges for them, so they are opting to go to All Flash.NetApp is doing a good job of delivering to and satisfying customers. All Flash cloud technology has helped them a lot.How has it helped my organization?We try to provide a value-added proposition to customers, as a partner to NetApp. Most of them have been dealing with us for quite some time, five to ten years. They've been using a traditional base of NetApps and some other products. We have transitioned some of our customers from other companies' products to NetApp.It provides our customers with a secure, fast, and always reliable solution. It also definitely affects the ability of our clients' IT departments to support new business initiatives because things become simplified for them, easier to deploy and to get off the ground faster. It gives them more flexibility to scale in the future.In terms of it helping to improve performance of enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs, I have one customer that is running SAP on NetApp. The performance improved about 40 to 45 percent. That was a great improvement for the IT infrastructure services team.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are the low latency and high-performance. Some of our customers are dealing with seismic data from the oil & gas industry, so they need data extracted and transported to the application faster. That's one reason we bring in All Flash.What needs improvement?We'd like to see improvement in the time to retrieve from the cloud, whether it's on-prem to cloud and whether it's public or private cloud. That's the most important thing we need.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We don't have many issues related to the appliance itself. In terms of the OS, we do have some hiccups here and there. Our support team and the technical support from NetApp are able to handle that.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?At this point in time, a few customers are looking at scaling it. Since NetApp provides vast scalability, whether they scale up or scale out, it gives them better flexibility.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is good. We have not had to involve them much. Most of the first-level and second-level cases are handled by us because we have a range of certified engineers. Only if it's really a critical issue that urgently needs an expert to dive in, then we will engage them NetApp support.Which solutions did we use previously?We have customers who are not NetApp customers. We teach them what the capabilities and challenges are. Our main goal is to comply with and meet our customers' challenges. If NetApp really fits their needs, we move on from there. In a case where we need to transition the whole infrastructure from a different storage brand to NetApp, we'll do that.If the customer is an existing user, it's easier for us to convince them. If they're a non-NetApp user, it takes time because we have to do proofs of concept to justify it to them. If they agree technically, then the commercial conversation starts. Normally, the commercial conversion does not take that long, because the technical team has agreed to the solution.How was the initial setup?The initial setup is straightforward. It is GUI-assisted. There are a lot of step-by-step guides, which are easy for certified engineers to follow. That makes things simple and we are able to make a good impression on our customers.What about the implementation team?We are an integrator and a consultant for our clients.What was our ROI?For some of our customers, within one-and-a-half years, they get a return on investment. One year after the deployment, the customer will either scale up or scale out. That will give the customer's site a better footprint.What other advice do I have?First thing first, I would advise you to gather the exact requirements and challenges. Try to blend those requirements with the NetApp solution, or part of the product, that suits you. Doing so will create a better engagement in the discussion. Otherwise, it could be very difficult to say that NetApp is the best product for the use case.It takes less than half a day to set up and provision enterprise applications using the solution.So far we have not connected any of our customers to public clouds. We have some challenges in Malaysia where some of the data, especially from the banks but also from the government and oil & gas, can't go out of the country. So we are not able to do that. In those cases, usually our customers will engage a managed services provider locally in Malaysia.I give this solution a seven out of ten. There's still a long way to go and there are a lot of new start-up companies that also provide all-flash and hybrid. For some of our customers' applications, the new solutions are better.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2018-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for virtualization of the Xen desktops and also our VMware systems.Valuable FeaturesIt's fast. That's all it needs to be is fast.We use it for virtualization of the Xen desktops and also our VMware systems. That's it.Improvements to My OrganizationIt doesn't improve the way I work. I don't get to use it, really.It's faster than spinning disk. I don't have people complaining about it being slow. We're still ramping up in the production but our busy season is a little bit later this year. Right now, it's faster than spinning disk.Room for ImprovementIn the GUI, I'd like to be able to click a button that says "sync load-sharing mirrors". There are certain configuration things that you can't do if your load-sharing mirrors aren't synced. It would be easier to click that in the GUI, rather than actually issue the command line every time. It's burnt me a few times on configuration.When we did our upgrade, if we could have done it without doing a whole migration; the migration was painful. Going from 7-mode to CDOT is painful. To make that easier is the only way to get the rating higher.Use of SolutionWe have been using it for six months.Stability IssuesWe haven't had any stability issues yet. It's only six months old so I would hope there's no hardware issues with it yet.Scalability IssuesWe haven't had to scale it yet, so right now it's a relatively new install.Customer Service and Technical SupportTheir technical support's good. Most of the questions haven't been in regards to the AFF hardware; it's all been more configuration with the ONTAP, the CDOT. They've been helpful. We're getting through the issues.Previous SolutionsThis was just a hardware replacement and the promotional deals that NetApp had to offer basically made buying an AFF solution comparable to buying an old spinning disk solution, so it was a combination. We have two nodes that have spinning disks and two nodes that are AFF. To have the whole thing spinning disk, the difference in price made it a no-brainer going with part of it being AFF.Initial SetupThe networking is extremely complex. They advertise it as pretty simple but you have to get through a big install phase before it becomes simple. That's my impression.To prepare for that install phase and make it a little less complex, make sure your NetApp partner knows what they're doing, by talking to people.Other Solutions ConsideredWe go through different vendors depending on what we're looking at. Last time, it was Hitachi, EMC and NetApp. One reason we decided on NetApp was that we were replacing a NetApp. We had high confidence it was going to work. Then, its pricing.Other AdviceThe NetApp partner you're working with is important. Understand what you're trying to do and the networking stuff, to make sure that it fails over and everything works from a networking standpoint. I'm guessing it's probably where it's the weakest, so it's the most frustrating for me.When I look for a vendor for a solution such as AFF or spinning disk, we put together requirements, check them off and weigh the requirements against the vendors. In the end, we make a decision and we also make sure they're comparable in regards to pricing. Quotes are pulled from multiple vendors.The requirements depend on the application. We buy our storage for specific stuff. As an example, I work at Jostens. We store billions of images. The NetApp product line really wasn't a fit for that, but for our home directories, some of our virtualization desktop stuff and our VMware stuff, NetApp was a great fit.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We need the flash. We need the IOPS.What is most valuable?Performance; that's the whole reason we use it. We have both FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-fas-series ) and AFF ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ). Everything on our production site's running on AFF. That's the pure and simple reason: we need the flash, we need the IOPS. That's what it gives us.I've had no issues with it. As a storage admin, it makes my job easy.How has it helped my organization?We get increased performance; a lot more stability. We don't have to worry; when Black Friday sales rolled around and our website goes down because we can't handle it. We were storage-bound in the past and AFF fixed it.What needs improvement?As far as my role's concerned, everything is handled pretty easily, especially with ONTAP; management's simple.Compared to other systems I've used, the UI is much easier. I don't have too much of a problem with it, as long as you follow the documentation.The GUI's pretty simple to me. I don't think it's that bad. I try and use command line whenever possible, but the GUI's not bad. I'm sure if I sat down, I could think of some things I would really like to have added to the GUI, or maybe make a little simpler to see in the command line. There's always – once in a while – some command that's formatted really stupidly in command line and it's hard to get an accurate view out of it.What do I think about the stability of the solution?As far as NetApp, we have not had any stability issues from it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-fas-series/by_topic/scalability_issues ) has been good so far. We have several data centers. We have no problems scaling it out.How is customer service and technical support?I have had to use technical support a few times. They're always good. We even have a resident on-site with us and the resident's been great, helping us find new solutions, things like that.Which solutions did we use previously?We previously had a FAS and then we also had an IBM flash storage array. The IBM was not as reliable. We had several hardware issues with it. Then our NetApp sales rep came to us with the AFF. We had a pretty long-existing relationship with NetApp already, so we decided just to try and concentrate on NetApp solutions. It's worked out very well for us so far.How was the initial setup?My role in the initial setup was only plugging it in, basically. It's pretty straightforward, especially with the fancy little map you get with the hardware. It was pretty easy.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We have an architect who looked at something from EMC, as well, but we're very well-ingrained with NetApp right now.What other advice do I have?Follow best practices. Your best practices do a good job of laying out the very best way of doing it, usually, for most environments, at least.When I’m choosing a vendor, I look at the amount of storage I’m getting for my money, the features I’m getting with that money, the support that we're getting with it, ease of use, management, and so on. What are we going to have the ability to do? What's controlled by the software/firmware? That kind of thing. We found all of those things in NetApp with AFF. As I’ve mentioned, management's been really easy for us; the ONTAP software's been great.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 Our business is growing, so we don’t know exactly what to expect and we throw things at our network that are new. The AFF gives us the expansion we need later on without buying more controllers.Valuable FeaturesIt's great that software monitoring is all in one place instead of in different modules. It also provides us with real-time metrics.We went from a FAS 2040 to an AFF 8040, and the evolution has blown us away. The deduplication technology that it gives us means that we are getting more storage for our money. It's a better value than disc drives.Also, clustered Data ONTAP is valuable to us.Improvements to My OrganizationIt gives us a platform that is reliable going forward. We only had one outage on the 2040 in five years, and we are expecting similar from the 8040. Our business is growing, so we don’t know exactly what to expect and we throw things at our network that are new. The new flash gives us the expansion we need later on without having to buy more controllers.Room for ImprovementIt would be nice to see a 1 GB portal for networking on the back rather than just the 10 GB that we can use as a backup. If we have an issue with the 10 GB, we can have the 1 GB cable as a backup while we fix the issue while running them in pairs.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for three months for VMs, SQL, file storage, email, some Oracle databases, and SharePoint.Deployment IssuesWe've not had any issues with deployment.Stability IssuesWe’ve done transfers, migrations, data copies in and out, and it hasn’t flinched. It's very stable.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: 10/10. We haven’t had to use it yet for the AFF, but with the FAS they were excellent.Technical Support: Technical support is excellent.Previous SolutionsWe use HP’s servers and are happy with them, but when we upgraded to flash for FAS, we looked only at NetApp and the other options that were potentially cheaper, but decided on NetApp in the end because we were happy with them.Initial SetupInitial setup was straightforward. There is only a small amount of NFS and the rest of it is CIF, so setup is very simple.Implementation TeamWe used a vendor team who were 10/10.ROIIt will probably be within 12 month when we make back what we spent on this product in terms of the storage increase we’ve got. It's given us an increase in overall performance, which means we utilize less resources because it's quicker.Pricing, Setup Cost and LicensingWith the networking changes, the costs were £140,000. There were some very harsh negotiations going on, and they got this order 12 minutes before the end of their deadline for their end of year.Other Solutions ConsideredWe looked at Tegile, Violin, and Nimble. It came down to the management of the FAS itself, and the others seem slightly less mature in the market. It came down to trusting what we know works.Other AdviceIt's quite a jump for us from where we are coming from. Try not to think of it as a complex item. Instead, think of it in terms of what you want it to do and what the business needs it to do rather than putting the kitchen sink in it at the start.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It integrates with the NAS solutions we use. Bugs need to be addressed at a much earlier level.What is most valuable?It's an all-flash array and it integrates with the NAS solutions we use; that's a key part. We were looking at the different arrays. For example, SolidFire doesn't integrate with the NAS. Our solution mainly focuses on the NAS part of it, so we we're looking for a high-performance array. AFF basically is geared to those needs, apart from the base services which come with the NetApp product.How has it helped my organization?It has improved, in terms of latency and performance issues we were having on the spinning media; those will be gone. We can sell the customer what they need; all customers.What needs improvement?I haven't thought much about additional features or improvements. We’ve only been using the product for a short period of time; the main part is that it integrates with the NAS solutions and all the backups, SMVI, we would like to do. We're happy as of now.Maybe thinking from my current problems or customers is why I can’t really think of anything. Maybe our environment is not as challenging as others. That could be a reason that we're not looking for extra things.An example of something that is lacking, not necessarily for the AFF, as such, and that we might not have faced, is that in the FAS series, we were told about the faster 3200, if we get into an issue wherein it’s looking at a cluster interconnect, we need to basically replace some motherboard. Sometimes even doing a failover and give back wasn't even possible. We had to do a forced takeover and give back, and we basically corrupted couple of databases; it went to that extent. Hopefully, those are not issues in AFF. We haven't faced that yet but you never know until you actually use the product for a while.Basically, they could do better in terms of software integration. There are a lot of features that, when we try to do it or, when NetApp tries to do it, they come across a lot of bugs which could affect us as customers.Bugs need to be addressed at a much earlier level. There could be more QA done at NetApp itself before they get it out as a product.For how long have I used the solution?We have been using it for three months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not been using AFF for a long time, but the FAS series has been stable. We had issues with the 3200 series, wherein motherboards needed to be replaced under certain conditions, which we didn't like. We had to take some hits on that. Otherwise, if we go to the higher-end arrays, they're very stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?There haven’t been that many issues. We do not have a lot of performance issues or demands, so we haven’t had many issues, in terms of scalability or performance.How is customer service and technical support?We have used technical support. Whether it's a hardware or software issue, we do use it. We use it through a partner, if not directly with NetApp. They're helpful. It’s generally been a good experience with technical support.Which solutions did we use previously?We were previously using the FAS series with spinning media.One of the key factors in our decision to move to a new solution was that NetApp was marketing it very well. We were running five-year-old hardware and we were about to do a tech refresh on them. We looked at spinning media, FAS and the AFF solution. AFF was making some sense cost-wise and performance-wise, so that's why we went to AFF.How was the initial setup?We used professional services from another vendor for the initial setup, so we didn't feel it was that difficult.The training for AFF was not difficult; it wasn't complicated.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at Tintri for the VM piece of it. Finally, we went to the AFF.In general, when I’m choosing a vendor, I look at what kind of products or aspects of the product we are looking for, whether they satisfy that or not, as well as performance. Third but not least is the cost, as well as how much difference it is from our current NetApp solution because our staff needs to be trained on that.What other advice do I have?It does integrate; if you know the FAS series platform, it's not much different if you know CDOT. It's not much different doing implementation.Determine which volumes need to go where; do that preparation from the customer’s perspective: how they want to use the product rather than how to deploy a product.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 High availability and improved performance are key featuresHow has it helped my organization?* Improves performance* reduces CPU usage* Efficient use of RAMWhat is most valuable?* Price/performance* High availabilityWhat needs improvement?Stability could be improved.For how long have I used the solution?Three to five years.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?No issues with scalability.How is customer service and technical support?In the first years it was great, after that it has become worse.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?NetApp is getting too expensive.Which other solutions did I evaluate?HPE 3PAR.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2017-12-10T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Speed is the most valuable feature. It supports all of protocols that we need.What is most valuable?I would say the speed is the most valuable feature; the performance. It's a lot faster than any other drives out there ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/nas ).What needs improvement?I don't know if we will be looking at more features because our company, the in-house environment, has been looking into going cloud, so it's not just NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ). We need to look at cloud-based solutions ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/cloud-storage ), too.See my initial setup answer as well.For how long have I used the solution?I have been using it for almost one year.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's been pretty stable. We've been using NetApp for 15 or 20 years now and we are more or less used to it. It's been stable; a lot of filers. Even when they go off support, sometimes we keep using it and they keep running.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Now with the CDOT solution, they definitely have made it scalable.We use it in a lot of other venues, engineering or non-engineering. Earlier there was an issue where you were limited but after introducing CDOT, I don’t think scalability is an issue now.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support depends on what kind of support you buy from them. If it's a four-hour response time, then definitely, we have been given pretty good support. I think we have been getting consistent support.It's not about finding one guy on the phone; you have the whole team behind it. If something is not acceptable to us, then we go ahead and escalate it to our sales team and then they drive it through. Sometimes you have to take some exceptions and escalate it.How was the initial setup?In the pre-CDOT era, upgrades were a nightmare. Replacing a node was not an easy thing to do and getting downtime was not an easy thing to do. After CDOT, I'm hoping we won't be running into that situation.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We've been using NetApp for a long time and our environment is already using all the NetApp features that they have been providing so buying AFF from them was an easy pick actually.What other advice do I have?When I select a vendor such as NetApp to work with, I don’t look just at the performance; I look at reliability, scalability, replication, disaster recovery; to be able to do this all efficiently, plus their SnapMirroring ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-snapmirror ) and snapshotting capability. We've been used to whatever features NetApp provides and when we look at any other storage company, they have certain pieces here and there but they say, we don't this or don’t do that.What we see is that NetApp supports all of protocols that we need: NAS, SAN, iSCSI. It's all in one, all together.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-23T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Its ability to handle the load which we throw at itHow has it helped my organization?Ease of use: We're familiar with the NetApp platform and ONTAP. We're comfortable with the tool sets that it has. We've been trained on it as a group for quite sometime. We started out with IBM-branded NetApp with 7-mode. We've grown from 7-mode all the way into ONTAP 9.0. The cross training amongst players or team members allows us to help each other with issues that we deal with on a regular basis. We find that there's a lot of value in that.We use it for a storage location for Riverbed centralized storage. We use it for VMware, VMFS volumes, and for our VMware platform. We also use it for iSCSI and for regular RDM server storage. We use it primarily for block-related storage.We use it for multiple apps. It's enterprise-wide. We have eMARs. We have what they call the Obamacare Exchange running on it, and HBE for the State of Kentucky. We have a lot of VMware running on it, which have 1000s of servers that their VMDK files are nested in VMFS volumes which run on the AFF8080.One of the primary reasons that we went with the AFF was because of the dedupe, the compression, and that it's not software-based, but it's hardware-based. It's inline.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?* Performance* Integration into the ONTAP* The cost of the product itselfWith the compression and dedupe, it's not necessarily a one-to-one gigabyte for gigabyte, where the compression and the dedupe allow you to buy a lot less, but to obtain a lot more storage capacity at the same time, hence getting the performance of SSD but they are not impacted by the two components of dedupe and compression. In summary, they don't get in the way of the performance of the product.What needs improvement?I would like to see a little more integration with some of the core fundamental components of OCI as part of the ONTAP OnCommand Manager, instead of it just being either all OnCommand Unified Manager or being able to see OCI and all of that it does. With what we pay for a node-pair and the OnCommand Unified manager, there ought to be at least a third of that integration in performance monitoring and alerting, and there's a lot there, don't get me wrong. We've got all the alerting and everything, but there should be a little more of the OCI bundled into the OnCommand Unified Manager.In future versions, since we own every license that NetApp has except SnapLock. I would like to see SnapLock integrated into the platform, and not be an additional cost for a license.We had every license when we purchased our platform. We're a major player in NetApp when you consider our total platform, as far as all the data that we manage is around about 12.5 to 13 petabytes. When you consider the size of our investment into NetApp, whether it's the AltaVault storage grid, E-Series 2800, FAS8060, 8080, or the AFF8700, we have a substantial purchase into all of their products at both the Commonwealth datacenter and also the alternate datacenter. When you consider we own every license that they have, except the SnapLock, and that's the one that we need the most right now for our stakeholders' legal purposes.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's pretty good overall. With the auto-supports and the support SEs which are on staff when stuff goes bad and we have bad hard drives, we found that it's a pretty stable platform.Also, all storage platforms have issues. There's things that go wrong with all storage platforms. There's no magic platform out there, but the response of the NetApp support staff, engineering, the ticketing, and the people whom help when you call in a ticket, they're very responsive and that also has a great value.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's very scalable. Right now, at our primary site, we have four FAS8060 nodes. We have two node-pairs of 8080, and we're adding an additional node-pair of 8080 along with a node-pair of A700. At an alternate data site, we've got a node-pair of 8060 and a node-pair of 8080. We're adding a node-pair of 80200. For the upgrade at the primary site, the only portion of that would be considered risky is it has to go through change control when replacing the intercluster switch. Because we're expanding beyond the capacity of the original switch that we purchased, and it's very scalable, and we like the product.How is customer service and technical support?They're always very good. Whether I contact them online or whether I call in, they're very diligent in following up and making sure issues have been resolved before they close the ticket.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?We have multiple platforms. We have EMC, VNX7600s, and we just got rid of a VNX5600 and 5400 that were not able to keep up with the compute for what we were driving through them. We had on one of those systems, the VNX5600, we had 250 terabytes of free space that couldn't be utilized because the processing power on the platform couldn't keep up with what we needed. It was over-utilized, therefore we went with NetApp because it has the ability to handle the load that we throw at it.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial setup. It was somewhat complex, because we did cutover from 7-mode, where we stood up a brand new platform, were having to move the data from one to the other, and were dealing with the outages that were involved, but also going from the seven-mode to the ONTAP and the clustering and how it is different.I also do a lot of the infrastructure, as far as the fabric management, the ports, the trunks, and the fiber-connections from the NetApp platform or the NetApp cluster to the IBM Brocade Branded Directors. I do all of it: the zoning and the fabric management. It's very detailed and very complex. You have to really know what you're doing in order to get that set up properly. It is not on NetApp. That's just in general. If it was any system, you would have that to deal with.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Every time we go through an upgrade process or we have a new purchase, we look at what functionality is offered by each vendor/manufacturer and we don't purchase based on fidelity to a single vendor. It has to be based on:* Monetarily does it make sense for us to go with that vendor. Are they willing to work with us on the price?* What they're offering. Does it give us what we need?* Does it allow us scalability in what we're doing?We just got finished purchasing a new node-pair of 8080, AFF8700, and an 8200. If Unity would have come in at a comparable price, we could have gone with them. We didn't simply because of the scalability of the product.What other advice do I have?Look for these three major components when researching a similar product:* Supportability with tech support* Scalability* The stability of the platforms.As far as AFF, we've had far better response and longevity of the actual drives themselves because they don't wear out as fast as a spindle drive does. I would say don't go with spindle. Go with All Flash unless it's archive.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* Supportability* Performance* Scalability.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-18T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Because of the cloning and snapshots that we do, we are getting a high data efficiency ratio out of our production arrayWhat is our primary use case?NetApp is our primary storage device for our line of business. We use NetApp as our primary storage device and also for our DR.We are a workers' comp insurance company that has been in business for a 120 years.How has it helped my organization?It has helped us improve the performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics and VMs across the board. We recently upgraded from a FAS3250 platform to the AFF A300 all-flash array. Batch times went from approximately seven hours down to about two and a half. Functionality during the day, such as taking or removing snapshots and cloning instances, is higher than it has ever been.We are employing the native encryption on disk along with NVMe. Therefore, it is a more secure solution. Our user experience and performance have been remarkably better as well.A lot of application administrators have a lot more time. We have been able to do some things that we were unable to do before, so it has helped streamline our business a lot.What is most valuable?We enjoy the native built-in replication and the snapshot functionality (to take snapshots).What needs improvement?I just got through the session where it looks like they are going to support Oracle running on Linux with SnapCenter. That is one of the main things that we are hoping to get integrated.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?NetApp has always been a stable platform with very few problems at all.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It is very scalable. Because of the cloning and snapshots that we do, we are getting a data efficiency ratio out of our production array of about 32:1, which is a high ratio. So, we took quite a bit of data and shrunk it down in size, letting it scale out better.We are going to be adding another shelf to it, but storage to the NetApp application has always been easy to do. We usually do it ourselves without getting a third-party contractor involved.How is customer service and technical support?NetApp's support has always been top-notch. I haven't met anyone in the NetApp institution who hasn't been a remarkably intelligent, easy-going person to work with. It is amazing. Everyone from their support crews to their sales engineers are good. We have a good relationship with them.Which solutions did we use previously?A big guiding point for upgrading hardware of any type now is to look at the support costs. If support costs get high enough, it financially doesn't make any sense to not upgrade.Usually once a new technology matures enough, you can look at TCO and decide to make the decision to move ahead. So, we invested in this solution because of costs and the technology improved to the point where we knew it would be stable.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was very straightforward. It was intuitive to set up storage volumes and get the networking functioning. Their engineer was very helpful. We got the current array on our production site the very same day it was shipped in. We had it up on the network and started to put some storage on it.What about the implementation team?We used a NetApp professional services for this deployment. It worked out really well. We had involvement of several different support engineers to help with all aspects of the rollout.What was our ROI?The total cost of ownership has decreased a great deal. As far as percentages, it's hard to gauge, but we did have quite a few personnel staying up, making sure batches ran well every night. Now, batches are being done by 8:00 in the evening, so we don't have to do that anymore. When you start adding the employee hours that we have for people working in the off-hours, and it is not an issue anymore, I suspect TCO might have gone down 25 percent.Setting up storage for an application (storage provisioning) is quick and easy. Maybe a quarter of the time is now spent getting the application up and running, or even less.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We also talked to Tegile and HPE, but nobody else offered up the functionality or snapshots. It was a no-brainer.What other advice do I have?We have been an NetApp customer for about ten years and have enjoyed the relationship a lot.The important thing for anybody to check out is the snapshot functionality of NetApp, and how well it works to provision for backup. It also provisions test environments with it. There are so many advantages to the way they do snapshots compared to other companies, and they have all these wondrous tool sets to leverage the snapshot functionality. Anybody who is looking into a storage solution needs to look at all of the attributes to the NetApp platform.Connecting it to public cloud is our next project. We are looking at DR using NetApp cloud services, so that will probably be coming up first quarter of next year.We are looking at a new series arrays for our building video security storage as well, and there is no doubt that we will be going with NetApp. NetApp just does a solid job, and their support is top-notch.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-24T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enables us to provide an easily automated solution using REST APIsWhat is our primary use case?We have a multi-tenant shared solution that we use with Quality of Service to provide bare metal as a service and IP storage to our customers. We keep it very simple. It's an automated solution which customers configure on a portal and then it automatically configures storage for them.How has it helped my organization?The solution has drastically and positively affected IT's ability to support new business initiatives. It's a very easily automated solution using REST APIs.Combined with OnCommand, the solution the solution helps improve the performance of our enterprise applications.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the ability to do QoS and keep customers from harming other customers in that solution.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable. We have not yet had any issues. All solutions have issues, but we have not yet had any with this one.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We scale up to 64 nodes in a cluster and then we just keep scaling clusters. We've had no issues with scalability.How is customer service and technical support?We've been a partner of NetApp for a very long time. Their support is very good. We use a lot of direct NetApp engineering resources, as a partner at our scale. We tend to work hand in hand with NetApp.Which solutions did we use previously?For our use case, we were automating what we were doing so we chose to use the All Flash REST APIs.How was the initial setup?Our initial setup involved a lot of development. It was complex mainly because we had to make it simple. We had to simplify it for our own customers, so it was complex for us but it's a very easy solution for enterprises.What was our ROI?The solution is too new for us to see ROI yet.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Dell EMC was our other option. Both Dell EMC and NetApp are partners of ours. We went with NetApp because of relationships and ease of set up.What other advice do I have?It's a pretty stout solution. NVMe is coming and pretty much everything we want is on their roadmap.In terms of connecting it to public cloud, we are a public cloud so we connect to ourselves. When it comes to setting up and provisioning enterprise applications using the solution, it depends on the customer use case. Some are quick, some are really complex.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2018-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It promises to deliver lower-latency throughput. We haven't put it through its paces yet.What is most valuable?It promises to deliver lower-latency throughput to our database servers. We're pretty confident that we can take advantage because we've built out a new, lower-latency network. To date, we've migrated one SQL server ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/sql-server ) workload, a fairly large one, on to it. We haven't really put it through its paces yet, but we like what we see so far.How has it helped my organization?We expect more capacity so that we could move more of our workload on without having to make some of the tougher choices about what gets moved and what doesn't; what gets moved off of spinning disk.We're actually delving in to it, moving our large Oracle workloads on there. However, we don't want to necessarily move all of those components on. There are some that clearly might not benefit from All-Flash FAS. Being that there's a premium cost, a premium right now, and we only have one array, we need to be judicious in what we cut over. The smaller database environments are a given. Also, we'll be moving some of our VMware, more performance-sensitive workloads, onto that.What needs improvement?I’m not even educated enough. That's why I went to a NetApp Insight conference: to learn some of the details of flash. We're not so concerned about the value proposition of deduplication, compression. I know there are a lot of benefits of capacity. That's not our primary concern. However, as time goes on, that's going to be more and more of an issue.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability-wise, it's fine.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability has not come up yet. Obviously, we haven't been able to scale anywhere.How is customer service and technical support?We have not yet needed to use technical support.Which solutions did we use previously?We were previously using SAS and SATA. That said, with our Oracle environment, no one's been complaining. We've been getting quite satisfactory throughput. We just migrated from 7-mode, all on spinning disk, to Clustered ONTAP on newer hardware, smarter back-end aggregate design. We've really implemented more of the NetApp best practices. Actually, we're getting great performance out of our traditional arrays. For us, it's really a matter of education about how to deploy the All-Flash FAS units.How was the initial setup?Given the advanced disk partitioning and ONTAP 8.3, that was a small learning curve, but that's not unique to flash. Actually, it was pretty simple to set up. The fact that we have a heterogeneous disk type in the array made it simple. Our choice of aggregate type was very simple. Basically, we split the unit, an 8060. We split the capacity across both heads. It was pretty much a vanilla roll out.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?We were able to get good pricing; it was part of a larger acquisition. Other than that, if this were a standalone purchase, pricing would definitely be an issue. When we were pricing the AFF separately and comparing that to the other big company, a year ago, it really looked like the NetApp offering was very costly.Which other solutions did I evaluate?The last purchasing cycle, two years ago, it came down to a bake-off between EMC and NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/comparisons/dell-emc-xtremio-flash-storage_vs_netapp-all-flash-fas ). We've been a NetApp customer for quite a while, so our skill set is heavily invested there. Also, we're about a 50% file-based shop as opposed to block, so NetApp is a pretty good fit. I like their file solutions more so than EMC, that it's all integrated. It's not a bolt-on appliance.In general, when I choose a vendor, I look for stability, supportability, and that the product has actually been adequately tested; that it's not beta.What other advice do I have?Give more attention to your VDI solution ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/virtual-desktop ). We have already implemented a VDI solution that's not using flash. That's a perfect workload candidate to put on flash. For my organization, it might have made more sense to put the back end on our NetApp All-Flash FAS, because we have the skill set to administer the storage, as opposed to bringing in another topology that might have some issues.To be able to give it a higher rating, I would need to actually go and take that car out on some highways, where I could really open it up. I haven't given it a chance yet. That said, I would need to see it perform orders of magnitude better than the spinning disk, and that's what's advertised.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-14T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ease of use, stablility, and excellent support have been the prime benefits for usWhat is our primary use case?We use it for data storage.How has it helped my organization?We have more storage capacity. Managing it is easier and it's available anytime we want it.What is most valuable?* Ease of use* AvailabilityWhat needs improvement?Everybody's moving to the cloud. We, as a financial company, are moving to it as well. We need to find out what about the security of the information that we have on it. That's the main thing that they need to talk be talking about. How secure is that information?For how long have I used the solution?Three to five years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is extremely good. It's very stable. We've been running it for about four years now. We haven't had any hiccup with it so far. Okay, there have been a few here and there, but they have been easy to resolve with the engineers that we have.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The reason we have it is that it's very scalable.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is excellent. We have an excellent team with NetApp. They help us and they are available anytime that we need them.Which solutions did we use previously?We knew we needed to invest in a new solution because everybody is moving forward. We don't want to stand still.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. They had all the codes with them, they just implemented them on the system and, next thing we knew, it was up and running.What about the implementation team?We used a consultant for the deployment. Our experience with them was extremely good. They knew what they were talking about, they made it easy, and didn't take a long time.What was our ROI?The amount of data that's stored is increasing day by day. We are a financial company so we have new customers every day and we need to keep their information safe and secure. It definitely has that return on investment in that we didn't have to invest in something else, outside of what we have now.Which other solutions did I evaluate?There was one other option we looked at but it didn't have the scalability. It also didn't have the support that we needed. The experience that we have with NetApp support is excellent.What other advice do I have?I would definitely encourage colleagues to go ahead with it. I have had a great experience with it. I would definitely encourage them that this is the way to go.I rate this product at ten out of ten. It's easy. Once you know your way around it, there is nothing to it. You can do it in a flash.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance and density are two important things for us. I am looking forward to the SolidFire integration.What is most valuable?All-flash performance and density are two important things for us. In terms of performance, we have a humongous database. Before this solution, we had a lot of performance issues. With this tool, we were able to nail them down to at least 20-30% performance gain. In terms of density, I don't have the numbers, but it is definitely better than the older disk-based solutions.How has it helped my organization?The business benefit is the rate. If you have better performance from your critical ERP applications and databases, that's a gain from the cost perspective. We are able to manage our data centers better from the space perspective. Those two pieces are the key benefits.What needs improvement?At a recent NetApp conference, I got a lot of good ideas from the sessions where they are trying to bring in a newer AFF. That should be good. I am looking forward to the SolidFire integration. That will give us more benefits.How is customer service and technical support?I have not used technical support personally, but we do use technical support on our operational issues. The team is getting pretty good response from them.Which solutions did we use previously?This is where my organization's innovation comes into the picture. They keep their eye on the market and what's going on. We started that relationship around two years ago and we started ten years ago with NetApp.We also keep an eye on how we can improve from a data center perspective. We are a big data center provider and we look at how we can make our data center more cost effective.What was our ROI?The ROI is good. AFF is definitely pricier than other solutions, but the price gets compensated by performance and the density.What other advice do I have?When looking for a vendor, I definitely look the product they are offering. I look at what the change is and how it will make a change for us. I look at the costs and benefits, the ROI, and the operation.I am not technical, so I cannot give technical advice. However, I am part of the decision-making process at my organization. We are the central hub of providing the whole infrastructure to the company. We do a lot of homework. If we decide that we want to go with this solution and we can prove the ROI to our senior leadership, then that's that. We are then on it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-04T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We just implemented it this year and that dropped the latency by at least four timesHow has it helped my organization?We have our ESB system which was actually running on an older NetApp that was having severe latency. Therefore, we just implemented an All-Flash system this year, which dropped the latency by at least four times, so now it runs without any hiccups or problems.The company as a whole definitely is far more lenient towards NetApp now that we have the All-Flash array because the major ESB system is now running without any problems. Thus, it's made a big difference in the outlook of NetApp for our company.What is most valuable?* Lower latency* Easier to manage with the clustered system and everything with the newest ONTAP 9.* Also it has the WAN acceleration between locations, which sped up our replication as well.What needs improvement?Higher communication: I love the professional services and I love everything that everyone's able to offer us, but I find sometimes we're not aware of all the things that NetApp can do.What do I think about the stability of the solution?With the new clustered system, because it has the switches in-between the cluster, it's far more redundant and far less likely to have any kind of outage, even if our network isn't as stable as we'd like it to be.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to scale it yet.How is customer service and technical support?I was the main engineer on the implementation. We had professional services that came out and helped us, install it and set it up, to make sure that everything was running properly, which was amazing. The set-up of the clustered system, while complex, was very necessary to ensure redundancy.After it was set up, it was very straightforward getting moved over; pretty seamless for the most part.What other advice do I have?Give NetApp a shot. There's a lot of other really good solutions out there as well. I'm pretty entrenched in NetApp personally because I think they do a great job.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Dependency and redundancy; just ensuring that we're able to stay up constantly. That's the biggest thing. It's because any downtime causes our stores not to be able to take transactions, that's not okay.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-15T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's offloaded workload that was compromising other workloads because of performance degradation.What is most valuable?At this point, performance is the most valuable feature. We're just putting it into production, on a pretty heavy performance-intensive workload. So far, its performed exactly how we wanted it to. Performance is the key on that particular device.How has it helped my organization?It's offloaded workload that was compromising other workloads because of performance degradation. It's enabled us to take that and isolate it; give it the performance it needs, saving other applications’ performance as well.What needs improvement?We don't have it running ONTAP 9 yet. Upgrading the OS to ONTAP 9 will definitely give us some advantages. From what I saw at a recent NetApp Insight conference, about how ONTAP 9 looks and feels, there are things to look at and learn how to use that, in performance monitoring tools as well. We still had some learning to do about what's available. We're using rudimentary performance monitoring. As far as that goes, the old tools are giving us what we want, but we're looking forward to upgrading to be able to take advantage of better tools.We are especially looking for better performance monitoring. We want to be able to truly see what the load is doing at any given point in time, and especially if the user wants to know, “We're going to load this up. We want to see what effect it has on it.” We want to be able to give them real-time numbers.Right now, that’s not easy to do. We can't get to the detailed level that we want to. We believe that that's available going forward.For how long have I used the solution?We've only had it in production a short time. We've had it a total of about six months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?In the short time we’ve had it in production, six months, we haven’t had any stability issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We haven't had to scale it out.How is customer service and technical support?We've had to call technical support only because the performance monitoring on it has given us some skewed numbers. Getting back to us on that was a little bit slow, to get us the answer that we really needed to see, but we got the answer that we needed. All is good now.Which solutions did we use previously?I wasn’t involved in the decision process to invest in this particular All Flash FAS, ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ) but I've been in many, many discussions about going to that technology. I'm part of our team to say, "This is what we think we're going to need based on what we've seen. This could be the right tool for the job." In general, with decisions like this, there’s no one person making the decision.We were previously running on a different vendor platform. We had that device saturated, and there was nowhere to go with it. The scalability was non-existent. It was disk. This was a good opportunity for us to move into this flash environment with this particular workload because of the performance.Which other solutions did I evaluate?At this point, there really wasn't another player that was going to offer us familiarity with NetApp, for one thing, and what we needed.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are the ease of administration of an appliance; reliability of an appliance; and being able to adequately monitor what's going on with the appliance (which ties in with the administration of it). Support’s got to be on it, especially if it's in production. It's like, “We need help; we need it now.” The vendor has to be there.Those are probably the three most important criteria. Price comes in there, but you pay a premium for those particular things. If the price point is right and those things are all right, then you've got a great thing going on.What other advice do I have?Flash right now is just a hot ticket. If you've got performance-intensive workloads, and because the NetApp suite of tools that can come along with it, then, yes, I would recommend to colleagues that they take a look at it.It's still pretty new to us, but what we expect it to do, it's doing. As we get more familiar with it, and if we see that we can scale it out and add more to it, I think I would be able to rate it higher pretty easily.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-04T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flexible, helps us migrate without taking systems down, and keeps our critical systems up and runningWhat is most valuable?Flexibility in some of our big things. We're constantly doing new projects or new directions in IT, because it obviously changes all the time. NetApp has been great working with us, being flexible on having to do migrations, if we want new solutions without taking any of our applications in our current systems down. That has been a good benefit. And they've grown over the years to get better at that.How has it helped my organization?For us, it's probably along the lines of keeping everything up and running, critical, 24/7. DR's been a big push for us over the past couple of years with the environment. Different things happen and you need to keep all of your critical systems up and running. All the new technologies that NetApp has come up with, helping us do that, has probably been of the biggest benefit for us. The flexibility and being able to change on the move.What needs improvement?Some of the applications have changed over the years. Their complexity was there before, but moving forward we've seen a few features being taken away in some of those applications, that we had grown to love. But that happens in any type of software. You get stagnant, you like a feature, change comes along. It can be a little bit difficult to do.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Very good. I don't know if I could say anything bad about it for stability. I've never had any issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Very good.How is customer service and technical support?Personally, I have not used tech support, but guys on my team have used them. They've always been great. We have a special account manager who has helped us elevate critical cases if need be, and our sales team and all the people we work with there have always been available for us all the time.What other advice do I have?We use it for our high demand applications. Mainly email, our critical systems, that is what we're using our all-flash array for, tiered storage. We have some non-flash, where we store archival data and things of that nature, but the flash is performant for our tier-one applications. We use it for book storage and file storage.We've been an NetApp customer for nine years now, so as they've grown, we've grown with them and implemented any of their new solutions, software or hardware based. We've been a great customer.If you want an all-around company that can meet your needs, whether it be scalability, performance, the software application availability to interact with your applications, NetApp is a great place. We've looked at other storage vendors over time. They didn't seem to have all of the pieces that NetApp can bring. Some storage vendors might have something you like a little bit better, but NetApp can bring it all together much better than others, and that's why we have stuck with them.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The technical support is fantastic. No one else is like their team. We're happy with them.What is our primary use case?The primary use case is availability, performance, bandwidth, and throughput with respect to our applications.We are currently using an on-premise solution.How has it helped my organization?The user experience is fantastic. I'm looking forward to the AFF 800 storage box, which is all-flash with NVMe technologies. This will certainly give a boost to our applications, and make for a better user experience.What is most valuable?The most valuables features is the response time that we are receiving from the AFF storage box. We are looking for performance and delivery times of the response from the host, which we are happy with.What needs improvement?We are looking forward to the all-flash NVMe which is coming out.Going forward, I would like improvement in the response latencies, capacity size, cache, and controller size. It also needs more fine tuning in regards to all-flash and AML workloads.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Even though the complete workload will fill out the AFF storage box, it will give us sustained stability.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?One of the key features of the AFF storage box is its horizontal scalability.Our new business initiatives, which are coming, demand more IOPS and performance. Our applications are scaling, which demand more performance in a very short span of time. This solution will improve technology driven things.How is customer service and technical support?The technical support is fantastic. No one else is like their team. We're happy with them.Which solutions did we use previously?Our previous solutions were Hitachi, Siemens, and NetApp. We switched to AFF because it had all-flash, better performance, and better response times. It also scales better.We used to do applications running on mechanical disk. With the introduction of SDDs and AFF All Flash, this has given us substantial improvements in our applications' performance.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was easy for us. The consultant was always there to support us. They have always been helpful in understanding the technical points, how it will help us going forward in terms of implementation, future scalability, and possible upgrade of storage components.What about the implementation team?We used a NetApp consultant for the deployment, who we have also used for the sizing. Our experience with them was very good.What was our ROI?It does have good ROI.We are able to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF quickly. We have seen tremendous performance, stability and growth in it.Which other solutions did I evaluate?NetApp met our requirements.What other advice do I have?It is the first company who introduced NVMe protocols, which is end-to-end. It also has very good response times.The NVMe technology that we're evaluating will certainly help us with artificial intelligence going forward.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from They have the ability to have a cluster of disks contained of different kinds of disks, which has been usefulWhat is most valuable?* Performance* Density per rack unit from the capacity perspective with some of the other drives.How has it helped my organization?It solves the performance issues of the past.The primary use case for my customers is enterprise vSphere workloads or Oracle workloads. We have customers using it for both block and file storage.This is not a directly specific to AFF, but I like the idea in the cluster that the data from ONTAP would allow having a mix of All Flash HA pairs with hybrid arrays. This allows for a somewhat tiered approach for storage. So, that is cool.What needs improvement?I am excited to see how the data fabric story plays out from the entire NetApp portfolio that connectivity of all the different devices. I know in the beginning when it was first spoken about, SnapMirror was something talked about. I liked that idea of just having the ability to transfer data between different NetApp platforms, and that would obviously include the All Flash line.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Cluster data ONTAP as an operating system is very stable and very mature. We seemed to like with 9.2 that there is inline deduplication at the aggregate level. That is a welcomed addition.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Since we are talking 24 nodes for NAS, that is really good. I forgot what the scale number is for block on clustered data ONTAP, but I have not run into any opportunities where we had to go beyond what we had.What other advice do I have?When you are looking at NetApp as a scale-out NAS player, they have been in the SMB in the FAS space for long time. They have done it well. They have done the multi-protocol access, NFS to NTFS access and reverse really well. They have the ability to have a cluster of disks contained of different kinds of disks, which has been useful. Also, as a unified box, it is like the Swiss army-knife of the unified boxes.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It supports VMware and enables bringing up and shutting down the system without problems.What is most valuable?It is very user friendly. Someone in my position needs to be able to bring up and shut down the system quickly, efficiently, and shut it down if there's a power outage quickly and efficiently without having trouble. It also supports VMware, which is what we use; but we use the NetApp as our only filer.How has it helped my organization?I am trying to understand it more, so I can employ it better during high tense situations.I have been able to manage the system easily myself since we got NetApp four years ago.What needs improvement?The Ilom's graceful shutdown feature is no longer there in the version that I have. I believe I'm using 7.0.x, using the FAS 2040 and also the FAS 2020. I don't know where to say it needs improvement because I'm just not that versed in it yet.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is excellent in terms of stability. I've had no issues during the last six years that I've had NetApp. Just recently, on one system that's been out and had a lot of controversy about, we had a filer fail on us. We were able to get a filer the following day. It was excellent.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?For what we do, I can have up to close to 120,000 separate widgets running simultaneously and delivering data to other systems; and everything works, no problem. I am currently trying to find out where we’re moving ahead from here.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is excellent.How was the initial setup?I was involved in building it. I found it a little bit grueling to get my certification to build it, but I really can't speak to the NetApp filer documentation. The documentation that we use for it is different from what NetApp uses.Which other solutions did I evaluate?I didn't evaluate anything. That is done in the organization at higher levels than I am. I know that NetApp won the contract again, so they must be doing something right because we’re not going to give a contract to anybody for a bad product. Right now, I'm concentrating on our collapse-down strategy in which we're taking multiple systems and putting them all on one system. That's why I'm here. I'm curious to see how it's going to impact the filer: whether the filer is going to need to expand; whether we're going to be migrating to a new filer; and so on.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-23T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We do not use it for our customers, just to manage our internal CRM proposals. It helps us manage our entire CRM.Valuable Features* Speed* Performance* Low latencyImprovements to My OrganizationWe do not use it now for our customers, but just to manage our criticla internal CRM proposals. It helps us manage our entire CRM. We had problems with latency in the regular NetApp storage devices (many concurent access attemps for small data) and AFF has improved it.Room for ImprovementThe price needs to come down. Also, it has a learning curve and I needed to learn a lot to do the installation.Deployment IssuesWe had no problems with deployment.Stability IssuesFrom what I know, no problem at all with stability.Scalability IssuesWe have not scaled it yet, but we are thinking about it.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: Customer service is perfect every time.Technical Support: Technical support helps us every time.Previous SolutionsWe used IBM before, after the contract finished we tested NetApp, and from what I know it filled the hole. It’s excellent. It has flash pool disks on a cluster, and we switched as we got it for a good price. We have a dual strategy with Inter Telecom and normally we get good prices for NetApp products.Initial SetupI set it up the first time myself. I needed to learn it and read the user guide for it, but it’s easy for technical people.Other Solutions ConsideredWe tested many products, but no other flash ones.Other AdviceI would advise you to make sure that you need flash as it is very specific and regular FAS may work for you. However, if you need flash, this is a good product to get.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very easy to add nodes as needed and move data around within the cluster to balance the workloadWhat is most valuable?* Data availability* SpeedBeing able to keep the system up - five nines are better - so I have that system online and have that data available to our customers. And the new flash stuff is really fast.How has it helped my organization?The ability to manage very easily, and the replication between sites for backups is also very easy to use. And it stays up.What needs improvement?I'm just keeping a really close eye on where NVMe goes and how that's going to affect the next lifecycle of disk and connectivity to the server. So that's what I'm watching for.One thing they could improve right now is support. Other than that I've been pretty happy.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability for us has been good. We've had a few bumps, a few bugs, but it's based on the new hardware platform.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is great. In the cluster, being able to add nodes as needed, and to be able to move data around within the cluster to balance the workload on the nodes is just crazy easy.How is customer service and technical support?We use technical support a lot. It's doing better. It's got some hurdles to overcome but they're certainly doing better. I can see them making progress towards what they need to be, but it's a little hard to get through level one.When we get through level one and get to the back-end guys, we definitely have the right guys.Which solutions did we use previously?It was lifecycle for us. Equipment had aged out so it was time to replace.How was the initial setup?Since we already had it running on a fast system, we just added them to the cluster and moved the data, without the customers even knowing. Just seamless.What other advice do I have?We use it for Oracle databases and for our virtual environment, and use it for file storage, not block storage.Our impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance SAN storage before we purchased it was that we could use them for general purpose storage, didn't really think of them as high-performance, but they're definitely there now. We are likely to consider them for our mission critical storage because we've been running on them now for eight years and they've been running our critical applications, so they've proven it to us.The most important criteria when selecting a vendor include that they've got to have a pretty good track record. We don't do business with very small companies because we're a pretty big enterprise, fast customer; so they've got to be up in the reviews. We use reviews to tell us all of those quadrants and where they sit, and then we typically do an evaluation and an RFP among the big players in those fields, and then select a choice.For a colleague who is considering a similar solution, I would tell them to definitely consider what NetApp is doing and how easy it is to use and migrate data.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-22T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We were able to migrate from a flash pool to AFF very effectively and efficiently. They need to decrease the latency and to improve the transmission in PNE STE using compression.Valuable Features:* Clustered Data ONTAP for our VMs* Search efficiency* Unified storage multi-protocol* We went from fiber channel to NFS and we had to buy a new controller.Improvements to My Organization:We were able to migrate from a flash pool to AFF very effectively and efficiently.Room for Improvement:They need to decrease the latency and to improve the transmission in PNE STE using compression. We need to add a non-AFF note to do this at the moment.Use of Solution:We've used it for six months for our Oracle databases.Deployment Issues:We've had no issues with deploying it.Stability Issues:It's very stable.Scalability Issues:It scales to our needs.Customer Service:10/10. I ask for Jeffrey who works at NetApp.Previous Solutions:We used a flash pool, and switched to improve performance.Initial Setup:The initial setup was straightforward.Implementation Team:We implemented it through the NetApp team, who were good.Other Solutions Considered:No other options were evaluated.Other Advice:Before buying, look at the migration plans. Try it and buy it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Integrates seamlessly with what we're used to for FAS while getting the raw performance of flashHow has it helped my organization?One example is we're moving a legacy application over. I'm actually in the middle of a project for that right now, where it's four Windows servers each with eight terabytes, that our actuary department uses for data analytics. With the efficiencies on the AFF, that eight terabytes has gone down to about two and a quarter of actual capacity used. So we're going to save a lot of space there, in addition to letting them run more simulations and get more simulations done more quickly because of the storage being so much faster than what they're on now.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?Some of the best things about AFF are that it integrates seamlessly with what we're used to for FAS as well. We can use the same ecosystem, OnCommand Unified Manager, but get the performance, the raw performance of flash. It's great that way.I think that's the most important thing, the integration with the existing features that we already have and existing management systems. Among those features are the ability to do SnapMirror or SnapVault for data resiliency and backup. The other features are the data efficiencies, compaction and inline dedup compression, that let us use it more efficiently too. Those are huge on the list.What needs improvement?Looking at the road map that's out there, I think they're heading in the right direction. Additional performance, additional data efficiencies, that's what everybody wants right now.And then the integrations that I'm really excited about - and part of the reason I'm here at the NetApp Insight 2017 conference - is to look at the integrations with AFF and things like StorageGrid Webscale. So you're getting even more efficiency out of the platform and offloading cold blocks that you don't need right away.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We haven't had any issues, even going back to the longer experience I have with the FAS platform. They're typically few and far between, especially compared to some of the other vendors we've worked with. When we do uncover an issue, we typically get escalated to the right teams and get it worked out.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's really good. There are some that things that could be done better there, like NetApp is doing; it's other products like Webscale and SolidFire. As long as you're aware of the design considerations, it's very, very easy. Shelves go in like a snap. As long as you make sure you have the proper compute to go with it, you're good to go.We're not really having scalability issues, it's just you have to make sure that you're not exceeding the capacity of your heads when you're expanding your logical storage out, that's all.It has caused problems for my company in the past, but I think that was the result of not having storage administrators with a high level of proficiency and knowledge of NetApp. They made some very poor sizing decisions, but you can't blame the vendor for that. It's more of the admins' fault for not specking them out properly.How is customer service and technical support?For the AFFs, I don't know if we've had to specifically leverage NetApp support yet. I don't think we've had an issue major enough that we've had to reach out. That's been more on the FAS side.Support has generally been pretty good. Occasionally there are struggles getting to the right people but, once you do, they know what they're talking about.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )Which solutions did we use previously?Yes and no. We're in the process of retiring some old storage frames, old Hitachi frames actually. I believe it's just disk-based. There are actually three different Hitachi frames and they're different. One is all flash, one is hybrid, and the other one is purely disk-based. So there's a mix. We have another all-flash platform that we could move workload to, but the NetApp fit the workload a lot better for this in my opinion. So it made sense.The original intent was actually to extend our NAS - we primarily use NetApp for NAS and a lot of our environment. But we've pitched the AFF that we just installed, the A700, primarily as a SAN platform. So we're really trying to leverage more towards that now.It will eventually be used for both block and file storage. It was originally slated for file usage NAS, but we're leveraging it more for block.I had worked with NetApp as block storage in the past, and I always had a high opinion of it. I think NetApp is the best in the industry at providing a unified platform for file and block. Hands down.We don't get too deeply involved in the cost analysis, but management and engineering rely heavily on the input from myself and my co-worker on the storage team, for these kinds of decisions, on a technical level.How was the initial setup?We had Pro Services, but we were heavily involved.For someone who is experience with any NetApp platform it's very, very straightforward, very similar to anything else that you would do. Obviously there are some specific guides, specific to AFF. You want to make sure you're following those best practices, but other than that it's a cinch. It's something that I could have done on my own without Professional Services, that's how easy it was.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We have storage frames from most of the large vendors, so EMC would have been on the table, IBM would have been on the table, Hitachi. And really with the ecosystem that NetApp has built up around it, it just makes the most sense from a management perspective for sure. And the performance and value for money is there as well. It's a tough combo to beat.What other advice do I have?We have a 8080 EX HA pair, an 8040 HA pair, and an A700 all in the same cluster. That's our production cluster. We also run an AFF8040 for non-production and then a couple of other FAS heads: two HA pairs, 8040s for DR. So we've got some NetApp spread around.Based on our experience with AFF, we are definitely more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems in the future because it's the same quality and the same value for money as we have always come to expect from them.This is the direction the industry is going. My personal opinion is that SaaS 15,10k is going to be dead, completely within the next three to five years. Everything is going to be flash for performance and cheap and deep SATA, probably object storage for archival. I just think this purchase puts us better in alignment with where the industry is headed as a whole, it's more future proof.When it comes to the most important criteria when selecting a vendor to work with I think what's important is performance, value for money and, in addition to that, having support that's easy to work with, that can get you the answers quickly when you need them. That is the other big thing.I give it a nine out of 10 because there's always room for improvement. I don't think anything is perfect in IT, but it's pretty darn good. It's really pretty impressive technology when you get it running.What would make it a 10 goes back to what we talked about above, with the additional integrations and single panes of glass and getting a whole functional flow; what NetApp keeps pitching on the roadmap as the "Data Fabric," getting a single pane of glass for everything in your infrastructure and tying it all together.Advice as far as choosing a solution? Everybody's requirements are different, but if they don't have NetApp at the top of the list as candidates, they're doing something wrong.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-11-01T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tech support is good, smart, and responsiveWhat is most valuable?While our VDI people are storing user profiles, we make good use of single name space. With application driven ride, VDI has driven us to use NetApp because they needed a single name space and there's just no vendor on the market that can do single name space with All Flash.How has it helped my organization?In the single name space, the profile pad need not be changed for various users. All the users of VDI can be pointed towards one profile source.Our primary use case for All Flash is we put VDI on it and we put our Providence Health Systems work on Epic. Epic is our tier one app. We put all the NAS needs for the Epic app on All Flash, and we also put our user home directories on All Flash.What needs improvement?We would like to see permission repair technology built into ONTAP. We have it in EMC Isilon and we have been asking our accounting to take it to the engineering team. We want a job repair technology in EMC Isilon, in that app as well, so that app can refer to it and build on it.Also, the product could be made cheaper.For how long have I used the solution?We have been using it for eight months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The stability is good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It is certainly scalable.How is customer service and technical support?We used tech support. They are good, smart, and responsive.Which solutions did we use previously?No, we didn't use a previous solution. We came to AAF 300 All Flash because we were refreshing all of our NetApp applications.How was the initial setup?I am the lead for all NetApp installs. Every time we had a good installer coming onsite, so we make it easy for them and they make it easy for us.What other advice do I have?We use All Flash for block and file storage.We have been a NetApp shop for a while, even before AAF 300. Thus, our impression of NetApp has a long history. It's been good to us in providing the support and giving us the right solutions when we need them. Therefore, we have a good impression of NetApp.I recommend NetApp. If someone is looking at a similar solution, I would give them the advice, "Go for NetApp."When it comes to NAS services, they have better operating systems compared to anyone, even other vendors would have it, but NetApp has a long history of being in the market and large customer base. Therefore, they might have gone through various problems and solutions compared to any new vendors who are out there. Experience matters.Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:* How robust the technology is* How reliable the vendor is* How experienced they are.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-16T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance is the most valuable feature for us. Flexibility and the multi-tenancy are also valuable.What is most valuable?Performance is the number-one most valuable feature, for sure. Flexibility and the multi-tenancy are also valuable.The compression we needed, the rates we get, are inline with the performance, which is the reason we bought it; we have a lot of applications that use it. The compression and the dedupe stays in storage but on our other products, we'd lose performance because of that. On the All Flash FAS, we don't have any performance issues at all, so it's a big differentiator for us.How has it helped my organization?It provides financial benefits, because we don't have to spend as much on storage, because of the dedup and the compression and the performance it gives us. We don't have to buy anything else because of it.What needs improvement?There’s one thing that would make it easier to work with. There are differences between using the OnCommand: the GUI vs command line. There are still differences. There are things you can do from the command line that you can't do from the GUI. If they could make the GUI do everything that the command line does, that would be the best. That would earn it a perfect rating, for sure.There are certain configurations/settings on cDOT that you can only make by using the CLI. My point for room for improvement was that, if they could make all the configurations/settings available in the GUI, then you would be able to pick one or the other for managing the cluster. Today, you either have to only use CLI or a mix of GUI/CLI.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We've had no stability issues. We've never had a problem. We've only been using it for about six months, but we haven't had a single issue of any kind. We're happy with it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We've added on shelves to it. That's one of the reasons we bought it too. We bought it for a certain set of applications and we've already expanded that now; used it for other things too. That's why I bought more storage on it. The flexibility we have, all the connections it has, it's helped us without having to buy either more storage systems or other products. We've just been able to grow what we have.Which solutions did we use previously?We've previously had several other vendors. We used Hitachi. We used their HNAS product. We had Celerra from EMC. We've had a couple of other older vendors that aren't even around anymore.We switched from HNAS because of the performance, both in application and backup performance. It was not nearly what it needs to be. Their storage pools and the way we could grow the HNAS environment was nothing compared to what the NetApp does. All of those things together made that an easy switch.What was our ROI?It's definitely saved us in storage costs. It's saved us in reliability, in downtime. We’ve had downtime with our HNAS, a couple times. That was the factor that got rid of it in the end. We invested in that product, and it was a pretty important feature of some of the applications that used it. We kept going with it and staying with it because we invested in it. But we had too many outages, too many problems with it.In the end, we decided that it was not worth it, financially, to keep it. We got rid of it, and invested in NetApp, and all those reliability and performance issues went away. It's been 100% since day one.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We've had other vendors, and we've used their solutions. The performance hasn't been what it is on NetApp or the compression dedup rate hasn't been what it is on NetApp; with those other vendors, we get one of the two. We get both of those with NetApp; better performance, better compression, all of those things without sacrificing performance.What other advice do I have?Look at NetApp first. The flexibility they offer, the performance, and all the features they have. I can't think of anything that we can't do with that product. That's where we go to first now. We have a lot of other products. We have a lot of other storage vendors: Hitachi, IBM, EMC. We've had other NetApp FAS products, not just the All Flash one. We still have other NetApp FAS products.Since we've had the All Flash FAS, because of its reliability and everything that goes with it, it’s the first thing that the application people ask for. When we talk to them about needing more storage, they always ask for NetApp first. It's kind of the standard now, which is fine by me because I like it.It's reliable; it's fast; it does everything that we need it to do; it's relatively easy to work with.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-09T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It should scale far beyond our needs. I don't think we will ever hit the edge of it.What is our primary use case?We are using it for VMware and Hyper-V data stores.How has it helped my organization?We have probably doubled the number of virtual machines that we've provisioned since getting an AFF.It has done everything we have needed it to do.What is most valuable?* Space savings* Performance* Deduplication* CompressionWhat do I think about the stability of the solution?It's been very stable. We only had a few upgrade issues. Other than upgrading, it has been 100 percent completely stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It should scale far beyond our needs. I don't think we will ever hit the edge of it.How is customer service and technical support?Support has been good. I've had a few cases where support wasn't able to answer the question or they took quite a while, but majority of issues have been answered fairly quickly.Which solutions did we use previously?We were at the edge of the performance on our previous system. We took a risk with the AFF because it was more expensive than going with the newer model of what we had, but it was definitely worth it.How was the initial setup?The initial setup was straightforward. I'm very familiar with NetApp, so it's more of the same. I didn't have any problems.What about the implementation team?I did the deployment myself.What was our ROI?The cost savings has been higher than I expected.Our space savings through dedupe and compression is over 50 percent, so we are saving. I think our 8080s has 20TBs. We are saving at least 10TBs and that's over 50 percent of the capacity that we're using.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?I would like the pricing to be cheaper.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Our shortlist would have been EMC, NetApp, and possibly Dell. This was before Dell bought EMC.NetApp was there because of the NFS support. That's why we chose NetApp, because of the NFS support plus their compression and deduplication. The cost savings on that alone was worth it.What other advice do I have?It's worth the slight increase in cost for performance. In the end, you save money in the long-term (ROI).Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-10-24T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for block storage, because we need a lot performance in all of our systems and databasesHow has it helped my organization?We automate a lot with our NetApp All Flash system.We use AFF for block storage, because we need a lot performance in all of our systems and databases.What is most valuable?* Performance* We need Snapshot.What needs improvement?We installed NetSender to test it. I think it could be a good solution. It is very small now, but will probably become bigger in the next few months to years.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is stable. We have a network cluster. For two years now, we have not had any issues. It is good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability is good. We scaled out three to four months ago. There were no problems.How is customer service and technical support?I have used the technical support at times. They are always good.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?It is pretty expensive compared to other solutions. I would give it a seven or eight out of 10 in price (where 10 is expensive) compared to similar solutions.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before and after we purchased AFF, we viewed NetApp as a vendor of high performance. They are a good vendor.What other advice do I have?Until now, I have had no problems with the system. I would recommend this solution.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stores two times more data than what is purchasedWhat is our primary use case?Our primary use case is escalating a more global performance, which wasn't achievable with the regular spinning drives. We wanted to have higher breakthrough performance with a flash-based solution using all SSD drives.How has it helped my organization?* I am able to store two times more data than what I'm purchasing, which affects the way funds are being utilized.* The time for applications to give a response is much faster.What is most valuable?* The OS running on top of it is ONTAP. The user experience is a breeze at the fingertips with ONTAP.* The efficiency ratio.* The Active IQ feature is a productive mechanism that automatically collects reports and users' statuses.* The initial deployment is completely GUI-based.What needs improvement?I am looking forward to the enhanced features coming out: The upgraded version of ONTAP and more support on the protocols.I would like to see more frequent updates at a faster pace.There needs to be compatibility with upgraded applications. We don't want the system to be upgraded, but not have backwards compatible to existing applications.It needs to be able to integrate with Intel and other NetApp family products, besides ONTAP.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's a combination of the hardware along with the operating system which produces the stability. Based on the data protection factor and on its sustainability in case of a component failure, it is well-designed on the hardware and software fronts.I am satisfied with the stability.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?The scalability is amazing. It is like an entry level box which scales up to almost a 144 drives. It is more than what an entry customer usually needs. It is suitable for expandability needs and can grow with the customer.Which solutions did we use previously?Customers were already using the application. We took their feedback. It was the best product based on our requirements.How was the initial setup?I work on the phase when the solution when it is being designed. My involvement would be more on solution designing. Once the solution is finalized and has gone through, the implementation is not that difficult of a task.The initial setup is very simple. System Manager 3.0 is built into it, which makes it easier to set up the system. It probably takes about 15 to 30 minutes.What about the implementation team?We used a reseller for the deployment. We had an amazing experience with them.What was our ROI?This solution helps us improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs. It is why we provisioned it. Analytics require huge amounts of processing power. With this solution, the processing happens in a tick of a second, which would not happen with regular spinning drives. With SSDs, All Flash FAS, and the help of ONTAP, it nails the performance.Our total cost of ownership (TCO) has decreased by 40 percent.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Dell EMC was an option, but we liked the operating system of NetApp.What other advice do I have?With an increasing amount of data cranking out every day and a lot of analytics running on processing applications, more performance is required from storage devices. This is a database solution which is All Flash FAS is suited.I have not connected AFF to public clouds yet, but possibly in the future.It takes half an hour max to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF.It is a diversified solution.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Partner.
Date published: 2018-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from With dedupe, we achieved more capacity than expected.What is most valuable?Dedupe (cost saving): We were able to achieve a lot more capacity than expected.How has it helped my organization?* More desktops on storage* Ease of managementWhat needs improvement?* Software packaging and ordering.* We wanted to integrate with replication and Commvault options, and that was difficult.For how long have I used the solution?We have been using the solution for about six months.What do I think about the stability of the solution?We have not encountered any stability issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have not yet encountered any scalability issues.How is customer service and technical support?I would rate the technical support at about 8/10.Which solutions did we use previously?Other solutions were not all-flash compatible.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was easy.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Compare and look for your use case.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We evaluated Pure Storage, SolidFire, EMC Unity.What other advice do I have?The migration plan should be clear upfront.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-02-20T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The most valuable feature is not having to worry about whether I assign the right platform to a workload.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is not having to worry about whether I assign the right platform to a workload. I can basically put it on there, knowing that I gave it all that it can get. If I gave it too much, I can move it off.How has it helped my organization?There are fewer customer call backs due to performance issues; fewer problems for myself and my staff. That kind of thing. Those are the biggies; just a sort of set-and-forget kind of platform.What needs improvement?Something I would like to see is coming out in ONTAP 9.1, which is volume encryption in place. When that gets released, we'll be taking advantage of that. That's something that we needed, and they're already going to be adding; it's on the road map.Basically, what it allows you to do is compartmentalize data by volumes, which we do already, but then you can encrypt the data to protect this particular group’s data from this particular group’s data, and know that it's not going to be compromised; this is classified, and that's classified, and they don't need to know. I'm looking forward to that.What do I think about the stability of the solution?Stability’s been great. We're sort of early into our environment with it, but we really haven't had any stability issues or anything like that. It's been great.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is not determined at this point in time. We've installed what we bought; we're using it. We haven't tried scaling it beyond what it's done so far; haven't needed to.Which solutions did we use previously?We are a long-time NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/netapp ) customer. We knew that we had some workloads that were exceeding what our existing platforms could provide. We ended up saying, "Hey, the All Flash FAS is the next logical step for us".We were using spinning disk. We actually also purchased a flash pool, which is a hybrid, this last go around; all NetApp. That'll be our first hybrid, but we knew that we also needed this all flash array to be able to step up to the plate with some of these other workloads.How was the initial setup?Initial setup is complex, in that you have to make sure that you're setting it up in compliance with the best practices. The best practices are well documented. There's not a lot of, "Oh my gosh, I didn't see that coming", kind of thing. You just have to make sure you set it up right; otherwise, you didn't get what you paid for.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We're constantly looking at other vendors to see what they have, in terms of this purchasing cycle. We weren't seriously looking at other vendors. Unless NetApp had completely dropped the ball on the platform and/or given us a quote that was completely unreasonable, I don't think we would have necessarily gone with anyone else.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is customer support, in the States, and then also an account team that allows us access to the back-end engineers. For example, at a recent NetApp conference, our account manager set up a meeting with us and some of the security back-end people from NetApp. We're able to have a 45-minute deep dive into what we need as a customer. These are the guys and gals who are actually implementing the technology, and supporting us. We were able to have that conversation, which was great.What other advice do I have?Really look at it from the standpoint of, what workloads you have today? What are the performance characteristics? Are you taking full advantage of what you have today? From a data mobility perspective, does that matter to you? It mattered to us, and that's something that NetApp brings to the table. Or, we can move it from the All Flash FAS to another platform, and then if it spikes up again, move it back, non-disruptively.It's really, really good for everything that we've used it for. At somewhere in the range of a quarter of a million dollars, it's a lot of money; you get what you pay for.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 High performance and aggregate level dedupe are key for us, but ONTAP has not been stableWhat is our primary use case?We use it for our VWware environment. We run virtual machines and our plan is to migrate all of them to the All Flash platform.How has it helped my organization?The improvement for us has been space savings on the All Flash FAS platform. The data space savings are almost three times better than the what we have right now, a two-to-one ratio.Regarding the user experience, it's pretty fast. For applications where they require a high throughput, this platform is pretty solid. It also helps improve the performance of enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs because it's pretty fast. We are on a different level of tiered platform, where the All Flash is completely hybrid, SSD aggregate, so it tripled the performance for the customer.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are high performance and encryption. It also provides aggregate level dedupe.What do I think about the stability of the solution?The system is pretty stable but most of the ONTAP versions are not really stable. There have been multiple bugs in different ONTAP versions. The hardware is really stable but we see some glitches here and there with the software. That's how the system works.Right now, we are on a pretty stable version: 9.3.8.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?We have not had to scale it. We have a two-node cluster.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support has been pretty good. We have had to involve them two or three times per month.Which solutions did we use previously?Our old solution was working fine but the system was going out of support so we needed to do a refresh.How was the initial setup?It is straightforward. The whole cluster configuration is pretty straightforward. Just bring up the node and add to the existing clusters. We didn't see any difficulties.It takes us one day to set up and provision enterprise applications using this product. Migration takes a lot of time but provisioning is setting up the cluster and that takes one day.What about the implementation team?We used NetApp Professional Services and they were pretty good.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Because we are government, it is an open contract. People have to bid on government projects. We don't have a say in the options.What other advice do I have?I would say this is a good solution but talk to the NetApp guys and see how it really fits in your environment.We do not connect it to public clouds at the moment. We have plans to do so in the future, depending on the use cases.I rate the product at seven out of ten. Their system is pretty good but we are still facing a few issues, mainly on the software side where there is an SVMDR. We had it in the previous configuration. We did an ONTAP upgrade but had some issues replicating the whole configuration. There are a few other glitches here and there. Other than that I would say it's pretty stable.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from With flash, our customers can see lab results much faster and can then send new requests for labs faster. A couple of areas during setup, could be streamlined or made a little more clear.Valuable Features* Clustered Data ONTAP* Data recovery* ProtectionImprovements to My OrganizationOur company has a web application for post-lab test results, and with flash, the application is much faster than it used to be. The customers can see results much faster and can then send new requests for labs faster.Room for ImprovementAt the moment it's perfect to me because I haven’t used it that long.Use of SolutionWe've used it for about a month with different applications for laboratory software.Deployment IssuesWe had no issues with deployment.Stability IssuesSo far the stability is excellentScalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: The customer service is pretty good.Technical Support: The technical support is pretty good.Previous SolutionsWe used NetApp FAS previously and switched to the flash version.Initial SetupThe initial setup was generally straightforward, though there were a couple areas that could be streamlined or made a little more clear in terms of which direction we should go.Implementation TeamWe used a vendor team.ROIIt's too early for us to tell.Other Solutions ConsideredNo other options were evaluated.Other AdviceIt’s a pretty good solution; go for it.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 The performance is probably the most valuable feature.How has it helped my organization?From a relations perspective, it makes us look better that we have the best foundation to run things that we can. It also provides cost savings because it has efficiencies we can gain with it.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What is most valuable?The performance is probably the most valuable feature. It allows us to meet our customer's needs, being able to provide that level of performance that they need for their workloads.What needs improvement?There's always going to be room for improvement. I don't really have anything sticking out that's a major pain point or something that it's not doing that I need it to do.Anything that I might like to have seems to be happening already, whether it’s the price coming down, tracking performance, or higher capacities; that work is already getting done or it already has been done.We're interested or excited in getting to 32-Gb fiber channel. With their new models, NetApp will be moving to 32-Gb fiber. That would potentially raise performance and or lower our port counts, simplifying or minimizing the amount of cables we need to put in places. It would be a nicety, to be able to clean things up and simplify. It’s something I’m looking forward to.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It seems to be rock solid. We've not had any issues with it at all.Learn about the benefits of NVMe, NVME-oF and SCM. Read New Frontiers in Solid-State Storage. ( https://www.netapp.com/us/forms/campaign/new-frontiers-in-solid-state-storage-white-paper.aspx?REF_SOURCE=ITcentralstation-textlinks )What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Since we've added the All Flash FAS, we have scaled up. We've added additional disk shelves; it seems to be growing just fine with us.How is customer service and technical support?I don't think we've had to open up any cases, or needed any kind of tech support on it, other than working with our VAR setting it up.Which solutions did we use previously?I've contributed opinions regarding the decision to invest in the All Flash FAS.We've been NetApp customers for quite a while, so we just kind of grew into it, from disk to flash cache, flash pool and then to all flash.How was the initial setup?I was involved in the initial set up. It was very straightforward. Working with our partner, they tend to do a lot of the work on our behalf but it's still a pretty straightforward process. That were really no gotchas.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.What other advice do I have?The solution is great; the company is fantastic to work with. I cannot think of a bad experience that we've had with either the company and or the product itself. We've had issues but nothing that wasn't overcome and worked through and better in the long run for working through it with a good company like NetApp.We're very pleased with it but then I guess we don't have a lot of experience with other things to maybe compare.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with is the support. Everybody's going to have issues with something, but being able to resolve or remediate any issues as quickly, seamlessly and as open as possible is very important to us.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-22T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Using the compression and the dedupe saves data space.Valuable FeaturesI like the speed and that it's easy to set up. We are now using the compression and the dedupe ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/deduplication-software ), which is very useful in saving a lot of data space.Improvements to My OrganizationAs I’ve mentioned, we are using the compression to save data space. We do a lot of vaulting. We have our primary storage and our secondary storage. For our secondary storage, we always had to buy big SATA disks but now we can use compression to actually save buying monstrous disks and use compression to save our secondary vault for data.Room for ImprovementI'm hearing about compaction, I kind of want to find out more about it. I guess it's another level of compression on top of things. I’d like to just see where it takes off from there. I know that the speed of the disks isn't going to be the bottleneck anymore. As far as the NAN technology coming out, I want to find out what the feature design is for NetApp on that, too.So far, I haven’t seen any features in other solutions that I'd like to see brought in to AFF. I'm pretty impressed with the way we run things for what we have so far.They could always improve the pricing. It is relatively expensive. When we priced things out before, it was priced by how many GBs you need for whatever you need, how many TBs. Now, it's terabytes compressed. You're looking at a compression tool, so you don't need as much hardware to get the same amount of space. It actually is saving space in our data centers, so we're getting a lot of improvements with heating and cooling, and with tile space; half the data center's coming back. For the past two years, we've been really ramping up on different technologies and decreasing our data center space. We've been looking at AFF now for over a year now. We've been running more and more of those in.Use of SolutionI've been running the AFF systems now for over a year.Stability IssuesWe have not had any stability issues. We can do vault moves and everything else. It gives us flexibility, mainly in our VMware environment, because we're all NFS. We’re able to buy new equipment, retire equipment, swap things in and out very easily.Scalability IssuesWe have not had any scalability issues so far. It's scalable, depending on what your network switch is; we're running ten-node clusters right now.Customer Service and Technical SupportSometimes we use technical support. It depends on who you get. The last couple of people I had were helpful. We use professional services. For example, when we do an upgrade two or three levels up, we'll mostly use professional services or our contacts. For any kind of upgrades, we'll get recommendations from technical support, and so on. They've been great.Previous SolutionsOur main kick off was our VDI ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/virtual-desktop ) environment, our work stations, heavy writes. Typically, we were running SAS disks and they were doing good but for the right performance, you really had to have huge aggregates to carry that load. With AFF, you don't really need that because the IOPS are there and it can handle it.Initial SetupInitial setup has been easier and easier because we used to set older systems up with SAS and aggregates and everything else. Now, it's kind of, start it up and let it go. It's getting a lot easier, at least on the hardware setup.Other Solutions ConsideredWe mainly run NetApp for our NAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/nas ) environment but for SAN ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/categories/enterprise-san ), we run some of the other vendors. However, that's kind of coming around. People are seeing what these AFF systems are doing and I'm actually doing some testing in our SAN environment for some of the NetApp stuff, too. It might be a good thing. We'll have to see.Other AdviceWe do a lot of work with our NetApp professional services or just design teams. Get help with them to start it out, so you have some kind of baseline. Don't just go run out there and buy something. (I guess if you have the money, you can go out there and try it.)We've been working with a pretty good support team that we get to bounce things off of.I can't find anything bad about them. It's been a big improvement for us.When I look for a vendor, support is important to me. You want to be able to buy a piece of equipment, run a piece of equipment, you don't know anything about, and know that somebody can support it, so that when something does crash, they're not going to just say, "Oh, call somebody else," or run away from you. Support is very important; I would think so.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-03T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The whole process of compilation, builds, and exports takes a lot less time. So instead of 10 builds per day, I can do three times as much. I would like better monitoring apps or software.Valuable FeaturesClustered Data ONTAP 8.3b3 is valuable. Also, valuable is the easy migration between our old NetApp solution and this one. It was painless, as there was no downtime and we saw immediate results.Improvements to My OrganizationLower latency means faster end products. From development to the end, it now takes less time to compile a product and export it. The whole process of compilation, builds, and exports takes a lot less time. So instead of 10 builds per day, I can do three times as much.Room for ImprovementKnowledge base on the internet needs improvements so that I can find my own solution for stuff. I'd also like better monitoring apps or software.Use of SolutionWe've been using it for about six months for low latency and critical loads.Stability Issues10/10Scalability IssuesIt's very scalable.Customer Service and Technical SupportCustomer Service: 8/10Technical Support: 8/10Previous SolutionsBefore this we were using 7-Mode and other NetApp FAS products. We upgraded for speed and newer features.Initial SetupThe initial setup was really easy. It took three days to set up once we got it.Implementation TeamWe used a vendor team with in-house personnel. The vendor team were 9/10.ROI8/10Other Solutions Considered* HP 3PAR 7400* XtremIO* Nutanix* SimpliVityWe chose NetApp for a mix of reasons -- the price was great and also because we were working with NetApp before. It was really easy to migrate everything and keep everything using NetApp technology.Other AdviceIt's good, but not perfect. If you are already working with NetApp, this is the very clear choice.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helped reduce our latency and increase our job flowWhat is our primary use case?We use it in the healthcare industry.How has it helped my organization?It's helped with latency. It has improved our job flows.What is most valuable?It's fast and reliable.What needs improvement?I would like to see more functionality with the external software, SnapCenter. There should also be more integration with the flash side of things. But overall, it's been pretty good.What do I think about the stability of the solution?My impression of the stability is that it's good.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It's pretty scalable. When you add more to the environment it helps things, overall.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support has been really good. NetApp support has been really helpful. We have a SAM that we use as well, and he helps us with issues that come up, bugs, etc.Which solutions did we use previously?We were pushing what we had too far on performance. It wasn't so good, so that's when we looked at All Flash.How was the initial setup?It was really straightforward, for the most part. We were used to working with FAS already and this is just adding All Flash and SSD to the mix. It's a lot of the same standards we had already.What about the implementation team?For the installation and configuration, we've done the recent ones directly through NetApp. Our experience with them has been positive.What was our ROI?We'll have the solid-state drives around longer so we won't be turning over controllers or disk as fast.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Our shortlist was really just NetApp, in our situation. We're pretty much all NetApp. We didn't evaluate anything else for this particular project.What other advice do I have?I would recommend NetApp.I rate it at nine out of ten, and close to a ten. We've been pretty happy with the All Flash.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's easier to provision applications for VMware, VDI, Oracle, and SQL. Supports multiple protocols.What is most valuable?* CIFS (stable solution)* Ability to support multiple protocolsHow has it helped my organization?* SVM application provisioning: makes it easier to provision applications for VMware, VDI, Oracle, and SQL.* All flash: low latency and higher IOPS since it’s all flash.What needs improvement?Firmware upgrades consistently continue to be the weak spot in all NetApp products.For how long have I used the solution?For 8 months now.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I have not yet had any stability issues.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?I have not had any issues with scalability.How is customer service and technical support?Customer Service: On a scale of 1-5, I would rate them 3.5.Technical Support: On a scale of 1-5, I would rate them 3.5.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was complex. In spite of the new CDOT 9, NetApp setup is still complex. It requires configuration of all the network interfaces, SVMs, which can become a little overwhelming.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?NetApp is trying to stay in competition and are offering competitive prices to existing/new consumers. The key is being aggressive.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We looked at Pure Storage and Nimble.What other advice do I have?Be prepared for a lot of configuration hiccups before being operational.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-02-14T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reduces the time to move data around as well as boot and migrate VMsWhat is our primary use case?AFF is our primary source for our data centers. We use it for our multi-tenancy data center. We like the crypto erase function available on the SSDs and we needed the high performance, IOPs that you can get from SSDs.How has it helped my organization?This solution makes everything a lot faster. The time to move data around, boot, and migrate VMs is much faster. The speed has also helped improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs.What is most valuable?We like the high security, self-encrypting drives, and the NVMe.What needs improvement?I need faster Fibre Channel over Ethernet. They top out at 10GBs today and I would like that to go to 40 or 100.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I find it very stable. Everything's been up and running well. We actually had an outage in our testbed data center and everything shut off hard and came back up without any problems.How is customer service and technical support?The tech support is good, although I don't use them that much. The product is good.Which solutions did we use previously?We have always been a NetApp customer, it's a very good product. We knew that we wanted more performance. It wasn't a hard decision.How was the initial setup?The setup was pretty complex. There was a lot of compliance and there was a lot of security requirements, but it went pretty well.It took us two to three days to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF because we're a little different. We do short duration uses which means that we build everything from scratch, tear it down, and build it again.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Our total cost of ownership has increased. SSDs are expensive.Which other solutions did I evaluate?In the early days, we were considering Dell EMC but we decided to go with NetApp because its adoption across the DoD is widely understood.What other advice do I have?The user experience is the same as it ever was, only faster.I would rate this solution as a nine. It's not a ten because we would like to see the faster speeds on the Fibre Channel over Ethernet. AFF is definitely a good product.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-27T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ?We use it for automating cloud deployments of SAP applications and products, but it has issues with deleting big data.Valuable FeaturesSnapMirror is definitely the most valuable feature for us. It allows us to have a snapshot in minutes and we can use it to restore quickly from a backup.Also, the speed of AFF is great.Improvements to My OrganizationWe use it for automating cloud deployments of SAP applications and products.Room for ImprovementThey have issues with deleting big data.Use of SolutionWe've been using it since September.Deployment IssuesWe encountered no deployment issues.Stability IssuesIt's generally stable.Scalability IssuesIt scales to our needs.Customer Service and Technical SupportTechnical support were helpful, but it took time to find the right person to help me. It started with a service rep in India, and was passed to three people until we found the right person with the correct knowledge. I give them a 7 out of 10.Previous SolutionsIt's our first flash storage solution.Initial SetupI wasn't involved, but those who were told me it was easy.Other AdviceDon’t implement if it's not needed because it’s quite expensive. We need it because of the demanding features.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-12-11T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Robust hardware, simplistic and deploys easilyWhat is our primary use case?The primary use case of this solution is for its speed. We're using the AFF as a cache disk. We have terabytes of data that we have to move quickly off a system. The only way we could do that is with the 40 gig backbone that all-flash array provides and the speed of the disks.What is most valuable?Besides for the speed, one of the most valuable features that the AFF gives me is the robust hardware that it has. It's simplistic. It deploys very easily. It's already built from the factory to take advantage of the all-flash array.I would describe the user experience of the solution as very simplistic. There's a very easy GUI to use, and then when you need to get very, very detailed, you have a robust command line that you could do anything you want with to enhance performance for your solutions. Really what we're using the AFF for is solely for speed. We really need the power of the backbone and the speed of the disks because we have to move so much data.Setting up and provisioning enterprise applications take minutes. It's just not difficult. We only have to use the GUI, curate the spaces, and go. I've setup entire NetApp systems in a morning.What needs improvement?I don't need anything improved. This solution does what I need it to do. I would like to see a cleaner GUI and better help pages. The solution itself doesn't bother, a lot of times it's that after it's installed. I have more issues with the support after the setup. I want it to be more simplistic than it already is and I would love to see the GUI be more simplistic.For how long have I used the solution?Still implementing.What do I think about the stability of the solution?So far the system has been excellent, no complaints. NetApp has always been built as a massively fault-tolerant system. If we have a problem, it just doesn't show it.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?Scalability is excellent. If we need more space it's a no downtime solution. It's harder to get the funding than it is to get the solution itself.How is customer service and technical support?I go to tech support with difficulty because I installed NetApp for many years I know what to expect when I call. When I don't get the support tech that I'm expecting and I'm trying to get to the right one, it can get very frustrating for me to push my way to the right person. NetApp has the right people, it's just a matter of getting to them.How was the initial setup?I installed NetApp for many, many years. The initial setup of NetApp is very simplistic. Even as an installer, for years upon years, there's a giant poster board that I still use to this day, because that tells me exactly where my cables are supposed to go. It just gets me off the ground quickly and then it's just a matter of following the GUI and knowing what you're doing.What other advice do I have?I would rate the product at least an eight. I should give it a nine, if not a ten, but there's always room for improvement.I would tell someone considering this solution that it's expensive, but it's worth the money. You're going to get the speed and the backbones that you need to accomplish what you do. If you need that kind of speed and that kind of performance, you can get it out of the AFF.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 SnapMirror and SnapVault features provide DR and backup for data redundancyWhat is our primary use case?We have deployed NetApp AFF with four nodes; two of these are in our primary data center, and the remaining two are in the second data center. We are using Cluster Mode configurations.How has it helped my organization?Our organization has improved because this solution provides a Highly Available storage system with DR configurations, deployed across two data centers.What is most valuable?The features that I found most valuable are SnapMirror and SnapVault; these provide DR and backup for data redundancy. The High Availability and Cluster-mode Setup are also very useful.What needs improvement?I would like to see an improvement in the High Availability of the NFS and CIFS sharing during upgrade and patching; this would help to avoid downtime.For how long have I used the solution?More than five years.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-05-02T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Data efficiency is the most valuable feature because of the dedupe and compressionWhat is our primary use case?We are mostly using it for NAS, CIFS, and NFS protocols.How has it helped my organization?Logical data might be very high, but the physical data, because of efficiency features (such as, dedupe, compression, etc.), has been greatly reduce data. Therefore, we are getting 10 to 20 times the efficiency on this product.What is most valuable?Data efficiency is the most valuable feature of NetApp.What needs improvement?I would like to see aggregate level encryption in the next release. This is critical.Disk level encryption is already in the solution, but it is very costly. Its pricing should come down.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It is stable.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?It is scalable. On the NFS side, we have around 24 nodes, so that is pretty scalable. Also, the scale up is very high.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is always great from NetApp. It is the best.Which solutions did we use previously?We were not previously using another solution.How was the initial setup?The initial setup is very easy.What was our ROI?We have seen ROI from the product.Which other solutions did I evaluate?We were looking at NetApp and Dell EMC. However, NetApp is know for their NFS solution.What other advice do I have?This is the best solution in the market.NetApp is a good company. I use to work there.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2018-11-04T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We use it for VMDK files, data stores, and VMs in general.What is most valuable?The most valuable feature is the IOPS speed, everything that comes with it. It's just a great platform to be on, for example, with VMDK files, data stores, and VMs in general. Users say things like, "What happened? How come it's so fast. What did you do different?"All the features that we were sold and told about, they all work; it's been good.How has it helped my organization?First of all, the cost was a benefit to my organization. The cost was great for us. It just made sense to do it. Then, speed. Then, just overall manageability of the system itself.What needs improvement?Higher performance would be an improvement, absolutely.They could bring the cost down but, as I’ve mentioned, the cost was right for what we needed.Regarding whether you are happy with the user interface, I think that depends on whether you're used to the CLI or you're used to the GUI. I'm a CLI guy, so I like it.What do I think about the stability of the solution?I've had zero stability or scalability issues.How is customer service and technical support?For the AFF, I haven't had to use technical support; I'm good.Which solutions did we use previously?We were on a very old 7-mode system; that's what we migrated from. That was our next step, to stay with ONTAP because we liked the features of ONTAP, and we wanted the speed and performance of the All Flash FAS.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was very straightforward, just simple. It wasn't difficult at all.What about the implementation team?Follow the instructions. That's all. It's straightforward; it wasn't hard at all.What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?Pricing was very competitive but right on the mark for us.Which other solutions did I evaluate?Before choosing this product, I also evaluated EMC ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/dell-emc ) and Pure ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/vendors/pure-storage ). The decision came down to what we were used to managing and what we trusted.In general, when I’m looking at a vendor to work with, I look for honesty. That's all I look for. I understand they have to make money and I understand we have to spend money to get it, but I don't want to be taken; I don't want to feel like I'm getting taken as it's being sold to me.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-16T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We primarily use it as shared storage for virtualized environments.What is our primary use case?Shared storage for virtualized environments.How has it helped my organization?Reducing data fingerprint (deduplication) and speeding up access to data.What is most valuable?* Deduplication* SnapManager* Autosupport.What needs improvement?Synchronous replication and active-active environments.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2019-03-11T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It provides fast VDI services for our call center.Valuable FeaturesFor me, the most valuable feature it has been the capability to provide fast VDI services for our call center. In North Carolina, we get some harsh winters, a lot of ice; not really snow, but some ice. Call center workers can't come in to work. We still need to field the calls when they come in. With the VDI platform, we're allowed to let them use their home computers to call in and use the services like they were in the office. The low latency that the all-flash provides, allows for the actual call center software to work flawlessly. It's like they are in the office and it's been working out great.It's been a great product in my quiver.Improvements to My OrganizationAs an example, if we miss a call reporting a fuel leak, that can cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Missing those calls is not possible. With this product, we can turn around agents across the globe, left and right, just turn them on and they provision so quick that they don't even know that stuff is happening. If a VM happens to mess up, we can delete it and provision a new one. It's super-fast.Room for ImprovementMake it a little bit cheaper, but I don't think I would change anything of the system. Right now, each release has surprised me. Actually, I'm very happy with the results.I’m looking forward to them coming out with SnapMirror to AltaVault; that's going to be awesome. Right now, I have to use a third-party product to do backups from my FAS systems over to the AltaVault. Then, it goes over to Amazon S3. With the SnapMirror, innovation I can go directly from my NetApp straight to it. I no longer have to have a third-party product to do it. That's coming up, I believe, at the end of the year.Stability IssuesTheir platforms are always rock solid.Scalability IssuesYou can keep adding shelves and it works.Customer Service and Technical SupportI haven't had to use tech support. The product's been that good.Previous SolutionsWe knew needed this type solution based on a lot of research. We needed to provide an experience similar to the desktops. That really pushed us towards the flash array ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ).I did not previously use a different solution; we were just using regular desktops. We did not have an environment to support at that time.Initial SetupInitial setup was very easy; it took maybe 30 minutes to do.Other Solutions ConsideredThe choice was really simple: either going with a hybrid FAS or an all-flash FAS. We did a quick bake-off and the all-flash won hands down.We did not consider any other vendors.The most important criteria for me when considering vendors to work with has to be their interoperability between the platforms. NetApp has clearly done that.Other AdviceLook at the full product range that NetApp has to offer. They have something for everybody. Their portfolio is so wide. If you're a DevOp shop, look at SolidFire. There are products for the Edge consumer, ROBO, and cloud. All of them talk together with the data fabric.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-13T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Performance is the most important feature. We use it for SQL, Oracle and SAP.What is most valuable?The most valuable features are the performance, speed, and that it is easy to manage. The most important one is performance. We use it for SQL, Oracle and SAP.How has it helped my organization?It makes the applications faster for production. There are no complaints from users about slowness. Performance is the main benefit of the All-Flash FAS ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/netapp-all-flash-fas ).It has made us more efficient, because we are an oil and gas company. Most of our applications depend on Oracle, SAP, or SQL, where it needs good performance. We have 24/7 operation. We cannot stop for any reason, because we need to produce oil, always.What needs improvement?There is room for improvement with the price. I’d like the price to go down.At a recent NetApp conference, I attended a lab for Data ONTAP 9. I don't know everything about it. I need to spend some time to go through it; to see what they can improve.Other than that, I don't have anything in mind.What do I think about the stability of the solution?It's very stable; no issues. We have had it installed for the last 12 months, and there have been no issues up until now.We have already decided to buy more of them. I think, by end of this year or the beginning of next year, we will release the order for this.What do I think about the scalability of the solution?About 90% of our data center is sitting on NetApp, either All Flash, 8080 or something else. VMware is also sitting on NetApp. That’s also good; no scalability issues.How is customer service and technical support?Technical support is very good. But we are also very good; we have solid knowledge of NetApp. I have been using NetApp for the last 12 years.Which solutions did we use previously?We previously used HPE, but that was a long time ago. Since we moved from HPE to NetApp ( https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/comparisons/hpe-3par-flash-storage_vs_netapp-all-flash-fas ), we’ve only been working with FAS.How was the initial setup?Initial setup was straightforward. Installation is easy, but we spent a long time proving it's good; convincing our users, which are application developers or DBAs, to move to this one. But the initial setup is piece of cake.What other advice do I have?As a storage admin, I just need to install my storage. I don't want someone to call me back and say, “Oh, there is an issue.” Right now, we don't have complaints from users. That means less stress, which is fantastic.The interface is pretty good. It’s really easy to use.The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are stability; how much they improve the technology; service; and support. All of these together are very important.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-21T00:00:00-05:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The valuable features include the ability to have the storage efficiency of compaction, compression and in-line dedupe.Valuable Features:The valuable features of All Flash FAS, as well as the ONTAP, are the ability to have the storage efficiency of compaction, compression and in-line dedupe; being able to maximize the original investment for additional components to our Epic environment; also being able to SnapMirror and FlexClone to refresh our Epic instances in a streamlined manner that prevents us from having to do a lot of file copy.Improvements to My Organization:We have consolidated on to UCS and Nexus on NetApp. The FlexPod model has made it very easy for our support staff. We don't have to support a large number of other types of vendors and such. Support from the two partners, including VMware, makes it easier for us to be able to manage it and get to the root cause of problems that we have encountered.Room for Improvement:The way that we're using All Flash and FlexPod with All Flash is for an Epic environment. Because Epic dictates how they want things done, all the features that we're getting from ONTAP, for all the things that I’ve mentioned, really meet our needs.One of the areas in which we are going to be looking at All Flash is for our MetroCluster environment. There is one feature that I would really want at this point: They are only talking about an eight-node MetroCluster for NAS, so I would want that also for SAN. We're very interested in moving towards All Flash for that over the next couple of years and we would definitely want to make sure that we can scale the MetroCluster beyond just four nodes; two nodes per site.Stability Issues:We've been up and running for over a year in production with Epic and we've had zero down time. We have been able to upgrade without impact to the application.Scalability Issues:It's very scalable. The cluster will go up to eight nodes currently, and more. We can easily scale it, as well as being able to replicate it to our other data center.Other Solutions Considered:We looked at VCE or the EMC equivalent. That was really the main consideration. HP was also considered, for 3PAR. Epic's recommendations for storage played a key role in the decision. Their comfortability with ONTAP and their flash. At the time, they were not very comfortable with the XtremeIO that was being offered up, what has happened with that product and the instability with that product. We're very glad that we did go with NetApp.There were other factors too. Cost seemed to be lower with NetApp, but in the grand scheme of things the hardware component was a much smaller amount in the budget when you look at the entire cost of implementing Epic. Definitely cost plays into it. The elegance of the solution is another big key. The manpower required to administrate VCE and to patch it really requires someone to hand hold the entire upgrade process, whereas with NetApp it's a lot more flexible, it's intuitive and doesn't quite require that same level of administrative work.Other Advice:I don’t recommend looking at any one specific vendor, but one of my biggest concerns is having a lot of different components that are brought together. I like having things simple, lowering the number of interdependencies for the storage platform; whatever makes that less likely and less prone to have failure. The other vendors out there that we have looked at have always been bringing different solutions together and having it be a construct of many parts. That played a big role; the most important thing for this hardware to do was to stay up and running, and required the least amount of manpower that we would have to hire and administrate. Ultimately, that's why we chose NetApp. It's an elegant solution.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It introduced non-disruptive upgrades, but the initial setup could be streamlined.Valuable FeaturesONTAP A3 was huge for me because it introduced non-disruptive upgrades, which is imperative in the retail business.Improvements to My OrganizationWe have a lot of applications that utilize it, and it has ties for e-commerce. Anytime there's the slightest blip in availability, it’s noticeable across the entire enterprise. Upgrade and upware swaps are seamless.Room for ImprovementThe process for initial setup could be streamlined. I had a couple of instances that weren’t clear in terms of which direction I should go.Use of SolutionWe’ve used it for one year now.Stability IssuesIt's rock solid, we've only run into one small bug in the code. NetApp were very responsive in getting us to identify it, and providing us with a workaround. I have very little to do in management of FAS because it’s so stable.Scalability IssuesWe haven’t yet needed to scale. We only have two nodes, but I have plans to present to management for growth. I know it will be seamless in adding nodes in clusters. I’m not afraid to take it on because I know it’ll be easy.Customer Service and Technical SupportThey’re incredibly responsive. We found a bug in the virus scanner that was causing issue in our environment. They identified it and gave us workaround shortly which allowed us to stay online and productive until they provided fix with 8.3. We haven’t had a problem since.Initial SetupIt was mildly complex. At the time, I had very little experience with seven-mode, and we had some falste starts with getting cdot configured. But we used the seven-mode migration tool for 20 terrabytes of data in two days.Other AdviceI’m in love with FAS series and am chomping at the bit to get my hands on all-flashWhat are you waiting for? They’re easy and rock solid. cDot is a gamechanger. The ability to abstract everything into the virtual layer makes management easier and gives you tremendous flexibility. Makes my life much simpler.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2015-10-22T00:00:00-04:00