What is most valuable?
That it works. That it does exactly what it says on the tin. That once it's set up, it does exactly what's its supposed to do. There are no "gotchas," there are no "oopsies." Not in this particular use case. There is no hidden BS that has to be satisfied, this, that, or the other. It just does exactly what it's supposed to do.
How has it helped my organization?
Up time, cost, predictability.
With the old Dell EqualLogic, EMC, up-time was always an issue. There was always something that created a problem here and there. We have, in four years, not had a single system-down issue. That's hard to beat.
The predictability of our system utilization: I can predict fairly easily when I need to go out and buy new shelves because I can trend it all. I can fairly easily predict where I need to open more aisles. I can fairly easily predict where I need more space. It just works.
What needs improvement?
The CLI part of it is still evolving enough that commands that you expect to do something become deprecated and you want to take their place and you have to keep up with the code base. In this code base you do this, and in this code base you do this, and in this code base you do that. But for the most part its good and, let's be honest, everything changes.
Automatic tiering would be good to have.
My biggest thing is I would love to see a native SMB or NFS front end to an optic store on the AFF and FAS platforms. Right now you want me to go out and buy a front end for it that creates an optic store on it and gives me the SMB interface. I would love to see that as a native part of the SBM. It doesn't have to be the end all be all; it doesn't have to be this hyper-scale thing but just the fact that I have it, so I can dip my toe in it, and I can get something that kind of works, that would be epic; that is my main thing.
The other big annoyance I have with Net App is the fragmentation of all the software. I have SnapManager, I have this, I have that, and they're all slightly different. They all look slightly different. They all come in different VMs. Some are OBAs, some are installed on Windows, some have weird requirements like, "No, no, no, it has to run on this version of Windows." It would be nice to just have all of that in one giant application and then just turn on and off different features based on license keys. That would make things easier.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Great. It's been perfect for four years. You can't beat that.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
So far I have not had any issues at all. The only couple of things I would like to see would be something, as I said, like internal tiering where you could automatically set up an aggregate spread across a 10K disc and have the controller automatically tier it. But now we're going all flash anyway so who cares? We've kind of brute forced our way out of the problems.
How is customer service and technical support?
They're good. They're knowledgeable, absolutely. I have no complaints with the tech support that we have had to deal with.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We switched because EMC and Dell, and EqualLogic sucked and it was driving me nuts and it never worked.
How was the initial setup?
It was a paradigm shift because every stack has its own set of unique ways of doing things and getting used to that and getting into that mindset took a little bit of effort but once you get it, it's clear sailing.
Upgrades are not complex.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We're a law firm. I think this product is valuable for pretty much anybody who has a large amount of data that they need to manage. I don't think that this product is uniquely valuable for a law firm.
What other advice do I have?
I am a very happy customer.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Oct 16 2017