Microsoft FAST Review

Robust solution with good value

What is our primary use case?

I support the Microsoft support and I already had previous Microsoft experience, so it was easier for me to pick up and work with them considering their rules and regulations.

How has it helped my organization?

When I'm working with Microsoft I get a lot of updates from them. If there are any updates or new features coming up, I get updated with the technology. 

What is most valuable?

I have previously worked on Exchange and SharePoint, so I am quite used to it. I find Microsoft FAST to be user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

Overall with this Microsoft product, there are no improvements required. But there is a lot of documentation required for Microsoft support. Most are documented, but not everything. That's when we have to do a little bit of R&D on it to understand the product and then explain it to the end-user.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft FAST for the last 18 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, Microsoft FAST is stable.

If there is any change in a system or a configuration or an update, we might face some issues.

But if it's configured properly or if you are properly handling it, you won't face any issues.

There is no maintenance required.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are a lot of people who are working along with me, so this task is divided between multiple people, and everyone focuses on their own tasks.

I look into the configuration part of it while the user is being handled by different teams.

We do have plans to increase usage of FAST.

How are customer service and technical support?

We do get support from Microsoft, but the response is quite slow. Mostly we try to fix an issue on our own. What we do whenever we come across any issues is we make sure that it has been documented from our end, so that if it reappears in the future it can be fixed.

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

I have worked with SharePoint for indexing.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It did not take much time.

The main focus of our implementation strategy, over 60% - 70%, was on the planning part of it and 30% - 40% was on implementation because if the plan is proper, then implementation  can take less time.

What about the implementation team?

We had a team of our users who would be working on it.

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

Microsoft FAST is good. It is a new product. It has good pricing. It's not expensive.

But people have to understand how the functionality works and how FAST is growing. So accordingly, it is good value for the money.

What other advice do I have?

Microsoft FAST is quite robust. Our clients are quite happy with it.

For other users who already have a solution in place, we recommend Microsoft FAST because it is more compatible and you can organize the solution with Microsoft components. If you are with any other third party, there could be a chance that the required output is not what you would expect. But with Microsoft, it will work better. It is compatible with the older generation systems, so you can offer it.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give Microsoft FAST an eight because I'm quite comfortable with it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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