NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

It introduced non-disruptive upgrades, but the initial setup could be streamlined.


Valuable Features

ONTAP A3 was huge for me because it introduced non-disruptive upgrades, which is imperative in the retail business.

Improvements to My Organization

We 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 Improvement

The 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 Solution

We’ve used it for one year now.

Stability Issues

It'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 Issues

We 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 Support

They’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 Setup

It 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 Advice

I’m in love with FAS series and am chomping at the bit to get my hands on all-flash

What 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.

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