NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

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 Features

Right 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 Organization

It'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 Improvement

I'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 Solution

We're in the process of starting a partnership, and we've been a client for five years.

Stability Issues

So far quite good.

Scalability Issues

The 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 Support

8/10, 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 Solutions

We 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 Setup

Cluster mode setup was complex to do the first time, but everything else was straightforward.

Other Solutions Considered

We 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 Advice

It 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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We’re starting to partner with them.
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