NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

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.

What is most valuable?

We 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.

How has it helped my organization?

For 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.

What needs improvement?

Inline deduplication would be great to have, but everything else is fantastic.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for six months to help run VDI, server virtualization, OLTP databases, date warehouse, and mail subsystems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No failures yet at the four customers I’ve installed this for.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is expandable as you can mix it with normal High-Availability pairs, so it's very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer 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.

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

I’ve only been working with NetApp products.

How was the initial setup?

It only took one day for the initial setup of a normal system, including performance and system monitoring. So setup is quite fast and straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I implement it for our customers.

What other advice do I have?

Partner 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.

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