NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Our business is growing, so we don’t know exactly what to expect and we throw things at our network that are new. The AFF gives us the expansion we need later on without buying more controllers.


What is most valuable?

It's great that software monitoring is all in one place instead of in different modules. It also provides us with real-time metrics.

We went from a FAS 2040 to an AFF 8040, and the evolution has blown us away. The deduplication technology that it gives us means that we are getting more storage for our money. It's a better value than disc drives.

Also, clustered Data ONTAP is valuable to us.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us a platform that is reliable going forward. We only had one outage on the 2040 in five years, and we are expecting similar from the 8040. Our business is growing, so we don’t know exactly what to expect and we throw things at our network that are new. The new flash gives us the expansion we need later on without having to buy more controllers.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to see a 1 GB portal for networking on the back rather than just the 10 GB that we can use as a backup. If we have an issue with the 10 GB, we can have the 1 GB cable as a backup while we fix the issue while running them in pairs.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for three months for VMs, SQL, file storage, email, some Oracle databases, and SharePoint.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've not had any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We’ve done transfers, migrations, data copies in and out, and it hasn’t flinched. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales to our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10. We haven’t had to use it yet for the AFF, but with the FAS they were excellent.

Technical Support:

Technical support is excellent.

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

We use HP’s servers and are happy with them, but when we upgraded to flash for FAS, we looked only at NetApp and the other options that were potentially cheaper, but decided on NetApp in the end because we were happy with them.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward. There is only a small amount of NFS and the rest of it is CIF, so setup is very simple.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team who were 10/10.

What was our ROI?

It will probably be within 12 month when we make back what we spent on this product in terms of the storage increase we’ve got. It's given us an increase in overall performance, which means we utilize less resources because it's quicker.

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

With the networking changes, the costs were £140,000. There were some very harsh negotiations going on, and they got this order 12 minutes before the end of their deadline for their end of year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Tegile, Violin, and Nimble. It came down to the management of the FAS itself, and the others seem slightly less mature in the market. It came down to trusting what we know works.

What other advice do I have?

It's quite a jump for us from where we are coming from. Try not to think of it as a complex item. Instead, think of it in terms of what you want it to do and what the business needs it to do rather than putting the kitchen sink in it at the start.


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

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author avatarTechnical Marketing Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor

Hi Malcolm,

The AFF8040 controller does have four GbE ports on the right side labeled e0i, e0j, e0k, and e0l. Otherwise nice write up and glad to hear this system is working out so well for you.

Take care,
-chris