NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

It's given us the ability to move from a switchless cluster setup to a switched cluster setup without any impact on performance or availability.


What is most valuable?

  • Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3.1
  • Great storage device
  • It can handle higher workloads and has faster response times.

The function I like best on the NetApp cluster is the ability to move from a switchless cluster setup to a switched cluster setup without any impact on performance or availability. We did this recently during a normal workday with zero impact -- quite impressive, I must say.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to seamlessly go from a switchless cluster to the AFF. We did it with zero downtime, it was done during a normal workday without maintenance, and it had no impact on performance.

What needs improvement?

I don’t like to the monitoring systems available from NetApp as they do not give me the proper insight into performance problems which might occur. Recently, NetApp brought out their Graphite and Grafana tools in Harvest. To have all the metrics available in Graphite or Grafana is a really cool improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it since March for our functional testing and QA. We use our Netapp AFF in a cluster mode setup in combination with a flashpool NetApp. This Netapp cluster is used to serve our QA environment. Whenever we have machines which demand high IO or low latency we move them into the Netapp AFF volumes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We only need one person maintaining it, and it’s very stable. There’s been no crashes with the new 8.1 Cluster Mode.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scaling to our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8-9/10

Technical Support:

8-9/10

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

This is the first all-flash product I've used.

How was the initial setup?

It's a straightforward Next > Next > Finish setup, like Windows.

What about the implementation team?

We did it with a vendor who were 9/10.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We performed a good comparison between it and EMC XtremIO and HP 3PAR, and decided to use NetApp. We chose NetApp because we had used them before and we know how to troubleshoot it. Also, no other vendor offers the cluster mode and isolation of the performance through virtual machines.

What other advice do I have?

Just go for it.


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

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Top 20Real User

Sorry but wasnt the title something like "Research HPE 3PAR Flash...but choose NetApp..."? I dont see any conclusions about 3PAR. So this article isn´t very helpful at all.