NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

We're already cluster-mode so we can just slide the AFF into the existing cluster and migrate all our data across relatively seamlessly. The existing filers, are struggling on the load.


Valuable Features

Snapshot, SnapMirror, FlexClone, and deduplication are features we use a lot of and which are valuable to us. We're also using light compression, which is a new thing on the AFF.

Improvements to My Organization

For us, it's brilliant to have all the functionality that NetApp gives you out the box. We've been a NetApp customer for 14 years and it's great now that we can get that on all-flash and have the performance to go alongside the functionality. We've always wanted that performance. The really good thing for us is we're already cluster-mode so we can just slide the AFF into the existing cluster and migrate all our data across relatively seamlessly.

Room for Improvement

For us it's about getting stuff on the website faster and more reliably. Currently our existing filers are struggling on the load. So it's all about performance really; it could have better performance.

Use of Solution

We've been looking at it and talking about it for probably about three months. We've ordered it, and it's in the data center now. We've got the kit, it's just not in production. We'll hopefully deploy and put it into production this year.

Deployment Issues

We didn't have issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

We expect it to be stable.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I think our experience has been a bit hit-and-miss. From a technical point of view, we were early adopters of clustered Data ONTAP and cDOT. We found that the support was limited on cDOT. We were using cDOT for the better part of three years and it's only now that it feels like the support team at NetApp has caught up. That was a challenge, and again there's been a lot of changes at NetApp around the sales side of the business and I think we've suffered a bit at the hands of that.

Initial Setup

It should be straightforward because we know it; it should be straightforward.

Other Solutions Considered

To be honest, we spoke to a lot of people. We spoke to Tegile, XtremIO, Pure Storage, SolidFire, and Nutanix just to understand the market because it felt like the storage market had moved on quite a lot over the last three years. Clearly, with us being an NFS house, it's all we've used. It came down really to Tegile or NetApp.

We chose NetApp because it was an easier deployment for us because we already know it. We've got the skills. We know that it works and, I guess, NetApp has just got a bit more experience in the market. Their ability to execute is kind of a known for us.

Other Advice

It's interesting as in it's come down at a price-point now to where it's much more feasible than it was even two or three years ago, to go down the old-fashioned road. It doesn't mean necessarily it's the right thing to do, I don't think. I think it's important that as a customer you understand what your requirements are.

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