NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Previously, we had to reprogram every three months or so, so not having to do that with AFF is huge. Scalability is difficult, as the number of shelves is limited to 2 or 4.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature for us completely depends on the workload. We've run it on various environments, including VMware. We were able to migrate to VMware with clustered Data ONTAP. That was important for us.

Improvements to My Organization

Stability was something that was really wanted to improve on, and we've been ale to do that with AFF. Previously, we had to reprogram every three months or so, so not having to do that with AFF is huge.

Secondly, we do a lot less daily maintenance than we used to. It's a fairly trouble-free system as we simply configure it and pretty much leave it alone.

Room for Improvement

I had a few issues, but they were easy to fix. I would like for it to be more scalable as the number of shelves is limited.

Use of Solution

We installed it in July.

Scalability Issues

Scalability is difficult. The number of shelves is limited to 2 or 4, and the number of terrabytes we potentially have doesn't match to this limit.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We don't have a lot of contact with technical support because our engineers handle any issues. But the product itself has been excellent.

Initial Setup

The initial setup wasn't easy, and in fact took about 6 years. It was a slow start, but of course it was new back then, and it takes time.

Implementation Team

We were one of the first and even the engineer had some trouble configuring it for us.

Other Solutions Considered

We can't decide for ourselves so we ask the market, this is what we want to do, what should we buy? Then markers come with the products. There isn't a lot of choice.

Other Advice

We've had a good experience with it so far. Right now, we're using it for our customers, but if we were to also use it for ourselves, it would be too small. I'm sure they'll improve in the future, but we'll just have to wait for the solution to support ten to fifteen thousand users.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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

author avatarit_user355122 (International CTO at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees)

I think you have a typo in there as the setup probably did not take 6 years :-)
Also I do not understand your comment regarding scalability. Even with the 8020 you can hook up 10 shelves and if that isn't enough you can add more Nodes (more 8020/40/60/80 HA pairs).

author avatarSami Ventriglia
Top 20Integrator

Great review ICTManager672, this lines up to what I've heard from clients and peers in the field.

Alexander, based on tech specs the max RAID (DP) group size is 28 SSD drives, or two shelves. I'm sure there are some workarounds by clustering heads in CDOT to accommodate a larger dataset, but my guess is you'll see NetApp release heads specifically designed for AFF with more compute and memory at the same time they increase RAID group sizes. Or maybe we will see the return of FlashRay, or maybe we will see the Solidfire with a NetApp bezel soon... time will tell :).

author avatarit_user335835 (Global Manager (Storage) Cloud Managed Services at IT Convergence)
Real User

How has it been going? is there a recommendation to choose between the 3.8TB & 15TB SSD's