What is most valuable?
For the All Flash FAS, performance is the number one feature, above the reliability and scalability. First of all, the All Flash FAS is extremely fast. We're serving something in the neighborhood of a trillion transactions per month in SQL. We are getting great performance, submillisecond. As far as scalability, we can extend to new nodes and move data around at will. It's been a really good solution.
How has it helped my organization?
We are a customer-driven solution. We're running the environment and have some very demanding customers that require zero downtime, extremely good performance, and the solution has worked out extremely well for us.
We have a software that is a learning environment for schools, higher education and corporate businesses. User software for learning environments. And they use our class as their learning environment.
We need everything to be reliable and to work fast, and we have absolutely found that with NetApp.
What needs improvement?
I'd like to be able to move volumes between virtual machines, for one thing. That’s a little thing that has bothered me. I think I'm pretty happy with what the feature set is right now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We had some bumpy roads early on, but it has been very reliable. We're doing very well with it.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
With the ability to move data as soon as needed, we can expand and contract as we need to. It works out pretty nicely. We’ve had no issues in terms of scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
NetApp’s technical support is second to none. I have worked with other vendors that have not been quite as reliable. But, getting support to come out is easy and reliable, and it's always top-grade help.
I believe we have gone through EMC and Hitachi. I think that's it, actually. I personally worked with IBM. IBM’s support was pretty good, too.
If I was selecting a new vendor today, support would probably be the most important criteria for me. That has been the big differentiator for us; always pushing P1s for us. It's very easy to get support and prioritize it as needed; they help us extremely well.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I wasn't involved in that decision-making process, so I'm not sure what the driving force was. I was actually hired after the fact because I worked with NetApp in the past.
How was the initial setup?
I wasn’t involved in the initial setup, but I think the team found it fairly straightforward. We had good support from NetApp. We worked very closely with our account team. They walked us through very well and we had no issues getting going, as far as I know.
What other advice do I have?
I've been a NetApp advocate for many years, so I definitely say, look into it because of the performance, the stability, the scalability, the support.