NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

We have some OLTP applications. It is useful for that environment.


What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are speed, latency, and throughput. We have a few workloads where we need speed, high throughput, and fast response time. We have some OLTP applications. It is very useful for that environment.

How has it helped my organization?

In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, the other thing is we are short on rack space. We can fit a lot of this storage in less rack space. It actually helps us reduce our cost, and increase efficiency.

What needs improvement?

Right now, even though they say that you can increase the cluster to a certain number of nodes, internally, the HA is only in two nodes. It is two-node HA architecture internally in the cluster. I think they should try to really scale it out, as a solution. For example, if you have a four-node cluster. Internally, it's still like a two-node HA. You have two-node HA and two-node HA, and you can't combine that into a four-node cluster. That is, we can combine them but internally, it's still two-node clustering. If one node goes down, you are exposed. You are only on one node in your HA.

I have already spoken with the engineering folks. Maybe they can have a common back plane, so that every node can see all the shelves. They'll have to go to their hardware folks.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have been using it for the last 2-3 years and so far, it's been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't scale it too much because we don't want a lot of workload in the same cluster. I'm sure we can scale it if we want to.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is really good; very experienced folks; very helpful; and easy to reach them. So far, so good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using the hard disk version of ONTAP in our environment. We did a PoC with All-Flash. We saw the benefits of it, so we implemented it in our environment.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was very simple, very straightforward. We knew exactly what to do, so it was easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated other options, but I don't think we can name them. We saw a lot of benefits. Here, we can have multiple protocols. The other vendors were only supporting specific protocols on their storage. We thought this would be more scalable in the future.

What other advice do I have?

So far, my experience with ONTAP is really good. It is highly available, easy to use, easily scalable, easy to implement, and so far, we are really happy with it. We are really happy with the performance, ROI, and the cost.

I would give it a perfect rating if they reduced the cost – it is still expensive – and then, what I have mentioned about HA.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a product are that it is highly available, scalable, and easy to use. It should be able to work in our environment, basically; in a mixed-workload environment.

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