NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

I can quickly and efficiently bring the system up and shut it down, when necessary.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is how user friendly it is. For somebody in my position, I have to be able to bring the system up quickly, efficiently, and also shut it down, if there's a power outage, quickly and efficiently, without having troubles. It also supports VMware. That's what we use, but we use the NetApp as our filer; it’s our only filer.

How has it helped my organization?

I attended a recent NetApp Insight conference to find out more about how we can benefit from it, to understand it more so, that way, I can employ it better during high-tension situations.

I never see the financial side, so I don’t know if we have seen any financial benefits. In terms of the manpower to run it, it’s me; I can do it myself. As a former grunt, I've been able to manage the system easily, ever since we got it four years ago. As far as administration, it only takes one person.

What needs improvement?

The graceful shut down feature is no longer there, in the version that I have. I believe I'm using ONTAP 7.0.x. on the FAS2040 and we’re also using the FAS2020.
I don't know where it needs improvement because I'm not that well-versed in it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is excellent. I've had no issues in the last six years that I've had NetApp flash storage. Just recently, on one system that's been out and had a lot of controversy in it, we had a filer fail on us. We were able to get a filer the following day. It was excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability was another reason why I attended a recent NetApp Insight conference. That's what I wanted to find out: where we're moving ahead, from here.

We have enough capacity for what we do. I can have up to close to 120,000 separate widgets running simultaneously and delivering data to other systems. Everything works; no problem.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I didn't evaluate anybody; higher levels than me did that. I know that NetApp won the contract again, so they must be doing something right. My organization’s not going to give a contract to nobody, for a bad product.

Right now, I'm concentrating our collapse-down strategy, where we're taking multiple systems and putting them all on one system. That's why I went to the NetApp conference. I'm curious to see how it's going to impact the filer; if the filer's going to need to expand. If we're going to be migrating to a new filer, etc.

How was the initial setup?

To get my certification to build it, I found it a little bit grueling. Everything is tailored to our specific organization, following the documentation. It's different documentation than what NetApp uses. I’m not familiar with the NetApp filer documentation.

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