What is most valuable?
All-flash performance and density are two important things for us. In terms of performance, we have a humongous database. Before this solution, we had a lot of performance issues. With this tool, we were able to nail them down to at least 20-30% performance gain. In terms of density, I don't have the numbers, but it is definitely better than the older disk-based solutions.
How has it helped my organization?
The business benefit is the rate. If you have better performance from your critical ERP applications and databases, that's a gain from the cost perspective. We are able to manage our data centers better from the space perspective. Those two pieces are the key benefits.
What needs improvement?
At a recent NetApp conference, I got a lot of good ideas from the sessions where they are trying to bring in a newer AFF. That should be good. I am looking forward to the SolidFire integration. That will give us more benefits.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not used technical support personally, but we do use technical support on our operational issues. The team is getting pretty good response from them.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
This is where my organization's innovation comes into the picture. They keep their eye on the market and what's going on. We started that relationship around two years ago and we started ten years ago with NetApp.
We also keep an eye on how we can improve from a data center perspective. We are a big data center provider and we look at how we can make our data center more cost effective.
What was our ROI?
The ROI is good. AFF is definitely pricier than other solutions, but the price gets compensated by performance and the density.
What other advice do I have?
When looking for a vendor, I definitely look the product they are offering. I look at what the change is and how it will make a change for us. I look at the costs and benefits, the ROI, and the operation.
I am not technical, so I cannot give technical advice. However, I am part of the decision-making process at my organization. We are the central hub of providing the whole infrastructure to the company. We do a lot of homework. If we decide that we want to go with this solution and we can prove the ROI to our senior leadership, then that's that. We are then on it.