NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

There is no latency whatsoever. It is stable and fully redundant.

How has it helped my organization?

It reduced the overall latency in our Citrix infrastructure. We have a pretty robust Citrix infrastructure. Before putting in the All Flash FAS, end users would see a lot of latency. That's been the biggest improvement, along with a lot of improvement in the overall performance of our SAN and a few other data intensive applications.

There was noticeable latency before the All Flash FAS. Since the All Flash FAS, it is extremely fast, no latency whatsoever.

What needs improvement?

I would basically just like to see improvements with the reporting; consolidating metrics, performance and any sort of issues. Right now, there are a lot of different tools, a lot of different places to go to see the overall health of the system. I would like one place, a dashboard, to see everything. I know there are some things that NetApp has released and are releasing, but we haven't gotten to the point where we've implemented those yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely stable; never had any down time or issues with it. It's fully redundant. All of the updates have pretty much been non-interruptive; it’s an extremely stable platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales out well. It’s a new All Flash FAS and we looked at the overall capacities that we needed before. It's only been in place for about six months. From a scalability perspective, we know that it will scale out if we need it to, but it's a new implementation, so no issues or anything like that.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, we haven't needed to use technical support for this one, yet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not previously use a different solution. We were a NetApp shop before that, but we were using a different controller and we weren't an All Flash FAS shop. We could see the latency. We used all the utilities, so we could see what was going on, the need and how it would help our business.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is generally straightforward, but NetApp has good technical articles and guidance on moving from one NetApp controller to another NetApp controller. It was pretty straightforward for the most part.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a number of other flash systems and solutions for our latency issues. At the end of the day, we just decided to continue and move forward with another NetApp controller.

Reliability and availability are the most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with. We need them to be available. There are a lot of vendors out there that have a lot of people, but if you're building a reputation and you can't get the people you need, then it's a problem, regardless of how good the controller is.

What other advice do I have?

It does what it’s meant to do; works extremely well in our environment. We have multiple data centers and the replication works really well. Overall, it's pretty easy to use.

Look at your individual company's needs. In general, look at your nice-to-haves and must-haves, and then weigh the options and see what works best. NetApp has been a great, established company. We've had a good relationship with NetApp for a long time and so we would recommend them to a colleague.

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