NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

We moved from mechanical disks to flash in order to speed up our BI reports.

Valuable Features

Going from mechanical disks to flash was a huge benefit, speed-wise. A lot of big BI reports that we were running that would take hours, we can do in 10 minutes now. That was really the biggest impact. The user saw it immediately, the benefit of it.

Improvements to My Organization

We're an electronics manufacturer. Shop floor people rely on these reports to make decisions throughout the day and we can, instead of having a once-a-day refresh, they can almost get it on demand.

Room for Improvement

I would just like to keep seeing improvements in performance and efficiency, which it seems to have been doing between 8.3 and 9; it's getting better with every release.

The user interface is a lot better. I think in 9, we do a lot of command line stuff, so I'm not into the GUI too much.

Use of Solution

We’ve been using it for six months. It's fairly new.

Stability Issues

We've had no issues stability-wise; we've been a NetApp customer for 20 years and just rarely have any issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is getting better. Historically, it's been painful. We had some challenges with support but over the last couple of years, I think it has gotten a lot better. We have a really good SE now that we leverage and our partner's really good as well.

Previous Solutions

We knew we needed to invest in a new solution because we lease our equipment and it was due for release return.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was easy. We had one small system. We have a lot of FAS systems; we have a single AFF right now. It's an 8080, with just one shelf. It was a very simple setup. We're familiar with cluster mode already.

Rack it and call it good.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at several other options:Pure Storage, Nutanix, and Tintri.

We chose NetApp because all of our other storage systems are NetApp. We just liked being able to leverage the knowledge that we already had in house. We didn't see a lot of value in having another siloed storage system out there that we had to support. Price-wise, NetApp was very competitive, more competitive than we had expected.

Other Advice

Do it. You won't regret it.

I like the product, and am quite happy with it.

When I choose a vendor, some of the criteria I look for are support, the ability to execute and a mature product line.

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