NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Performance is it's most valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the product is its performance; we haven't really put it to the test yet, but just overall performance and taking our existing workload and smashing it really.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our organization with efficiencies for our developers and similar items; some of the work and the way they do it. It's actually improved their speeds quite significantly.

What needs improvement?

With the interface in System Manager, sometimes you have to go back into your aggregates from your SVM to see how your storage is going. It would be nice if you could see trends, so you don't have to keep tagging back and forth.

It would be nice to be able to see the aggregate status/capacity from the SVM view. I realize that it is logically located as a cluster-managed component, but to be able to quickly view the usage of the aggregate, from a capacity point of view when provisioning new volumes, saves having to browse back into the cluster view.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using it for about nine months. But, as I’ve mentioned, we haven't migrated all that workload yet, so we haven't put it to the full test.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, so good; we haven't had any issue with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp’s very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been indifferent at times. Probably about a year ago, I found the transition to the Indian tech support a bit difficult, at first, to deal with, in terms of quality, but that's improved. I've had a few dealings with them recently. I found them definitely a bit better now.

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

I was instrumental in saying, we need to go to the 8000 platform, full stop, because we'd been on the 3000s for quite some time. Over time, they kept growing, and the performance kept decreasing.

I used to work in the partner space. I'd see an environment with the 6000 series and we just threw everything at it; they didn't take a beat. So, I knew that by the time we were looking at upgrading to the 8000 series. I basically said, we need to forget about this smaller series and treat ourselves like a proper enterprise and go to the 8000s and get the right performance we need.

How was the initial setup?

We actually had a partner assist us in setting it up, but it seemed pretty easy. It's a lot different with a cluster and IPs; you have to think about things differently. Other than that, it seemed pretty easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not really consider anyone other than NetApp. We've always had a good relationship with NetApp and we’re quite happy with how we can manage it.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with can be anything from cost to how they treat their customers. Some vendors can be quite arrogant. NetApp's always had a good setup. For me, I prefer to have the ability to call on our SEs when we've got issues and so forth. That's always been good. At the end of the day, at my job level, I wouldn't be making final choices for vendor selection any way.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you don't jump into something that you'll regret later on. I think a lot of people are jumping into other smaller vendors at the moment and I think they're going to get burnt one day. Really look deeper into the solution and the products.

I haven't really given it a full go yet, but so far so good.

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