NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Consistent with ONTAP versions, and the speed and performance are assets

How has it helped my organization?

Reduced latencies, and the cluster data ONTAP, less down time, able to do upgrades, things like that, without much disruption.

What is most valuable?

I would say the consistency with the ONTAP versions and the speed and performance from the flash.

What needs improvement?

A shorter list of bug fixes would make it a 10 out of 10 for me. It looks like they're doing monthly releases now, so there are a lot more upgrades. It feels like a little too much, but we get to choose whether or not we need to pick that version or if we're going to wait. It's good not to have to wait four months for a patch.

With some of the larger clusters being able to do a patch upgrade is helping. They still take three, four hours by the time you get the night started, finish things up, do the upgrade. The upgrades are very minimal. They've got the waiting period in between them, kills about 15 minutes of time. It'd be nice if that was streamlined a bit. I'm sure the engineers have that pause in there for a reason.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Normally good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think we've got an eight-node cluster right now, so it's meeting our needs.

It's been easy to tag nodes and scale out.

How is customer service and technical support?

It's always been a good experience. I've never had any issues getting the right level of support.

How was the initial setup?

Pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I would say the primary use case for AFF is a combination of database and virtual servers. We have both block storage and file storage.

Our impression of NetApp as a vendor of high performance SAN storage, both before and after we purchased AFF, was top-notch. We are definitely more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems in the future based on our experience with AFF, due to its reliability, ease of administration, cost.

For us, reliability, cost, and just a good relationship are the most important criteria when selecting a vendor.

It's reliable, fast, low latency, and we haven't had any issues with it. It's been quality.

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