NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

The compression, dedupe, and speed are the most valuable features


What is most valuable?

  • The compression
  • Dedupe
  • The speed

With the ONTAP, the flexibility is also a nice feature.

How has it helped my organization?

We've had quite a positive response since we've moved to the AFF for our VCD and our VDI environments. The feedback from the end users and the virtualization team that manages it has been very positive.

We have a fairly large vCloud, vCloud Director (VCD) environment, which we use for our AFF systems, that and VDI. We use it all for file storage.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales out very well. We have not had any issues trying to move anything around or when it comes to expansion. We haven't had to expand the AFF yet, but other ONTAP systems are very easy to expand.

How is customer service and technical support?

They're very professional. They usually find the issues, within the first couple of calls. The software support for all the SNAPManager products, sometimes the support is a little iffy on that, but the hardware support and the ONTAP support have always been pretty solid.

We had some issues with SNAPManager for Exchange around Snapshots not getting deleted, and it's been an ongoing problem for us. We haven't really come up with a solution yet. That's still been a problem. It's gone around the block a few times in support. In support you get a new guy, they start over with a case, that's been the frustration.

Which solutions did we use previously?

It was all disk space, it was on a FAS system, it wasn't AFF. We switched because of growth. The amount of IO that we needed from our existing system just couldn't handle it.

I felt that NetApp was a little late to the game, but I guess that made them a little bit more mature when they got there. However, I've always been a fan of NetApp, an advocate.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup and it was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Pure. We looked at some of the Nutanix stuff, but it just wasn't what we needed.

What other advice do I have?

I have been an advocate of NetApp for a long time. It's a good company, has good equipment, and good support. I am more like to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on my experiences with AFF.

Our current AFF is not part of a cluster of NetApp FAS systems, we have other systems that are multi-node clusters.

Definitely, heavily look at NetApp and its AFF solution. It's a rock solid platform. That's my recommendation.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: stability and longevity. That's why I'm looking at some of the other Flash providers out there. They haven't been around long enough really for us to know that they're going to be there when we need them. NetApp has been a pretty solid vendor for us.

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