What is most valuable?
Flexibility in some of our big things. We're constantly doing new projects or new directions in IT, because it obviously changes all the time. NetApp has been great working with us, being flexible on having to do migrations, if we want new solutions without taking any of our applications in our current systems down. That has been a good benefit. And they've grown over the years to get better at that.
How has it helped my organization?
For us, it's probably along the lines of keeping everything up and running, critical, 24/7. DR's been a big push for us over the past couple of years with the environment. Different things happen and you need to keep all of your critical systems up and running. All the new technologies that NetApp has come up with, helping us do that, has probably been of the biggest benefit for us. The flexibility and being able to change on the move.
What needs improvement?
Some of the applications have changed over the years. Their complexity was there before, but moving forward we've seen a few features being taken away in some of those applications, that we had grown to love. But that happens in any type of software. You get stagnant, you like a feature, change comes along. It can be a little bit difficult to do.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Very good. I don't know if I could say anything bad about it for stability. I've never had any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
How is customer service and technical support?
Personally, I have not used tech support, but guys on my team have used them. They've always been great. We have a special account manager who has helped us elevate critical cases if need be, and our sales team and all the people we work with there have always been available for us all the time.
What other advice do I have?
We use it for our high demand applications. Mainly email, our critical systems, that is what we're using our all-flash array for, tiered storage. We have some non-flash, where we store archival data and things of that nature, but the flash is performant for our tier-one applications. We use it for book storage and file storage.
We've been an NetApp customer for nine years now, so as they've grown, we've grown with them and implemented any of their new solutions, software or hardware based. We've been a great customer.
If you want an all-around company that can meet your needs, whether it be scalability, performance, the software application availability to interact with your applications, NetApp is a great place. We've looked at other storage vendors over time. They didn't seem to have all of the pieces that NetApp can bring. Some storage vendors might have something you like a little bit better, but NetApp can bring it all together much better than others, and that's why we have stuck with them.