NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Stores two times more data than what is purchased


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is escalating a more global performance, which wasn't achievable with the regular spinning drives. We wanted to have higher breakthrough performance with a flash-based solution using all SSD drives. 

How has it helped my organization?

  1. I am able to store two times more data than what I'm purchasing, which affects the way funds are being utilized. 
  2. The time for applications to give a response is much faster.

What is most valuable?

  1. The OS running on top of it is ONTAP. The user experience is a breeze at the fingertips with ONTAP.
  2. The efficiency ratio.
  3. The Active IQ feature is a productive mechanism that automatically collects reports and users' statuses.
  4. The initial deployment is completely GUI-based.

What needs improvement?

I am looking forward to the enhanced features coming out: The upgraded version of ONTAP and more support on the protocols.

I would like to see more frequent updates at a faster pace.

There needs to be compatibility with upgraded applications. We don't want the system to be upgraded, but not have backwards compatible to existing applications.

It needs to be able to integrate with Intel and other NetApp family products, besides ONTAP.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a combination of the hardware along with the operating system which produces the stability. Based on the data protection factor and on its sustainability in case of a component failure, it is well-designed on the hardware and software fronts. 

I am satisfied with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is amazing. It is like an entry level box which scales up to almost a 144 drives. It is more than what an entry customer usually needs. It is suitable for expandability needs and can grow with the customer.

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

Customers were already using the application. We took their feedback. It was the best product based on our requirements.

How was the initial setup?

I work on the phase when the solution when it is being designed. My involvement would be more on solution designing. Once the solution is finalized and has gone through, the implementation is not that difficult of a task.

The initial setup is very simple. System Manager 3.0 is built into it, which makes it easier to set up the system. It probably takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller for the deployment. We had an amazing experience with them.

What was our ROI?

This solution helps us improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs. It is why we provisioned it. Analytics require huge amounts of processing power. With this solution, the processing happens in a tick of a second, which would not happen with regular spinning drives. With SSDs, All Flash FAS, and the help of ONTAP, it nails the performance.

Our total cost of ownership (TCO) has decreased by 40 percent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Dell EMC was an option, but we liked the operating system of NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

With an increasing amount of data cranking out every day and a lot of analytics running on processing applications, more performance is required from storage devices. This is a database solution which is All Flash FAS is suited.

I have not connected AFF to public clouds yet, but possibly in the future.

It takes half an hour max to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF.

It is a diversified solution.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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