NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

We have never had a failure. We can upgrade as we move along with zero downtime.


What is our primary use case?

We use it for medical systems.

How has it helped my organization?

NetApp has always been very reliable. We have never had any data losses. They are a work horse.

What is most valuable?

I found the reliability of it to be the most valuable feature because it supports all the patient critical systems in our hospital. We have had the NetApp system for 18 years with no downtime.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see if they could move the virtual storage machines. They have integrated a DR, so you can back to your DR, but there's no automated way to failover and failback. It's all manual. I'd like to see it all automated.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had a failure.

Over the past 18 years, it has been extremely easy to upgrade to newer products and technology. We can upgrade as we move along. So, we have been able to keep up with the newest technology with zero downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is endless. There have been no limits that we have come across yet.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been excellent. We have local technical support. If we give them a call and need somebody onsite, they could be there within ten to 15 minutes.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I think we were previously using IBM FASt100 in the 2000s. From there, we moved on to NetApp.

How was the initial setup?

I never found it to be complicated, but I have a lot of experience with NetApp setups.

After upgrades, it's very intuitive and easy to pick up. 

What about the implementation team?

A NetApp support person did all our installations, upgrades, etc. Our experience with them was excellent.

What was our ROI?

We have been able to utilize and leverage equipment which was purchased a decade ago up until this past year. So, we were running disk shells for 13 years and all we were doing was upgrading the filings and controllers, and using the same disk shells. Therefore, we were able to do something where we didn't have to invest that much. Recently, we had to upgrade all our disk shells, but it was a lot less because the technology had changed a lot since those times. It is faster now, and we have SSDs. We have larger drives that are 4TBs and 6TBs. Everything can condense so we are saving disk shell space and rack space. We are paying less now than we did at that time. So, we've gotten our money's worth out of it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Look at the different options that NetApp offers. Look for a model and option which fits your needs correctly. Don't buy a low-end product for a high-end job.

NetApps offers a lot of different options. Just take your time and work with the consulting teams. Lay out what your needs are to ensure you are purchasing what will help you be successful.

What other advice do I have?

We have put our trust in NetApp, and they have given us the customer support and a stable, reliable product.

Sometimes, I have to get rid of the equipment and upgrade because it is no longer supported. It's not like we are getting rid of the equipment or upgrading because there's something wrong with it. It will last forever. I have had disk shells that we've had to just let go, which are still working, because they aren't supported.

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