NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

High performance and aggregate level dedupe are key for us, but ONTAP has not been stable


What is our primary use case?

We use it for our VWware environment. We run virtual machines and our plan is to migrate all of them to the All Flash platform.

How has it helped my organization?

The improvement for us has been space savings on the All Flash FAS platform. The data space savings are almost three times better than the what we have right now, a two-to-one ratio.

Regarding the user experience, it's pretty fast. For applications where they require a high throughput, this platform is pretty solid. It also helps improve the performance of enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs because it's pretty fast. We are on a different level of tiered platform, where the All Flash is completely hybrid, SSD aggregate, so it tripled the performance for the customer.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are high performance and encryption. It also provides aggregate level dedupe.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The system is pretty stable but most of the ONTAP versions are not really stable. There have been multiple bugs in different ONTAP versions. The hardware is really stable but we see some glitches here and there with the software. That's how the system works.

Right now, we are on a pretty stable version: 9.3.8.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had to scale it. We have a two-node cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been pretty good. We have had to involve them two or three times per month.

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

Our old solution was working fine but the system was going out of support so we needed to do a refresh.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. The whole cluster configuration is pretty straightforward. Just bring up the node and add to the existing clusters. We didn't see any difficulties.

It takes us one day to set up and provision enterprise applications using this product. Migration takes a lot of time but provisioning is setting up the cluster and that takes one day.

What about the implementation team?

We used NetApp Professional Services and they were pretty good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because we are government, it is an open contract. People have to bid on government projects. We don't have a say in the options.

What other advice do I have?

I would say this is a good solution but talk to the NetApp guys and see how it really fits in your environment.

We do not connect it to public clouds at the moment. We have plans to do so in the future, depending on the use cases.

I rate the product at seven out of ten. Their system is pretty good but we are still facing a few issues, mainly on the software side where there is an SVMDR. We had it in the previous configuration. We did an ONTAP upgrade but had some issues replicating the whole configuration. There are a few other glitches here and there. Other than that I would say it's pretty stable.

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