NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

The stability is solid. We are in a critical business and can't have any percentage of downtime.


What is our primary use case?

We use it for data storage, applications, and CIFS shares.

How has it helped my organization?

Through its Cluster-Mode, it's quicker. It also improves Exchange and SQL Databases.

What is most valuable?

  • Compaction
  • Single-instance storage
  • Its compression features

What needs improvement?

I am still trying to wrap my head around all its features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is solid. It doesn't fail on us, which is exactly what we want. We are in a critical business that we can't have any percentage of downtime. Therefore, if it stays up, that is what we want. We have been dependent on NetApp for almost a decade now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For capacity of storage, we manage about three petabytes of data. It is exactly what we need in terms of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is first rate. We are very satisfied with it.

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

Our last solution was at end of life and warranty. We went from NetApp to NetApp, so we stayed with NetApp, but we move to the latest, greatest solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's always a little bit complex when you're trying to integrate a new piece of hardware, with cluster mode as well. There's always a learning curve, but with that curve, there is knowledge which stays with me for the life of that technology. So, that learning curve is essential.

We were migrating from Data ONTAP 7-Mode to its Cluster-Mode. Therefore, we had to get swing gear, then do the migration from loner gear and back onto our new gear. This was a bit difficult. It took us several months to do multiple migrations. Fortunately now, we are on Cluster-Mode and don't have to do that again.

What about the implementation team?

We used a combination of a reseller/consultant. They did a great job handholding us all the way for any type of issues that we had with mission critical data. E.g., multimillion dollar uptime everyday ensuring we had virtually no issues.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI, especially in terms of data points and availability.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions. Our history with Net App is that it is a stable platform and does what we want it to do. It's not extremely complicated, and it's something which is tangible that we have used and want to continue using.

What other advice do I have?

Figuring out the basics as to what NetApp offers. It is not something that you can just dive into as you will need to have a bit of background knowledge of it. However, there is plenty of help out to to learn the technology, and it's very tangible. 

Give it a go. I would recommend it. We are very satisfied with it and the whole deployment of it. We have almost seamlessly transitioned our production environment into a completely new hardware environment on the back-end.

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