NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Reduces the time to move data around as well as boot and migrate VMs


What is our primary use case?

AFF is our primary source for our data centers. We use it for our multi-tenancy data center. We like the crypto erase function available on the SSDs and we needed the high performance, IOPs that you can get from SSDs.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution makes everything a lot faster. The time to move data around, boot, and migrate VMs is much faster. The speed has also helped improve performance for our enterprise applications, data analytics, and VMs.

What is most valuable?

We like the high security, self-encrypting drives, and the NVMe.

What needs improvement?

I need faster Fibre Channel over Ethernet. They top out at 10GBs today and I would like that to go to 40 or 100.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I find it very stable. Everything's been up and running well. We actually had an outage in our testbed data center and everything shut off hard and came back up without any problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is good, although I don't use them that much. The product is good. 

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

We have always been a NetApp customer, it's a very good product. We knew that we wanted more performance. It wasn't a hard decision. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty complex. There was a lot of compliance and there was a lot of security requirements, but it went pretty well.

It took us two to three days to set up and provision enterprise applications using AFF because we're a little different. We do short duration uses which means that we build everything from scratch, tear it down, and build it again. 

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

Our total cost of ownership has increased. SSDs are expensive. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In the early days, we were considering Dell EMC but we decided to go with NetApp because its adoption across the DoD is widely understood.

What other advice do I have?

The user experience is the same as it ever was, only faster. 

I would rate this solution as a nine. It's not a ten because we would like to see the faster speeds on the Fibre Channel over Ethernet. AFF is definitely a good product. 

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