NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Has helped us to stop worrying about storage as a limiting factor

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for SAN block storage. 

We don't use AFF for artificial intelligence or machine learning applications.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the way my organization functions because it has enabled us to host a very fast, multi-tenant private cloud solution.

AFF has improved application response time by a lot. 

This solution has helped us to stop worrying about storage as a limiting factor. We know we've got enough storage left and it's easy to manage, so we can tell how much real storage we do have left.

What is most valuable?

We use SapMirror a lot but the speed of the AFF is also very valuable. 

The overall latency in our environment is very low because it's All Flash and we've got 10 Giga dedicated to the storage network

AFF's simplicity around data protection and data management is pretty good. With the NetApp volume encryption, we're getting data at rest encryption right now. It was very easy to turn on and very easy to manage with the onboard key manager.

It has enabled us to add new applications, without having to purchase additional storage. We've over-provisioned our storage quite a bit, simply because we know we've got time before people will grow into it.

What needs improvement?

It has not reduced our data center costs. NetApp charges a pretty penny for their stuff. 

The next release desperately needs NFS4, extended attributes.

In terms of what needs improvement, the NAS areas are a little behind on technologies. For example, SMB 3 is not quite up to speed with a lot of the storage spaces stuff. NFS4 doesn't support some of the features that we need.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock solid. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is expensive. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. We use them quite a bit and we have had good experiences with them.

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

We've been with NetApp since I came on the project and because I had NetApp experience before I brought it with me.

How was the initial setup?

I've set up a NetApp network previously. The setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator and we had a very good experience with them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked at EMC and Microsoft storage spaces. Neither one of them really compares.

My advice to someone considering this solution is that if you can afford it and you will be using it a lot, go for it. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. To make it a perfect ten it would need to be cheaper. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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