NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Has good speed, reliability, and ease of use and has improved application response time


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for AFF is for file storage.

How has it helped my organization?

It simplifies IT operations.

Thin provisioning enables us to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. Thin provisioning is obviously heavily utilized so we don't have to buy a new kit.

AFF has enabled us to move large amounts of data from one data center to another. It has also affected IT operations by greatly improving resilience.

AFF SSDs have improved application response times. We've seen a five-fold decrease in the latency figure.

Datacenter costs have decreased because of the smaller footprint and less power usage. In one system we saw six racks go down to half a rack. It's probably five to one in terms of actual data space.

What is most valuable?

Speed, reliability, ease of use are the most valuable features. 

The overall latency in your environment is very good. 

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

The simplicity around data protection and data management is very good. We use SnapVault for data protection which works very well. SnapMirror is also good. We mainly use the command line a lot, so we don't tend to use many provisioning tools.

What needs improvement?

We have had issues with CIFS presentations and outages, so if that was removed, we could do seamless upgrades without affecting CIFS presentations. That would be an advantage. That's about the only improvement I can think of.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. We haven't had any issues. 

How was the initial setup?

Initially, the setup was complex because it was new and very different, it was 7-Mode to cDot. We got a lot of support from NetApp so it wasn't an issue. It was just complex, but they provided the assistance we needed.

What about the implementation team?

We are integrators but NetApp consultants also help.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We always use NetApp for our file services.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. Nothing would make it a ten, nothing is perfect. I would advise someone considering this solution to buy it!

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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