NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Review

Helps us consolidate, save money, and increase access to millions of files at once

What is our primary use case?

We did it for consolidation of eight file repairs. We needed the speed to make sure that it worked when we consolidated.

How has it helped my organization?

We do a lot of financial modeling. We have a large compute cluster that generates a lot of files. It is important for us to get a quick response back for any type of multimillion file accesses across the cluster at one time. So, it's a lot quicker to do that. We found that solid-state performs so much better than than spinning drives, even over multiple clusters. it works.

It is helping us consolidate, save money, and increasing access to millions of files at once.

It is very important in our environment for all the cluster nodes. We have 4,500 CPUs that are going through and accessing all the files, typically from the same volume. So, it is important for it to get served quickly so it doesn't introduce any delay in our processing time. 

What is most valuable?

Solid-state drives are the most valuable feature. It has the speed now to do workloads. We're not bound by I/O from the drives. Also, we are just starting to hit the sweet point of the capacity of the solid-state drives versus spinning disk.

What needs improvement?

I would like there to be a way to break out the 40 gig ports on them. We have a lot of 10 gigs in our environment. It is a big challenge breaking out the 40 gig coming out of the filer. It would be nice to have good old 10 gig ports again, or a card that has just 10 gig ports on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been really good. It's been solid. We had a couple of problems when we first set it up because we set it up incorrectly. But we learned, we change the settings and things are working a lot better now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had to scale it yet. We literally reduced 18 racks worth of equipment into two and still have room in those two racks to do additional shelves, expanding into that footprint. So, it's expandable and dense, which is great.

How was the initial setup?

The process was easy to consolidate into one AFF HA pair. It was simply doing volume copies and across SnapMirrors in the environment. It just migrated right over. It wasn't a problem at all.

What was our ROI?

It is reducing our data center costs. We consolidated eight HA pairs into one AFF HA pair.

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

We would like it to be free.

What other advice do I have?

For our workload, it's, it's doing what we need it to do.

I would rate the product a nine (out of 10).

We do not use the solution for artificial intelligence or machine-learning applications right now.

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