For me, the most valuable feature it has been the capability to provide fast VDI services for our call center. In North Carolina, we get some harsh winters, a lot of ice; not really snow, but some ice. Call center workers can't come in to work. We still need to field the calls when they come in. With the VDI platform, we're allowed to let them use their home computers to call in and use the services like they were in the office. The low latency that the all-flash provides, allows for the actual call center software to work flawlessly. It's like they are in the office and it's been working out great.
It's been a great product in my quiver.
Improvements to My Organization
As an example, if we miss a call reporting a fuel leak, that can cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Missing those calls is not possible. With this product, we can turn around agents across the globe, left and right, just turn them on and they provision so quick that they don't even know that stuff is happening. If a VM happens to mess up, we can delete it and provision a new one. It's super-fast.
Room for Improvement
Make it a little bit cheaper, but I don't think I would change anything of the system. Right now, each release has surprised me. Actually, I'm very happy with the results.
I’m looking forward to them coming out with SnapMirror to AltaVault; that's going to be awesome. Right now, I have to use a third-party product to do backups from my FAS systems over to the AltaVault. Then, it goes over to Amazon S3. With the SnapMirror, innovation I can go directly from my NetApp straight to it. I no longer have to have a third-party product to do it. That's coming up, I believe, at the end of the year.
Their platforms are always rock solid.
You can keep adding shelves and it works.
Customer Service and Technical Support
I haven't had to use tech support. The product's been that good.
We knew needed this type solution based on a lot of research. We needed to provide an experience similar to the desktops. That really pushed us towards the flash array.
I did not previously use a different solution; we were just using regular desktops. We did not have an environment to support at that time.
Initial setup was very easy; it took maybe 30 minutes to do.
Other Solutions Considered
The choice was really simple: either going with a hybrid FAS or an all-flash FAS. We did a quick bake-off and the all-flash won hands down.
We did not consider any other vendors.
The most important criteria for me when considering vendors to work with has to be their interoperability between the platforms. NetApp has clearly done that.
Look at the full product range that NetApp has to offer. They have something for everybody. Their portfolio is so wide. If you're a DevOp shop, look at SolidFire. There are products for the Edge consumer, ROBO, and cloud. All of them talk together with the data fabric.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Oct 13 2016