NetApp Cloud Insights Review

Handy for root cause analysis, but there are some anomalies in the licensing model


What is our primary use case?

It is for long-term tracking of performance information. I am also looking at the interaction between NetApp systems and non-NetApp systems.

It's only really being used for the storage, and to a limited extent, our VMware.

It is maybe being used once or twice a day at most. We're not using it actively. We are just using it in kind of a testing phase.

How has it helped my organization?

It is good for giving an overview of the systems and for tracking long-term trends. It is handy for root cause analysis, e.g. it can eliminate whether storage is the cause of an issue.

The solution’s ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of our environment is good. However, I am making limited use of this.

What is most valuable?

I use Cloud Secure quite a lot. It's useful to track down what has happened in cases where users' files have gone missing, or they have lost them.

What needs improvement?

There are some very specific things for improvement in the Cloud Secure product. I have already given this feedback to the product managers regarding this area. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Probably about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is reasonable, but there is some room for improvement.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. You can deploy an agent on different sites and places, if you want to.

I am probably the only person in the company who is using it. We're not really using the solution an awful lot, so it is not making a lot of difference at the moment to us. Later on, it might with a larger buy-in and involvement of different job functions. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When I did need support because I was having problems with the solution, the first or the second line just didn't understand it. They were providing this only on a software as a service basis. So, they were asking all the wrong questions.

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

We have other solutions that do kind of the things vaguely in this area. However, they don't cover everything in the way that Cloud Insights does.

How was the initial setup?

I found the initial setup pretty straightforward. As long as you follow the instructions, you can get it initially up and running. 

The deployment took a day or two at most.

What about the implementation team?

NetApp will tend to normally work with users to get it up and running rather than just leave you to your own devices. They were actually surprised that I got it up and running without using their help. The expectation is normally you would use their support for the setup. However, I did the initial implementation without any external support. So, it is relatively easy to set up, if you have a storage NetApp IT background.

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

The licensing model could be improved. We love that you can use it for free for looking at NetApp products. You only need licenses to look at non-NetApp products, but as soon as you do that, you start utilizing licenses that actually would have been free in the public. So, there is a bit of an anomaly in the licensing model.

We were using the free tier, then they gave us some licenses for the full product, which last for six-months into a 12-month period. At this point, we are not paying for the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was on the free tier. We were just testing to see what was in there, since there wasn't a cost. It was only to have a look.

We are not evaluating other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is worth a small amount of effort to activate at the free tier: To see whether there is anything there which might help your business. Then, if you feel there will be stuff there, then maybe you can look at getting some licensing for the non-NetApp side of it.

I would rate this product as a seven out of 10.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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