NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP Review

Offers good replication to the cloud and good deduplication

What is our primary use case?

We use this primarily to consolidate our services and block services.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using Linux and eventually, we are going to use SnapMirror. So far, we have seen benefits from using this solution. When we started this process there were some very specific goals about log and files being stored in a single static device. This is achieved with a RAM solution. We are also able to integrate with the cloud, which is another goal we achieved. The solution has also saved us on costs, of course. We calculated that we are saving $1,000,000 across three years.

The consistency of storage management across clouds has effected our storage operations. Essentially, one of the benefits of open NetApp is that ONTAP is pretty much the operating system for any mirrored device, so it doesn't matter if it is in the cloud or on-premises, or whether you use other NetApp products, you pretty much have a safe interface with ONTAP. We like that.

One of our goals is to unify file our block file services into a single storage device. At the same time, we want to replicate on-site services to the cloud. That's also a benefit for us because that way we can move it to the cloud if we need to.

What is most valuable?

Replication to the cloud is the most valuable feature. Deduplication and compression are also very important to us. We are in the process of adopting the cloud. We are going to AWS and we are trying to do a safety technician call out with integration to the cloud. NetApp allows us to move some of the volumes to the cloud, at the same time that we continue providing the cloud services that we have on-premises.

We are in the process of doing various plans for all equipment in order to do acceptable recovery of products in the new environment.

What needs improvement?

Maybe I need more speed, but so far, I don't have any feedback for improvements.

I would like to see something from NetApp about backups. I know that NetApp offers some backup for Office 365, but I would like to see something from NetApp for more backup solutions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. We have been doing different scenarios about errors from controllers, to disks, and so far it is very stable. We have not had any issues. We upgraded our own version and did not have any issues there, either.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is another issue that we like from ONTAP. There are products for different scales. It is very easy to use.

How are customer service and technical support?

When we deployed everything, we opened a case with support for two minor issues we had with some servers. They're great. They were willing to help, easy to communicate with, and respond very quickly. They already found the issue and resolved it.

How was the initial setup?

We used NetApp Cloud Manager to get up and running with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. That is how we deployed it. Their configuration wizards and ability to automate the process were very easy. The wizard is very easy to follow. There are videos, so you don't really need a lot of skill. If you understand integrations and have a basic knowledge of the cloud, you can quickly connect your equipment. It's good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other solutions.  We evaluated the main players in this area, like EMC.

There are some features that we really liked from NetApp. One of them is the ability to consolidate files and blocks. Other vendors have some mirror solutions, but they are not in the maturity level that NetApp is. We also really like that NetApp has a product for the cloud that is really working and is proven and valuable. Other vendors do not have that, or if they have it, you need to deploy something in the middle. That is something that we like. We don't need to deploy anything. We can just run the backup directly from the OS and spin out the solution.

What other advice do I have?

Try not to focus only on the current issues, but also look into the innovation process of NetApp. It is very impressive how they have been able to develop and continue trying to develop products for the cloud. Try to gain a deeper understanding of established needs and requirements for files and blocks.

I would rate this solution as ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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