NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Review

Having the option of high-speed storage in the data center is valuable.

What is most valuable?

Having the option of such high-speed storage in the data center is what makes it valuable. When a request comes in a for an application that requires something on flash, I have the EF to go. I know that whatever the application is, it can't beat it.

What needs improvement?

They could improve the product’s tools. We're going to tie it into our FAS system because the options we have with the FAS system are much greater than the options we have with the EF series. Things like the FlexClones, SnapVault, SnapMirror, all of that. Some of it's available on the EF series, but we like what we have in the FAS system. If the EF were to have that, we would not need to tie it into our FAS system.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It’s a stable solution. We have not had an outage in a year and a half.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We're about to roll it into our other NetApp products. That, along with the FAS system, makes it scalable for us, at least.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good; maybe not as good as others, but they're good. It’s a case of finding the right person. NetApp's a pretty large company, with a vast array of protocols and products to dive through when you're trying to troubleshoot a problem. It just depends on the person you get when you call in. Sometimes, it's the best. Sometimes, it's not so much the best. They're good. They could always be better.

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

We have multiple hybrid solutions, but nothing pure flash like the EF. We have been using the hybrid solutions for five years. The trigger to moving to EF was that the cost of flash has come down, and the need for flash has gone up.

How was the initial setup?

For initial setup, we had somebody onsite. We were doing the flash install along with the transition from 7-mode to CDOT. We had professional services onsite to assist us with that.

What other advice do I have?

What is your use case? Depending on what your needs are, I would point to maybe the All Flash FAS. If it was just a one-off, one project, throw everything at it, then I'd say definitely the EF would be the most cost-effective solution.

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