NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Review

It increased the speed of our current hosted VMs and their performance


How has it helped my organization?

It increased the speed of our current hosted VMs and their performance. It has provided a little bit of ease on the management.

We have an older disk-based system that is working in tandem with it and it definitely has better performance. Because of that, we put all of our VM's on it, which we can.

What is most valuable?

  • The management of it is very simple. that is the most valuable feature.
  • It's been very reliable so far.
  • Its high performance for the VMware volumes that we host. It has multiple applications dedicated to it because of the different guest host that are on it.

What needs improvement?

The management interface, while very reliable, it seems a little old now and could maybe use a little modernization. Instead of having a management tool, more like a management interface or similar to the HTML5 version of the ONTAP off the FAS, such as OnCommand System Manager.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable so far. Once it was set up, it's was extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems easy to expand, but we haven't had the need to do that yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

It was very good. We had some complications in getting the performance where we needed it. They were able to sort that out for us.

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

We were using the E2700 and had a lot of performance bound VMs, so that was the goal behind getting this solution.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. It was a little bit complex because we had an InfiniBand solution. It's a little bit different than just setting it up with Fibre Channel, so that was a little bit complex, but everything else was very simple.

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

The price point for EF is considerably lower than the alternatives.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered all flash solutions that offered storage efficiency features.

We had two other vendors on our short list. One was a rebranded RAID inc. solution. I don't remember what the other brand was, but there was one other that is fairly new in the market.

We chose NetApp because most of our environment is NetApp. The unified management helps a lot. We've had really good results with everything that we've had with NetApp, therefore it works out.

What other advice do I have?

You can't beat it for the price. With support, everything has been really well. I would say this would be something I would recommend.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

  • Speed
  • Price point
  • Ease of management
  • Also, low latency is important, as it was the whole reason behind getting a faster system.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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