NetApp FAS Series Review

FAS8040: Powerful, high availability, easy to use. But I have concerns about the company's future.

What is our primary use case?

NAS for the enterprise including unstructured data, EPIC Systems + the other 3,520 applications. I love those innovative healthcare data solutions that let me securely manage vast amounts of patient data (32.9 PB), use and share it enterprise-wide, and gain efficiency of scale through cloud solutions and virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Home directory access & Innovative clinical data and IT storage solutions from NetApp to share patient data across the continuum of care. Through improved flexibility and efficiency, NetApp solutions helps improve my healthcare workflows so you can deliver better patient care

What is most valuable?

Easy to use
High availability



Data fabric



Hybrid cloud solution

What needs improvement?

I have found it to be expensive.
It is good as a NAS, but not a good option for SAN.We use it for storing medical images.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?


What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not yet

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:


Technical Support:


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

Pure Storage for SAN

How was the initial setup?


What about the implementation team?

Vendor team

What was our ROI?

18 months

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

Research fully

Which other solutions did I evaluate?


What other advice do I have?

Think carefully before you jump into NetApp. There are so many competing products and you should do a proof of concept before you buy it. I'm a bit worried since NetApp is competing against the big boys like IBM and EMC. So what happens if NetApps get acquired by one of the big boys? Will they be around in another 3-5 years?

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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

author avatarit_user1020 (Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees)

Hi Henry,

Would just like to ask you, what type of server system do you use in conjunction with your NetApp storage system? I'm just curios as you are saying that it's not a good option for SAN. In our case, we use it as a Cisco-Validated Design for VMWare virtualization solutions using Cisco UCS balde servers and so far we are very happy with it as SAN for our VMWare vSphere nodes.

author avatarHenry
Top ReviewerTop 5Real User

Sure Francis,

HP C 7K blades are the major server in use.

Our SAN are on V-MAX & VNX.

Thanks for the comment & Happy Saturday


author avatarit_user3405 (Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees)

Netapp is a good company and they provide wonderful solutions but they are limited in their thinking and scope. They use the WAFL file system to perform most if not all of their tasks and they use CIFS shares to provide data to servers.

I think this is the wrong approach, they should start looking at virtualizing their vFilers to acts as controllers for larger systems and use ZFS filesystems to give them a more ubitiquous approach in addressing the needs of the public. This filesystem is almost endless, that way, they could continue to add any number of disks with features like snapshots, thin-provisioning, de-duplication, improve vmotion movement, by adding more cache the user would see greater improvement, combining disparate disks (JBODs), endlessly extending the storage arrays.

A couple of recommendations:
1. Provide Instantaneous snapshots without any affecting product applications
2. Incorporate the ability to take SSDs and add them to a existing pool of SAS/SATA drives, then use the ability of the SSDs to improve the speed of the existing slower LUN, make the LUN faster
3. NetApp Ontap has a number of bells and whistles, that is not the problem, they need to start looking at virtualizing the larger storage arrays like EMC, IBM, Hitachi, HP where they sit in the front of the array providing management capability and configuration on the fron-end, done by vFilers
4. Change the way business is done, provide services in a one stop shop paradigm where the user can buy the filer and they have all of the features associated with it.
5. Start looking to create a Cloud computing paradigm where they work directly with VMware to create a cloud environment for customer's where they are able to address the needs of the public using a utility model, allow the small business vendor to try it and use it (cloud - constant money generation)
6. Get away from CIFS, start looking more into FCIP/FCoE. This is the future, you want a controller to be able to manage storage from anyone, make the controllers talk to one another from across the country using openflow technology (Google, Vmware and Dell have implemented or about to implement this software/virtualization network management piece).
7. Incorporate IPv6 IPSec ESP AES256 tunnels, make the controller perform this task automatically where the datastream is encrypted without the user's intervention so when it does go over the internet or network, the controllers are the only thing that can talk to each (use the serial number as the initial identifier and then incorporate a KMS system that is already part of the controller, then have the user enter in credentials to connect to another controller for management, almost like using a distributed or hierarchical layered approach (2-3 phase authentication)
8. Incorporate OnCommand into the controllers, give the controllers the ability to do numerous tasks along with managing the storage, one centralized view.

author avatarit_user3405 (Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees)

I think if they incorporate some of the items mentioned, they will be fine, they just need to start looking at other ways to compete with the competition.

author avatarit_user7668 (Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees)

Hi All,
I need your Expert suggestion, We are planning to purchase SAN storage(Block Base) for 2 Data centers for Tier-3 CCTV Archiving using Raid-6.
Also we need Replication of missing data.


author avatarHenry
Top ReviewerTop 5Real User

Hi Muhammad,

What is the total storage size, latency etc?

Good luck


author avatarit_user281973 (Storage and VMware Expert at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees)
Real User

Hi all,

When i started with Netapp, i had doubts about performance on the SAN environments, but when you know best the technology and implement using best practices recommended by Netapp you don´t have any issue about the performance.
You can´t configure Netapp like other storage like EMC,Fujitsu or Hitachi, because the concept is too different,
Here we have FAS6200 series running 8 Oracle Rac with 3 node each ,VMware with 25 servers ESXi and 600 virtual machines, Hyper-V and some NFS exported to application on the same box and i did not had any problems so far.
The secret to Netapp is that you must have Flash Cache on the controller, how much more you have better will be your performance, because the write is done on the anywhere file system and to read you will have flash cache to help your application.

Good Luck