NetApp FAS Series Review

It has the capability to use SAN, so it has a broad spectrum of use. I'd like to see more cohesiveness with a unified manager.

Valuable Features

  • Software features, such as being able to do snapshots and file system optimization
  • High Availability -- components fail so this is a nice feature to have when failing over. There's no downtime, so we don’t lose data.

Improvements to My Organization

Good bang for the buck. Also, we use NFS generally, but FAS has the capability to use SAN, so it has a broad spectrum of use.

Room for Improvement

Tough for me to answer because I’m limited in my role, but the one thing I’d like to see most is more cohesiveness with a unified manager. I like the end product, but it’s not really all integrated and is convoluted with different managers. I would ike a single pane of glass, a single dashboard.

Deployment Issues

We see a lot of bugs in roll outs, and sometimes I think the first GA are late-beta deployments. My impression is they could have let it bake a little longer. But it could also be because of some of the environments it deploys in.

Stability Issues

Snap Manager v3.3.1 is a little buggy and NetApp doesn’t offer training course on it. So it could be what I’ve been taught by other people, or it’s in fact buggy, but likely a little of both. Hopefully they made improvements on 3.4.

Scalability Issues

7-mode scales very well. I’m even more impressed with where they intend to go with cDOT, but it may be rolled out prematurely.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Tech support is usually pretty good, but occasionally there are some things that occur only on our site that tech support has issues.

Other Advice

Plan ahead and make sure you right-size it. How much head room do you really need? How many spindles are you going to attach? Are you really going to share workloads or do you want to separate some of those? We don’t segregate our infrastructure, which I don’t like, but all that costs money. But you should make sure that you have failover.

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