NetApp FAS Series Review
We now have the capability of both SIFS and NFS, and we don't need to have separate OS boxes.


What is most valuable?

All SIFS and NFS are valuable. It allows our Windows and Unix teams to have a centralized point to share data between the two. When a potential army recruit provides info at various locations, FAS gives us a drop point where the system can pull info from various locations.

How has it helped my organization?

NetApp allows us to take arrays and pass through. NetApp now has the capability of both SIFS and NFS that we didn’t have before. We don’t need to have separate OS boxes. And we don’t have duplicate data.

What needs improvement?

I’ve found that I use command line more often than I thought needed. Some things should be done in the GUI, and command-line switches can be overwhelming and take up a lot of time. In a GUI, I can just hit options or boxes. However, cluster mode will address a lot of that, but 7-mode definitely doesn’t.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some issues where some of my stuff is not failing over. I’m the eighth person handling the system, and my impression is that it wasn’t configured correctly. However, I very rarely have a problem. It’s been stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven’t had to scale in my department, but I foresee change in the near future because we’ll be taking on other portions of the government (medical, for example). Other portions will be somewhat isolated, but there is overlap.

How is customer service and technical support?

I’m part of a five-person team with in-house support. If that doesn’t work, then I go to NetApp support. We work with specific people within NetApp. I like that tech supports sticks to it until the issue is solved and that they follow up. Any delays are on our end because we move slowly.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Five or six years ago, we used a Hitachi solution with fiber channel.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn’t there, but I will be involved in the 8080 installation in 2 weeks. NetApp will come in and do it for us.

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

It’s difficult for us to get money, so make sure you get everything in order, because there’s no going back and saying “oh, I missed this or that”, so make sure you plan well and well in advance.

What other advice do I have?

It does a good job at what it’s designed to do.

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

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