NetApp FAS Series Review

It's reliable and scalable and, in the event of failure, it’s highly available, but Unified Monitoring loses a bunch of funcationality that its previous versions had.

Valuable Features

The performance allows me to provide backend storage for large number of VMs and databases at a competitive price point.

Room for Improvement

Unified Monitoring v6.2 loses a bunch of functionality that previous versions had. For example, I took a cluster out of Unified Monitor, but Storage Monitor was still alerting me about it. 6.2 is not as comprehensive, but Unified Monitoring 6.2 will only be useful when it does everything. Insight’s price is just too expensive and unreasonable.

Stability Issues

It's pretty stable, even if it runs into something freaky, it keeps going. For example, mysterious a reboot, and nobody notices. It keeps working.

Scalability Issues

It scales to a point, and then you buy more hardware. Doing a head swap (swapping out controllers) is not as easy as it used to be.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It's better than Oracle, but actually pretty good. They're responsive, and help resolve situations. We have had a couple of issues, but 99% of the time, they get me an answer, although it may not be what I like, but it’s a definite answer within a reasonable time frame.

Previous Solutions

It's complex, not a trivial task. We can unbox it and deploy. There are many unpublished tech tips that NetApp engineers get that customers don’t (for example, how to save a disk).

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The price-per-gig makes it the most expensive storage, more than EMC VMAX. So I’d like to see more aggressive pricing.

Other Advice

It's losing points on its value. The performance is nearly perfect, but it’s really expensive.

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