NetApp FAS Series Review

The integration with Windows for SQL exchange is critical, but it doesn't allow for live deduplication.


Valuable Features:

  • High Availability – most important thing with all big storage systems
  • Flexible – it uses all different kinds of protocols (SAN, fiber channels)
  • Virtual Management Console – helps with and integrates with vSphere. I’ve deployed it, but haven’t configured it. Looks really promising.
  • Snap Drive – integration with Windows for SQL exchange is critical
  • Can update without taking the system down

Improvements to My Organization:

It’s a High Availability environment in which I haven’t had problems. We’ve only had one disk fail in a year. Quality of product is good.

Room for Improvement:

Tegile offers live deduplication. And NetApp can only be scheduled to dedupe in the background or for later.

Also, the web page for downloading software could be more efficient (for example, getting instructions takes a few clicks). Make it easier for customers to download software.

Initial Setup:

The instructions didn’t provide for re-configurations from scratch and tech support were stuck too. The person who configured before had installed NetApp 8.2 on 7 mode. 8.3 didn’t support 7, which I wanted to do, so that’s why I had to reconfigure from scratch.

Other Advice:

First, make a lot of calculations of how much data you’re going to use and how much you’re using now. Compare the two and look into how you configure storage solution. How much data, how to split, etc. If you can’t spend that much on storage, you need to determine how to follow best practices to get as much storage as possible for the money. For example, if you have five shelves, you don’t need to worry about LUNs going offline. But if it’s just two shelves, like I have, you must be very careful about provisioning storage and use as much as possible.

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