NetApp FAS Series Review

You can run a smaller aggregate with SSDs in the flash pool.


What is most valuable?

It takes your standard IOPS in your drives and it gives you much greater performance out of that aggregate. You can run a smaller aggregate with SSDs in the flash pool, and it'll give you the IOPS of many more spindles. What it does is it brings your SATA disks aggregate up to the SAS speed, depending upon how many spindles you're running, and your SAS aggregates perform much better.

How has it helped my organization?

We had an IOPS problem earlier. We were running Citrix and we were having boot storms. Part of the problem was the aggregates that we had were too small. The boot storm would basically fill up the NVRAM. It was unable to write to disk because the disks were running full. The problem was solved by going to flash pools. It was great.

What needs improvement?

I have not given the FAS a perfect rating because the All Flash Array is probably going to beat it down, in terms of performance.

I would give it a perfect rating if there wasn’t any ceiling. When you have some systems and you increase your disk IOPS by adding either All Flash Array or you add a flash pool, sometimes you move the bottleneck; you move the bottleneck up to the CPU. We did have that problem briefly. That was solved by basically moving some of the workload. That happened one time and we fixed it.

By moving to cluster mode, it's going to be a lot easier to move the workload. We are moving in that direction. We're doing the first assessment and planning right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We do not have any stability problems, whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp aggregates are scalable. You can keep adding shelves.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. I've never had a problem.

Usually the problem is being able to hear them in our data center. :)

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

I did not previously use a different solution. When I started working with the county, they already had the NetApp FAS.

What other advice do I have?

Go with NetApp; I haven't had a problem with it.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are reliability and, for technical support, being there.

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