NetApp FAS Series Review
The scalability is good, but it's too expensive


What is our primary use case?

The product has been pretty stable. Though we have had a few issues, not on the ones that we are going to replace, but on a couple of other ones. On the ones that we are going to replace, we usually use them for file storage and Exchange. The others are mainly used for interface and iSCSI.

How has it helped my organization?

It has been a pretty stable environment, but over time our requirements have changed. Therefore, I don't think it's an issue with the system. We have put a lot of load on a lot more than what it can handle. So, it has taken a performance hit. I wouldn't put it down to there being an issue with NetApp. It's simply because it has more load on it than it can handle, so it has taken a performance hit. 

The only downside is in ease in management; it is not easy to use.

What is most valuable?

It is good to have a unified storage where you can have block and file level protocols. It has been pretty stable, but the capacity requirements have changed overtime. Our utilization has been very high, so the performance has taken a hit, which is why we are replacing it.

What needs improvement?

  • Ease of management needs to be improved.
  • The power consumption for the FAS is a lot more compared to the new SSD arrays.

Going forward, I don't want to be using the FAS again. I want to be using AFFs more.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been pretty stable. It has been pretty good, and when we have issues, the support has been great as well. 

I am pretty happy with the system, and the performance issues that we are experiencing have nothing to do with the NetApp system. It's simply because it has more load than it can handle.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good, but it's too expensive.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is cooperative and good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were previously using an old IBM SAN. We switched because we wanted to moved to a unified system.

How was the initial setup?

We had a reseller set it up for us, simply because it was a little too complicated.

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

It's not a cheap system. It is very expensive. The pricing has been ridiculous every time that we had to renew the support. Initially, we have a three-year support contract when we bought the system, but the subsequent renewal of maintenance was ridiculous. This is why we have not been too keen on NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

I wouldn't recommend NetApp FAS. I don't understand why anyone would go for NetApp FAS when you can get the NetApp AFF, which is an SSD array, for almost a similar price or probably even cheaper.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

  • Cost effective solution
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • A good roadmap.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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