What is our primary use case?
We want a hyperconveged setup and infrastructure in a cost-effective solution, based on the storage and network, with server efficiency. For now, we are just using independent Data Fabrics. We are at the stage of testing solutions with NetApp HCI products. Once it is approved we will recommend our customers use this HCI setup in production.
How has it helped my organization?
Every company runs on IOPS, bandwidth, and latency. Five or ten years ago, we didn't have much bandwidth and the latency wasn't great because of packet loss with the LAN technologies. Now, Ethernet has been developed a lot so that there are new technologies with data center bridging and they are coming up with better solutions for TCP/IP. It is becoming very good to use it for HCI to create a cost-effective solution. SAN is always costly. While there is a cost to HCI, it is becoming a cost-effective solution for data storage.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the convergence. If we were to go with a legacy SAN solution, SAN fabrics, we would have two independent data fabrics. With hyperconverged, we can have two separate fabrics with a cost-effective LAN technology solution.
What needs improvement?
To improve the product, they should make it more flexible.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Because we are testing the product we aren't able to talk about the stability yet.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
These days, most products provide a scalable solution, so scalability is generally not a problem.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have opened support cases with NetApp and they have provided good support for all of our problems and issues. They provide troubleshooting steps and there are Knowledge Bases, so if it is a known issue we can find it directly. If it is a new issue it will be forwarded to the storage engineering team. They have their own labs where they can recreate the issue to try to resolve it.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were forced to move from our old product to the new product because of the lifecycle of the product. It expired after five or six years. Once we reached the end of the lifecycle, we had to move to another product.
We went with NetApp based on the cost-effective solutions, technologies, and protocols. We had detailed discussions with architects and engineers and narrowed it down to the product we would go with.
How was the initial setup?
At the beginning of the initial setup, NetApp came to our site and helped us, but it was a very slow process.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at Dell EMC, Hitachi, and HPE.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate the solution a nine out of ten. I love HCI. It is a cost-effective solution and it is the future as well.