NetApp HCI Review

Ease of deployment enables us to easily pull nodes in and out for expansion

What is our primary use case?

The primary use we have for this product is collaborating with VMware in development.

How has it helped my organization?

The ease of management has helped our organization. We are able to move some tasks down to lower-level employees which frees up the architects to do more with their capabilities.

What is most valuable?

Ease of deployment is probably the most valuable feature for us because it allows us to easily pull nodes in and out for expansion.

What needs improvement?

Being able as a user to just go and look through tutorials and maybe opportunities to use a simulated environment where we can test things out. Maybe that exists and we just have not tripped over it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution has been pretty good so far. Alerts have not been too noisy. We do like the Active IQ and the ability to look at statistics on the system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I expect that the solution's ability to scale on-demand makes it pretty scalable, but I don't think we've gotten to that point yet. We are not pushing for performance so much, and probably ease of management is a bigger goal for us. That was one of the reasons we went with HCI. We were not stuck with doing compute and storage at the same time, so we can increase or decrease whichever resource makes the most sense to us.

Hopefully what the product is as advertised. We currently have four storage to computes. We're looking at putting a second HCI in another site to move toward replication.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had very good experiences with technical support.

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

I was involved in the decision process. We knew that we needed to invest in a new solution for better performance. Our team is relatively small and we were really intrigued by the ease of manageability of the NetApp system. Until this consideration, we did not previously use a different solution for HCI (Hyper-Convergence Infrastructure).

We went with NetApp mostly because our data centers are switching to NetApp pretty much across the board. It was a natural transition.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I think we had a little bit of difficulty with networking and routing which was not quite as straightforward but we obviously resolved that.

What about the implementation team?

We did involve a consultant for the deployment. It was a NetApp consultant that came in. Once we got through the deployment, we realized that we could have done it ourselves just as easily. We just hadn't had experience with it so we figured it was a better way to go for the initial deployment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The vendors on our shortlist were limited to Dell. Really the general organizational trend drove most of our decision.

What other advice do I have?

The solution enhanced some application performance. We actually moved an application from a SATA disk and put it on NetApp. The user noticed and was surprised by the improved performance. I would say it was enhanced by 25%. The solution has generally affected storage performance in our organization by adding a high-performance storage option into the environment. The solution has also resulted in more efficient use of compute resources. As we have started small, it is only about 20% currently.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine. We have only had it in office for about six months, so that rating may change.

The advice I would give someone at another company who is researching this solution is to spending the time to really look at the datasheets and the use cases. Make sure you fully understand how it might fit in your environment before you get it there.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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