NetApp HCI Review

The Element software has enabled us to consolidate workloads and break down silos

What is our primary use case?

We use all of the deployment models. That's the good part about HCI, you can choose whichever you want. Our cloud providers are Amazon and Azure. 

Our primary use case is for container storage. 

We use HCI's Cloud Data services. It affects the management of the infrastructure by making it one single pane of glass to provision and a single pane of glass to monitor. It makes my use easier.

The hope is that it will make the use of compute resources more efficient by 50%.

How has it helped my organization?

We are still in the testing phase so it's too early to see improvements in our organization. 

It has not reduced our hypervisor footprint yet, but that's the hope. 

The solution's Element software has enabled us to consolidate workloads and break down silos. Now you don't have to be a storage administrator to provision or do anything. Any VMware system administrator, with the ease of a button, would get storage provision. It makes their lives easier.

HCI has increased application performance in the test phase. It has also provided efficiencies and mobilities similar to that of public cloud which makes it take less time to reply. It's faster. 

It has helped to reduce maintenance costs by around 20%. It's definitely cheaper than our traditional storage solutions. HCI has reduced our TCO by around 25%.

What is most valuable?

The NetApp Deployment Engine that comes with it makes the actual deployment and usage very easy. That's our primary focus and it's hyper-converged. That's something that we want to use as well. 

What needs improvement?

The deployment process has room for improvement. I would like for it to be a cookie-cutter deployment. Right now we have to still do the worksheet and then add all the IPS, and then provide feedback to NDE and then it deploys it. In the future, I would like to deploy it through NDE and that I don't have to work on the worksheet. That would be awesome.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable because you can independently add and remove storage nodes and our compute nodes. It's very resilient and scalable. That's what we look for.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's highly scalable and we love the fact that we can add storage independently or compute and we don't have to buy an entire storage solution when we have to increase capacity. That's the good thing about HCI. You can pick and choose if you want to compute or storage. It's great.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's fairly new. We are still working through the documentation and stuff but it's getting there.

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

We have to innovate to stay relevant in the organization and in our media and entertainment company, so this is part of that solution.

We previously used Tintri. We loved them but because of the innovation and ease of use of HCI we chose this hyper-converged solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward but we had to redeploy multiple times because the parameters changed based on our requirements. We had to deploy multiple times, but that had nothing to do with the actual installation. It was our metrics change.

What about the implementation team?

We used NetApp Professional Services for the implementation. They were awesome.

What was our ROI?

We haven't seen ROI yet because it's not in production. 

What other advice do I have?

Since it's still in its infancy, I would rate HCI an eight out of ten with the hopes that it will get to a ten. 

I would say give it a try. You will love how easy it is to deploy. 

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

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