NetApp HCI Review

Increased application performance but we have experienced motherboard failure


What is our primary use case?

We use a catalog that can deploy virtual machines. It helps a lot because the users open fewer cases to provision the VM.

How has it helped my organization?

NetApp HCI has improved our organization by allowing us to put more time into investing in new ideas and spending less time in the administration of the solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is the easy way you can administrate the solution.

What needs improvement?

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see better support for installing the operating system on the machine. If they increase the size of that it will be great. The issue happens when you upload an ISO. That there is a limitation when you need to upload software that it needs to have less than two gigs or four gigs, and some of the OSs are more than that. So it would be great if they tried to increase that limitation size for 10 gigs.

Probably the quality of the hardware should be improved. I'm not sure what exactly to point out because we don't know why we had several motherboard failures. But I think that was a hardware quality issue.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because of the repeated failure of the motherboard that we experienced, we have doubts about the stability of the solution, but I'm sure that in the near future it will be a great, reliable solution for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution's ability to scale on-demand affects provisioning in our organization. It is automated provisioning. In the old days, they would need to send an email and request the machine and it would be done manually. But using those catalogs, we can provision automatically.

The solution's ability to scale compute and storage independently does not affect capacity performance and upgrade planning in our organization because of what we do.

In all, the scalability of the solution seems better than Nutanix.

How are customer service and technical support?

I like the way that the company handles its technical support. When a node fails, an engineer connects to it easily from a remote session and he fixes it. The way they support the product seems to be to do something better than to do it too fast. We like the way they treat our issues.

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

As a reseller, I do prefer FAS (Fabric Attached Storage) to AFF (All-Flash FAS) because you can choose the types of disks and you are not tied to SSD (Solid State Drive). I also like the way it scales. So, if I could choose, I would pick FAS instead of HCI because I believe that FAS is moving towards the HCI (Hyper-Convergence Infrastructure). NetApp is saying it is like a hybrid-cloud infrastructure. We have a Service-Level Manager and other features. You can do the same catalog and support of upgrades. I think it is more seamless to scale the way we have it configured.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was totally straightforward. We didn't need to study a lot in order to deploy. It was really easy and fast to deploy. If it was not as fast to deploy 12 nodes it would have been much more of a chore for sure.

What about the implementation team?

I am a partner in resellers so we are the guys who do the deployments.

What was our ROI?

i'm not aware of ROI because I'm post-sales.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are resellers and we do have some competitors, but I would not pick them in Brazil. We need to compete with Huawei sometimes, and on the HCI line, we compete with Nutanix also. I prefer NetApp because I trust the lineup.

What other advice do I have?

Several things have happened during the time we have had the product:

  • It reduced our hypervisor footprint because of the ISO support.
  • It has enabled us to consolidate workloads and break down silos.
  • The solution has increased application performance.
  • This solution resulted in more efficient use of compute resources.
  • The ability to automate the provision of the machines makes it faster and it's easier for the user to request.
  • It has increased the requests and the quality of the delivery.
  • The solution helped reduce maintenance costs.
  • Deletions cloud data services (on-premises) used with the catalog is like a cloud provider, but it is not a cloud solution at all.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a seven, because of the motherboard failures. If we didn't have the issue on the ISO and then on the motherboard because the customer started to reduce the tourist on the solution. But now it's stable and it does not fail anymore. Every day he is happier with it.

Advice that I would have for people considering this as a solution is to give it a shot with HCI. It is a good product to try that works like a cloud-like service provider. It isn't perfect. For example, we had an HCI with 12 nodes and there was one node that had failed motherboards like four times and we replaced them. In general, it is easier to administrate. We are the reseller, we are not the user that bought the product. After that was resolved the client opened fewer cases with us. So the operational cost for us, as the reseller, is cheaper because they are not always open cases with doubts that it will be easy to manage.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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