NetApp HCI Review

Good deduplication and compaction ratios help to increase performance and efficiency

What is our primary use case?

We use NetApp HCI for our VDI infrastructure. We have thousands of VDI desktops that we deploy and we're currently testing it out. We use NetApp FAS storage, but we migrated all of that to the ACI platform.

We do not use Cloud Data Services at the moment.

How has it helped my organization?

Using NetApp HCI has made things a lot easier to set up. The main advantage is that the management would be shipped to our VM team instead of back to our storage team. They get all of the functionality and they can do all of their own restores. They can also provision on their own. Everything is done through the virtual center.

The ability to scale on demand is very helpful. It's customizable and we can expand if we get low on storage or compute. I love the fact that we can actually provision the LUN out to a separate vendor as well. We can also provide that storage to a different operating system.

The fact that we can scale compute and storage independently is great. We do it independently whether we need storage or we need compute.

With respect to our hypervisor footprint, I would say that this solution has helped us to expand it. NetApp HCI makes it a little easier for us to manage.

Using NetApp HCI has helped to increase application performance, although I do not have any specific metrics. I can say that we have a lot of desktop users that were complaining of slowness. The SSC backend helps with performance.

The effect on storage performance in our organization has been great. SSDs always give you the ability to add workload and not have to worry about managing it.

I would say that our TCO has been lowered because we don't have as many storage shelves to worry about. Everything is now better compacted, or compressed.

What is most valuable?

This solution is rock solid.

The most valuables features of it are the deduplication and the compaction because the ratios are much better than what we normally get on our FAS storage. 

The virtual center is a nice feature.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have the ability to replicate to multiple sites. Right now, we're limited to replicating to a single destination. We would like to be able to do it in non-production so that we can test data, and we can replicate it to our DR. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is rock solid. We have been through two upgrades and it didn't affect anything. We have had no downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is very scalable. We can expand storage nodes or compute nodes.

How are customer service and technical support?

We were in contact with technical support when there were some things that we wanted to do, but we could not use the GUI and we had to use the backend. It turned out to be a bug, and it was just updated to the next revision. That's mainly the reason that we did two revision updates.

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

We did not use another solution prior to this one, but we were at the point where we needed to expand.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward, once you get all of the subnets and networking working properly.

What about the implementation team?

We used NetApp's professional service to deploy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We started with NetApp and did the PoC with it. Things worked well in our environment.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is researching this type of solution is to definitely look at NetApp HCI. Compare it to whatever other vendors that you are looking at, but give it a good look because it does provide a lot of value.

I love this solution.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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