NetApp HCI Review

Highly available, redundant, and scalable, but we can't get the solution to stabilize yet


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for the HCI solution is so that we can have redundancy and resiliency for all of our critical systems that reside on VMware. We will be utilizing technologies such as vMotion, iSCSI, and data management to move the VM instances back and forth while they are still running.

We have purchased the solution but we do not have it running yet. We have encountered an issue after the setup was complete where the whole vCenter crashed. Professional Services had to come back out and install the solution a second time, but after they re-installed it, it crashed again. We are finding it challenging to get the system running in a stable condition.

The ability of this solution to scale on demand is good because with the organization growing, our data size is growing as far as our computer server is growing. The scalability will probably be the biggest factor in enhancing our environment.

Part of the planning for our system, or our environment, was that it has to have the capacity to scale. This means that this solution's ability to scale compute and storage independently is something that we took into consideration. We can add an additional chassis at any given time.

We believe that NetApp HCI will reduce our hypervisor footprint, but we have not seen anything as of yet.

When this solution is up and running we expect that the Element software will enable us to consolidate workloads.

We will not be using any of the cloud data services because for security reasons, everything is on-premises.

Although we do not have everything running yet, I am hoping that we will be able to make more efficient use of our compute resources.

How has it helped my organization?

Our goal with NetApp HCI is to have no single point of failure. That's probably the biggest plus for us because we're going to have our email server and all of our critical systems reside on that platform.

What is most valuable?

We are looking forward to high availability, redundancy, and shared storage.

What needs improvement?

The vCenter keeps crashing, meaning that there is no stability in our environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have just purchased NetApp HCI and do not have it up and running yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We do not have a stable system, yet. The vCenter has been crashing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

According to what is advertised for HCI on scalability, we will be able to add additional systems on the fly. That should be a very good feature for us.

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

We have a lot of NetApp storage on-site, so part of the reason we are implementing NetApp HCI is consolidation. We are basically picking a solution that's on the same platform and from the same vendor, which will probably be better for us because we don't want to introduce too many different vendors. When that happens you have too many different things to support. We're trying to simplify the environment by just having one single vendor. 

What about the implementation team?

NetApp Professional Services has been working with us on the implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing fees are renewed annually.

What other advice do I have?

I cannot rate this solution more than about half at this point because we do not have it working, although I believe that in the future, I will give it a much higher rating.

If we can get this environment stabilized and if we can move our critical systems onto the platform, and we can maintain it, then it will probably be a big plus for us. We will have high availability, redundancy, and resiliency.

As it is now, I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

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

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