What is most valuable?
I like the performance side the most. When we have an issue going on currently in the environment, the graphing of all the data helps pinpoint where the issue might be.
For the reporting side, the data warehouse side, if you're good with that, it can get really detailed reports that are good for showing people, at any level of the company. For the performance side, obviously it's good for troubleshooting.
How has it helped my organization?
I'd say for the cDOT side of it, yes. We had a solution for 7-mode, but for cDOT we didn't really have anything yet, so it helped by making sure that our NetApp source is staying healthy and our implementations are working.
What needs improvement?
They've already got better stuff coming out. I don't know what else I could need, honestly. Before, they had the fiber channel for switches on there; I think they are already coming out with ethernet, the other boards. That was what I wanted and they're already working on it.
One thing they could improve is making the data warehouse side easier to use.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable once you get it into place. There were originally some issues; NetApp was very helpful in working through them, getting patches, and it's pretty stable now.
In terms of those issues, It wouldn't connect to some of the NetApps sometimes, so we would have incomplete data on certain NetApps because there were bugs with certain ONTAP versions. But, they will come out with patches if you need them.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
You can add as many NetApps in there that you need to, I think. As many NetApps that you can put in there, even EMCs. We have our EMCs in there, SAN switches, and even VMware. So it's definitely scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
They were really helpful, they helped to troubleshoot the issue and to get as quick a fix as we could.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We initially invested in OCI to improve our reporting in our environment because we wanted to be able to predict purchases in the future. So that was what the tool seemed to be good for.
We chose NetApp because we have something like 50 NetApps, so it seemed like the right way to go.
How was the initial setup?
I felt like it was complex. They said it was simple but, they have a guy who will come out and help you through the process. He gave me a slight tutorial. Like I said, the data warehouse side is a lot more complex. So it had more of a learning curve, versus the performance side, which is pretty straightforward once you learn everything.
Regarding upgrades, the first one was complex, I think because we didn't have a lot of space on the server. But the backup wasn't working, so they wanted to back it up and then you restore from the backup to the new version. But the last one we did was very easy. So it's getting better.
What other advice do I have?
We do web.com, basically web hosting. I don't think this product is uniquely valuable in our industry. I think its pretty much good for anyone that has a NetApp, if you want the performance, or however you're doing it. It helps us maintain up-time for our customers, such as websites; that's why it helps there.