NetApp ONTAP Review

Delivers low latency and fast I/O for our users' mission-critical apps, with a smaller footprint

What is our primary use case?

We use it for all our storage requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for mission-critical applications. A lot of our users don't want any downtime, they don't want any kind of failure or bottlenecks. They want low latency, they want fast I/O, they want fast throughput - and it delivers.

It has helped us reduce the overall cost of our storage. We were able to consolidate a lot of the storage that we had in the past into a much smaller footprint, using less rack space and power. It has been great for that.

We have saved space using ONTAP, in some cases it's 30 to 40 percent.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the data deduplication, the inline compression/compaction, and the encryption as well, the security aspect of it.

Overall, for us, it's the stability, it has a solid infrastructure. It's easy to use, easy to rack and configure and start utilizing really quickly. It's been very stable, it works great, and it does everything we would want it to do.

What needs improvement?

I could see the GUI being a little bit more refined, the presentation layer being a little stronger, a little less sluggish.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We're happy with the stability and performance. They are very powerful machines.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. It's much more than what we can imagine using.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is very good. They're great at following up, as well, with emails or calling you. It has been very good so far, very quick responses. It's easy to escalate and whenever we have had to order replacement parts, it's been very quick. No complaints at all.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller for the deployment, OnX. Our experience with them was very good. They were very helpful. They really helped with the purchasing, refining our requirements to get them where we needed them to be. They have been very good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have considered other options but they either don't have the same kind of architecture that we're looking for or the performance isn't quite the same. We'd have to look at them a little more in some cases, part of our job is to see what the other vendors are up to. But, for now, we're quite happy with NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

Go see a NetApp presentation or get a referral to a reseller for consultation. That would probably be the best way, because they can speak to the whole line of products. We're only familiar with some of their product line but they would be able to do a good job of showing all the products that NetApp has to offer.

In terms of NVMe over Fabrics, that's something we're going to see a lot of in the future. It's going to change storage. From now on, it's not going to be the same. When it comes to speed, compared to other Fiber Channel gear, there's nothing that compares, it's pretty amazingly fast. When it comes to NVMe over Fabrics with existing Fibre Channel infrastructure, the sky is the limit. It's pretty robust, it is a pretty amazing product, and the performance, especially with things like AI applications, will be pretty amazing.

We, as an organization, do not use ONTAP at the moment for machine-learning, AI, real-time analytics or those kinds of groundbreaking applications for storage, but it has a lot of potential. I'd like to use it for those kinds of scenarios, I'd like to see that happen.

We're definitely going forward, we're going to be growing with NetApp and with their products. They've improved a lot over the last couple releases, and I hope to continue to see that. There are a lot more features, advances in things like deduping and thin-provisioning. They're always improving their product.

I would rate ONTAP a nine out of ten at least. It's a very solid product, great architecture, great service and support, and very responsive.

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