NetApp ONTAP Review

New features help us keep up performance but storage efficiency could be better

What is our primary use case?

We are using the NetApp solution to host our tier-two storage workloads. We use it for virtualization and as a database for applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Oracle.

What is most valuable?

With the NetApp Data ONTAP Cluster, we get some features that are particularly helpful. For example, we can always add to and remove nodes from the cluster. The ability to move volumes online from the storage side, from one aggregate to another aggregate, or from one node to another node, keeps up the performance which helps us a lot.

What needs improvement?

Especially with the all-flash arrays, we would like to see better storage efficiency and deduplication. In terms of manageability, it would be great if NetApp would add more native reporting tools into the dashboard so that we don't need to use the third-party tool for analyzing our environments or to generate any reports. This would be especially helpful for companies that need to generate some chargeback for the customers.

Vendors in the market are trying to simplify their technologies. They're working to make anything from the hardware and installation to the management of the array, simpler. And I think it would be great if NetApp worked to make the whole process simpler to help customers achieve their goals easier and faster. For example, NetApp could work to simplify tech refresh or migration. Some more reporting tool would be great as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been stable. We've been using NetApp for a long time and we've never really had any major issue with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. The older Data ONTAP 7-Mode scalibility was a bit challenging. Clustered ONTAP is scaled-up technology since you can always add the node to the cluster. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been NetApp customers for a long time. For the most part, we're receiving good support. Sometimes there are situations in which we need help from our NetApp rep, SE, or someone who knows how to escalate the cases for faster support. But our overall experience with their support is good.

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

We always do our due diligence, whether it's a tech refresh or just moving on with another new project. We compare different technologies based on our requirements. Often when we have a chance, we also perform a PoC. We bring that technology into our data center and then we perform our tests on it. We have scorecards and then we go through every aspect based on our requirements, our customers, and project needs. Then we decide if it makes sense to move on with a new technology or product.

What about the implementation team?

We used NetApp themselves as well as a company called Red8.

What other advice do I have?

Instead of just considering the brand name, whether it's NetApp or any other vendor, my advice is always for a company to define their requirements. Once the requirements are identified, set the expectations and then consider NetApp as a possible solution because we have worked with it and have had a positive experience. If the data is consistent, my advice would be to move on with NetApp.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
More NetApp ONTAP reviews from users
...who work at a Financial Services Firm
...who compared it with NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
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