NetApp ONTAP Review

FlexGroup is capacity-oriented enabling us to can keep extending the space


What is our primary use case?

We use it for the security business. We use it mostly for capacity-oriented purposes, rather than performance-oriented.

How has it helped my organization?

It's a major product for us. We are dealing with security stuff so the encryption features in NetApp really help, as well as the deduplication. We are able to minimize the storage hardware. The compression and deduplication have helped reduce our overall cost of storage.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features include replication, Snapmirror. That's really useful for us. Also, FlexGroup is useful as it is capacity-oriented, so we can keep extending the space.

What needs improvement?

I'm waiting for end-to-end NVMe.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been running for years and years and we haven't seen any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. The NAS can expand to 24 nodes for the FAS series, and for SAN it can expand to 12 nodes.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have had to use tech support and the response has been good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We switched from our old solution because of the features. We went with NetApp because of the redundancy, availability, scalability, and cost.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It took just a few commands.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller. Our experience with them was good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did a PoC with a few other products.

What other advice do I have?

ONTAP has been in use for over 25 years, that's one of the major advantages when compared to start-ups and other companies. It's also global, NetApp has support all over and, in case of an emergency, their response is good. When there is an issue, many people jump onto the call to try to resolve it.

NVMe over Fabrics is margin-technology at the moment, but the future will be NVMe. All storage, end-to-end, will be NVMe protocol. The speed of NVMe is good. The current existing technology is SCSI-based, one command per Cube, but with NVMe you can run 65,536 commands in each Cube, meaning 65,536 Cubes. That is really fast. In terms of NVMe over Fabrics with existing Fibre Channel infrastructure, if the hardware supports it, it should be good. As the protocol improves, there should be end-to-end support for the NVMe protocol.

We don't use this product for machine-learning, or AI, real-time analytics or other groundbreaking types of applications.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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