NetApp ONTAP Review

It has the ability to tailor tiers according to what we need and put the right services in the right place


What is our primary use case?

We're using it for all of our enterprise architecture. So, we use everything from CIFS, NFS, Fibre Channel LUNs, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and iSCSI. Therefore, we're pretty much using the gamut. We have a little bit of SAS storage tier, SATA storage tier, and SSD as well.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes our organization more efficient with more scale. We have the ability to tier off the storage and ensure storage is efficiently utilized so we can get rid of idle data and data that is not required. Then, we can show and prove what needs and should be used.

We do use this solution for mission-critical applications.

What is most valuable?

Its flexibility is its most valuable feature. It has the ability to mix with the different requirements that we have to provide, such as some I/O intensive services and a lot of archive services. It has the ability to tailor tiers according to what we need and put the right services in the right place.

What needs improvement?

One of the things that we were looking at being able to do a FlexGroup NFSv4. Right now, 9.4 goes up to NFSv3, but if we could get the NFSv4 solution on a 9.4, or a future release, that would be awesome.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is great. We have a six-node cluster. We've done head swaps. We've had failures and the cluster has always stayed up and the data has always been available. We haven't lost any data either.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very easy to scale, so we started with a four-node cluster and added it to a six-node cluster. We've also done some other modifications in between.

This solution helped our organization reduce our overall cost of storage. Because idle data which was residing on high cost tiers, once we sifted the ONTAP, we were able to scale and place it where it should be, then offload the data which was unnecessary to different locations.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is awesome. We call them up, and they're there. We receive answers and get what we need right away. We have four hour delivery, as it's based on our contracts, but we do receive outstanding support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. There was a guide of how everything goes together. Therefore, use the guide, put it together, and you're up and running.

What about the implementation team?

During the initial install, we had a reseller who came in, helped us build it out, etc. They were awesome getting us up and running. Now, that it's up and running, even though they don't have access to our systems, but we can still call them and get assistance, look into different changes, opportunities to scale in or our, and upgrade as we need to.

What was our ROI?

We have been able to save space by using the solution.

What other advice do I have?

Look into the product's reliability. You will definitely see an increase in your business performance if you use it.

We don't current employ any NVMe. We have SSD. We're looking at NVMe potentially on some of our higher IOP operations, but we don't deploy it right now.

We use SaaS and also have a Hadoop cluster which are backed up by ONTAP storage. These are for doing a lot of data analytics and analyzing different data streams. AI is soon to come.

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