NetApp ONTAP Review

It helps us save money using compression and deduplication

What is our primary use case?

We use it to store email files, mainly JPEGs.

How has it helped my organization?

With ONTAP, we have peace of mind with double-parity protector RAID systems. Therefore, we can sleep well at the night, not thinking about crashing a RAID, because it's secure. We are confident with the technology. 

We use it for company websites using NetApp back-end. These are mission-critical applications.

What is most valuable?

  • The capability to create no overhead Snapshots.
  • The capability to restore from Snapshots: file and add volume. 
  • FlexClone is a great feature. 
  • All the features are great with ONTAP.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more integration of the features with the CIFS and SMB Protocols. We also want integration with iSCSI. Right now, there are a lot of gap between some bleeding edge technology and the assembly protocols. Therefore, I want to see those areas improved in the future releases.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The data is always available. I haven't had a disaster using NetApp products, at least the NetApp FAS systems. It's very stable and highly protected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can add storage capacity on the fly with Clustered ONTAP. You can add nodes and increase the entire horsepower of ONTAP.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is hit or miss sometimes. Level 1 support is not very good. Level 2 and Level 3 (the escalation support) are very good. They are knowledgeable people, but sometimes you get some hiccup in the Level 1 support. After you pass Level 1, it is smooth sailing. There is a lot of room for improvement.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used an in-house team for the installation, and it went well.

In the past, we have used a reseller. Our experience with them was also good.

What was our ROI?

It helps us save money using compression and deduplication. No overhead snapshots and FlexClone (with no additional space) help us save space. We have been able to save about 50 percent of our space using ONTAP.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not consider anyone else besides NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for something simple to manage, but an advanced storage array, NetApp is the way to go.

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