NetApp ONTAP Review

Technical support is good. Their solution engineers are good at architecting designs which are standard, but also future thinking.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is file storage. We use it for SMB CIFs and Fibre Channel LUN for Hyper-V.

How has it helped my organization?

Our administrative effort is lower. 

DR is much easier now. It is essentially just flipping a few switches, then we have replicated data up in our DR data center. We have done the tests, and it works perfectly. We also have file services which are DR, where we flip another switch and all our files are in another easy place to locate. 

What is most valuable?

SnapMirror is a good solution, because we can take our production data and replicate it over to our DR data center with minimal administrative effort, which is huge.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see FlexGroup volumes come to parity in terms of software features with Flex volumes. It seems like FlexGroup volumes have massive scalability, but their features set is not the same as Flex volumes, so we are currently unable to use it. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. Even when we are doing upgrades to the ONTAP cluster, such as rolling upgrades where one node will take over the other cluster's volumes, we have zero downtime. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. We are in current discussions to obtain another two nodes to our ONTAP cluster. So, two more nodes to our already two node cluster, and we don't expect any downtime. We have seen how much it can scale in terms of numbers, so we are happy with it.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. NetApp's solution engineers are good at architecting designs which are standard, but also future thinking. I've only opened a few tickets, and they've answered my questions each time. NetApp takes less than four hours to respond.

We once opened a ticket to have a technical support person online at two in the morning for a cluster upgrade. The technical lead was online and supportive, and nothing went wrong with the upgrade.

They have awesome technical guides and documentation.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, because getting a storage system installed is not the hardest thing. It takes some know how, but it's not an impossible task. 

When we do a controller upgrade from a FAS8200 to a FAS9000, I want somebody there to watch over the upgrade because something can go wrong, and I do want technical help. However, the cool thing is while we're apprehensive and know what can happen, it never has. We're too cautious.

What about the implementation team?

Meridian and ePlus implemented our solution. We had no issues and found them to be knowledgeable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We look at the other companies, like Dell EMC and Nutanix. We decided to go with NetApp because they are an industry leader. We also liked their SnapMirror and SnapVault features.

What other advice do I have?

ONTAP is easy and works. It most likely has all the features you need, and then some. 

Each ONTAP upgrade has brought us new features, like rest encryption.

The new solution is crazy small and compact.

**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
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