NetApp ONTAP Review

It is very stable and never crashes. However, it doesn't scale horizontally.

What is our primary use case?

We use it to manage storage for our customers. 

Our customers use it for mission-critical applications, such as backup circuits.

How has it helped my organization?

We use ONTAP as a managed storage for customers. It helps our customers with all its features.

What is most valuable?

There is a faster release cycle now. Also, they are doing all types of cool stuff in their cloud volumes, replication, and tiering.

The fabric pools in the newer version is cool, though we don't use it yet. It provides tiering to cloud and fabric pools.

What needs improvement?

  • We would like full automation of deployment.
  • The ability to scale out.
  • The lack of an API is a big thing for us that needs to be improved. It needs proper API support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and never crashes. During maintenance, it's easy to do. If you lose connectivity, it has one-sided redundant connectivity on the back-end for shelves, which is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It doesn't scale horizontally since there are a limited number of shelves. Other NetApp solutions are way better at scaling. This needs improvement since the future is in scaling horizontally, similar to what SolidFire does.

How are customer service and technical support?

NetApp's technical support is always perfect. They go above and beyond when trying to help.

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

We generally upgrade when a solution is end of life or moving out of support.

How was the initial setup?

With older versions, it was a little complex at some point, but this was back in the day. It's still a bit challenging, but when you have the right versions, it's straightforward. 

We're trying to automate the deployment process, and as far as I know, you cannot do that with ONTAP systems today. This may not be true with the newest 9.4 or 9.5 systems. 

What makes it complicated, there is no API available to automate a task. Now, they have released a lot of Ansible playbooks to automate a deployment, which might have significantly improved it, but I have not had a chance to try them.

What about the implementation team?

We did the deployment ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend ONTAP, because I like the platform. With the most recent stuff, like the fabric pools which blow my mind, it is a really good solution.

There is something interesting stuff coming out in the future, like NVMe over Fabric, which has a different rate over Fiber Channel.

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