NetApp ONTAP Review

Enables us to automate and I can use Ansible via API to automate our day to day tasks


Video

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for ONTAP is for VMware. We also use it for exchange and file storage.

How has it helped my organization?

ONTAP's improving my organization by allowing us to automate. The ability to automate day to day tasks, when using NetApp storage, frees up more time for forecasting, troubleshooting, and more planning.

What is most valuable?

The primary features that are most important to me, currently for ONTAP, are stability, first and foremost, and the ability to automate. ONTAP offers me PowerShell cmdlets and I can use Ansible via API to automate our day to day tasks. Previously, it was all the other software like, SnapManager, and Snapshotting, which a lot of other vendors didn't have.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them have a continued focus on stability because there's so much software involved that it'd be really nice to just continue to have developers focus on that. It's the most important thing in the end, and other than that, I think they're working on a lot of the stuff that I personally am looking for, as well as more Ansible modules, and PowerShell modules.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some of their products have been really good for us, on certain versions. We've run into a bunch of verts, though. That's NetApp's word for their bugs. Stability has been the main complaint that I've had with the product. Because it's so feature-rich and has so much software related to it, it does come with a decent amount of bugs so we do a lot of upgrades to patch bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, for us, has been pretty good with ONTAP, since they went from 7-mode to ONTAP. Now that we can cluster environments, and have multiple nodes in the cluster, we've been able to scale to the point that our organization requires, as far as the capacity and performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't go directly to NetApp, but when we do interface with NetApp directly, we've had a pretty good support experience. There have been times where it's been difficult, depending on who's on staff at that time, and how long it takes to escalate. Recently, we've worked with our account reps, to nail down how to escalate immediately, and since we did that, we've had a lot better experience.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We knew we needed a new solution because I've always worked with NetApp, although we had another solution with a different company, and it came down to feature set. The solution we had didn't have SnapMirror, Snap plug-ins, and integration with VMware at the time, and  SRM. At that point, it was the feature set that made us switch over to ONTAP. At my current company, it's more of deciding to stay with the technology, and that's because of the existing feature set and ability to automate with it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. That's where the reseller provides a lot of value. They have access to NetApp tools. NetApp would also have access to that, but we tell them the requirements, and what we're looking for, and what we're using it for. They come up with config, we look over it, maybe make some changes, go back and forth, and then, come up with the final config. We've had a good experience with that.

What about the implementation team?

We used Datalink, and it's been okay. Mixed reviews with that. Delay in escalation is the only complaint there. Otherwise, they do provide additional stuff that NetApp wouldn't provide out of the box such as architecture and design help. In that aspect, it's been really great, but for support, it's kind of been easier just to go direct.

What was our ROI?

We've seen return on investment for ONTAP specifically on the performance recently. Where we had our file storage solution sitting on a hybrid storage solution and we were having continuous performance issues, as our workloads went up we were able to put in an 8300 all-flash array. Since we've put that in, we've been under one-millisecond latency, and that's allowed us to not have delays in some of our EDI transactions. Our end customer integrates and interfaces with that technology. Fewer outages equal more business, more profit, more revenue, and immediate ROI. We've been really happy with the new All Flash hardware solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate ONTAP as an eight. From 7-mode, they've come a long way, and I really like the features that they include. I'll give it an eight and not a ten because we run into a lot of bugs which have resulted in some issues, like outages, so I have to dock it there. As far as feature set and automation go it's a great product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Add a Comment
Guest
Sign Up with Email