NetApp Private Storage Review

Gives us full control over security, we can add shelves, upgrade heads, and perfectly scalable

What is most valuable?

Certainly the cost. It's something that we own. We negotiate whatever deal we can get on the type of storage that it is, but it's totally under our control, as opposed to putting it out in the cloud. We like that.

How has it helped my organization?

As opposed to cloud, we have full control over security, use, who uses it. We own a number of different companies, so we can partition however we want. There are no privacy concerns or separation-of-data concerns. Our European subsidiaries sometimes reject putting personal data out in a US cloud. So, this works great, private is great.

What needs improvement?

We had to write a number of custom tools or scripts ourselves to use it as a staging area between our on-premises datacenter and our cloud installation. If they had a better set of tools to allow us to migrate data through, more easily, rather than writing when to get it to here and when to get it to the next step. More transparent, or as a transfer type capability; might be useful if they have those kind of capabilities.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Fine. So far its been working great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Like any other NetApp storage, we can add shelves or upgrade the heads or whatever we need to do. It's perfectly scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Most of the time, very good. Certainly, for break-fix type problems they're great. If I have a really in-depth question, sometimes it's a number of layers of phone trees and getting down to the right support people. But in general, it's pretty good.

Getting to the right people for the really intricate questions is a little difficult but you would sort of expect that. It's not like the average guy answering the phones is going to be able to answer some incredibility complicated question.

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

We phased out IBM storage we used to have. In consultation with our NetApp tech team, they strongly urged us to consider this solution. They very much encouraged, explained the benefits, and we went over the use cases ourselves. But it was a no-brainer in the end.

Initially, we made the switch because of cost. IBM is expensive. We originally split off from another sister company which was all IBM, so we inherited that from them. It wasn't like we truly chose IBM.

How was the initial setup?

Easy, having done it before. I've done other NetApp installs. Very simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When it came time to replace, we evaluated EMC, NetApp, IBM again and chose NetApp and have not regretted it. It has been a very good decision.

The evaluation of NPS in our organization included me, my German counterpart and a few others, our DBAs, our VMware guys, the infrastructure team, the datacenter team. Approval for the purchase was all the way up to our CIO. Our particular company purchases, up to that big, have to go up to that high. It was the management chain up to the CIO.

What other advice do I have?

Currently we have it just at our own datacenter but we intend to set up at an edge of cloud, an Equinix datacenter and use private storage there to backup. We will use it as a staging area between us on-prem and the cloud. It will be really useful for being an in-between and also for disaster recovery and other purposes like that.

In our company, not only was there no internal resistance to using the cloud before we deployed the NPS solution, but as a matter of fact it was the other way around. They were very much in favor. Once we explained the use cases they said, "Yeah, that's a good idea." They didn't have too much resistance.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor to work with:

  • Are they really a partner with us?
  • Can we count on them?

We are a merger-acquisition type company so, if we have a big acquisition, can they help us scale up for that? Can they help us migrate whatever vendor they're using because this is now our standard. We will migrate our new company into NetApp. The ease of being able to do that with NetApp is very good.

The only reason why I wouldn't go any higher than nine out of 10 for NPS is the lack of some of those tools I mentioned earlier, being able to use it in certain ways. Other than using it as your own private NetApp and creating your own tools to make it work the way you want. If they had a software suite that would help with that, it might push it to a 10.

If I were advising a colleague who is looking at this kind of solution, I would just challenge them to compare the support structure, the cost structure, the various options that they have for private storage. NetApp has a very good selection for different size companies. Certainly, they could run it up against any competitors they like, but I think they'll find NetApp is a very good choice.

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

author avatarit_user750537 (Network Administrator at Universidade Feevale)
Real User

Great review! Congratulations