What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case of this solution is as a system integrator, we don't use it for ourselves because we don't have such a big infrastructure. We don't have, for example, the disaster recovery requirements but our customers generally use the replication for disaster recovery. Another way to use SnapMirror is to replicate, to use it to copy the backups. For example, you make a copy of the data on your main storage and you just move it to backup storage, which is not really disaster recovery, you can say that it's a technical backup solution.
Some customers will use it as an asynchronous replication which is a good idea. Synchronous replication is not always ideal because you are not sure about the pertinency of data. In the case of snapshots, asynchronous SnapMirror, when we are making snapshots and then replicating the snapshots, you can be sure that at least the second snapshot is good and concurrent. That's the difference between synchronous and asynchronous.
What is most valuable?
With SnapMirror, the solution is the feature itself that is most valuable. It just replicates the data. It's very difficult to speak about, in the sense that it's similar to the features of a wheel. It is round and it's a part of an automobile.
The virtual NetApp storage simulator is the main feature of Data ONTAP for me. Before doing anything you can always check how it is going to work or the behavior of the system if there is a complication.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's a stable solution. It just works. It’s like a lightbulb, you switch it on or off. There is nothing to change there. I like to compare it with the wind, it just exists and you can use it or not use it, but there is nothing to add there. It works. If it is not working, it means there is something wrong with the configuration of your system or something, but the features itself just work.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is only available if there is a problem. It may be different in Europe and America but in the Ukraine and in former CIS countries, NetApp doesn't carry out the installation, they sell the product and the rest is up to the partners. You can contact technical support if something is broken, for example, a dead disk or dead controller, something like that.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is a little difficult. The installation was straightforward using a system integrator. If a customer is not buying the installation on top of the services, it means that they already know what they're going to do, what needs to be done and have read the documentation. In this case, if the person installing it has read at least one document about configuring SnapMirror, it's just straightforward. The best preparation is to download the virtual NetApp, install it on Notebook or somewhere else and follow the steps.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
When a customer thinks about disaster recovery they will usually already be using NetApp storage. Setup costs and pricing are not a big consideration for the customer.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate this product 10 out of 10.