What is most valuable?
You have the ability to connect a third-party storage back end, EMC VMAX in our case, and have all NetApp functionalities available. NAS on EMC VMAX was not possible in the past. It is nice to be able to connect to other storage and use all the NetApp functions (Snapshot, SnapClone, SnapMirror).
It was also the start of virtualization and we used V-series for ESX (Dev and Prod). Now, we have everything on FAS (NAS and SAN).
How has it helped my organization?
It enables us to protect the investment. We had existing arrays (EMC VMAX) and we reuse the free disk space, and use NetApp functionalities.
What needs improvement?
Supported back end storage is restricted to some storage from major players (HPE, EMC, IBM), so there is room for improvement in supporting more storage solutions.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have had some performance issues. The V-series is connected back end to front end VMAX ports and you have to make sure the IOs are well balanced on each front end port. No issues on the V-series side.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
How are customer service and technical support?
Seven out of 10. Be aware that for support you are also dependent on the technical support of the back end storage. Sometimes they are not very helpful in supporting a NetApp appliance in front of their storage.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
How was the initial setup?
It is a bit more complex than a FAS, because there are special requirements. You need to read the implementation documentation.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Today (and this was not the case in the past), thanks to the NetApp FlexArray software, it's possible to connect FAS to third-party storage. I would advise to buying FAS and FlexArray licenses instead of V-series.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
What other advice do I have?
FAS + FlexArray = old V-series.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Aug 23 2017