What is most valuable?
If I go ahead and put it up with the OpenStack, the OpenStack stuff goes so smoothly with SolidFire, increasing the capabilities of the VMs to bring them up. I think it's just fantastic.
Also, the scalability, as well as the performance, and then the way it goes with the API part of it. That is the amazing part. The API, it's not that complicated. You can choose an item, you can go ahead with PowerShell, anything; it's not that complicated to go ahead. Templates are already predefined for it. If you're coding it up, it will take two days. You can pick up a template right there from the API, and it just works for you. Implementation done in 10 minutes.
How has it helped my organization?
It will save a lot of implementation time, complexities; and then you don't have to go ahead with networking the OS separately. It's all one in the same place.
What needs improvement?
I think there are some reporting tools like Grafana.
Kubernetes is already there, and VMware is already sorted out. I just came out of that particular session right here at NetApp Insight 2017 and that was amazing.
So feature-wise, I would say more reporting tools that could be merged into it. I'm not sure if you've heard something called Data Protection Adviser, it's a reporting tool. The way you are monitoring your environment, I think it's important.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I don't see any disk failures or support cases being logged. I would say, to be precise on the percentage, it's 15% better than what other people provide.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability, I've done a couple of times during the year and it's amazing. Petabytes, whatever you're bringing up, it's all good.
How is customer service and technical support?
I haven't used it directly, but I know how many cases have been raised, and it's quite on the low side.
How was the initial setup?
It was 85% straightforward. The other 15%, you need to understand certain aspects, you need to understand your environment. It's alright that you're bringing up NetApp, and then SolidFire, but then how exactly are you going to configure it in your setup? That's going to take a little bit of time. Otherwise, once it is there, it's all good.
What was our ROI?
I think one of the reasons we chose SolidFire is because it is definitely giving us good results on the costing part of it. It definitely has an impact on it. To be straightforward, it works for that.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
There were a couple of them: Hitachi, EMC. But I'm pretty much into NetApp's side of it.
What other advice do I have?
If you're bring up cloud in-house and you're still not aware of OpenStack Kubernetes, that's the way ahead. If you are putting up NetApp in the background, I think you're all sorted out. Your cloud is all prepared, so all done.
The way I see it, there's the scalability and the complexity part of it. And then errors are huge, and when I say huge I mean they are costly. So the way I compare it with other products, maybe the other vendors, the cost is a major factor.
And with that, there is complexity, work in silos, so right now it is coming to OpenStack and then beneath you have NetApp SolidFire, it's all simple. No more complexities.
Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:
- Implementation, it should be quite simple to understand.
- It should be customizable; it should not be that the vendor is saying, "No, this is something that we are providing, it cannot be customized for your environment." That doesn't work for me. It should be as customizable as possible
- Costing of course
- The support that comes with that
We are an enterprise level company. SolidFire is definitely uniquely valuable to a company of our size, because the way the market is going ahead, on the cloud. Large companies have got their old stuff kept in old datacenters wherein you have huge, costly storage boxes of course, and you want to bring that up. So SolidFire is something that is giving you a migration platform. I mean, it's a steady platform for you, the way you prefer it.
I would say go ahead with this and then if they are good with the API part of it, configuration specifically with Python or OpenStack, just go for it.