Ryan MahonTeam Lead, Systems Engineering at a healthcare company
Christian GruetznerService Architecture at All for One Group AG
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"I only deal with the infrastructure side, so I really couldn't speak to more than load balancing as the most valuable feature for me. It provides specific actions that prevent resource starvation. It always keeps things in perfect balance."
"I have the ability to automate things similar to the Orchestrator stuff. I do have the ability to have it do some balancing, and if it sees some different performance metrics that I've set not being met, it'll actually move some of my virtual machines from, let's say, one host to another. It is sort of an automation tool that helps me. Basically, I specify the metric, and if I get a certain host or something being over-utilized, it'll automatically move the virtual machines around for me. It basically has to snap into my vCenter and then it can make adjustments and move my virtual machines around. It also has some very nice reporting tools built around virtual machines. It tells you how much storage, memory, or CPU is being used monthly, and then it gives you a very nice way to be able to send out billing structure to your end users who use servers within your environment."
"It also brings up a list of machines and if something is under-provisioned and needs more compute power it will tell you, 'This server needs more compute power, and we suggest you raise it up to this level.' It will even automatically do it for you. In Azure, you don't have to actually go into the cloud provider to resize. You can just say, 'Apply these resizes,' and Turbonomic uses some back-end APIs to make the changes for you."
"The automated memory balancing, where it looks at whether it's being used in the most efficient way and adds or takes away memory, is the best part. If it didn't do that, it would be something that I would have to do. We have too many machines for one person to do that. The automation helps me in that it is done in a really efficient way and a balanced way because of the policies. It really helps."
"It has automated a lot of things. We have saved 30 to 35 percent in human resource time and cost, which is pretty substantial. We don't have a big workforce here, so we have to use all the automation we can get."
"The proactive monitoring of all our open enrollment applications has improved our organization. We have used it to size applications that we are moving to the cloud. Therefore, when we move them out there, we have them appropriately sized. We use it for reporting to current application owners, showing them where they are wasting money. There are easy things to find for an application, e.g., they decommissioned the server, but they never took care of the storage. Without a tool like this, that storage would just sit there forever, with us getting billed for it."
"Turbonomic has helped optimize cloud operations and reduced our cloud costs significantly. Overall, we are at about 40 percent savings, and we spend about three million a year just in Azure. It reduces the size of the VMs, putting them into the right template for usage. People don't realize that you don't have to future-proof a virtual machine in Azure. You just need to build it for today. As the business or service grows, you can scale up or out. About 90 percent of all the costs that we've reduced has been from sizing machines appropriately."
"We have a system where our developers automate machine builds, and that is constantly running out of resources. Turbonomic helps us with that, so I don't have to keep buying hardware. The developers always say, "They don't have enough. They don't have enough. They don't have enough," when they just configured it improperly. Therefore, Turbonomic helps us identify configuration issues on their side so it doesn't cost me money on the other end to buy resources that I don't really need."
"It has saved a lot of time. Because in the older, conventional hardware system, they need to raise a ticket to go to storage engineering, then storage engineering would increased the size. Now, it's dynamic. You don't have to do anything. This improved the time by more than 50 percent."
"The most valuable feature of this solution is its flexibility."
"The critical features of this solution are SnapMirror for replication, data protection, and SnapLock."
"Using NetApp Files got us out of a really difficult situation quickly, effectively, and at a reasonable cost."
"For us, with Azure NetApp Files the ease of use has been big. We have an operations organization where ease of use is key, especially when we're starting to go offshore with that [responsibility] as well."
"It's elastic, so it scales with our demands. We can start small, then with the addition of customer loads, we can expand on-the-fly without the need to reprovision something."
"You can change it non-disruptively. You can increase the size and decrease the size online, which is a huge benefit compared to Azure disks. It just works seamlessly. You don't need to stop the instances."
"Since we have NetApp's internally, we use the SnapMirror predominantly for this process in the cloud which is beneficial."
"The most valuable feature is that there is no single point of failure."
"The most valuable feature are the caching capabilities using the storage class memory."
"It's mainly about the storage expansion, like in hyper-converged solutions."
"The flash ability, in terms of tiering and caching, is amazing"
"It would be good for Turbonomic, on their side, to integrate with other companies like AppDynamics or SolarWinds or other monitoring softwares. I feel that the actual monitoring of applications, mixed in with their abilities, would help. That would be the case wherever Turbonomic lacks the ability to monitor an application or in cases where applications are so customized that it's not going to be able to handle them. There is monitoring that you can do with scripting that you may not be able to do with Turbonomic."
"It sometimes does get false positives. Sometimes, it'll move something when it really wasn't a performance metric. I've seen it do that, but it's pretty much an automated tool for performance. We've only got about 500 virtual machines, so lots of times, I'm able to manage it physically, but it's definitely a nice tool for a larger enterprise that might be managing 2,000 or 3,000 virtual machines."
"There is room for improvement [with] upgrades. We have deployed the newer version, version 8 of Turbonomic. The problem is that there is no way to upgrade between major Turbonomic versions. You can upgrade minor versions without a problem, but when you go from version 6 to version 7, or version 7 to version 8, you basically have to deploy it new and let it start gathering data again. That is a problem because all of the data, all of the savings calculations that had been done on the old version, are gone. There's no way to keep track of your lifetime savings across versions."
"The planning and costing areas could be a little bit more detailed. When you have more than 2,000 machines, the reports don't work properly. They need to fix it so that the reports work when you use that many virtual machines."
"There are a few things that we did notice. It does kind of seem to run away from itself a little bit. It does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes. It goes out there and just kind of goes crazy. There needs to be something that kind of throttles things back a little bit. I have personally seen where we've been working on things, then pulled servers out of the VMware cluster and found that Turbonomic was still trying to ship resources to and from that node. So, there has to be some kind of throttling or ability for it to not be so buggy in that area. Because we've pulled nodes out of a cluster into maintenance mode, then brought it back up, and it tried to put workloads on that outside of a cluster. There may be something that is available for this, but it seems very kludgy to me."
"The issue for us with the automation is we are considering starting to do the hot adds, but there are some problems with Windows Server 2019 and hot adds. It is a little buggy. So, if we turn that on with a cluster that has a lot of Windows 2019 Servers, then we would see a blue screen along with a lot of applications as well. Depending on what you are adding, cores or memory, it doesn't necessarily even take advantage of that at that moment. A reboot may be required, and we can't do that until later. So, that decreases the benefit of the real-time. For us, there is a lot of risk with real-time."
"I would love to see Turbonomic analyze backup data. We have had people in the past put servers into daily full backups with seven-year retention and where the disk size is two terabytes. So, every single day, there is a two terabyte snapshot put into a Blob somewhere. I would love to see Turbonomic say, "Here are all your backups along with the age of them," to help us manage the savings by not having us spend so much on the storage in Azure. That would be huge."
"They could add a few more reports. They could also be a bit more granular. While they have reports, sometimes it is hard to figure out what you are looking for just by looking at the date."
"We would like for the files which are coming in that we can version them. So, if a file is accidentally deleted, there should have a recycle bin option where we can go back, and at least once, clean it up."
"This solution would be improved with more innovation."
"We would like to have backup functionality built-in so that we don't run into the issue where the replication process makes a copy of the corrupted data."
"I would like to see multi-zone redundancy so that I don't have to worry about it. I just back up my data to that one SMB share and I know that it's replicated to a different region."
"The speed of Azure NetApp Files, from what we PoC'ed, has been tolerable. We've had some challenges with it so far, being in a PoC, but after we [overcame] those challenges, it became tolerable."
"I have a hunch that storage could be now the most expensive portion of our monthly bill. So I can imagine that, not this year, but next year we will be talking about looking deeper into ways how we can optimize the cost."
"Reserved Instances for Azure NetApp Files would improve more use cases, making them more valuable in Azure as the cost would be reduced."
"We were looking for a clustered solution that has over-complicated things because we had it in AWS, which is Amazon. There was a solution for clustered NetApp. That meant there would be two NetApps that were not clustered because there was no solution for a cluster. We would like there to be an HA cluster solution."
"More optimization could be done in terms of mirroring."
"I think the online documentation needs a lot of work and so do the sizing tools."
"It is scalable, but only beyond two nodes. If I go for two nodes it's not scalable. I need to build a complete cluster from the beginning if I'm going for two nodes."
"Documentation management could be improved"
"If you're a super-small business, it may be a little bit pricey for you... But in large, enterprise companies where money is, maybe, less of an issue, Turbonomic is not that expensive. I can't imagine why any big company would not buy it, for what it does."
"It was an annual buy-in. You basically purchase it based on your host type stuff. The buy-in was about 20K, and the annual maintenance is about $3,000 a year."
"I'm not involved in any of the billing, but my understanding is that is fairly expensive."
"We see ROI in extended support agreements (ESA) for old software. Migration activities seem to be where Turbonomic has really benefited us the most. It's one click and done. We have new machines ready to go with Turbonomic, which are properly sized instead of somebody sitting there with a spreadsheet and guessing. So, my return on investment would certainly be on currency, from a software and hardware perspective."
"When we have expanded our licensing, it has always been easy to make an ROI-based decision. So, it's reasonably priced. We would like to have it cheaper, but we get more benefit from it than we pay for it. At the end of the day, that's all you can hope for."
"I know there have been some issues with the billing, when the numbers were first proposed, as to how much we would save. There was a huge miscommunication on our part. Turbonomic was led to believe that we could optimize our AWS footprint, because we didn't know we couldn't. So, we were promised savings of $750,000. Then, when we came to implement Turbonomic, the developers in AWS said, "Absolutely not. You're not putting that in our environment. We can't scale down anything because they coded it." Our AWS environment is a legacy environment. It has all these old applications, where all the developers who have made it are no longer with the company. Those applications generate a ton of money for us. So, if one breaks, we are really in trouble and they didn't want to have to deal with an environment that was changing and couldn't be supported. That number went from $750,000 to about $450,000. However, that wasn't Turbonomic's fault."
"It is an endpoint type license, which is fine. It is not overly expensive."
"The pricing and licensing are fair. We purchase based on benchmark pricing, which we have been able to get. There are no surprise charges nor hidden fees."
"The solution’s combination of the ease of use, simplicity, and reduction in IT management versus the cost has helped a lot. It is very fast to deploy. It's very easy to maintain. You don't have to do a lot in the cloud to maintain this thing, so it gives good performance. It's fast to deploy, easy to maintain, and it gives a better performance. These are the most basic three criteria for any application. This saves cost because the manpower you need to deploy is going down. You're getting better performance and not buying new resources. You have resources available in the cloud. It's just a couple of clicks, then you're good to go."
"The performance has improved by about 30 percent."
"The licensing fees for this solution vary, ranging from a single shelf to a full suite."
"Our pricing has not been determined because we are still waiting on additional features."
"NetApp is a premium offering, so it's not a cheap product, but it is well-priced. It combines a couple of properties which customers like us are willing to pay. Could it be cheaper? Yes, but if you combine fully supported, fully managed, easily provisioned, scalable, and quick all in one product, it's a good selling point. You can ask a lot of money for all these. If you have a use case like we do, it's a perfect match. It's like the Porsche of storage solutions in the cloud. It is totally worth the cost."
"It is expensive in small environments, which could be better. The reason is the four terabyte minimum. A one terabyte minimum would be better."
"We are currently on a pay-as-you-go model with the storage that we use."
"With the data center licensing and everything that is connected to that, this solution is relatively costly."
"Cost-wise the product is one of the more affordable within the category of products."
Earn 20 points
Turbonomic, an IBM Company, provides Application Resource Management (ARM) software used by customers to assure application performance and governance by dynamically resourcing applications across hybrid and multicloud environments. Turbonomic Network Performance Management (NPM) provides modern monitoring and analytics solutions to help assure continuous network performance at scale across multivendor networks for enterprises, carriers and managed services providers.
For further information, please visit www.turbonomic.com
Extreme File Performance
Azure NetApp Files allows you to target any of your business-critical file workloads with extreme file throughput with sub-millisecond response times.With three service levels you can change on-the-fly, you get the performance that’s best suited to the application.
Simple, Seamless Experience
A seamless Azure experience for your file services workloads. You can deploy and manage Azure NetApp Files directory from the Azure Portal or automate using the Azure API or CLI integration.
Secure Your Data
Built-in capabilities ensure your data is protected at all times in Azure: from always-on encryption to point-in-time data copies (without added capacity costs). And with Microsoft‘s world class support, you can rest assured that you‘re in good hands with Azure.
Storage Spaces Direct uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Its converged or hyper-converged architecture radically simplifies procurement and deployment, while features like caching, storage tiers, and erasure coding, together with the latest hardware innovation like RDMA networking and NVMe drives, deliver unrivaled efficiency and performance.
Running performance-intensive and latency-sensitive file workloads in the cloud can be hard. Use Azure NetApp Files to migrate and run complex, file-based applications and simplify storage management.
Azure NetApp Files is ranked 3rd in Cloud Migration with 8 reviews while Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is ranked 8th in Software Defined Storage (SDS) with 4 reviews. Azure NetApp Files is rated 8.6, while Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is rated 7.6. The top reviewer of Azure NetApp Files writes "We can expand our storage on-the-fly without the need to reprovision". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct writes "Has good caching capabilities using storage-class memory but the online documentation needs improvement". Azure NetApp Files is most compared with Microsoft Azure File Storage, NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, Amazon EFS (Elastic File System), Dropbox and Wasabi, whereas Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is most compared with VMware vSAN, StarWind Virtual SAN, Nutanix Acropolis AOS, Red Hat Ceph Storage and StorMagic SvSAN.
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