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:
"The FlexClones make all the management easier for us."
"NetApp's XCP Migration Tool... was pretty awesome. It replicated the data faster than any other tool that I've seen. That was a big help."
"NetApp's Cloud Manager automation capabilities are very good because it's REST-API-driven, so we can completely automate everything. It has a good overview if you want to just have a look into your environment as well."
"Another feature which gets a lot of attention in our environment is the File Services Solutions in the cloud, because it's a completely, fully-managed service. We don't have to take care of any updates, upgrades, or configurations."
"Unified Manager, System Manager, and Cloud Manager are all GUI-based. It's easy for somebody who has not been exposed to this for years to pick it up and work with it."
"We use the mirroring to mirror our volumes to our DR location. We also create snapshots for backups. Snapshots will create a specified snapshot to be able to do a DR test without disrupting our standard mirrors. That means we can create a point-in-time snapshot, then use the ability of FlexClones to make a writeable volume to test with, and then blow it away after the DR test."
"We're using snapshots as well and it's a pretty useful feature. That is one of the main NetApp benefits. Knowing how to use snapshots in the on-prem environment, using snapshots on the cloud solution was natural for us."
"The solution’s Snapshot copies and thin clones in terms of operational recovery are good. Snapshot copies are pretty much the write-in time data backups. Obviously, critical data is snapshotted a lot more frequently, and even clients and end users find it easier to restore whatever they need if it's file-based, statical, etc."
"It has helped us with the ability to distribute data to different data centers. As part of our DR strategy, we have nodes automatically replicating data from one data center to the other. This makes it easier for us to not have to shift tapes around."
"The general consensus on what we've done is that the restores coming back from it have been faster than they were from our prior vendor. Ingest speeds are fine. The restore speeds have improved."
"The most valuable feature is its versatility. We use 1space and we can use it for almost anything: for our cloud service, for backups of VMs."
"SwiftStack is also quite flexible when it comes to hardware. It depends, of course, on the use case and the kind of hardware you want to buy. But you have quite a bit of choice in hardware. The SwiftStack software itself does not impose anything on you."
"The SwiftStack Controller, which is the web UI, provides out of band management. This has been one of the best features of it. It allows us to be able to do upgrades and look at performance metrics. It is a top feature and reason to choose the product."
"The only issue we had lately was that outside our VPC we could not reach the virtual IP, the floating IP. I heard that they have fixed that..."
"Scale-up and scale-out could be improved. It would be interesting to have multiple HA pairs on one cluster, for example, or to increase the single instances more, from a performance perspective. It would be good to get more performance out of a single HA pair."
"One difficulty is that it has no SAP HANA certification. The asset performance restrictions create challenges with the infrastructure underneath: The disks and stuff like that often have lower latencies than SAP HANA itself has to have."
"Some of the licensing is a little kludgy. We just created an HA environment in Azure and their licensing for SVMs per node is a little kludgy. They're working on it right now."
"The DR has room for improvement. For example, we now have NetApp in Western Europe and we would like to back up the information to another region. It's impossible. We need to bring up an additional NetApp in that other region and create a Cloud Manager automation to copy the data... I would prefer it to be a more integrated solution like it was in the NetApp solution about a year ago. I would like to see something like AltaVault but in the cloud."
"How it handles erasure coding. I feel it the improvement should be there. Basically, it should be seamless. You don't want to have an underlying hardware issue or something, then suddenly there's no reads or writes. Luckily, it's at a replication site, so our main production site is still working and writing to it. But, the replication site has stopped right now while we try to bring that node back. Since we implemented in bare-metal, not in appliance, we had to go back to the original vendor. They didn't send it in time, and we had a hardware memory issue. Then, we had a hard disk issue, which brought the node down physically."
"We have used technical support. As long as they don't call me at four o'clock in the morning to tell me that a drive failed and they are sending me another one, I like it. They have a tendency to do that."
"Multipathing for iSCSI LUNs is difficult to deal with from the client-side and I'd love to see a single entry point that can be moved around within the cluster to simplify the client configuration."
"On the controller features, there needs to be a bit more clean up of the user interface. There are a lot of options available on the GUI which might be better organized or compartmentalized. There are times when you are going through the user interface and you have to look around for where the setting may be. A little bit more attention to the organization of the user interface would be helpful."
"They should provide a more concise hardware calculator when you're putting your capacity together."
"At the moment we are using Erasure coding in an 8+4 setting. What would be nice is if, for some standard configurations like 15+4 and 8+4, there were more versatility so we could, for example, select 8+6, or the like."
"The file access needs improvement. The NFS was rolled out as a single service. It needs to be fully integrated into the proxy in a highly available fashion, like the regular proxy access is. I know it's on the roadmap."
"They allow a special price if you are working closely with them. Since we have a lot of NetApp systems, we got some kind of discount. That's something they do for other customers, not just for us. The price was fair. In addition to the licensing fees, you're paying Amazon for your usage..."
"The standard pricing is online. Pricing depends. If you're using the PayGo model, then it's just the normal costs on the Microsoft page. If you're using Bring Your Own License, which is what we're doing, then you get with your sales contact at NetApp and start figuring out what price is the best, in the end, for your company."
"In addition to the standard licensing fees, there are fees for Azure, the VMs themselves and for data transfer."
"Cloud is cloud. It's still expensive. Any good solution comes with a price tag. That's where we are looking to see how well we can manage our data in the cloud by trying to optimize the costs."
"I know the licensing is a bit on the high-end. That's when we had to downsize our MetroCluster disks and just migrate to disks that were half used. We migrated into those just to reduce maintenance costs."
"Cost is a big factor, because a lot of companies can't afford enterprise grade equipment all the time. They skimp where they can. I would recommend that they improve the cost."
"Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two."
"For NetApp it's about $20,000 for a single node and $30,000 for the HA."
"The annual support and maintenance costs compared to our old solution for backups had about a two-thirds savings, so about a 60% annual savings on our support and maintenance contract. That savings funded additional expansion for what it was costing us for the support and maintenance contracts on old solution."
"The pricing and licensing are capacity-based, so it's hard to put my finger on them, because so many different vendors charge in different ways. We are still saving significantly over any of the other options that we evaluated because we can choose the best hardware at the best price, then put SwiftStack software on it. So, it's hard to complain, even though a part of me goes, "It would be nicer if it were less expensive.""
"We have had a 40 to 50 percent reduction in CAPEX on the acquisition of new hardware, which is probably conservative."
"COST_SAVING; We have had a 40 to 50 percent reduction in CAPEX on the acquisition of new hardware, which is probably conservative."
"We find the pricing rather steep. Of course, you get quality for your money, that's absolutely true... [But] when you look at the prices of the licensing and the prices of your hardware, it's quite substantial."
"We are able to dynamically grow storage at a lower cost. We can repurpose hardware and buy commodity hardware. There is a huge cost savings, on average $100,000 a year compared to traditional storage for what we have at our size."
"The pricing model is great and makes sense. We have talked about how to get into more of a frequent billing cycle than once a year. That would be an interesting concept to add into the product, having the ability to have monthly billing instead of having to do a one-year licensing renewal. However, the way the license works by charging for storage consumed is definitely what makes them the most competitive."
"Dollar per gigabyte, it costs us more because we are storing more. However, if you look at it from a cost per gigabyte perspective, we have dropped our costs significantly."
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The leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services and supports up to a capacity of 368TB. Software service supports various use cases, such as: File shares and block-level storage serving NAS (NFS, SMB / CIFS) and SAN (iSCSI) Disaster Recovery, Backup, and Archive DevOps Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL) Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in a standard single-node configuration or in a High Availability (HA) configuration.
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NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is ranked 1st in Cloud Software Defined Storage with 30 reviews while SwiftStack is ranked 5th in File and Object Storage with 3 reviews. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is rated 8.8, while SwiftStack is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP writes "Enables us to manage multiple petabytes of storage with a small team, including single node and HA instances". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SwiftStack writes "It has helped us with the ability to distribute data to different data centers". NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is most compared with Azure NetApp Files, Red Hat Ceph Storage, VMware vSAN, IBM Spectrum Scale and Portworx Enterprise, whereas SwiftStack is most compared with MinIO, Red Hat Ceph Storage, Scality RING8, Dell EMC ECS and Cloudian HyperStore.
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