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NetApp Cloud Insights OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is NetApp Cloud Insights?

NetApp Cloud Insights is an infrastructure monitoring tool that gives you visibility into your complete infrastructure. With Cloud Insights, you can monitor, troubleshoot and optimize all your resources including your public clouds and your private data centers.

NetApp Cloud Insights Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp Cloud Insights Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

NetApp Cloud Insights Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about NetApp Cloud Insights pricing:
  • "Be aware of the capacity licensing and understand how that works, because it is based on capacity. Getting an understanding of that is the biggest thing."
  • "The licensing model could be improved. We love that you can use it for free for looking at NetApp products. You only need licenses to look at non-NetApp products, but as soon as you do that, you start utilizing licenses that actually would have been free in the public. So, there is a bit of an anomaly in the licensing model."

NetApp Cloud Insights Reviews

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PG
Director of IT at a logistics company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Helps us to see interdependencies, overlay latency between two completely separate systems, and query application performance

Pros and Cons

  • "Cloud Secure is definitely the most valuable feature and being able to see file level activity. It gives real-time alerting on possible ransomware attacks and provides file security review. It helps us to see if something abnormal is happening on the system before it's too late."
  • "In a perfect world we would have something built, right out-of-the-box, that can identify what we call "noise," and reduce the amount of data. You're presented with so much data when you first start the data collectors. For example, it brings back a lot of change rates that happen just because of standard computing, like profile changes and that sort of thing. Being able to identify things like that and categorize them and strip it down—and it probably can do that, I just haven't gotten there yet—would be very beneficial."

What is our primary use case?

We use it primarily to look at both performance and security around our NetApp Filers. I know it can expand to other entities within the NetApp, but we really focus on looking at our Filers and using Cloud Secure to see potential ransomware attacks, unauthorized changes to files, and deletions.

It's a SaaS solution hosted by NetApp.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we started using Cloud Insights, there wasn't really a good solution if something bypassed our firewalls and was sitting in dormant mode. In that situation, it was difficult for us to find it before it was too late. This solution gives us an opportunity to proactively see abnormal behavior before it hits a Zero-day attack.

We used to have a weekly file audit which was scripted, so there wasn't a whole bunch of time lost using that. But the difference is around the gap between when the file audit would last run versus this as a more real-time solution. If we had to collect the data the way this service is doing so, we couldn't really put a value on that because it is a real-time solution.

It also provides a single tool for cloud-based architectures, such as microservices and containers, as well as on-premises infrastructure. We've looked at pointing the data collectors at various entities, whether it's an HCI solution or a NetApp Filer or even some of our cloud instances. The flexibility of being able to look at various resources, whether they're cloud or something that is on-premise, is a huge benefit. Having all those data collectors in one location and being able to compare that information is invaluable.

The solution’s ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of our environment—the performance and metrics and dashboards for doing that—is amazing. We're able to see and compare things like latency, and overlay latency between what may seem like two completely separate systems. If they're running, you can do comparisons on them, so when a particular application is running and it's causing influxes on both sides, it helps you dig into queries and application performance overall. The relational portion of this solution is beneficial.

It provides us with advanced analytics around being able to overlay data and compare various storage entities, their latencies, and overall performance, to gauge whether an application is performing well. It helps us see if it's something with policies or an actual, physical limitation of the solution we're using. Being able to look at overall IOPS and then drill down is super-beneficial. And the advanced analytics have definitely helped us with tuning SQL and looking at how we have our SQL LUNs or volumes laid out; whether we want to separate them by log and data, or other options. It helps with load balancing and overall performance of those high-storage, intensive applications.

In addition, the advanced analytics have helped to reduce the time it takes to find performance issues. They've helped with identifying applications that are causing latency and that may be affecting other applications. The analytics help with root cause analysis. One example is looking at nodes that are in high demand and being able to say, "Okay, this node is showing to be in higher demand than another node," and knowing we may need to move some of the load over so that, performance-wise, we have a better plane and everything correlates better. From a troubleshooting perspective, NetApp Cloud Insights saves at least 10 hours of my storage admin's time per week.

It has also helped to right-size workloads. From a helpdesk perspective, we've seen ticket volume go down by at least 10 percent, and that was happening right after a data center move where, obviously, there was a spike. Directly after starting to use Cloud Insights and the associated Active IQ to monitor the storage, it helped bring down the time to identify storage nodes that were heavily affected or needed to have some adjustments made. The right-sizing has only reduced soft costs. The cost perspective of storage is a long-term thing where you say, "Okay, I've been able to move stuff over and have deduplication rates increase." But that takes a while.

What is most valuable?

Cloud Secure is definitely the most valuable feature and being able to see file level activity. It gives real-time alerting on possible ransomware attacks and provides file security review. It helps us to see if something abnormal is happening on the system before it's too late.

Since it is cloud-based, it can be accessed from anywhere. That is good because we can check up on any types of issues affecting our on-prem equipment. Being able to look at that from anywhere has been very efficient.

What needs improvement?

As I went through learning the querying, it could have been a little more intuitive. I'm still fresh into the system.

In a perfect world we would have something built, right out-of-the-box, that can identify what we call "noise," and reduce the amount of data. You're presented with so much data when you first start the data collectors. For example, it brings back a lot of change rates that happen just because of standard computing, like profile changes and that sort of thing. Being able to identify things like that and categorize them and strip it down—and it probably can do that, I just haven't gotten there yet—would be very beneficial. Getting that, out-of-the-box, would be helpful.

There is training that has been provided. I just haven't gone through all of it yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using NetApp Cloud Insights on and off for about two to three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been good. As long as we have good connectivity and communication with the portal, everything works fine. We haven't experienced any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From what I've seen, there have been no scaling issues. The only limitation when scaling is licensing. As long as you have the money to license it, it will scale out as much as necessary.

Right now, we are just collecting data and we don't have any formal reporting out of it. We have used it more for ad hoc reporting. But the plan is to integrate it with some of our IT compliance summaries to be able to report on access-control and protection analysis, on a quarterly basis.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support has been great. They understand some of the barriers, some of the things that we've run into, and it's been a very easy interaction. There aren't too many things that can go wrong with the solution. It's been great.

Their turnaround time, depending on the urgency, has been within a couple of hours. We haven't had an incident that involved the security side, but they've been very responsive. We usually open tickets via email for questions around usability.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't have anything like this before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was very simple. I told it where the data collector should point to, and it just worked, right out-of-the-box. It took less than 15 minutes to set up. Once you put the data collectors in, you assign what they're collecting and that's it. Because it's a product of NetApp, it was very simple.

The deployment, from start to finish, was about an hour-long meeting. There were a couple things that my system admin had to do, deploying acquisition units, but that didn't take long at all. We have deployed a lot of stuff over the last year, and this was very simple in comparison.

I did not require an implementation strategy for this. It's an analytical add-on tool that just worked. I didn't run into the standard security issues or anything like that.

We have approximately six users on it. They're all within IT and provide information to either executive management or others. Their roles vary from my CIO down to my source storage administrators and my security admins. Storage admins and network admins are looking at it from a performance perspective. My security admins are looking at it in terms of ransomware and the access-control side. Those individuals are also responsible for maintenance. It's a tool that did not require additional staffing and was more of a benefit for the individuals in my group.

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with NetApp. It was a pretty straightforward meeting. They provided the requirements and we implemented it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Be aware of the capacity licensing and understand how that works, because it is based on capacity. Getting an understanding of that is the biggest thing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at some other options, on-premise solutions for identifying, and we found that there were some problems with them. One of them was Varonis, but they were more security-related towards ransomware and identifying insider threats. With Cloud Insights you got that but you also got the performance enhancements through the ability to see how to tweak or manage performance of storage stuff.

We did do a trial with Varonis and ran into some problems with their collectors causing blocking issues at the time. We didn't feel comfortable with the results of that performance. We didn't see the same performance issues with this solution.

What other advice do I have?

Work with NetApp to get the best support possible.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using the solution has been understanding the relational side of things, how our nodes interact with each other, and how applications can affect multiple nodes in our environment. It's helped us to load balance to make our environment more efficient.

Because it was so easy to deploy I would rate it a 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Ed Alexander
Senior Systems Administrator at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Advanced analytics enable us to look at trending and detect where there are issues or potential issues

Pros and Cons

  • "Among the most valuable features are the queries and reporting that allow us to look at the utilization of resources, at how well the storage is performing, and to report on which resources are being used by which business units. We can track usage across the entire environment, across applications, business units, cost centers, etc."
  • "There is room for improving the creating and managing or modifying of reports. That is still a difficult task to do and requires knowledge beyond the storage itself. I would love to see reporting improved so that we can create reports by dragging and dropping pieces into a report form and publish a report that way."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for monitoring and managing all of the NetApp storage in our environment, both in the cloud and on-prem. We are expanding it to use it with our virtualized environment and with our in-house storage environments.

How has it helped my organization?

It's allowed us to tag storage with applications and business units, so that when we have a requirement to migrate data for an application, we can quickly identify all of the storage that the application utilizes.

The solution also provides a single tool for cloud-based architecture, such as microservices and containers, as well as on-premise infrastructure. We're not fully utilizing that part of it yet, but we're in the process of starting down that road. It's provided us with the ability to better manage the storage and to report on it to management. We're able to show them, via dashboards and reports, how the storage is being utilized and what the return on investment is.

And when it comes to the solution's ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of our environment, it's very powerful. Because it's SaaS, a lot of the upfront work is being done for us. We're spending less time managing the application and more time getting the data we need out of it.

NetApp Cloud Insights advanced analytics for pinpointing problem areas are outstanding. When we have a performance issue for a specific piece of storage, a volume, or an application we can graphically show the business units, the application owners, how the storage is performing relative to the performance that they're seeing on their clients or on their servers. It helps us to pinpoint where issues may be, whether they are with storage, the network, on the clients, or with the application itself.

The advanced analytics have also enabled us to look at trending and detect

  • where issues are
  • where we would have to do load balancing to keep performance from being degraded
  • where we are running out of space in a given data center or storage node.

The advanced analytics help to reduce the time it takes to find performance issues as well because we run reports that look at trending. We can see where performance issues have not yet occurred, but that if we keep going in the direction we're going, we will have performance issues. That way we can proactively take action to ensure that we don't have any problems. We mitigate them before they happen. It's hard to quantify how much time it saves us, because it's very easy to see the problems before they occur, as opposed to dealing with them once they have occurred. It saves the businesses from having issues and keeps the entire environment running more smoothly.

In addition, the solution helped us to right-size workloads. It has shown us where we have issues, where storage growth has exceeded what is manageable. We've then worked with the business units and the application owners to break the data up into more manageable sizes, so that not only do they continue to get the performance that they need, but we're able to manage the storage without being backed into any corners that we can't get out of. Keeping the data broken into smaller pieces allows us to move it around to ensure that they get the performance they need. We're also able to ensure that the applications that require the highest level of performance get it. And those that don't have those high requirements can be put on lower power, with throughput storage that meets their needs, but without consuming horsepower on the fastest storage where they don't need it. Overall, it provides us with better utilization of the infrastructure.

The right-sizing has also reduced costs because we can more intuitively allocate resources and spend money on upgrades only where they're needed. Instead of just throwing more hardware at an environment, we can do it very selectively, based on the needs of the environment, needs that we are able to analyze through the reports that Cloud Insights provides to us. If I had to make an educated guess, it has reduced our costs by 20 to 25 percent.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features are the queries and reporting that allow us to look at the utilization of resources, at how well the storage is performing, and to report on which resources are being used by which business units. We can track usage across the entire environment, across applications, business units, cost centers, etc.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improving the creating and managing or modifying of reports. That is still a difficult task to do and requires knowledge beyond the storage itself. I would love to see reporting improved so that we can create reports by dragging and dropping pieces into a report form and publish a report that way. We do get by with it, but typically it requires engagement with NetApp to get us the reports that we need.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Netapp Cloud Insights for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable and very available. I'm not aware of any times that we've encountered an outage where the tools were unavailable to us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very well. As we've added new parts to the environment, it has been simple to add them to the Cloud Insights environment.

The number of people in our  company who directly utilize it would be about 100. People who benefit from the product and what it produces would be in the thousands; for example, finance. We generate reports automatically in Cloud Insights to show the utilization of all of the storage infrastructure, broken down by the amount of storage that is being utilized by individual applications or individual businesses. All of that is fed into the finance department so that they can track where resources are utilized and who is using them.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support has been outstanding. They're very responsive when we raise issues. When we request new reports and modifications to existing reports, they're always right there and ready to assist.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to using Cloud Insights, we were using OCI, OnCommand Insight, which is the equivalent of Cloud Insights that we ran on our own hardware within our data center. We switched because it's going to provide us with a better ability to manage and monitor cloud-based data, while at the same time allowing us to do everything else that OCI used to do for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward. It was not that difficult because NetApp worked with us throughout the deployment. Since we already had OCI on-prem, migrating just involved taking that OCI environment and recreating it in Cloud Insights. It was not difficult at all. We planned that all out with NetApp and they guided us through it. In fact, they did a lot of the work for us.

Our overall experience with NetApp support during the deployment was very positive. We didn't have any issues that weren't quickly resolved.

The deployment took about 30 days.

Our team has six people, all of whom are storage engineers, but none of us is dedicated, full-time, to administering or managing Cloud Insights. We're more users than maintainers, because it doesn't require much maintenance.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to quantify ROI, but it is definitely worth the investment. What it provides to us has extreme value, helping us to get the full utilization out of our investment in storage. Cloud Insights has helped us to optimize spend by removing inefficiencies and identifying abandoned resources on-prem. Eventually we will be getting there with our cloud infrastructure as well.

We've used it to find storage that is no longer being used by any clients; storage that had been orphaned. We have been able to work with the business centers to determine if the data can be deleted, or should be archived, or moved to less expensive storage if they need to keep it online.

The optimization hasn't reduced our cloud costs yet, but it will eventually, as we move deeper into the cloud. Right now, the lion's share of our data is still on-prem, but we are starting more migrations into the cloud. Cloud Insights will be integral to being able to manage that space and the amount that that space costs us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were using OCI, which was the predecessor to Cloud Insights. We've also utilized other monitoring and reporting tools, such as Nagios and Splunk. But Cloud Insights gives us a level of information we can't get from the other tools. It's far more powerful.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to take a look at it, do a PoC, and see all the value that it can add, and all the power that it provides.

We rely on it to manage the storage, to look at trending, and determine where we're going to have problems. We can deal with things before they become problems. That's probably the most powerful thing that we get out of it. I don't think a day goes by that we don't utilize it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Learn what your peers think about NetApp Cloud Insights. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,382 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Alex Tsoi
Information Technology Consultant at TELUS Corporation
Consultant
Top 10
Enables us to easily nail, locate, and resolve performance issues that would have been very hard to identify

Pros and Cons

  • "Its ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of your environment is brilliant. There is a price associated with it. Whenever you target a NetApp environment, it is included in the price but whenever you want to add different vendors, like VMware and Cisco, the price greatly spikes. Inventorization helps us a lot to visualize the environment."
  • "Their pricing model needs improvement."

What is our primary use case?

The main benefit of NetApp Cloud Insights is that it's agentless. It just collects information from the SNMP protocol.

We had NetApp ONTAP installed and we paired with VMware. The biggest challenge for any company is to find the bottleneck on the Edge of the technologies, like between VMware and NetApp. Both products have great reporting and monitoring tools, but whenever it comes to finding issues on the Edge between those products, you can hardly identify whether it's a storage issue or whether it's a virtualization issue. NetApp Cloud Insights greatly blends the performance data, approximates, links together the performance usage from the VMware and NetApp perspectives, and provides you a single pane of glass in terms of the reporting and monitoring through the virtual machine to the hardware storage.

You can find any major bottlenecks or any issue points you need to work on. In any IT infrastructure, whenever you improve, like if you buy faster storage, then you move bottlenecks from storage to the network or to the servers. The biggest challenge is to find where that bottleneck is to resolve the issue. I personally found NetApp Cloud Insights very useful in this sense because we were a heavily virtualized environment.

We were a heavily virtualized environment with the NFS Protocol, as our storage main Storage Protocol, we were able to easily nail, locate, and resolve some performance issues using Cloud Insights, which would have been very hard to identify. 

The biggest challenge though is the licensing model for Cloud Insights. For example, for our environment, the price of purchasing was close to the price of the storage itself, which is why we didn't actually pursue using Cloud Insights further. 

How has it helped my organization?

Cloud Insights has helped us to optimize Cloud spend by removing inefficiencies and identifying abandoned resources in VMware. There were a bunch of older virtual machines that were powered off and they were just left there, forgotten to be decommissioned. That was costing us premium storage space.

What is most valuable?

The visibility and usage optimization are the most valuable features. I liked the product very much. Its dashboards and the alerting systems are very easy to implement in any environment.

Its ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of your environment is brilliant. There is a price associated with it. Whenever you target a NetApp environment, it is included in the price but whenever you want to add different vendors, like VMware and Cisco, the price greatly spikes. Inventorization helps us a lot to visualize the environment.

It's priceless when you work with eight different vendors, in a multi-vendor environment and Cloud Insights can actually identify those links between VMware and physical servers and storage, and that helps to troubleshoot and solve issues right there. It helps to proactively make decisions.

Their advanced analytics for pinpointing problem areas are great. If you're using separate tools, for example, vRealize Ops manager and Unified Manager from vRealize from VMware and Unified Manager from ONTAP, you can find some anomalies in both of them, but you can never link them together in one logical structure. Unified Cloud Insights, however, really goes through and links them together. For example, if you have a contention, like virtual CMTS contention, it doesn't mean that your storage has issues. It also can mean that there is a network problem below or some faulty network adapter network port, or even a physical server. In this sense, Cloud Insights is very valuable. It enables you to find out multi-tiered issues.

Advanced Analytics also helped to reduce the time it takes to find performance issues. It just reduces the time to find issues. And it can predict issues which otherwise, would take hours or days to find.

What needs improvement?

Their pricing model needs improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We were testing Cloud Insights for a period of around five months. I installed it, configured it, and just didn't touch it for the first two months because I was busy. For the next three months, we actually used it to troubleshoot some issues and to gather more information on the performance of the environment. We found it very useful and helpful.

We have to install the collectors in your environment and then collectors send information into the NetApp private cloud.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a greatly stable environment. I didn't have any issues during my assessment time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is also great. You just add notes and it works.

I only showed it to two or three people. The number of users doesn't impact the performance of Cloud Insights. It's more about how many connected devices there are.

We had a six node cluster and maybe around a thousand VMs.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use a solution like Cloud Insights before. We were just given a license with instructions and we extended the license three or four times. NetApp reached out to us and pitched the idea of how great Cloud Insights is. We liked that it offered the opportunity to work with a multi-vendor environment.

The free trial of Cloud Insights helped inform our buying decision. We found value in Cloud Insights.

We also use Datadog but it doesn't have the same functionalities as Cloud Insights. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You just spin-up the collector. I think one per vendor, one for NetApp, one for VMware, and then link them to Cloud Insights in the private Cloud. That's it.

You can spin-up the environment within an hour for the entire thing. You have the collectible information after the next hour, you will have your environment on a dashboard in Cloud Insights. 

The price that came back to us was so ridiculous that we didn't end up implementing it.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned is that basic licensing that is free, is useless. That is the biggest lesson. The basic free Cloud Insights does everything, but only with NetApp products, and this information alone doesn't add value to our troubleshooting.

I would rate NetApp Cloud Insights a nine out of ten. I really liked the product. I would have bought it if it wasn't for the cost. I had a perfect business case for it but it didn't work out. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
NG
Storage Engineer at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Handy for root cause analysis, but there are some anomalies in the licensing model

Pros and Cons

  • "It is good for giving an overview of the systems and for tracking long-term trends. It is handy for root cause analysis, e.g. it can eliminate whether storage is the cause of an issue."
  • "When I did need support because I was having problems with the solution, the first or the second line just didn't understand it. They were providing this only on a software as a service basis. So, they were asking all the wrong questions."

What is our primary use case?

It is for long-term tracking of performance information. I am also looking at the interaction between NetApp systems and non-NetApp systems.

It's only really being used for the storage, and to a limited extent, our VMware.

It is maybe being used once or twice a day at most. We're not using it actively. We are just using it in kind of a testing phase.

How has it helped my organization?

It is good for giving an overview of the systems and for tracking long-term trends. It is handy for root cause analysis, e.g. it can eliminate whether storage is the cause of an issue.

The solution’s ability to quickly inventory our resources, figure out interdependencies across them, and assemble a topology of our environment is good. However, I am making limited use of this.

What is most valuable?

I use Cloud Secure quite a lot. It's useful to track down what has happened in cases where users' files have gone missing, or they have lost them.

What needs improvement?

There are some very specific things for improvement in the Cloud Secure product. I have already given this feedback to the product managers regarding this area. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Probably about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is reasonable, but there is some room for improvement.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. You can deploy an agent on different sites and places, if you want to.

I am probably the only person in the company who is using it. We're not really using the solution an awful lot, so it is not making a lot of difference at the moment to us. Later on, it might with a larger buy-in and involvement of different job functions. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When I did need support because I was having problems with the solution, the first or the second line just didn't understand it. They were providing this only on a software as a service basis. So, they were asking all the wrong questions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have other solutions that do kind of the things vaguely in this area. However, they don't cover everything in the way that Cloud Insights does.

How was the initial setup?

I found the initial setup pretty straightforward. As long as you follow the instructions, you can get it initially up and running. 

The deployment took a day or two at most.

What about the implementation team?

NetApp will tend to normally work with users to get it up and running rather than just leave you to your own devices. They were actually surprised that I got it up and running without using their help. The expectation is normally you would use their support for the setup. However, I did the initial implementation without any external support. So, it is relatively easy to set up, if you have a storage NetApp IT background.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing model could be improved. We love that you can use it for free for looking at NetApp products. You only need licenses to look at non-NetApp products, but as soon as you do that, you start utilizing licenses that actually would have been free in the public. So, there is a bit of an anomaly in the licensing model.

We were using the free tier, then they gave us some licenses for the full product, which last for six-months into a 12-month period. At this point, we are not paying for the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was on the free tier. We were just testing to see what was in there, since there wasn't a cost. It was only to have a look.

We are not evaluating other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is worth a small amount of effort to activate at the free tier: To see whether there is anything there which might help your business. Then, if you feel there will be stuff there, then maybe you can look at getting some licensing for the non-NetApp side of it.

I would rate this product as a seven out of 10.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.