NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
 (16)
Anonymous avatar x80
Real User
Sr. Internet Services Engineer at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees

What is most valuable?

I like the performance aspect of EF Series. It basically provides everything that we are looking for as a solution, very low latency and very high performance. That's why we're using NetApp to run our business. For example, with databases. We... more»

How has it helped my organization?

When we have certain standards for performance, the customer experience is much better as well. They expect to have that kind of performance maintained or improved in the future. If there's a glitch, for example, whether it's storage or... more»

What needs improvement?

The EF Series has the web services outside the box, not inside. It doesn’t have the full OS, like Data ONTAP. You have to have a proxy web service that interfaces with all of the EF Series and you develop your application through that. I... more»
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Consultant
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Feb 23 2017

What do you think of NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays?

NetApp announced the other day a new all nand flash solid-state devices (SSD) storage system called the EF540 that is available now. The EF540 has something’s new and cool, along with some things familiar, tried, true and proven. What is new is that the EF540 is an all nand flash multi-level cell (MLC) SSD storage system. What is old is that the EF540 is based on the NetApp E-Series (read more here and here) and SANtricity software with hundreds of thousands installed systems. As a refresher, the E-Series are the storage system technologies and solutions obtained via the Engenio acquisition from LSI in 2011. The EF540 expands the NetApp SSD flash portfolio which includes products such as FlashCache (read cache aka PAM) for controllers in ONTAP based storage systems. Other NetApp...
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C82de4d5 94c3 43ba ad2c 1dc9dad2bb8c avatar
Real User
Senior Server Network Enginner at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its speed. We had a bake off with another product in our data center, and it blew it away, without any question. It was about 100% faster than the XtremIO. It was just pure speed. We use it for our VDI... more»

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to quickly roll out close to 2,000 VDIs with very little setup. I've had familiarity with a different model of the NetApp device. It was mostly a matter of rolling it over to the new one. It was very easy to work with. The... more»

What needs improvement?

At this point, we haven't really gotten that far in our stages of it. The scalability is what we need. The administration is really easy. The best way I can say this is, keep on keeping on. It's going to grow organically. If anything else, I... more»
Anonymous avatar x80
Consultant
Consulting Storage Engineer at Columbia HCA Healthcare

What is most valuable?

The ease of use is the most valuable feature; something that we can use for a flash and all-flash type of environment that we can really put a heavy workload on. It gives us an environment to where we can really push a lot harder. We have... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Cost: it's a lot cheaper. It's a lot cheaper than what the other vendors have for the same type of environment. It saves us money.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a way for NetApp personnel that are used to the FAS and the CDOT systems, to be able to easier translate that experience and knowledge into using the EF series. There are some differences in there and it will throw off,... more»
76fdffe4 83f3 486e b243 cb510f6bf188 avatar
Real User
Senior Systems Engineer at Marq Solutions
Oct 24 2017

What is most valuable?

I would have to say performance at this point, because the application it is based on is so diverse. Having low latency is always key, so if I had to rate it, I would rate it a 10 out of 10 of getting the best out of what we can - the best... more»

How has it helped my organization?

Ideally, the organization is trying reduce the footprint. Our current footprint is all on Lazy Theta and flash hard drives with Flash Pools and so on. To have one consistent platform that takes the same amount of data in less amounts of space... more»

What needs improvement?

Better support technicians for CAPP.
See 11 more reviews

User Assessments By Topic About NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays

The EF Series has the web services outside the box, not inside. It doesn’t have the full OS, like Data ONTAP. You have to have a proxy web service that interfaces with all of the EF Series and you develop your application through that. I would like to have that interface inside the EF Series, so we don't have any dependence on the proxy service. I’d like to see bigger, faster, better hardware, of course. I think that is the way the hardware is trending anyway; bigger, faster CPU, better software, fewer bugs, all that stuff. Those are things I trust NetApp to do. It's a company that's doing it right to get all the hardware and software to work together seamlessly. Nonetheless, there are a couple of other things that NetApp hasn't done right. For example, NetApp still relies on the SAS bus of the backbone, so you still have the SAS controller. That’s a bottleneck for doing the lightning speed of flash. That's the limitation of flash. The industry right now is moving to NVMe. That stuff actually goes directly to the bus. It's actually faster. That's the first one. As I’ve mentioned, a full OS like ONTAP for the EF Series is another one; actually have a shell and people could work directly on that. It's easier than using a proxy command through another machine. It's a limitation for us to work on. NetApp is famous for redundancy, data protection, replication and so on, with ONTAP. I’m looking for a solution in the EF Series; a solution to mirror the storage off the chassis, off the data center, such as SnapVault or SnapVolumes. They don't have that yet. That's something I keep comparing with ONTAP because we were probably the biggest customer back in the old days with NetApp for Data ONTAP. I'd like to see those features come on over to EF Series as well.
XtremIO is a nice product, but it has so much more overhead. Deduplication involves a little bit more overhead than what the EF does. I kind of look at EF as a dragster as opposed to a road course racer. The EF just goes straight line. It does what it's supposed to do; not a lot of frills, but it does its job really well. XtremIO is a bit more tuned for a general-purpose workload; not so much speed. It's still flash, but the overhead on the XtremIO was more than what we need it for. The price point was better on the EF. You get more speed, better capacity, and better price. The EF was a better value. The disadvantages of the XtremIO were the speed and the capacity. I think it was a very similar scale out for the XtremIO. It was very similar in size. It was a little bit smaller because there was more overhead; different metadata for the XtremIO. It required a little bit more controller size, and so on. Also, it was a 4U brick versus a 2U brick. We basically get twice the capacity of two shelves for NetApp versus one brick from XtremIO. The scalability was one of the big features as well. When selecting a vendor to work with, the one that provides the best value is the most important criteria; does it hit the most amount of needs that we have; once we determine what our requirements are, and how we go forward. What's the best for us? We may spend a little bit different money on something else, but that has to be of a specific need that we need to fit. Basically, what's the best value?
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Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant
Greg Schulz is Founder and Sr Advisor of the independent IT advisory and consultancy firm Server StorageIO (StorageIO). StorageIO provides advisory and consultancy services in and around data infrastructure, cloud, virtualization, container, software-defined, NVMe, flash, object storage,... more>>

What is NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays?

The NetApp EF560 all-flash array is an all-SSD storage system for applications that demand extremely high levels of performance and reliability. Requiring just 2U of rack space, the EF560 all-flash array combines extreme IOPS, microsecond response times, and up to 12GBps of bandwidth with leading, enterprise-proven availability features.

Also known as
NetApp EF540, NetApp EF-Series
NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays customers
RP Data, Western Oregon University, Toei Animation
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