NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Overview

NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays is the #12 ranked solution in our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays. It is most often compared to NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS): NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)

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.

NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays is also known as NetApp EF540, NetApp EF-Series.

NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: May 2021

NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Customers
RP Data, Western Oregon University, Toei Animation
NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays Video

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EK
Senior Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Low latency was what geared us towards the EF but their willingness to work with us was also important

Pros and Cons

  • "The benefits are better up-time, better response time."
  • "It needs a better management tool."

What other advice do I have?

In terms of important criteria when selecting a vendor, and how important consistent low latency is compared with other criteria, I think what's important is the partnership that we have with them, the relationship that we have with them, that they are willing to work with us to find a solution. At the end of the day, low latency was what geared us towards the EF. That was the best proposition on the table. It gave us the performance we were looking for, at an excellent price that no one else was able to beat. We already knew the solution through the E-Series, so we knew how to work with this…
it_user712191
Practice Head For Hpc And Big Data at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is a pretty stable product; it never fails.

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides multi-protocol, which is what gives the edge when it comes to big lineage PC workloads."
  • "They could improve overall scalability through performance. Denser capacity, which is doable, it is what the competition is doing."

What other advice do I have?

Go for NetApp. It has the better stability.
Learn what your peers think about NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
511,307 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user750729
Senior Systems Engineer at Marq Solutions
Consultant
A consistent platform that can take the same amount of data in less amounts of space from our previous solutions

Pros and Cons

  • "I would have to say performance at this point, because the application it is based on is so diverse."
  • "Better support technicians for CAPP."

What other advice do I have?

Take advantage of the node transfers that you can have with the SEs and getting to know them at their level where they are willing to help you in all aspects. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: support. Our e-App system is dedicated for use with multiple apps. We are currently going to buy some All Flash FASs next year to go with the 08300's and the 15.3 terabyte SSD drives. A huge order of 12 nodes, six AJ pairs should be imminent, second quarter for DoD.
it_user750573
System Administrator at a hospitality company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It's fast enough that there's no significant latency in our applications; and it's easy to add another target

What other advice do I have?

Our use case is both corporate storage and for all of our datacenter and back-end enterprise applications. We store it all on the flash, so it's quick. We use it for multiple apps. J.D. Edwards, so it's our accounting software, and then all of our BI business intelligence is sitting on there. Those are the major ones. We'll see, we might be getting HCI soon so that might change, put some more on there. Mostly just our big I/O. For us the most important criteria when selecting a vendor: oftentimes it's reviews. Support is critical. Ease of use isn't so much an issue. Usually we just look at the…
it_user750591
Platform Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Easy to set up, easy to manage, easy to provision storage, and faster than our previous solution

What other advice do I have?

For the E-Series, it's going to be used for parking cameras, for camera storage, security cameras. Because of the functions, for video and the camera video, we didn't want any latency. We wanted it to be as fast as we could get it. The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are service, support, price, the product stability, and stability of the company. If I were advising a colleague at another company who is researching this kind of solution, I would say take a good look at it because we haven't had any issues. It was easy to set up. We haven't had to do anything with support, but…
it_user750588
It Team Lead at a tech services company
Consultant
It increased the speed of our current hosted VMs and their performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The management of it is very simple. that is the most valuable feature."
  • "The management interface, while very reliable, it seems a little old now and could maybe use a little modernization."

What other advice do I have?

You can't beat it for the price. With support, everything has been really well. I would say this would be something I would recommend. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Speed * Price point * Ease of management * Also, low latency is important, as it was the whole reason behind getting a faster system.
ITCS user
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Consultant
Top 20
NetApp EF540, something familiar, something new
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 items…
it_user527328
Manager Unix Storage Group at Stony Brook Medicine
Vendor
The speed is the most valuable feature. Our databases perform much better.

What other advice do I have?

I don't think anything's perfect. They could make a few minor tweaks with the user interface, and maybe a few more little things they can tweak, but other than that, it's pretty solid. If you want cost-effective, fast disk, this is really a good solution.
it_user527229
Sr. Internet Services Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Performance and proactive support.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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. T"

What other advice do I have?

The EF Series has a lot of lines, a big lineup. Look at your application’s performance requirements. The EF Series is all about performance. Choose the right line of product because you can have so much performance but if your application does not need that much, you waste a lot of money, especially if it’s flash. You waste of lot of money.
it_user527082
Server Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We're able to throw a pile of IOPS at it and it will handle it without much issue.

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the most valuable features is the overall performance it provides. You're able to throw a pile of IOPS at it and it will handle that without much issue."
  • "A little more manageability, a simpler management interface. It's not necessarily that it's way overly complex. It's just that it's not as easy as the FAS series."

What other advice do I have?

Plan out everything ahead of time. Have your fabric in place. We've had times before, where that was an oversight. It was never thought of in terms of getting networking fabric set in. Then, whenever we'd bring in the NetApp solution to plug in and the fabric's not there, then you get these long delays. Make sure you know everything that's going to be needed and have it in place ahead of time. When I look for a vendor to work with for EF or any similar solutions, for me, the most important factors are honesty, prompt response, willing to work with us, a general feeling like that they care…
it_user527274
Director Operations at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It is a point solution for low-cost, high-performance, low-latency block storage.

What other advice do I have?

I suggest looking at your needs and decide whether EF or some of the other NetApp products are more appropriate. If the EF is the most appropriate, I don't have any hesitation recommending it.
it_user550305
Infrastructure Manager at Pennwell Corp
Video Review
Vendor
Its performance solved a problem with the very strong SQL workload we have.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor is the support infrastructure and pricing. When we compared it to other all-flash arrays, it was the most cost-effective solution and really the most performant that we looked at. My recommendation to my peers is that they know for sure what their performance needs are; that they size it properly to support those needs. Performance wise, it's phenomenal. We haven't had to touch it much since we had it up and running. Making configuration changes on the version of firmware that we have is a little bit more difficult than other products.
Rob Stickland
Senior Server Network Enginner at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is faster than XtremIO. We use it for our VDI environment.

Pros and Cons

  • "We use it for our VDI environment, and have not had any complaints with it."
  • "I would like to see higher-capacity drives, as they come out; I have heard that 15 TB are out on a different NetApp series. Getting those on the EFs would be nice."

What other advice do I have?

If you can get a bake off, do that. Try to get the same type of test across the board. Put it through its paces. Definitely get your solutions engineers involved; almost pit them against each other. Ask a lot of questions, and really find out what the requirements are. Get them in there and try them out. You lose nothing, except a little bit of time. If you can spend better money the first time out, you look better as an engineer and a person that can influence purchasing. I have not given it a perfect rating because, as I’ve mentioned, it doesn’t have some features. At the same time, I have…
it_user527343
Data Storage Administrator at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It is fast, stable and saves electricity and space.

Pros and Cons

  • "The speed is the most valuable feature."
  • "I would like to shrink it more, if we can. The smaller, the better."

What other advice do I have?

So far, it's been fitting our needs. I've not had any issues with it, but it's all brand new to me. Right now, the install is great; everything is running fine; we haven't had any problems. Go with the NetApp EF-series All Flash Arrays, if you want good quality, reliability, speed and size. I think that's the way to go nowadays; flash is amazing. I'd give it the thumbs up to do it. Spend the money. It might cost a little more but the quality is the best, for me. Sometimes, you have to spend money for good quality. When selecting a vendor to work with, the most important factor for me is the…
it_user527178
Consulting Storage Engineer at Columbia HCA Healthcare
Vendor
It does well with some of our higher-end applications.

Pros and Cons

  • "We do a lot of in-house, application-dependent type things, where we find the different niches to the different things. Certain things they do better. We've found that it actually does very well on some of our higher-end applications."
  • "As far as the manageability, being able to port between the two and have to do less training in-house from a customer point of view, that would be the part to improve."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you truly test the possible solutions one-on-one against each other and not just let the vendor tell you the answer. A lot of times, their answer is dependent on the criteria that they use to give it.
it_user527079
Storage Systems Admin at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Having the option of high-speed storage in the data center is valuable.

Pros and Cons

  • "Having the option of such high-speed storage in the data center is what makes it valuable."
  • "Things like the FlexClones, SnapVault, SnapMirror, all of that. Some of it's available on the EF series, but we like what we have in the FAS system."

What other advice do I have?

What is your use case? Depending on what your needs are, I would point to maybe the All Flash FAS. If it was just a one-off, one project, throw everything at it, then I'd say definitely the EF would be the most cost-effective solution.
it_user352236
Storage Infrastructure Manager with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Almost all of our infrastructure is on cDOT, and now we are able to have a single point of management for all our data. The CLI is very difficult to manage.

What other advice do I have?

It must be evaluated depending on the workload of the applications.
it_user351156
Senior Consultant at Ahd Hellweg Data GmbH & Co. KG
Consultant
We reduced database queries from 32 hours on HP EVA to less than 10 with this, but monitoring and management handling in enterprise environments could be improved.

What other advice do I have?

If you need very low IOPS and throughput and an easy to install and stable solution, then this is the perfect one for you.
it_user351147
Sr. Systems Engineer IT Enterprise Infrastructure at PAREXEL
Vendor
Our batch processing time went down from 14 hours to seven, but because NetApp acquired the product it's missing a bit in the integration and management performance monitoring.

What other advice do I have?

Before investing in flash, you should be really sure that it is solving your problem. For us, it was really clear that latency was a big part of our issue, so flash was the solution.