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NetApp FAS Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

NetApp FAS Series is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Deduplication Software. It is most often compared to Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon): NetApp FAS Series vs Dell EMC PowerScale (Isilon)

What is NetApp FAS Series?
NetApp FAS Series offers powerful, affordable, flexible data storage for midsized businesses and distributed enterprises. NetApp FAS Series, named a 'Champion' and 'Best in Overall Value' by Info-Tech Research Group, is affordable, and is a more powerful storage platform than other systems in its class.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Deduplication Software Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

NetApp FAS Series Customers
Children's Hospital Central California, Plex Systems, PDF PNI Digital Media, Denver Broncos, PDF KSM Legal, Clayton Companies, Virginia Community College
NetApp FAS Series Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about NetApp FAS Series pricing:
  • "It's not cheap, but at the same time, it's also inexpensive. It's somewhere in between."
  • "We purchased it for four years, and it wasn't expensive. It was reasonable. Every company has a different agreement with NetApp. We got everything we wanted with all the bells and whistles and all the features and functionalities."
  • "I've sold arrays for as little $20,000 USD and as high as $300,000 USD."
  • "The NetApp FAS series price is very competitive compared to other solutions on the market it is a good choice."

NetApp FAS Series Reviews

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LS
Computer System Administrator at a construction company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Resilient without disrupting the user experience and very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "For us, the greatest aspect of the solution is the fact that it just runs. It is amazingly resilient. That's very important to us, because we are basically, with some exceptions, have a 24/7 operation."
  • "The one aspect of the solution that's negative for us is also more unique to us due to the fact that we did a MetroCluster. The tiebreaker piece that does the monitoring of the two different locations, and determines if one is not talking to the network normally (or if it's truly down) is a little difficult. It feels like it was not designed from the beginning to fit well into the other pieces. It feels like it was thrown in at the last minute and it is not smooth."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for keeping our information reliable. In our case specifically, here at the operations location, we've got a MetroCluster for redundancy.

What is most valuable?

For us, the greatest aspect of the solution is the fact that it just runs. It is amazingly resilient. That's very important to us, because we are basically, with some exceptions, have a 24/7 operation. 

The newer features will be able to do things without interrupting the user experience, such as moving volumes on the fly, as well as adding and removing nodes to the clusters. That general set of features is pretty important to us.

What needs improvement?

The one aspect of the solution that's negative for us is also more unique to us due to the fact that we did a MetroCluster. The tiebreaker piece that does the monitoring of the two different locations, and determines if one is not talking to the network normally (or if it's truly down) is a little difficult. It feels like it was not designed from the beginning to fit well into the other pieces. It feels like it was thrown in at the last minute and it is not smooth. I've actually spoken to NetApp about that. I understand from a little bit of my research that they do have another product out. They've renamed it. I don't know how much they've changed it. I don't know if they have made that a better fitting piece or if it's just got a different name.

I still have not moved to their most recent version. I believe they have incorporated several updates that I haven't had experience with yet. I'd hate to say, "Oh, we should put it that in there," and it's already there.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have different geographical locations. The different locations probably would have a different timeline in terms of when they started using the solution. The location I am sitting at is an operations-based charter for our location and we have had the FAS type filer for probably 12 years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It's quite reliable. We have it going 24/7. It doesn't crash or freeze. There aren't bugs or glitches, at least not that I have experienced. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not something that I would have much experience in from this location. We're a smaller site with about 1500 users. It's not something that has to be extremely scalable at our location. 

From talking to my coworkers at the larger locations, I believe that NetApp has become more scalable than they have been in the past, so they're going the right direction.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is outstanding. We're more than satisfied with their level of service.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, the migration of the MetroCluster, in particular, is more complex. 

I handle the management and maintenance of the solution myself, unless I need the assistance of a consultant.

What about the implementation team?

We had a consultant come in and help us when we went from the non-clustered MetroCluster to the clustered MetroCluster for the different versions. That was a bit more than I wanted to tackle. I brought in the NetApp consultant to do that. I would say it was more complex than straightforward overall. The consultant even noted that when he was here that this is probably not something that, as a customer, he'd want to do on his own.

The consultant was excellent. He laid out a very clear roadmap of what we were going to do and broke it into three parts so that we didn't have too much on our plates and we could make adjustments in between each part. In the end, it was pretty smooth.

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

We haven't really done anything with the leasing options that they have recently come out with. We have instead outright purchased the equipment and all of the software that we use from them. 

It doesn't seem out of the normal range for other vendors. 

I don't really have a big pro or con stance on the pricing aspect of the solution.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a business relationship with NetApp.

The FAS Series itself is not as complex as a MetroCluster configuration of the FAS. I would say if you're doing the MetroCluster configuration, it's worth it to get a consultant to assist. Almost every time that I have used a consultant, I have been very glad that I made the decision to hire them. I've done the incremental migrations on my own without difficulty, however, the big changes from platform to platform in particular, and from the non-clustered on tap software version to the clustered on tap software version are more difficult to perform. It's worthwhile to get consultants in those instances.

The single FAS setup, I would say, the first time I did it, was probably the biggest learning curve. Regardless of the vendor, I would probably recommend having a consultant come in for the first time you're learning all the ins and outs of the solution. After that, the migration for the individual FAS and non MetroCluster FAS seems to be very manageable if you've got a certain level of experience. If storage is kind of an extra task for you versus your primary task, you're probably going to want to pull in a consultant regardless.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Temitope Oladeji
NetApp Product Manager at Hiperdist Ltd
Real User
Top 10
A stable and scalable data management solution with a useful unified management feature

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the unified management feature because sometimes you end up running a single protocol on the entire system."
  • "Interfacing with the cloud environment could be better. I want to be able to move some cloud volume and integrate it seamlessly with my home on-premise storage. Sometimes I have issues with port permissions. NetApp probably needs to improve more on the integration side from on-premise to the cloud."

What is our primary use case?

I use NetApp FAS Series for storage consolidation, database management, performance, and data protection. We also use it for unified environments where you run multiple protocols. You can run it through a FAS or an AFF system. Our core applications are running on it, so it's always up.

What is most valuable?

I like the unified management feature because sometimes you end up running a single protocol on the entire system. Although it has the capacity to do multiple, you have to go the route to enable that. Sometimes it isn't convenient. You rather have a system for a particular protocol and another system for other protocols, especially in a big environment like mine.

What needs improvement?

Interfacing with the cloud environment could be better. I want to be able to move some cloud volume and integrate it seamlessly with my home on-premise storage. Sometimes I have issues with port permissions. NetApp probably needs to improve more on the integration side from on-premise to the cloud.

Capacity management could also be better. The difference between AFF and FAS has always been an issue, but now we have the advanced disk partitioning technology on the whole FAS systems that can give us more usable capacity. That has been the bigger issue that I had with NetApp in terms of improvement, and they seem to be working on it now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with NetApp for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. The trouble we have with stability is the trouble we created ourselves. Once the system is installed and configured, it's stable. Except sometimes, we want to check out things, and they create some trouble for us. If it weren't stable, we wouldn't be investing in it for the past ten years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp FAS Series is a scalable solution. We scale transparently, and we scale out and scale up. If we are scaling up with heavy capacity, it's very simple. Once we loop it, we have it and send it. We don't even have downtime for that. 

Sometimes it's tricky when we need to cluster several controllers and to scale-out many times. But it doesn't really have a major effect on our business. Sometimes we schedule it to let the business know that there might be some downtime for a period. We are finding ways to reduce the impact, and I think it's seamless. If I have to rate it, I'll give it 85%.

How are customer service and technical support?

My experience with technical support has been very good. In fact, most of the things I'm able to do, I learned how from the technical support team. They don't just work. They work, and then they allow me to learn with them. As they are doing it, they put me through, and I'm able to pick up one or two things every time I get their support.

Although it's in two layers because of the kind of customer I am, we have what we call dedicated service accounts managers. Even before your issues come up, the guy triggers it, and then they are proactive in managing our whole system. 

But sometimes, we will have issues where we have to raise support cases, and we have a good contractor there. We have four hours of premium support. So far, we always get a response within four hours, and sometimes we have our resolution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a complex process, but it's better now.

What about the implementation team?

We use a local vendor and integrator most of the time to implement this solution. Initially, the system always comes with about three years of support. I have very good vendors around, and it's great all around. They also come around to support, but first level support, I do it by myself. When it gets complex, I invite the integrator and sometimes the OEM.

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

It's not cheap, but at the same time, it's also inexpensive. It's somewhere in between.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to new users because it's easy to implement. It's easy to install, it's easy to scale, and there is what we call investment protection. If there's a new controller that comes up, your existing controller can integrate with it. You don't have to trade in what you have. It always has forward compatibility and backward compatibility. I will always recommend NetApp FAS Series.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give NetApp FAS Series a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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FK
Assistant Director, IT at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Easy to manage with good data consolidation, visualization and snapshots

Pros and Cons

  • "Data consolidation and visualization."
  • "The solution could do more than just data."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for data storage. We are customers of NetApp and I'm the assistant director of our company. 

What is most valuable?

One of the valuable features of the solution is data consolidation and visualization - and snapshots of course. The solution is easy to manage. 

What needs improvement?

We'd like to move to a solution that does more beyond just data, like starting to get more to servers and network specialization and data visualization and things like that. Server network and management specialization or consolidation. And also, trying to see a bit more single plane of glass in terms of managing, so that it gives you more insight in terms of what's happening. 

Ideally the solution should have one console, the ability to use a single plane of glass across the enterprise. Because we have one VRR, one size duplication so just to have one console where you can manage everything else in harmony would be a good additional feature. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 15 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable at the data level because it uses aggregates so you can easily increase data. But of course it's dependent on your provision for growth reports. I don't know how many use the solution but our company has around 600-700 employees and we have two people dealing with maintenance on the product. It doesn't require more than that. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. If you're good, you can get it up and running within a week. 

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

I think the pricing of this solution could be lower because really it's just storage consolidation these days. I think this technology has matured so much. It's time to make it slightly more competitive, it's on the high side for now.

What other advice do I have?

Obviously anyone looking at this solution must have primarily a data storage use case. If they have a strong case for data storage, it's a good solution. From there it's just a matter of managing work flows between SAN and NAS which requires planning. You can then manage your capacities very well if you know your data requirements. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AC
Broadcast System Manager at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Reliable storage, easy to use, performs well, and the support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "It's an easy product to use that is stable and has good performance."
  • "The user interface could be improved to have better graphics and the performance analyzer could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We are using NetApp FAS Series on all of your sites.

We use it in four major systems for productions in broadcast TV channels. 

I can say that we use it in Production and Archive environments according to the model and disk structure. 

How has it helped my organization?

I can say that we use it in Production and Archive environments according to the model and disks structure.We tested many storages. Netapp was the most successful in terms of performance. We did multiple HD ingests in real-time. At the same time, Editing teams edited on the ingested files. As Ingest, we recorded more than 20 HD cameras simultaneously. We chose netapp when we saw that it was successful in the tests we carried out according to our structure.

What is most valuable?

  • First of all, I think it is very suitable storage for media.
  • When editing and recording at the same time, its performance is quite sufficient.
  • The fact that it is redundant for the controller provides sufficient security.
  • I can share all volumes as a single space through the FlexGroup structure.
  • You can manage departments independently by creating more than one SVM.
  • Ontap is a very stable and reliable operating system.

What needs improvement?

There should be a separate admin web management for each SVM. We are currently managing all SVMs from a single admin interface. it is a problem.

Real-time performance monitoring requires good software. It would be great to be able to see the audit logs.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using NetApp FAS Series for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I can say that it is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

NetApp has a structure that can grow very easily. You can expand by buying suitable model shelves. You can expand by the value allowed by the controller.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have opened cases with technical support in Europe. They can connect and together we resolve the issue.

At times we use support from the support site.

What other advice do I have?

NetApp FAS Series can use the cloud services in the storage and can be upgraded to the cloud.

I could recommend this solution to other media companies to use. It's an easy product to use that is stable and has good performance.

I would rate NetApp FAS Series a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SE
Principal Storage Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Reasonable price, good file sharing feature, but the file system is not dynamic and the operating system is very cumbersome

Pros and Cons

  • "The file sharing feature is most valuable."
  • "Its operating system is very cumbersome. However, after you set it up, it runs pretty smoothly. Its file system is not very dynamic. It is very static."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case was NFS. It was used for designing chips.

What is most valuable?

The file sharing feature is most valuable.

What needs improvement?

Its operating system is very cumbersome. However, after you set it up, it runs pretty smoothly.

Its file system is not very dynamic. It is very static.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable. I would probably give it a six out of ten in terms of stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable to some extent. There is a limit, but then everything has a limit. We were using it at three sites across the US. We ran into this issue of hitting the limit just once in a while. When you are growing a cluster, you usually hit that limit.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support was okay. I wouldn't say it was very great, but it was there. Occasionally, they would just go round and round in circles. They didn't know what to do with the case.

They followed the sun model, which is followed by almost every company. If you open a case and the person is one hour away from his break or the end of his day, he would just say that he will have to give the case to someone else, and then you start all over again.

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

We have had different NetApp models. FAS has been around for a long time. The newer models are called AFF, and I have used AFF 300 and AFF 400.

How was the initial setup?

Its implementation was complicated. It takes a couple of hours if your network and DNS are ready. 

What about the implementation team?

There was a NetApp SE on the site to help us.

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

We purchased it for four years, and it wasn't expensive. It was reasonable. 

Every company has a different agreement with NetApp. We got everything we wanted with all the bells and whistles and all the features and functionalities.

What other advice do I have?

Its operating system is a little cumbersome, but it runs pretty smoothly most of the time.

I would rate NetApp FAS Series a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DC
Principal Architect Infrastructure Solutions at a recruiting/HR firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Straightforward to set up and it scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is SnapMirror."
  • "If our customer needs a high-performance storage solution then we don't recommend this product."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and NetApp FAS is one of the infrastructure-related products that we implement for our clients. Our customers' use cases vary, where some of them use it as a backup target and others use it for the general workload. The primary use case is probably for general workload.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is SnapMirror.

What needs improvement?

If our customer needs a high-performance storage solution then we don't recommend this product.

Some of our customers complain about not liking the UI, whereas others say that they love it. Also, some say that the FAS is too slow and some say that it performs fine. It's all relative and depends on the customer as well as the use case.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with the FAS series for about 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The FAS series is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product scales really well.

How are customer service and technical support?

The group that supports FAS supports all of the various NetApp products. I have found their support is responsive and thorough.

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

I regularly work with solutions from NetApp, Dell, and HPE.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

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

The price depends on the size and features. I've sold arrays for as little $20,000 USD and as high as $300,000 USD. It would be very difficult to give an average cost.

In some cases, there are costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

The suitability of this product depends on the use cases and the environment. For places where we sell it, it fits well. In places where it doesn't fit well, we would typically go with another solution like NetApp All-Flash storage, or something from another vendor.

My advice for anybody who is implementing the NetApp FAS series is to make sure that it's the proper fit. Perform a detailed sizing analysis prior to making the purchase.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Ricky Santos
System Administrator at ON Semiconductor Phils. Inc.
Real User
Top 5
The provision of HA has improved the up time of our entire infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature for us is the combining of HA and SnapMirror."
  • "Currently, the newest release is not HCI friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We have deployed a four-node cluster to host multiple services like NFS, CIFS, FCP, and iSCSI with SnapMirror enabled across the cluster.

How has it helped my organization?

NetApp FAS has provided an HA environment that has improved the up time of our entire infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is the combining of HA and SnapMirror.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an improvement in the licensing on Data Mirroring (SnapMirror) features.

Currently, the newest release is not HCI friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In my nineteen years of being a storage administrator, I have never seen NetApp storage cause significant downtime that was connected to hardware failure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the big features of NetApp FAS is the clustering of storage, which allows you to scale up the whole cluster using different models. This is broad and each HA is expandable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their team is one of the best support services that I have encountered.

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

Previously we used the IBM N Series storage system. We switched because of its limited features.

How was the initial setup?

The initial hardware setup is pretty straightforward because once you set up one node in the cluster, the whole system can be joined seamlessly. The setup for the NetApp hardware is a very short command menu that is user-friendly.

What about the implementation team?

Our policy for the initial setup is to get service with the vendor. This provides a warranty just in case we encounter issues. NetApp support is highly knowledgeable about their product and they are trained to do the initial setup perfectly as planned.

What was our ROI?


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

Licensing is still proprietary which is one of the advantage of some Netapp devices to some of the storage systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the HP and Dell storage solutions before choosing this product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MA
Infra Business Development Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Top 20
Helpful technical support, priced well, and high performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has tiers inside which means we do not only need to use SSDs."
  • "The user interface could be improved."

What is our primary use case?


The NetApp FAS series is unified storage and can be used for the NAS or SAN environments. We had a customer that needed multiple protocols.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has allowed the consolidation of multiple storage boxes inside the organization. This has reduced the footprint on the data center. From a management point of view, the organizations do not need to manage multiple boxes, they only need to manage one.

What is most valuable?

The solution has tiers inside which means we do not only need to use SSDs.

What needs improvement?

The user interface could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the NetApp FAS series for approximately one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and has good performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable and can be added on to easily if needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good and supportive. Their technical support is very helpful and they are engaged from the beginning with the customer and until the project is finished.

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

I have used other solutions in the past.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation of the solution was not that difficult.

What about the implementation team?

We used our internal team with the help of the NetApp professional service team to complete the implementation.

What was our ROI?

By using the NetApp FAS series solution organizations are able to reduce the power, cooling, and space required which reduces the overall cost of operations.

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

The NetApp FAS series price is very competitive compared to other solutions on the market it is a good choice.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

NetApp FAS series solutions have advantages over their competitors because they support multi-protocol, all the levels of the software, such as duplication, compression, and replication. It is an all-in-one solution, the customer does not require to have multiple solutions to get SAN and NAS environments.

What other advice do I have?

I rate the NetApp FAS series an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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