NetApp HCI Benefits

Steve Lamesey
Vice President at Hardwood International Corp
NetApp HCI's ability to scale on demand is a differentiator in the marketplace. The ability to scale storage and compute together or separately is one of the differentiators for the customers. This solution can scale compute and storage independently, whereas in competing solutions if I need more compute, I have to bring more storage along with it. This means that I have idle storage. Conversely, if I need more storage then I have to bring more compute along with it. With NetApp, I get to look at each of those separately and then plan separately. It allows me to utilize my internal resources better because I'm not spending money on things that I don't need, and it allows me to tailor that solution and that platform more to my business needs versus working with a platform that does great things, but I'm having to bring things in at a scale that I don't need. The simplicity of the Element software, once it is deployed, is one of the things that draws people to it. The ease of management and the ability to provision toward the quality of service so that I can set parameters where I need them and walk away are big draws because it makes things easier for the customer. I would say that using NetApp HCI has improved application performance, but not just where you would see it. I am not speaking about the IO of the applications, but rather in the teams that support applications within our organization. They're more effective and more efficient. They have a better solution and they're not having to spend time trying to keep it running. They set it up and then go on to work on other things, which makes their organization more productive. In terms of storage performance, capacity utilization is probably the biggest impact. I've got what I need and I can get more of what I need, and then I can set it to perform as I need without having to necessarily manage it the same way. I would have a traditional storage management team or administrator. It's rolled up in the singular product. It's more of a one-button way of doing things. There's a lot of magic that goes on underneath, but the applications get what they need because I'm able to guarantee it through quality and service. As far as maintenance costs go, I would think NetApp absolutely reduces them because you're able to migrate multiple things to a singular platform. You don't have as many footprints of support. Maintenance is a big cost from an operational standpoint for the customers and having a single platform where you can merge workflows and then have them all with a quality of service means there's no way that it can't save people money. On the topic of TCO, I can't speak to it for any specific customer, but in today's environment with the cost structure and cost pressure on IT, if this solution didn't improve TCO then it wouldn't sell. You're looking at a product that's disruptive in the sense that it can change the way you deploy headcount within your organization. It changes the way you deploy applications within your organization. That's all measured by executives from a TCO standpoint. If it's having success and people are being drawn to it, and people who have platforms are growing them, then it is probably having a positive effect on the organization. View full review »
Pre-sales Solution Architect at SHI international corp
The product has improved our organization by making it very easy to explain the product to a customer to show what kind of environment that they can use this appliance in. View full review »
Senior SAN / Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
From an infrastructure standpoint, we needed to have more cohesiveness between our teams. We set that out as a goal for our HCI team - realizing that's a concern and/or issue. We solved that, which helped us to deploy in a more efficient manner. Therefore, we can get the capacity for the customer in a more efficient manner in a much faster time frame than former methods. We've done a lot of consolidation with far fewer storage side manipulations. Cluster-wise, I've been able to put more compute resources into one cluster versus maybe three or four in the older environment. It helps our organization from the standpoint of less administration. The solution has resulted in a more efficient use of compute resources, because as far as our compute nodes go, we've diminished them by probably 35 percent. This solution reduced our maintenance costs. We were going to have to pay one to two million dollars to put in for storage and compute nodes. We are avoiding those costs. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Nutanix, VMware and others in Hyper-Converged (HCI). Updated: January 2020.
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Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
HCI definitely improved how flexible we scale, and our entrance into the cloud. The features are very rich, in terms of both avenues. It's helped us flexibly move and shift our workloads around, back and forth. Application performance has improved. It has helped reduce maintenance costs. Our old footprint was just huge in terms of the environment we need to run it, it was very bulky and old. It increased all costs. Even just operating the equipment, but the maintenance of it and how many people we need to take care of things has been reduced. The daily maintenance seems a lot more consolidated down to something easier. We had a team more of around 10 to 20 people doing everything. It's consolidated down to about seven or eight of us but it's a lot easier to manage. HCI provides efficiencies and mobility similar to that of the public cloud. We chose it a lot because we're still trying to do the private into the public cloud, that whole hybrid cloud transformation. We're still in the initial phases of getting out of our private cloud and starting to work some more clothes into the public. That whole process is very experimental The footprint itself and the amount of man-hours needed to run the whole thing has reduced our TCO. It's definitely lessened a lot. We started cutting costs. HCI helps do that on the operational side. It definitely shortens the time for us to deploy in production. We have a lot more lead time to plan, execute, and do all that stuff. It makes our business move faster. Our hypervisor footprint has been reduced for both storage and compute. We started out in a data center with almost 60 racks of storage and compute, and we consolidated down to almost five racks. It's a nice improvement. The Element software has enabled us to consolidate workflows and breakdown silos. Application performance has also been improved. View full review »
Senior Infrastructure Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
NetApp HCI has improved our organization by allowing us to put more time into investing in new ideas and spending less time in the administration of the solution. View full review »
Infrastructure Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
The ability of this solution to scale on-demand is great. It is easy to do. If you need another compute and another storage node, they're really easy to put into play and add into the original cluster that you have. It is nice to have separate compute and separate storage for each node, but in some ways that it sort of a downfall, too, because in a true HCI environment the storage and compute would be together in a single node. I can see the benefits of having them separate in that you are able to take one down and not affect the other. But, I think that if you really want to go dense, then you'd want to have the true HCI, which has them together in one. In the testing that we did, we found that application performance was a lot faster than having traditional storage like a NetApp FAS or AFF, and some Dell or HP nodes for vSphere. It was faster having that all combined on one chassis. I think that NetApp HCI has efficiencies and mobility similar to that of a public cloud. We're strict on what we can and cannot go to the cloud for, and it is hard for us to use the public cloud with any product. I would not say that we realized more efficient use of compute resources. View full review »
Sean Henry
Senior MIS Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
If my people are chasing issues on old hardware, and in the weeds, we're not doing anything that management sees as value. They don't see any value in email being up, they expect email to be up. This solution has brought power and simplicity. Everything we've moved over runs two times faster and in some cases, a lot faster, far more than twice, which our users noticed. That's an immediate productivity boost. We've been able to bring a dead project up like a phoenix to start moving again. This also allowed our managers and our executives that had put their names and show as money behind that project, to save some face. It's allowed me to consolidate our infrastructure, saving electricity in the server room, and even saving heat, so I was able to use this project toward our environmental objectives. View full review »
Sean Henry
Senior MIS Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
It significantly reduces downtime on two of our assembly lines. In addition, it allowed us to move forward on one of the products that we’re going to use to improve as a company, to potentially allow us to shore up some things. In terms of helping us with storage persistence across private and hybrid clouds, we do store data internally and in Azure. It has allowed us to consolidate a number of workloads, across our old NetApp and a number of our older storage arrays, into a single unit and have that unit also working with Azure. View full review »
Storage Engineer at HS UCI
It has not particularly increased application performance but it's not a very demanding app either. HCI has provided us with efficiencies and mobilities similar to that of the public cloud. It gives us some flexibility for the future if we do decide to go into the public cloud. We are actually considering Microsoft Azure for a lot of stuff going forward. It's kind of like an injection point into the cloud as well. Maintenance costs have been reduced by around 20%. View full review »
Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
HCI has reduced the hypervisor footprint because it's an all-in-one box, where you have the server and the storage piece in one physical container, rather than multiple boxes or appliances. Currently, we have separate storage and separate servers. Now we can have server and storage in one box. View full review »
IT Specialist at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
The integration that it has with some of our data recovery tools, like Veeam, has been helpful. We just had an incident where we had to recover the whole company. We were attacked, so it was lifesaving. Basically, we would be under now if we would not have had it. That is how critical it is for us. View full review »
Network Professional at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
The ease of management has helped our organization. We are able to move some tasks down to lower-level employees which frees up the architects to do more with their capabilities. View full review »
Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Using NetApp HCI has made things a lot easier to set up. The main advantage is that the management would be shipped to our VM team instead of back to our storage team. They get all of the functionality and they can do all of their own restores. They can also provision on their own. Everything is done through the virtual center. The ability to scale on demand is very helpful. It's customizable and we can expand if we get low on storage or compute. I love the fact that we can actually provision the LUN out to a separate vendor as well. We can also provide that storage to a different operating system. The fact that we can scale compute and storage independently is great. We do it independently whether we need storage or we need compute. With respect to our hypervisor footprint, I would say that this solution has helped us to expand it. NetApp HCI makes it a little easier for us to manage. Using NetApp HCI has helped to increase application performance, although I do not have any specific metrics. I can say that we have a lot of desktop users that were complaining of slowness. The SSC backend helps with performance. The effect on storage performance in our organization has been great. SSDs always give you the ability to add workload and not have to worry about managing it. I would say that our TCO has been lowered because we don't have as many storage shelves to worry about. Everything is now better compacted, or compressed. View full review »
Storage Lead at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Because NetApp usually marries capacity, performance, and upgrade planning together, there's not a whole lot that I need to worry about at this point. But I do know when I need to have high performance, I will use the HCI (for those few that I need it for). It gives me a chance to have certain workloads on high performance for people who complain about performance. If they think it is their storage, I can put it on there. The way we're using it is probably different than most. It's just to be able to move certain workloads. Because we're on the engineering side, we will do a distributed build which takes a certain amount of time to go through it. On the tools or application, people want to have something finished within a certain amount of time. If the current solution isn't working, we can move it to give it the best performance. View full review »
Senior IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Our goal with NetApp HCI is to have no single point of failure. That's probably the biggest plus for us because we're going to have our email server and all of our critical systems reside on that platform. View full review »
Storage Operations Manager at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
We are still in the testing phase so it's too early to see improvements in our organization. It has not reduced our hypervisor footprint yet, but that's the hope. The solution's Element software has enabled us to consolidate workloads and break down silos. Now you don't have to be a storage administrator to provision or do anything. Any VMware system administrator, with the ease of a button, would get storage provision. It makes their lives easier. HCI has increased application performance in the test phase. It has also provided efficiencies and mobilities similar to that of public cloud which makes it take less time to reply. It's faster. It has helped to reduce maintenance costs by around 20%. It's definitely cheaper than our traditional storage solutions. HCI has reduced our TCO by around 25%. View full review »
Engineering Team at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
The benefits for our organization are the performance that we're able to get out of it, as well as the guaranteed minimum performance from a storage perspective. They make life a lot easier to manage, for what we're provisioning out to customers. View full review »
System Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
It helps to consolidate our demo gear workloads because we have a lot of products that we take care of. We are a distributor in Hong Kong and we have other products like Cisco. It enables us to consolidate all of these kinds of virtual appliances onto the NetApp platform. At the same time, despite showing those solutions, we can also show NetApp solutions to our customers. HCI has enabled us to consolidate workloads and breakdown silos. We used to have many down servers, a lot of kinds of servers that had no different portal solutions. Now, we consolidate all these kinds of virtual appliances in the same process. It saves us time and money to deploy the other servers. I don't really have very exact metrics but going from seven servers down to two servers helps to save a certain amount of electricity. It has increased application performance because previously we were using single disks, like 10k's or 50k's. Now, we have a full flash SDS solution. The IOPS have increased significantly so that when many users come in to test at the center we don't have any performance complaints anymore. NetApp provides efficiencies and mobility similar to that of the public cloud. NetApp is doing a good job with that, ONTAP can move data across the cloud very easily. View full review »
Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
It has automated a lot of workloads. It has automated us from ticketing a large number to a very small number. Our legacy environment with the application base has improved. It also helps us with self-healing technology, which HCI is good for. View full review »
Madhan Maddineni
SAN Engineer at American Express
Every company runs on IOPS, bandwidth, and latency. Five or ten years ago, we didn't have much bandwidth and the latency wasn't great because of packet loss with the LAN technologies. Now, Ethernet has been developed a lot so that there are new technologies with data center bridging and they are coming up with better solutions for TCP/IP. It is becoming very good to use it for HCI to create a cost-effective solution. SAN is always costly. While there is a cost to HCI, it is becoming a cost-effective solution for data storage. View full review »
System Engineer with 201-500 employees
* Predictability. One of the biggest challenges in any data center is delivering predictable results, especially in the face of proliferating applications and workloads. Any time you have multiple applications sharing the same infrastructure, it’s possible for one application to interfere with the performance of another. NetApp HCI solves predictability challenges with industry-leading performance capabilities that allow the granular control of every application. NetApp HCI’s performance settings eliminate resource contention and variable application performance. * Flexibility. The relentless pace of business change means you need maximum flexibility to adapt to any workload while using existing investments. NetApp HCI offers a highly configurable design that enables cloud-native application development and agile operations for virtualized environments. * Simplicity. A common goal of IT organizations is to automate all routine tasks, eliminating the risk of user errors associated with manual operations. NetApp HCI streamlines installation so that it takes minutes instead of hours, and simple, centralized management with VMware lets you control NetApp HCI through tools you already use. View full review »
System Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
NetApp helps us with our backups and making snapshots of our backups for our secondary data center, which is very efficient for us. It's improved our recording time also. The solution's snapshot copies and thin clones have reduced a lot of operational time. We do a lot of database refreshes and it has done this as dual clones and copies. HCI has helped reduce our company's data footprint in the cloud, as well as our company's cloud costs. View full review »
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
There are savings through software costs as storage is separated from the compute nodes, and the improved performance and QoS with Flash is also good. View full review »
Systems Platform Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Since implementing this solution, we have to do less work. This solution's ability to scale on-demand affects provisioning because it auto-provisions itself. This solution's ability to scale compute and storage independently makes things easier for us because it does most of the stuff automatically, and we don't really have to touch it all that often. Using this solution has enabled us to consolidate workloads, resulting in fewer service tickets. This solution has increased our application performance, although I cannot estimate by how much. HCI provides efficiencies and mobility similar to that of a public cloud, but I cannot say how it has affected our organization. I cannot say whether the storage performance in our organization has been affected, although we don't have to worry too much about increasing or decreasing the storage because it does that automatically. This solution has resulted in the more efficient use of compute resources, although I am unable to provide metrics at this time. Our maintenance costs have been reduced but I'm not sure what our savings are with respect to this. View full review »
Storage Administrator at a tech vendor
It offers the ability to scale on demand which is important to the burst capability of scaling up and scaling down. It has reduced our hypervisor footprint by around 20%. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Nutanix, VMware and others in Hyper-Converged (HCI). Updated: January 2020.
396,781 professionals have used our research since 2012.