NetApp HCI Other Advice

Steve Lamesey
Vice President at Hardwood International Corp
From our standpoint, now speaking as a partner who sells the product, is that data is ubiquitous. It's everywhere now. Everybody from our kids to our grandparents is creating data and consuming data. NetApp is the one company that has an ability to, from the creation or the acquisition of data, make it usable and available to you wherever you are, almost regardless of the platform given the ONTAP capabilities. But then they had these endpoint platforms, which is HCI, which is E series, which is FAS, which is storage created, that allows very robust systems to manage certain types of data. Then, you can use ONTAP with the cloud to make it accessible within your organization. So, the barriers that separated data are going away and NetApp is, from our point of view, ahead of many other people in the marketplace making that happen. NetApp has a very good message and I think that it can be enabled to push an organization forward. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. View full review »
Ketan-Patel
Pre-sales Solution Architect at SHI international corp
Because our organization functions as resellers, we use the product features in demonstrations. We do not actually apply them to our own business. For example, the solution's ability to scale on-demand and affect provisioning in an organization is something we demonstrate to those who are interested in the product. We do not use it personally. We explain that feature in our presentation and the customers want to see it. When they do they are wowed and want the capability. This solution's ability to scale compute and storage independently affect capacity, performance, and operational planning in our customers' organizations. The best thing about the product is this is the only appliance in a market that separates control of storage from compute. There is nobody in another OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) on the market that can do that currently. It is absolutely unique because you can individually choose the minimum and maximum burst on IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second). Nobody lets you do that independently like this appliance does. The solution also has the capacity to reduce your hypervisor footprint. We do not actually have that many customers that use hypervisor because most everybody is in the VM world right now. It is a plugin in vCenter and it a very usable, very friendly tool as a plugin. Being that NetApp HCI is a hyper-converged infrastructure a company with a data center will not have to have separate storage, special computers, and a special network for different purposes. This product does all of that in one central appliance. Which is why HCI is very popular. The solution increases application performance. Because it works well with VM products and lets you independently choose how much of the resources each VM could use as far as IOPS. There is no noisy neighbor — no one appliance or application gets to hog the VM bandwidth and resources. So this one you can separate those roles out and silo it to make it a lot easier. The solution affects the storage performance for organizations as well. We only work with it in a demo presentation environment and we do not have production data so the demos are just a sample of workloads. But no customers that we have come across have any issues and the pain points with storage performance. Results show more efficient use of compute resources. Again, being the only appliance in a market that lets you independently choose compute and storage, you scale as you want. If you want more compute you can add more compute nodes. You want more storage, you add more. It simplifies a lot of things. On a scale of one to ten where ten is the best, I would rate the product as a nine. The reason I give it a nine instead of a ten is because of the need for pre-check work. While it is simpler than most products, there is still a lot of configuration that needs to be done. If they make that simple it improves the product. When you have to rebuild the product, you have to go through that whole process again. If they could somehow make that simpler by keeping that configuration file in a way that you do not need to do that, we could just use that configuration file again. It should automatically rebuild itself instead of you going through the whole process another time. Advice that I would give to a colleague who is researching this is to use the product. Do a proof of concept and that will open up the customer's eyes to imagine the possibilities and see how this product of NetApp works. If I was in that position, I would push this product more to show a customer proof of concept, show it and the environment, and then they would tell the reseller to leave it there because they will want to buy it. View full review »
EdwardHoppe
Senior SAN / Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
I would rate the solution a nine out of 10. View full review »
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reviewer948963
Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Dig into your workload and know your workload of what you're putting on there. HCI has worked great so far for just about everything but we did separate our performance-heavy, performance-sensitive EMR workload off to an AFF. We had to fix certain compliances with the application and HCI wasn't certified for it, so we couldn't run that on that platform. I'd give it about a seven out of ten. It's not bad but we're still in our infancy, so we'll see. So far it's been pretty good. View full review »
reviewer1223523
Senior Infrastructure Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Several things have happened during the time we have had the product: * It reduced our hypervisor footprint because of the ISO support. * It has enabled us to consolidate workloads and break down silos. * The solution has increased application performance. * This solution resulted in more efficient use of compute resources. * The ability to automate the provision of the machines makes it faster and it's easier for the user to request. * It has increased the requests and the quality of the delivery. * The solution helped reduce maintenance costs. * Deletions cloud data services (on-premises) used with the catalog is like a cloud provider, but it is not a cloud solution at all. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a seven, because of the motherboard failures. If we didn't have the issue on the ISO and then on the motherboard because the customer started to reduce the tourist on the solution. But now it's stable and it does not fail anymore. Every day he is happier with it. Advice that I would have for people considering this as a solution is to give it a shot with HCI. It is a good product to try that works like a cloud-like service provider. It isn't perfect. For example, we had an HCI with 12 nodes and there was one node that had failed motherboards like four times and we replaced them. In general, it is easier to administrate. We are the reseller, we are not the user that bought the product. After that was resolved the client opened fewer cases with us. So the operational cost for us, as the reseller, is cheaper because they are not always open cases with doubts that it will be easy to manage. View full review »
reviewer1223565
Infrastructure Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
We went with a different solution and having run that for a while, I would say that there is a lot more than they could do to make it more streamlined. My advice to anybody who is researching this type of solution is that if you want to go dense, then this is a good product. We ended up going with a competitive product, that I think is a little better, but NetApp has been around for a long time, they're a great company, and it's a great product. They just have to get past the issues with cabling. I would rate this solution a six out of ten. View full review »
Sean Henry
Senior MIS Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
I would rate this solution an eight. We've only had it since March so I don't have much experience with it but I have no doubt that moving forward it will move up to a nine or ten. View full review »
Sean Henry
Senior MIS Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Definitely, have a look at this solution. It is simple, and I don't mean "simple" in a negative way. If you're not a company with a staff of hundreds, and most IT departments don't, you need something that allows you to do more with less overhead, provide better performance, and this is going to check all those boxes. We don’t use Data Fabric for hybrid or multi-clouds. We are not currently using this solution to leverage microservices from our clouds. We don't yet use it for Dev Ops, but when we start to do so I expect it will save us time and money. I rate the solution at about eight out of ten. The reason I wouldn't rate it any higher is that it's only been in our facility for less than a year, so I just don't have that long-term experience with it. I have no doubt that it will go to a nine or a ten out of ten. It's simple, flexible, powerful. We've been able to move most of our workload to it. We've seen increased performance across the board. We're pretty happy with it. View full review »
Scott-Hansen
Storage Engineer at HS UCI
It is a good solution, I'm fairly happy with it. It's passed all of our tests, we're not really having any real challenges. I'm on the storage team and then we also have a VMware team and we have a network team, so there's a lot of other people that have to get involved, and I don't know how on board everyone is to one solution for everyone. All of us being in the same sandbox versus having our own sandboxes. I would rate it a six out of ten but we're an early adopter so it's probably better now. It works great now, I don't want to say that it's a bad product, it's just that we were early adopters of the product and there were some bumps in the road. View full review »
PeteNinis
Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
From our initial testing, it's doing what it's what it says it can do, but there are still some caveats that need to be worked out. In terms of making our compute more efficient when it comes to resources, the way we are using it, it's pretty much a one-to-one configuration. It depends on the work I would throw it at it. So it's hard to compare it, what my production environment currently is, to what I'm using HCI for. We are planning on using VDI with the solution. Once we get that configured, then we'll figure out how the workloads will actually be. I would rate it a five out of ten because of the setup. Post-setup, it still needs a little bit of training and knowledge. It's not an easy product to use because it's got different modules. I'd like to see one single pane of management in a box. Once you get to know the product, I would give it a seven. View full review »
IT2ced
IT Specialist at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
The solution is a lifesaver. If you ever have some type of disaster and need to recover from it quickly, you can't get any better than this solution. It made all the difference in the world. We are in the learning phase of using Data Fabric for hybrid multi-cloud. We're still trying to get accustomed to it, but it looks like a great product. It should be helpful, especially, for where we're trying to go as a company. We're not there yet, but eventually, it should be an extremely useful tool for us. We use HCI to accelerate DevOps. Our development group works with this feature, and I have heard nothing but good reviews. The development group definitely praises that feature. Every time they try to compile, it makes things easier for them. It has been night and day since we integrated it into our tool set. They definitely have improved their delivery time. We do plan to use HCI to leverage microservices from all of our clouds in the future. We are still getting accustom to using the product and working it out for everyday usage. View full review »
Peg-Heffron
Network Professional at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
The solution enhanced some application performance. We actually moved an application from a SATA disk and put it on NetApp. The user noticed and was surprised by the improved performance. I would say it was enhanced by 25%. The solution has generally affected storage performance in our organization by adding a high-performance storage option into the environment. The solution has also resulted in more efficient use of compute resources. As we have started small, it is only about 20% currently. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine. We have only had it in office for about six months, so that rating may change. The advice I would give someone at another company who is researching this solution is to spending the time to really look at the datasheets and the use cases. Make sure you fully understand how it might fit in your environment before you get it there. View full review »
reviewer1223568
Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
My advice to anybody who is researching this type of solution is to definitely look at NetApp HCI. Compare it to whatever other vendors that you are looking at, but give it a good look because it does provide a lot of value. I love this solution. I would rate this solution a ten out of ten. View full review »
DonSchaefer
Storage Lead at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Just have a good understanding of what you have. I would rate it a nine (out of 10). It is easy for me to go out there and configure the storage along with everything through vCenter. However, when you get into SolidFire or the hardware side of it, it'd be nice to have a quick, easy way to get into that from VMware. View full review »
reviewer1223604
Senior IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
I cannot rate this solution more than about half at this point because we do not have it working, although I believe that in the future, I will give it a much higher rating. If we can get this environment stabilized and if we can move our critical systems onto the platform, and we can maintain it, then it will probably be a big plus for us. We will have high availability, redundancy, and resiliency. As it is now, I would rate this solution a six out of ten. View full review »
reviewer1223505
Storage Operations Manager at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Since it's still in its infancy, I would rate HCI an eight out of ten with the hopes that it will get to a ten. I would say give it a try. You will love how easy it is to deploy. View full review »
KevinRapson
Director at Citrus Consulting
The best thing to do is to make sure that you understand exactly what outcome you're looking for because there's quite a wide range of technologies with NetApp. I believe they cater to all of the different environments, but you need to make sure that you build the solution according to the applications and outcome that you're looking for. I'd rate it as ten of ten, from my perspective. View full review »
Engineerc2b6
Engineering Team at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Take a look at the guaranteed minimum QoS's that you can push out to the LOBs or the people who are using it, and the API as well. We don't use Data Fabric for hybrid or multi-clouds. We are trying to form a DevOps team to take over the operations side of everything; everything from a drive failure to everything else. Has this solution accelerated that? Not yet. And we don't use the solution to leverage micro-services from our clouds. I would rate the solution a nine out of ten. They are delivering what they packaged it as. It's a high-performing and scalable storage system. View full review »
reviewer1223430
System Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
There are many competitors like vSAN, Nutanix, and SimpliVity. Those guys are doing a similar job that tries to seamlessly give an easier experience for the users to operate and upgrade. The integration with the VMware part still needs a lot of improvement. View full review »
Manager3128
Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Go explore the market. Don't just go with one vendor. Try to explore different options, because every environment is different. Test and do a lot of PoCs. The solution is growing, and it's good. We use HCI to help leverage microservices from AWS, such as, EC2 instances where we create some bucket links and move a tiering from on-premise to the cloud migration. We try to host applications on cloud. HCI has helped with storage persistence across private and hybrid clouds for the last year. It's faster and more reliable with minimal downtime, as it doesn't require any maintenance. My previous employer was on a DevOps model. We used to create, test, and migrate, then operate with the same team. View full review »
Madhan Maddineni
SAN Engineer at American Express
I would rate the solution a nine out of ten. I love HCI. It is a cost-effective solution and it is the future as well. View full review »
reviewer1223550
Senior Project Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
I would rate HCI an eight out of ten. Not a perfect ten because there is always room for improvement. They could improve the packaging. Check out the product, see the capabilities, and compare it to the competitors. It stands up. View full review »
reviewer938199
System Engineer with 201-500 employees
I would rate it a ten out of ten. It has a lot of solutions because you can do replication with Legacy storage nodes with NetApp and to the cloud. View full review »
reviewer1223370
System Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
For our use case, because we are a big enough NFS shop, ONTAP is a great fit for us. If you have a highly NFS shop, I would recommend ONTAP. I would rate this solution as nine out of ten. There's a limitation with a block in the file. That's where I see that it's not very efficient for upgrades and for management. Otherwise, it would be ten out of ten. View full review »
Consultnt4675
Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
My advice to others would be to test it and buy it if does what they want it to do. Everybody has to take care of themselves regarding this, and only they can decide if this is the best solution for their use case or not. There is no way that I can say that this will be the answer to all your problems. It would be ridiculous. In my opinion, HCI is a good product, easy to use and scalable. In the next version, I would like to see bigger GPU types and synchronous mirror between sites including transparent failover because in Germany or Europe it's quite common. Out of ten, my rating will be an eight. View full review »
ArchiSolut677
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
I would rate this solution as 8.5 out of 10. View full review »
Kenneth-Williams
Systems Platform Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
This is a good solution. It is easy to set up, and you don't have to do much work to get it to do what it needs to do. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. View full review »
reviewer1223460
Storage Administrator at a tech vendor
I would rate HCI a seven out of ten. It's pretty good. Seven out of ten seems like a good rating for a good product. The advice I would offer to someone considering this solution would depend on what the company is. We're a federal sector and we have a whole different set of limitations. I don't know that cloud is really where we need to be but for a private company, it may be. 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.