NetApp HCI Overview

NetApp HCI is the #8 ranked solution in our list of HCI Software. It is most often compared to Nutanix Acropolis AOS: NetApp HCI vs Nutanix Acropolis AOS

What is NetApp HCI?

NetApp HCI is the only true enterprise-scale hyper converged cloud infrastructure. NetApp HCI comes in a 2 RU chassis with 4 node expansion slots.

NetApp HCI Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp HCI Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

NetApp HCI Customers

American Showa, Children's Mercy, Coca-Cola, Consultel Cloud, Evangelische Landeskirche in Wurttemberg, Imperva, Surface Mount Technology

NetApp HCI Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about NetApp HCI pricing:
  • "This solution reduced our maintenance costs. We were going to have to pay one to two million dollars to put in compute nodes. We are avoiding those costs."

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Steve Lamesey
Vice President at Hardwood International Corp
Real User
Top 20
A strong and efficient product that can scale storage and compute independently

What is our primary use case?

We do not run NetApp HCI ourselves. This is a solution that we implement for our customers. The version that we provide is normally the latest, although a customer will sometimes request an earlier version. Depending on how the solution is architectured to the customer, the deployment model can be on-premises, in a public cloud, or private-cloud based. Our team goes in and delivers against that architecture. When it is a public cloud deployment, Microsoft Azure is our preference. For the customers that we talk to, their primary use case is normally to build their own version of the cloud with… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a strong product and it works very well, and the processes around it continue to grow and mature."
  • "I would like to see the implementation process improved."

What other advice do I have?

Speaking as a partner who sells the product, our standpoint 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, regardless of the platform given of ONTAP capabilities. 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…
Ketan-Patel
Pre-sales Solution Architect at SHI international corp
Real User
Top 20
Separates control of storage from compute and enables the ability to individually choose the minimum and maximum burst on IOPS

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for the product is doing demo presentations of it for customers. We show them the function of the appliance, the features, how easy it is to operate, and things like that. That is what our main purpose for it is as resellers.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a unique product with simplified setup and independent control over storage and compute."
  • "It is easy to install now, but could potentially be even simpler."

What other advice do I have?

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 affects capacity, performance, and operational planning…
Learn what your peers think about NetApp HCI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
523,230 professionals have used our research since 2012.
EH
Senior SAN / Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Ease of provisioning has allowed us to implement large installations in a very short time frame

What is our primary use case?

We are using it currently for all our "Tier 2 and Tier 3 storage" for all our business units. On the storage nodes, we're using 11.0. On the VMware side we are currently @ 6.5 moving to 6.7 after our annual freeze period ending late January 2020.

Pros and Cons

  • "When you are doing lifecycles for your equipment, you can just swap out pieces of equipment. We used to do one big iron to another big iron, and that's a major migration hassle. Whereas, with this environment, you can go with small nodes, one at a time, and do a refresh."
  • "There have been some drive type of issues where we have to apply a new code level. Storage nodes kick certain drives until they act as though they have failed when really they haven't. You just have to reinsert them, then they go on about their happy way. It's sort of a bug."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate the solution a nine out of 10.
DL
Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Enables our business to move faster but it doesn't have all the data points we need

What is our primary use case?

We have 30 compute nodes and about 34 storage nodes that we're trying to consolidate down in a co-location area. We use it for all of our workloads outside of our main EMR system. It does everything from Oracle, SQL, all sorts of workloads, CIFS, and NFS.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "The fact that it doesn't have all the data points we need and all the historical data that I would like. I find that a lot of the performance analysis is done through support, where they have something that we don't have. It would be nice just to have all that on-prem."

What other advice do I have?

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.
PC
Senior Infrastructure Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Increased application performance but we have experienced motherboard failure

What is our primary use case?

We use a catalog that can deploy virtual machines. It helps a lot because the users open fewer cases to provision the VM.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to administrate the solution, and the company handles its technical support well."
  • "The product needs better support for installing the operating system on the machine."

What other advice do I have?

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)…
JB
Infrastructure Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Straightforward to use and the interface is good, but the cabling needs to be improved

What is our primary use case?

Initially, our primary use case for this solution was testing. We had a large deployment of Nutanix and we got NetApp HCI to test along with it. Then, we were going to use it for the office to get off of some of the older equipment for VMware. NetApp HCI hasn't been used in production or for office applications yet. We upgraded the solution and then took it down about three months ago. It was in our data center and we moved it because we wanted to put it into an office with newer equipment. Unfortunately, the networking couldn't handle what we were plugging into it, so we ended up taking down… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the SolidFire interface."
  • "If you want to have a really dense data center then it's hard to have a big chunk of cabling going through everything."

What other advice do I have?

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.
SH
Storage Engineer at HS UCI
Real User
All-in-one solution that is very self-contained but it has increased our hypervisor footprint

What is our primary use case?

We're mostly testing it out right now. We have some internal tools we're testing it on. We're testing it for production readiness in our facility. We have a couple of test VMs on it and we're using it for some data collection on our ONTAP systems. It's been testing for around a month.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable aspects are that it's an all-in-one solution and it's very self-contained."
  • "I would like for them to fall a little closer to like the VMware release model. The new features and new solutions tend to come from the VMware side. I would like for NetApp to follow along closely with VMware's release schedule."

What other advice do I have?

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…
PeteNinis
Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Improves our hypervisor footprint because it's an all-in-one, but the setup is painful

What is our primary use case?

Currently, our primary use case for HCI is testing the product to see if we can find a real business case in the hybrid, hyperconverged infrastructure. We are testing different products and HCI is one of them. Our use case is testing the hardware and the software piece of the product, leveraging the hardware part of the server and storage, in one piece. We're testing that to see how that works out for our infrastructure.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature, currently, is the density of the system as hardware. I'm able to leverage the density of the product and remove bigger hardware which requires more space, cooling, and power costs, obviously. There are cost savings, obviously."
  • "My biggest pain point is the installation part. I would like to see the appliance itself remove the entire switch that goes behind it and figure out how to do all the cluster interconnects within the box itself."

What other advice do I have?

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…
See 14 more NetApp HCI Reviews