NetApp HCI Room for Improvement

Vice President at Hardwood International Corp

I would like to see the implementation process improved. It's like the product is almost ahead of the ability for everybody to make sure that it's packaged right to go into a marketplace for a user.

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Pre-sales Solution Architect at SHI international corp

An improvement I would like to see is if they could make it even more simple to set up. They were able to figure out a way to get 400 steps down to about 30 steps. Trying to reduce that down more would be an even greater benefit. 

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Senior SAN / Systems Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees

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 is a bug fixed in 11.0 of the code for Element OS/Solidfire.

The option to pull in a config/text file to be used as input to the NDE process; rather than going through a lot of screens. The manual effort there is error-prone. This something NetApp engineering has been made aware of as a request and they say they're looking at that as a future enhancement.

As far as SolidFire, if you use the GUI, you can only create one line at a time or device at a time. That's ludicrous. I referenced earlier today to the NetApp feedback panel that this needs to be fixed. They said, "Yep. I understand that."

In terms of bandwidth and IOPS along with availability - we have not managed this environment long enough to put TIER1 environments under this umbrella; yet don't see why it couldn't handle the aforementioned especially if you create dedicated pods for those 'heavy hitters' (I'll just call it that.)  Thus, in time we'll look for more deployments upon the converged infrastructure of NetApp. 

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Learn what your peers think about NetApp HCI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
521,189 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

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. We haven't run into much else. It's pretty solid on the active IQ side and on the support side. I would like panes in everything.

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Senior Infrastructure Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see better support for installing the operating system on the machine. If they increase the size of that it will be great. The issue happens when you upload an ISO. That there is a limitation when you need to upload software that it needs to have less than two gigs or four gigs, and some of the OSs are more than that. So it would be great if they tried to increase that limitation size for 10 gigs.

Probably the quality of the hardware should be improved. I'm not sure what exactly to point out because we don't know why we had several motherboard failures. But I think that was a hardware quality issue.

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Infrastructure Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees

The physical cabling was a problem for us, which is why we ended up going with Nutanix. Nutanix used two cables per node, whereas the HCI needs several to each the compute and storage. I'm not sure of the exact number, but it was a lot more than Nutanix and the amount of cabling would have been really hard to manage. I know that they have now changed it and bought it down to two cables, and this is what we're trying to get up and running now. As long as it works, this is a good option. If you want to have a really dense data center then it's hard to have a big chunk of cabling going through everything.

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Storage Engineer at HS UCI

HCI has increased our hypervisor footprint. It's another system we have to manage. 

The elemental software has not enabled us to consolidate workflows or break down silos. It's still on test dev, it's not in the main production stuff, so we haven't really gone to that phase of it.

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.

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Storage Engineer at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

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. I don't know if that's possible or not, but that's something that could be very, very beneficial to customers because it adds another layer of complexity to the system, once you add the switches.

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Network Professional at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees

Being able as a user to just go and look through tutorials and maybe opportunities to use a simulated environment where we can test things out. Maybe that exists and we just have not tripped over it.

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Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I would like to have the ability to replicate to multiple sites. Right now, we're limited to replicating to a single destination. We would like to be able to do it in non-production so that we can test data, and we can replicate it to our DR. 

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Storage Lead at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

Long-term, I would like them to add NVMe disks and possibly have a tiering solution built underneath it. Not everybody wants you to run things up to the cloud. By having a low-end storage attached to it, you can tier stuff up and down, as needed.

Because I like block mode, I'd like to see SAN connectivity. I would like to be able to easily put it into my current environment.

Unfortunately, the solution has not reduced our hypervisor footprint.

The solution’s Element software has not enabled us to consolidate workloads or break down silos yet. I need high-performance on a certain thing, and that is it.

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Senior IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees

The vCenter keeps crashing, meaning that there is no stability in our environment.

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Storage Operations Manager at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The deployment process has room for improvement. I would like for it to be a cookie-cutter deployment. Right now we have to still do the worksheet and then add all the IPS, and then provide feedback to NDE and then it deploys it. In the future, I would like to deploy it through NDE and that I don't have to work on the worksheet. That would be awesome.

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Director at Citrus Consulting

I'm pretty happy with the product altogether. I'm pretty much a fan of the product. I think we've started to move more and more into Kubernetes and I think that's an area where we start to grow more I think.

Probably the engineering guys would know more than I would what could be improved. From my perspective, I'm happy with the solutions as is. As I said, we'll start getting more and more into the Kubernetes side of it and get the ability to move entire applications all over the place, but I'm happy with how we're using it at the moment. I'm sure there's always room for improvement, but at the moment, I'm pretty happy.

I think it pretty much does everything we want. Obviously, as environments change, I think NetApp will grow with them. I think there will be even more integration with their public cloud.

It would be great if they took something like kernel storage and integrated straight into the NetApp as well.

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System Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The NDE Engine needs to improve because it will suddenly crash and I need to call the support and take it a look at that. The support in India also failed to resolve the issue and then we need to keep track of the restful APIs to see what is on before we can complete the installation at the first-time deployment. It was not a good experience.

The problem is that it needs to be much more stable, for example, when I want to do the upgrade to 1.7 that just released, I also need to issue a ticket to the support guy in India and he asked me to deploy another mblock. There are a lot of manual steps compared with other products.

It's easier to do with other products like Nutanix. It's very easy to upgrade with them. 

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System Engineer with 201-500 employees

The price should be lowered. It's a little expensive.

NETAPP HCI's solution is placed high in terms of its price.
The solution is aimed to Enterprise and SMB\SME organizations that require guaranteed performance in high capacity in minimum space.(dense solution)

Unfortunately , the price is the expression of solution.

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Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

I would like to have more variety, like GPU cards.

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Systems Platform Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I would like to see a better upgrade process, like the one that ONTAP has.

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Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The networking needs improvement.  There are a lot of cables, but I have been spoily by converged networking.  I guess the issue with the number of cables would also be evident in other HCI products.

In the next release, it would be nice if there were additional hypervisors supported out of the box. Currently it supports VMware but having end-to-end support for Hyper-V, KVM, Openstack and bare-metal would make it unique.  These other hypervisors would work (from my limited lab testing) but support would critical for production workloads.

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Storage Administrator at a tech vendor

I haven't used this solution long enough to know what needs improvement.

HCI has not enabled us to consolidate workloads or break down silos and has not increased application performance. It has also not resulted in more efficient use of compute resources.

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Learn what your peers think about NetApp HCI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
521,189 professionals have used our research since 2012.