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NetApp ONTAP OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

NetApp ONTAP is #2 ranked solution in top Storage Software tools. IT Central Station users give NetApp ONTAP an average rating of 8 out of 10. NetApp ONTAP is most commonly compared to Dell EMC PowerPath:NetApp ONTAP vs Dell EMC PowerPath. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 25% of all views.
What is NetApp ONTAP?

NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. We provide a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with our partners, we empower global organizations to unleash the full potential of their data to expand customer touchpoints, foster greater innovation and optimize their operations.

NetApp ONTAP Buyer's Guide

Download the NetApp ONTAP Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

NetApp ONTAP Customers

1&1 IONOS, Acıbadem Healthcare Group, Adder Technologies, Aero Vodochody Aerospace

NetApp ONTAP Video

Archived NetApp ONTAP Reviews (more than two years old)

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LC
Principal Systems Engineer - Datacenter Services at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Has high availability and enables us to centralize mission-critical applications on the MetroClusters

Pros and Cons

  • "The product allowsfor the centralization of large environments."
  • "Technical support is good but they can take some time on critical problems."

What is our primary use case?

We use pretty much every part of the product in our company. The core of our company is in the United States and Germany and we are using MetroClusters usually for that kind of workload.

How has it helped my organization?

The product helped improve the way our organization functions because we are able to centralize mission-critical applications on the MetroClusters. Previously they were spread out in our environment and now it is easier to use and administer them.

What is most valuable?

The high availability is one of the most valuable features. But it is also nice that it is easy to do snapshots and to recover things using SnapVault. Those are great features.

What needs improvement?

I think everything can be improved, really. The IT world is evolving all the time, so there's always a new challenge and always a new thing to improve. It is harder to say what that could be. In a perfect world, there should exist some kind of guide as to what kind of workloads you would be able to mix within the same cluster or aggregate. That would be something really good and useful for us because we have centralized everything in just one MetroCluster. Now we are not sure if that architecture is actually giving us a few headaches or if it is something different. We have more than 15 petabytes of space use and we have a really low percentage of failures. In the boxes that are not really I/O (Input / Output) intensive, they are working very well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The standard allowance for HA (High Availability) is really good. We do not have many usage problems with that. For the MetroClusters, we have had some problems with latency related to some calls on the backend. But besides that, it usually is a very stable environment in the MetroClusters.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We started with a two-node MetroCluster, then a four-node MetroCluster and then an eight-node MetroCluster. The eight-node MetroCluster is giving us a lot of headaches. The four-node MetroCluster — if it's correctly sized and configured — it is really good.

How are customer service and technical support?

Usually, technical support is really good. Most of the time they have a really good response. I really like the Zoom sessions because we can solve everything right away. That has been a great improvement from their support services.

We do feel that they have been supportive with the bigger issue that we had. In this case, we understand that a lot of people are involved. The thing is that I think there are some technical challenges for support and other cases being driven by the engineering level. So I know it is a difficult case and eventually, they will resolve it.

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

We never needed to invest in a new solution because we were always using NetApp. We were using Windows Servers before for NAS (Network-attached Storage) environments.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple. It is just making the purchase and getting up and running with a technician. We already have WFA (Workflow Automation) workflows for that and to deploy our standards, so it is quite easy. In just two or three days it was done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have to run proper procedures for discovery, so we invited every vendor in the market and then we continued working with them until we narrowed down the solution to only NetApp. The reason we ended up choosing NetApp is that it has great features other products don't have all of together. Features like Snapshot. 

The support is really good also. Usually, the releases of firmware are not that good because we usually get a lot of bugs that we need to address. We like the hybrid models and the all-flash modes. We have all kinds of sizes and flavors, but those are the ones that really work. We haven't implemented anything for block-level yet, but maybe in the future, that may be on our roadmap.

What other advice do I have?

The solution's Snapshot copies and VIN clones work very well and they are easy to use for recovery. We have a huge environment. We are running around 15 petabytes of data, so doing backups and restores is a daily job and these features have done marvelously for our environment. It speeds things up and it is really easy for us to manage, especially in that size environment.

Snapshot copies and VIN clones also affected our application development speed and made it way easier. We are not using containers so that has sped things up a lot. We love that feature, really.

Consistency of storage management affected our storage operations by helping to reduce our organization's data footprint. All the space savings — on-prem, of course, because we do not use the cloud — is honestly really good. Overall, we experienced around 30% savings.

Apparently we have a lot of latency but it is not related to the protocol. It is something within the operating system of data on top. It is still a question we have open with support and we have no answer so we do not know what the problem is yet.

On a scale of one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight. The eight is only because of the problems that we already had. We would expect that a MetroCluster would be able to provide huge performance and we had so far three outages during this year. That is quite a lot really. Overall I think it is still a really good environment and using NetApp has been a really good solution for us. But outages hurt our experience overall. It would be a ten for us if we had 100% uptime.

The advice I would give to people considering this solution is to be very careful about the kind of workloads they are running. Keep a really close eye on things. It is best to use all the features of NetApp rather than just buying isolated boxes.

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.
ErezShachaf
Storage Manager at Mekorot water company
Real User
Stable, easy to deploy and just works

Pros and Cons

  • "The product is stable, easy to deploy and it just works."
  • "We had a few small issues with setup, but once everything was done it just worked."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for Hyper-V, VMware, SQL, Enterprise Vault, and Commvault.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has improved the way our organization functions because everything is working so well and we don't have any disasters. Everything is perfect. Our SLA (Service Level Agreement) is in RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective). Everything just perfect. 

What needs improvement?

What I would like to see in the next release is the ability to combine all the clusters. Make it so that they will work not just pairs. If I have a four-node cluster, I want it to work for four and not just four pairs of clusters. This is what I am expecting as an enhancement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression of the stability of the solution is very high. We don't have any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the scalability of this solution is excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is amazing. Amazing-plus. Technical support always answers. Whenever I need them, they are there. I don't have to wait or waste my time to get the answer by email. I just call them and they answer, and they immediately try to help us. So, if there is a 1 to 10, the technical support is an 11.

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

We switched to this solution because we always believed that NetApp is the best company for storage solutions. I don't think they have a real competitor because they have the perfect solution that is what the end-user really needs. Everything from the software to the hardware is very good. Other competitors have similar solutions, but not the same solution or quality. They have the hardware, they have the technology, they have a protocol, but not all the protocols. NetApp actually thinks about what the user really needs to dive in deep. They know why, how to make the customer satisfied.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The technical guys came and deployed all of our operating systems. It was easy and maybe sometimes, not always, there was some small issue but in the end, everything is working very well.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use outside help. We did the deployment ourselves.

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

The cost of licensing for our company is really not that much. We are a big company but we only use Fibre Channel SAN (Storage Area Network) storage. We don't use the others. So actually we did not need to use all of the licenses. So, the cost is really average for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Other competitor solutions that we were thinking about was mostly Nimble Storage. But it is not like NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

We use the InLine Encryption solution for SnapMirror, SnapManager, SnapCenter, SnapMirror data protections, SnapVault, and that's all.

The Snapshot copies and Bin Clones solutions affected our application development speed because we run all this at the nights so we actually don't have any effects on performance. Even if we do it in the middle of the day, the users don't feel any latency. So everything is going well.

This solution has helped to reduce our organization's data footprint and reduced our organization's cloud costs by up to 100 K.

On a scale of one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a ten. There is no competitor like NetApp. You cannot compete with them because we have what we need and what we want and we are so satisfied that we are sure NetApp is the best solution for us.

The advice I would give to someone considering this solution is first to ask him what exactly the solution is that they are searching for. If I can see that they are using or considering a different solution that they think is like my solution, I prefer to invite them to come to our company and see how NetApp works. I would show them how the solution works and how it runs without any problems. If they want they can get full protection — the full self-confidence we call it. It is confidence that you are actually choosing the right tool and not just the vendor. They need to know the product is actually working. 

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.
Find out what your peers are saying about DataCore SANsymphony SDS vs. NetApp ONTAP and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Brad Schlicht
Infrastructure engineer at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Real User
Enables us to automate and I can use Ansible via API to automate our day to day tasks

Pros and Cons

  • "We've seen return on investment for ONTAP specifically on the performance recently. Where we had our file storage solution sitting on a hybrid storage solution and we were having continuous performance issues, as our workloads went up we were able to put in an 8300 all-flash array. Since we've put that in, we've been under one-millisecond latency, and that's allowed us to not have delays in some of our EDI transactions. Our end customer integrates and interfaces with that technology. Fewer outages equal more business, more profit, more revenue, and immediate ROI. We've been really happy with the new All Flash hardware solutions."
  • "Some of their products have been really good for us, on certain versions. We've run into a bunch of verts, though. That's NetApp's word for their bugs. Stability has been the main complaint that I've had with the product. Because it's so feature-rich and has so much software related to it, it does come with a decent amount of bugs so we do a lot of upgrades to patch bugs."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for ONTAP is for VMware. We also use it for exchange and file storage.

How has it helped my organization?

ONTAP's improving my organization by allowing us to automate. The ability to automate day to day tasks, when using NetApp storage, frees up more time for forecasting, troubleshooting, and more planning.

What is most valuable?

The primary features that are most important to me, currently for ONTAP, are stability, first and foremost, and the ability to automate. ONTAP offers me PowerShell cmdlets and I can use Ansible via API to automate our day to day tasks. Previously, it was all the other software like, SnapManager, and Snapshotting, which a lot of other vendors didn't have.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them have a continued focus on stability because there's so much software involved that it'd be really nice to just continue to have developers focus on that. It's the most important thing in the end, and other than that, I think they're working on a lot of the stuff that I personally am looking for, as well as more Ansible modules, and PowerShell modules.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some of their products have been really good for us, on certain versions. We've run into a bunch of verts, though. That's NetApp's word for their bugs. Stability has been the main complaint that I've had with the product. Because it's so feature-rich and has so much software related to it, it does come with a decent amount of bugs so we do a lot of upgrades to patch bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, for us, has been pretty good with ONTAP, since they went from 7-mode to ONTAP. Now that we can cluster environments, and have multiple nodes in the cluster, we've been able to scale to the point that our organization requires, as far as the capacity and performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't go directly to NetApp, but when we do interface with NetApp directly, we've had a pretty good support experience. There have been times where it's been difficult, depending on who's on staff at that time, and how long it takes to escalate. Recently, we've worked with our account reps, to nail down how to escalate immediately, and since we did that, we've had a lot better experience.

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

We knew we needed a new solution because I've always worked with NetApp, although we had another solution with a different company, and it came down to feature set. The solution we had didn't have SnapMirror, Snap plug-ins, and integration with VMware at the time, and  SRM. At that point, it was the feature set that made us switch over to ONTAP. At my current company, it's more of deciding to stay with the technology, and that's because of the existing feature set and ability to automate with it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. That's where the reseller provides a lot of value. They have access to NetApp tools. NetApp would also have access to that, but we tell them the requirements, and what we're looking for, and what we're using it for. They come up with config, we look over it, maybe make some changes, go back and forth, and then, come up with the final config. We've had a good experience with that.

What about the implementation team?

We used Datalink, and it's been okay. Mixed reviews with that. Delay in escalation is the only complaint there. Otherwise, they do provide additional stuff that NetApp wouldn't provide out of the box such as architecture and design help. In that aspect, it's been really great, but for support, it's kind of been easier just to go direct.

What was our ROI?

We've seen return on investment for ONTAP specifically on the performance recently. Where we had our file storage solution sitting on a hybrid storage solution and we were having continuous performance issues, as our workloads went up we were able to put in an 8300 all-flash array. Since we've put that in, we've been under one-millisecond latency, and that's allowed us to not have delays in some of our EDI transactions. Our end customer integrates and interfaces with that technology. Fewer outages equal more business, more profit, more revenue, and immediate ROI. We've been really happy with the new All Flash hardware solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate ONTAP as an eight. From 7-mode, they've come a long way, and I really like the features that they include. I'll give it an eight and not a ten because we run into a lot of bugs which have resulted in some issues, like outages, so I have to dock it there. As far as feature set and automation go it's a great product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
NM
Senior Storage Engineer at Cisco Systems, Inc.
Real User
You can scale it however you want, depending on your data center footprint

Pros and Cons

  • "You can scale it however you want, depending on your data center footprint."
  • "It takes them a few seconds to do a failover. I hope they can reduce this to milliseconds or at least drive it down to less than two seconds. Some of their competitors are already doing this."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it as a file-based solution. The majority of our business users are file-based. We're also using it for virtualization for backup storage. Its programs are very good.

We are also evaluating the All Flash FAS solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

The group that I work with is media-based, so we usually use large files as compartments. 

We do use ONTAP for our mission-critical applications.

We save space through deduplication. While it depends on the application that we're using, we can save anywhere from 2G to 3G, which is really good.

What is most valuable?

  • It is easy to manage. 
  • A novice can use it.
  • The Snap features of ONTAP.
  • It has all the good features that everyone wants.

What needs improvement?

It takes them a few seconds to do a failover. I hope they can reduce this to milliseconds or at least drive it down to less than two seconds. Some of their competitors are already doing this.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale it however you want, depending on your data center footprint. I don't see higher limitation for how far you can scale. It's the same interface so you don't have to worry about managing it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the tech support as a nine out of 10. We get the support when we need it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. We did not have to worry about the configuration, as NetApp comes in and installs it.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller, who was really good, for the deployment. 

What was our ROI?

We are seeing ROI from ONTAP. Within three years of using the products, we barely saw any complications with its usage. We have been using it for over ten years now.

ONTAP has helped our organization reduce its overall cost of storage (somewhere in the high millions).

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

    1. We receive the best support for a lower price point.
    2. The price point is very competitive and inexpensive compared to what you receive from other vendors in the market. 

What other advice do I have?

We just started knowing NVMe over Fabric. We haven't used it but I think it's a great idea. They are trying to make the data closer to the CPU, so it will give you more confidence.

Our approximate cost per IOP is $0.18 USD to $1.00 USD depends on the scale of the site. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
ITCS user
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Solution Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Gives us control of data in the cloud and allows us to pay for what we need

Pros and Cons

  • "Vauable features include the ability to manage our data anywhere, multiple consumption modes, and rapid deployment."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to manage data in the cloud.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has improved our mobility in managing our data anywhere and anytime.

    Also, because it is deployed and managed from NetApp Cloud Manager as a software-only solution on Amazon EC2 compute instances, managing Amazon EBS storage enables customers to build a virtual storage solution directly on Amazon resources.

    What is most valuable?

    • Total control of data in the cloud
    • Multiple consumption modes
    • Rapid deployment

    In addition, we have some databases hosted in this solution and are very impressed by the performance and speed of the solution.

    What needs improvement?

    The way you attach, move, migrate, and access LUNs is complicated, and if you do not know how to do it, it can be a great problem for your IT environment.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It can scale according to your IT needs.

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

    There are two consumption methods: pay as you go and subscription. Pay as you go is purchased directly from your AWS account and is charged either on an hourly basis or annually. It is a little expensive but worth it.

    Purchasing this solution through AWS Marketplace was secure. We purchased it there because we are AWS customers.

    What other advice do I have?

    In terms of other products it works with in our environment, we have only tried it with database workloads in AWS.

    I rate this solution at ten out of ten because NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP provides a level of flexibility that allows you to pay for what you need, when you need it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Rob Cargill
    Technical Director at Venn IT Solutions
    Video Review
    Reseller
    The stability, and the scalability, and the way it performs has been excellent

    Pros and Cons

    • "The stability of our ONTAP system has been awesome over the last four to five years, particularly with the software. The controls have been excellent as well. We recently went through a view of all of our systems and found a number of them had been up, over three years without any sort of reboots or downtime. We have been very happy with the stability of the systems."
    • "The additional features I would like to see in ONTAP, and NetApp in general would probably be the single pane of glass software. Over the years that's probably the biggest area that we've struggled with. NetApp has had a lot of good products, but a lot of them haven't necessarily seamlessly integrated with each other and you have to go to multiple management consoles to manage their software or their hardware. From a customer point of view, I think that single pane of glass where you could just add modules and enable functionality would be the most beneficial thing that NetApp could add."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use is predominately NFS data stores, iSCSI LUNs for SQL databases, and CIFS file share.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I think the biggest improvement we've had over the years where ONTAP has improved the efficiency of it. Organization is due to storage efficiency. They can do deduplication, which is greatly reduced our on disc storage. More recently compaction and certainly in the past have had compression. So the ability to use those compression techniques and then be able to mirror that to an external site and retain the compression techniques. The storage that it does save has been invaluable because we can then buy less storage, have less storage being transferred across the WAN, particularly where the DR sites, geographically dispersed over literally thousands of kilometers.

    We use ONTAP for our ERP. It's a mission-critical application that runs 24/7. It needs to be online and responsive all the time. Our last reboot of one of the applications, the server had been up 1200 days, and it was more of periodic maintenance. Since it had been up over three years we thought we might just reboot it just to be sure, but aside from that, it runs 24/7 on an SSD aggregate. Performance is great and stability has been awesome.


    We use ONTAP to clone databases and from those clone databases, we use data mining to pull out data from near real-time data sets. That's where the Snapshot and cloning features have come in.

    ONTAP has reduced our overall cost of on-premise storage tenfold. We were looking at upgrades and had to evaluate another vendor. Once we took into account the Snapshot and cloning capabilities that ONTAP gives us, we literally would have bought maybe ten to fifteen times the storage we're currently using in the other vendor's storage. Obviously, that wasn't going to be economically viable. The decision was made to retain the ONTAP code base and just upgrade the existing hardware.

    What is most valuable?

    Definitely the most valuable features for ONTAP that we've come across are the Snapshot and cloning technologies. We take regular scheduled snapshots and from that we provision clones to SQL databases, which means that we can run multi-terabyte databases within literally minutes and do data analytics against those databases, pull them all down, and restart that process as many times as we like. It's a great use case because we used to be able to do that process every one to two weeks, but due to the restore procedure it would take twelve to sixteen hours to get any of those databases out back. Now, we can provision that in literally minutes. We can run that process a lot more frequently and get the answers back a lot more often.

    We've been able to save a lot of space in our NetApp storage mostly due to the deduplication engine that runs. Particularly in our VM datastores, we're looking up to 70 to 80 percent of space efficiency being achieved through that. Add into that compression and now compaction with the new ONTAP version it's certainly pushing those figures more up to 80 to 90 percent.

    What needs improvement?

    The additional features I would like to see in ONTAP, and NetApp would probably be the single pane of glass software. Over the years that's probably the biggest area that we've struggled with. NetApp has had a lot of good products, but a lot of them haven't necessarily seamlessly integrated with each other and you have to go to multiple management consoles to manage their software or their hardware. From a customer point of view, I think that single pane of glass where you could just add modules and enable functionality would be the most beneficial thing that NetApp could add.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of our ONTAP system has been awesome over the last four to five years, particularly with the software. The controls have been excellent as well. We recently went through a view of all of our systems and found a number of them had been up, over three years without any sort of reboots or downtime. We have been very happy with the stability of the systems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability of the systems has been excellent since the introduction of ONTAP cluster mode. Traditionally we had 7-mode, and once we upgraded to cluster-mode and found that we can scale nodes transparently, moving volumes around without disruption to the core systems have been really good and makes migrations easy as well.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    NetApp Tech support has been very good on their ONTAP hardware and their ONTAP OS itself. The biggest area that we found it lacking is being around more of the support for the software the products outside of ONTAP, but the ONTAP support itself has been excellent.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate ONTAP around about eight out of ten. The main reason for that is because I believe nothing can have a ten out of ten. Nothing's perfect. There is always room for improvement. The only reason I don't give it a nine is multi-terabyte databases of regular support. The product itself now is excellent. The stability, and the scalability, and the way it performs has been excellent.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    David Boone
    Operations and Server Manager at Denver Health
    Video Review
    Real User
    NVMe works flawlessly and allows us the ability to manage our environment in a more rapid fashion

    Pros and Cons

    • "I would rate this solution a ten because of what NetApp provides us from a quality layout. The partnership that they provide us and their assistance is very important and the work that they communicate with us on a regular basis is outstanding."
    • "There is a lot a lot of functional integration that we look forward to for improvements. I'm learning where they're going and I'm very interested to see those improvements and how they can help us."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary purpose for NetApp ONTAP is for the MetroCluster. We have two data centers and we have it housed there for high availability and fault tolerance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Over the last five years of implementing a MetroCluster ONTAP, we've been able to improve and keep a high availability for our organization. In many cases, we reduced and minimized any downtime that happens given us a power or hardware failure we've been able to still keep our environment up and resilient.

    For our ONTAP mission critical we use about 85%. We also have Epic. Epic runs all on NetApp, and so we also have some critical clinical applications that run on NetApp. Those are highly available which allows the doctors to gain access to some very critical clinical applications that reside on our NetApp storage.

    If our data centers suddenly go down, we have two data centers, and we can fail over between either data center that is interrupted because of any scenario.

    For real-time analytics, we use our NetApp E-series. That houses and manages all of the analytics within our environment.

    From a space consumption perspective, because of all of the deduplication and the Snapshots that we're allowed to manage our infrastructure from a storage perspective, it's been really solid. I know we're about 50 to 60 percent deduplication on most of our storage, and it has allowed for storage continues to grow. As many times as I've looked at trying to reduce storage, we continue to consume our storage growth. The deduplication that NetApp provides has allowed that growth to be maintained and managed.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the biggest values that ONTAP provides is the ability to fail over between two data centers. Since we are a hospital, it gives us high availability and allows for us not only to failover in situations of a power outage, but also allows for us to do testing to ensure that the product is functioning properly.

    My impression of NVME is that it works flawlessly and it allows for us to be able to manage our environment in a more rapid fashion. For NVMe we've only partially just began to really start playing with it and test it. We're working on implementing on MetroCluster over IP. We haven't involved ourselves very heavily on it at this point in time.

    Because of the deduplication ONTAP reduces the footprint and makes the footprint much smaller.

    What needs improvement?

    There is a lot a lot of functional integration that we look forward to for improvements. I'm learning where they're going and I'm very interested to see those improvements and how they can help us.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is very strong. We had an issue and after FlexPod looked at the solution, FlexPod was running well. What is important is the partnership that we have with NetApp. While we were trying to identify a problem, even though the problem had nothing to do with NetApp storage, NetApp came in and helped us resolve that solution. They had a team come in, evaluate, identify where the problem actually was and gave us a fix for it. That was very critical given the situation of the outage that were occurring at the time.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability has been very, very good. We've had this product not only for Epic but also for our infrastructure for the last five years. The scaleup has been fantastic. One of the solutions that we're looking at to go to the MetroCluster IP is because over the last five years we have finally grown to the point where we're at our max. Either we have to build another cluster solution or revamp, modify, move forward, and so we're looking at the Metro IP Cluster to allow us to do that.

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

    We had a storage solution and during an investigation and a review of the solution, we analyzed the standards for what we were looking for. The fact was that we had virtualization VMWare, and the integration of NetApp gave us a FlexPod clone and the integration in the communication and having a one shop place for all of our troubleshooting and management, and coordination of those three different solutions made the best sense to go with NetApp.

    What about the implementation team?

    Initially, we had a reseller that we partnered with. They were instrumental in helping us build up the infrastructure. We also had a partner that also came in and helped us implement and build out the Epic environment as well.

    There is a lot of reporting which we work with NetApp on OCI and SnapManager. At this point, I'm just trying to really get a feel for what's our next event. I see where NetApp is headed when it comes to the reporting and integration  I'm looking forward to seeing what solutions they will present to us.

    What was our ROI?

    ROI is in line with many of the storage industries. We get a great reduction from our cost perspective in partnership. I would say that ROI is suffice.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at 3PAR, Dell EMC, and IBM to see which would be the best fit for us. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a ten because of what NetApp provides us from a quality layout. The partnership that they provide us and their assistance is very important and the work that they communicate with us on a regular basis is outstanding.

    I would tell someone considering this solution that there are many similar technologies. What I would recommend is to make sure that you have a great partnership with whomever you select. In my case, I recommend that you understand your business and make sure whoever you're going to select understands your needs and is willing to digest, make a sale but invest their organization and commitment to your organization. I selected NetApp because they have a true partnership with us.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Harikrishna Kamma
    Storage Engineer L3 SME at Dimension Data
    Video Review
    Real User
    ONTAP has improved my organization by lowering budget costs

    Pros and Cons

    • "ONTAP has improved my organization by lowering budget costs. Deduplication, compression, compaction, SnapMirror, SnapWall, the transaction happens from one to the other. It's serving our needs just as expected."
    • "If you do the initial setup manually, it is a bit difficult for someone who doesn't know."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for ONTAP is for all of the protocols we use like CS, NFS, EFC, ISKC.

    How has it helped my organization?

    ONTAP has improved my organization by lowering budget costs. Deduplication, compression, compaction, SnapMirror, SnapWall, the transaction happens from one to the other. 

    It's serving our needs just as expected. 

    What is most valuable?

    The best features within a database like data application, compression, compaction and SnapMirror, SnapWall, and encryption. 

    NVME over Fabrics in a next-generation feature, which gives even faster access to the data than what we have with our agencies. Then we have the SSDs. So, improving ONTAP is taking off. On day one, when NetApp started, the cluster there were not with all the features that were in the seven mode. Then, gradually, keep adding novice 9.3, 9.4. Most of the features are from 7.3. They also have additional features like encryption, compaction, which are not there as well. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has super stability, it works perfectly.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability so far is very good until it comes to the twelve node SAN, it only goes to 24 nodes. We have twelve nodes with ONTAP but it gradually has increased since the beginning. It has gone from two nodes to twelve nodes. 

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is super but the engineers are working on the technology and they themselves cannot address most of the issues. 

    How was the initial setup?

    If you do the initial setup manually, it is a bit difficult for someone who doesn't know. NetApp has a three-click implementation, it's so simple. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I wasn't really involved with the initial setup but I used to set up the ONTAP systems using all of the features like 7-mode and cluster mode. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    JP
    Manager at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The product is stable and reliable. We always have access to our files.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It most valuable feature is its stability. A product has to be stable."
    • "The product is reliable. We always want to have access to the files, and the system has to be up 99.9 percent of the time."
    • "It should release more cloud-centric products as compared to some of its competitors. We would like it to have the ability to run or manage a solution in the cloud. This would allow us to migrate our data on-premise to off-premise in cloud solutions."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is for storing flat files. The secondary use case is as a conduit for long-term archiving.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product is reliable. We always want to have access to the files, and the system has to be up 99.9 percent of the time.

    What is most valuable?

    It most valuable feature is its stability. A product has to be stable.

    What needs improvement?

    It should have the ability to be very agile and release more cloud-centric products as compared to some of its competitors. We would like it to have the ability to run or manage a solution in the cloud. This would allow us to migrate our data on-premise to off-premise in cloud solutions.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been good so far. We haven't had any major issues, which is what we want.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Our environment is large. We are managing over 10 petabytes of data, in terms of storage.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The support has been very good. Anytime that we have had an issue, they have been able to have a resource available to help walk us through problems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The integration and configuration were fine.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also evaluated Dell EMC VNX, as a storage solution. We did not chose them because of cost.

    We chose NetApp ONTAP because the price was most attractive and the support team was very good.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure you can to do a PoC onsite (or offsite) to ensure the product works for you.

    We are using the on-premise version, though we are looking for off-premise solutions from NetApp.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Peggy Balaberda
    Storage Tech at General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc.
    Video Review
    Real User
    With ONTAP we have more shelves, disks, aggregates, and dedupe savings

    Pros and Cons

    • "We over-allocate our aggregates and it still works, it's great, it's fun. We dedupe everywhere, we get huge savings. We went back and deduped the whole thing again, we could get more, so that's what we do. We go back and look to see if there's an option we can set and do it from the beginning, but still 13 terabytes, that's a lot of dedupe savings. Sometimes we get 50% or more in our savings, so we love dedupe."
    • "We're at 9.3 so when we go to 9.5 we would like the synchronous SnapMirror because our users would like that, especially the ones that do the conveyor belt of data. We'd like that."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use ONTAP to take care of the filers. We have quite a few filers and we use it to increase and decrease storage and make new volumes. All the stuff we use Data ONTAP for makes managing all the filers very easy to take care of.

    The reason that we use Data ONTAP for everything is that we have it on all of our systems, we have a lot of customers. We use it for our virtual environments in which we make a big data store. Our way to tell people is to just pop in VMs and they use it. We have a cloud environment and a lab environment. We either do NFS VM stores, people just pop in VMs or we put them on iSCSI, they connect to the VMs and poof they're there. We have NetApp and then the networking, so we're right on top as an oxygen service. It's used everywhere, production, development, whatever you got, we're there.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The way it has improved our organization is that we get a lot of requests for new volumes and new data structures. We go and talk to the user and tell them what we can do with it. We also find that we're a very diverse organization and they want to move data around. We provided SnapMirrors for them and they put data in one location and then we SnapMirror it to the other, and they can do their data. They get it, no need to worry about it. Just poof it's there. I call it the conveyor belt of data. You put it here, we snap it, it's here, it's available, and they love it. They love that feature and that they don't have to worry about shipping it, they don't have to worry about commissions, it's just there. They love the speed of use. 

    We look at the numbers because we make sure everything has been provisioned and deduped. There are other products that we've put into Data ONTAP. We have the OCUM, the On Command Unified Manager, which helps us figure out when we do things for Data ONTAP. We put all of our tools that go into Data ONTAP and we have the unified manager where we can see any of our alerts or anything. Then we can do our performance manager. All the tools that we hook into Data ONTAP make it very easy to run because it's a tool that can feed other products and it's the tools that we get from NetApp that makes it very easy to figure things out. It makes it more efficient, we can see things. People complain that their NAS is slow and we're able to bring up the performance manager. It makes life a lot easier because these are tools that we don't have to pay for. Management loves that, they're free tools, we just install them and away we go. 

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of use is the most valuable feature for us. We brought a new storage person online, he knew another product, we easily taught him what he needed to know using Data ONTAP. He came up quickly, became very valuable to our team because he could use Data ONTAP. It was poof, he was done and became a valued member of our team. It didn't take him months and months to spin up on the product, so it's very nice. It took longer to spend on all the names we had and where all of our locations were. Data ONTAP was no big deal for him.

    We know how much space we'll save. We have compression. Within provision and dedupe, one volume that we have problems with is we do 30% and it's around 12 terabytes. It's a very large volume and we dedupe everything and we get huge savings. We over-allocate our aggregates and it still works, it's great, it's fun. We dedupe everywhere, we get huge savings. We went back and deduped the whole thing again, we could get more, so that's what we do. We go back and look to see if there's an option we can set and do it from the beginning, but still 13 terabytes, that's a lot of dedupe savings. Sometimes we get 50% or more in our savings, so we love dedupe.

    What needs improvement?

    We're at 9.3 so when we go to 9.5 we would like the synchronous SnapMirror because our users would like that, especially the ones that do the conveyor belt of data. We'd like that. A lot of the other ones, I'd like just to see go to HCI, but that's just another investment to go to. I'd have to go back and look at everything else. For ONTAP 9, 9.5, we like to keep up with everything that's going on because we don't let anything lag too much.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is great. It's very stable. A couple of times we've had to reset some of the settings. We just go look on the web and it tells us that we just have to turn certain settings on or off and everything's back up for the web. That's the only time we've only not had the web interface come up, but all the other times it's there. If it's not there, the NAS is having problems, we have bigger problems than just ONTAP. Otherwise, ONTAP is very stable, it's always there. It's great.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    ONTAP scales because it's always on the NAS, and our NAS scales. Right now our business is growing so we keep hearing that they need more storage. We tell them that they need to buy some shelves and we just keep connecting shelves onto our NAS. With ONTAP we have more shelves, more disks, and aggregates. We just go click, click, click and it does, and we're good. It makes it very easy to use the product overall. It's not a big deal to scale out on Net App ONTAP. Then it tells you on the shelf, if the disk goes bad, ONTAP knows about it, it'll send auto support off to NetApp because we have the maintenance contract. Then NetApp points out that they need new shelving. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I'd rate it about a nine because I just don't want to give anything a ten. We love it. We also have production on the backup filers that we use. It's great, it's easy.

    I would advise someone considering this solution to take the classes and get some education. Especially if it's cluster because cluster's a little bit different, you need to know how to take care of that. Make sure you know all the networking parts of cluster ONTAP and go take the class and then implement it. Then if you have problems, call up and find out what the problem is and go forth and do it because it's great.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Oliver Fuckner
    Systems Administrator at Strato AG
    Video Review
    Real User
    Has reduced costs and we can move data around without any interruption

    Pros and Cons

    • "ONTAP has really reduced our costs because we learned that we could use our storage with fewer machines and drive down data center costs."
    • "cDot only scales to 24 notes so scalability should be better, bigger, but we are one of the only customers that are facing this problem."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for ONTAP is that our whole platform is running on ONTAP. We have all the client data that we're using on the files, in our data center.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's hard to say how this solution has improved our organization because we've been using it for 18 years now. It works great, it really does what it should and we've been really, satisfied customers. 

    Our whole platform is so big that this solution is mission critical for our company. We also have a metro cluster internally where our virtualization stuff runs on.

    ONTAP has really reduced our costs because we learned that we could use our storage with fewer machines and drive down data center costs.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are stability and performance, and that with the cDot feature we can move data around without any interruption. Also, the hardware maintenance is really, really, easy and fast. 

    We are discussing ONTAP for AI. We are having a look at it, but we haven't used it yet.

    We have been using deduplication on our web volumes and have seen about 25 to 28% data reduction. That's not that much because mail storage is pre-compressed by the clients, and we do not save anything there.

    What needs improvement?

    Synchronous NetMirror and FlexCache features will be back again. This is really great. It will help us be more efficient but it will take some time until it really comes down and we can use it.

    We hope that SSD's will be cheap enough so that we can consolidate and save reg space in the future.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is really great. It's awesome. Of course, we have hardware failures, but they really work great. The failover mechanisms do what they should do and, we are very satisfied with that.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    cDot only scales to 24 notes so scalability should be better, bigger, but we are one of the only customers that are facing this problem.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is mostly very fast. Our system account manager takes really great care of that. Sometimes, parts are shipped in the middle of the night, when nobody is on site which could be improved.

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

    Our FAS9000's do, 150,000 IOPS per head which is less than around one dollar per IOP.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a ten, especially the cDot version because it really helps focus on our real problems, and storage is, not the greatest problem anymore and really works great.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    James Warthen
    Unix Admin at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    MSP
    Enables us to file Linux symlinks in the Windows environment and is more cost-effective

    Pros and Cons

    • "Scalability is perfectly fine. Right now I only have the two nodes and one shelf. I'll be able to easily upgrade additional shelves. They gave me plenty of cabling when I got the unit so all I have to do is disconnect and reconnect the cabling and that's it."
    • "The initial installation could've been quite easy, but there was a lot of miscommunications with professional services and there are a lot of details that they didn't quite provide which caused a very complicated installation."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case is we have both Windows and Unix and they share file systems for compiling code. The big advantage with NetApp is the ability to file Linux symlinks in the Windows environment. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    When I came on board they had NetApp and ONTAP was old and the system was getting to its end-of-life and corporate wasn't sure which way they were going to go. They couldn't quite make a decision on whether to buy a very large unit or a small unit because we were gonna become a central hub. They decided to scrap, and what to choose landed in my lap. I decided to go with a smaller NetApp that would fit the main requirements that I needed NetApp for and I use other types of storages for VMware. My volumes, that are NFS and SIFS, there's a lot of stuff that's used both on Windows and Unix so I need the ability to maintain the permissions between the two. I get better security with ONTAP and I get better control of users space requirement because I have qtrees and quotas and then I have the masking of user accounts, NIS to AD. The other thing that's a really good bonus is that ONTAP has a deprecated NIS and a lot of other vendors are deprecated NIS.

    Critical applications are not as critical as like you'd normally experience because I am R&D and it is a production environment for R&D, but I have time to build a recover. I can recover hourly from snaps, everything else I recover from tape backup because my backup uses MDMP and it'll be just as fast as Snap and storage are cheaper.

    Cost of storage hasn't reduced but it's more cost effective because the very specific requirements drop the ball. Especially when it comes to user account translation from Unix to Windows. ONTAP and Dell EMC are the only two real vendors that know how to do that properly.

    What is most valuable?

    For me and my users, the most valuable feature is the ability to mask Unix accounts to Linux accounts.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability's perfect because I have two nodes, I'm not overloading the nodes because it's just R&D and it's very specific lines, so it's a lot of terabytes but we're not in petabytes. For what I do it's very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is perfectly fine. Right now I only have the two nodes and one shelf. I'll be able to easily upgrade additional shelves. They gave me plenty of cabling when I got the unit so all I have to do is disconnect and reconnect the cabling and that's it.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Tech support has been pretty awesome. The only thing is that 9.4 has been presenting a couple of challenges and there was one case, for example, where I didn't want Snaps. There's a command to be able to disable the scheduler, but with 9.4 that command doesn't quite work. I ended up using a workaround which tells the scheduler that it has zero snap capability on all snap jobs.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial installation could've been quite easy, but there was a lot of miscommunications with professional services and there are a lot of details that they didn't quite provide which caused a very complicated installation.

    What was our ROI?

    A lot of Windows builds have been failing simply because when they go through the file system they can't file the symbolic links that are created on the Linux file system. Now they will resolve because ONTAP supports that.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a ten. It's very easy to use. What I really like about it is it incorporates the same thing as CentOS and RHEL 7 which is the Tap commands. If you have an idea of what commands you want to use, you can tap through and figure out what you need without having to go and look for the full syntax.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RC
    Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It retrieves data quickly, but I would like the product to have SSD and deduplication features

    Pros and Cons

    • "When it accesses regular files, it does so as an NFS workload, which retrieves data quickly."
    • "Its typical use case is storing files and getting data, so it does its use case well."
    • "I would like to have deduplication and SSD features in the product."
    • "With our current use case, we will need something faster. E.g., if you have a huge scale, having SSD-based backup is better."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have use this storage appliance, which they have on-premise. It is for taking backup off onsite data. This is a storage and NAS device.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Its typical use case is storing files and getting data, so it does its use case well.

    What is most valuable?

    When it accesses regular files, it does so as an NFS workload, which retrieves data quickly.

    What needs improvement?

    The initial UI integration could be quite a lot better.

    I would like to have deduplication and SSD features in the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If you have huge data, you will see stability issues. Since we didn't have that data, our stability has been fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We previously haven't had a huge workload, so it scaled fine. Though, with our current use case, we will need something faster. E.g., if you have a huge scale, having SSD-based backup is better. 

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We did not contact technical support, as the solution was working fine.

    How was the initial setup?

    The integration and configuration are not straightforward. We had to read some documentation and receive support. A good UI may be helpful in resolving this.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at various Dell EMC products at the time and considered using VMAX. We also looked at Nimble Storage. For some reason, we did not look at Pure Storage.

    We chose NetApp because had some collaboration or a sales representative who approached us, then convinced us of the use case.

    What other advice do I have?

    Based on the use case, it can be a good product.

    We have just one application where we store data, and we haven't had problems with it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RS
    IT Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    FlexGroup is capacity-oriented enabling us to can keep extending the space

    Pros and Cons

    • "We are able to minimize the storage hardware. The compression and deduplication have helped reduce our overall cost of storage."
    • "I'm waiting for the NVMe, end-to-end."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for the security business. We use it mostly for capacity-oriented purposes, rather than performance-oriented.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's a major product for us. We are dealing with security stuff so the encryption features in NetApp really help, as well as the deduplication. We are able to minimize the storage hardware. The compression and deduplication have helped reduce our overall cost of storage.

    What is most valuable?

    The valuable features include replication, Snapmirror. That's really useful for us. Also, FlexGroup is useful as it is capacity-oriented, so we can keep extending the space.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm waiting for end-to-end NVMe.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been running for years and years and we haven't seen any issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. The NAS can expand to 24 nodes for the FAS series, and for SAN it can expand to 12 nodes.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have had to use tech support and the response has been good.

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

    We switched from our old solution because of the features. We went with NetApp because of the redundancy, availability, scalability, and cost.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was easy. It took just a few commands.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller. Our experience with them was good.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did a PoC with a few other products.

    What other advice do I have?

    ONTAP has been in use for over 25 years, that's one of the major advantages when compared to start-ups and other companies. It's also global, NetApp has support all over and, in case of an emergency, their response is good. When there is an issue, many people jump onto the call to try to resolve it.

    NVMe over Fabrics is margin-technology at the moment, but the future will be NVMe. All storage, end-to-end, will be NVMe protocol. The speed of NVMe is good. The current existing technology is SCSI-based, one command per Cube, but with NVMe you can run 65,536 commands in each Cube, meaning 65,536 Cubes. That is really fast. In terms of NVMe over Fabrics with existing Fibre Channel infrastructure, if the hardware supports it, it should be good. As the protocol improves, there should be end-to-end support for the NVMe protocol.

    We don't use this product for machine-learning, or AI, real-time analytics or other groundbreaking types of applications.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    SR
    Storage Engineer at a individual & family service with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    It helps us save money using compression and deduplication

    Pros and Cons

    • "You can add storage capacity on the fly with Clustered ONTAP. You can add nodes and increase the entire horsepower of ONTAP."
    • "With ONTAP, we have peace of mind with double-parity protector RAID systems. Therefore, we can sleep well at the night, not thinking about crashing a RAID, because it's secure."
    • "Technical support is hit or miss sometimes. Level 1 support is not very good. Level 2 and Level 3 (the escalation support) are very good. They are knowledgeable people, but sometimes you get some hiccup in the Level 1 support. After you pass Level 1, it is smooth sailing. There is a lot of room for improvement."
    • "I would like to see more integration of the features with the CIFS and SMB Protocols. We also want integration with iSCSI."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to store email files, mainly JPEGs.

    How has it helped my organization?

    With ONTAP, we have peace of mind with double-parity protector RAID systems. Therefore, we can sleep well at the night, not thinking about crashing a RAID, because it's secure. We are confident with the technology. 

    We use it for company websites using NetApp back-end. These are mission-critical applications.

    What is most valuable?

    • The capability to create no overhead Snapshots.
    • The capability to restore from Snapshots: file and add volume. 
    • FlexClone is a great feature. 
    • All the features are great with ONTAP.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more integration of the features with the CIFS and SMB Protocols. We also want integration with iSCSI. Right now, there are a lot of gap between some bleeding edge technology and the assembly protocols. Therefore, I want to see those areas improved in the future releases.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The data is always available. I haven't had a disaster using NetApp products, at least the NetApp FAS systems. It's very stable and highly protected.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You can add storage capacity on the fly with Clustered ONTAP. You can add nodes and increase the entire horsepower of ONTAP.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is hit or miss sometimes. Level 1 support is not very good. Level 2 and Level 3 (the escalation support) are very good. They are knowledgeable people, but sometimes you get some hiccup in the Level 1 support. After you pass Level 1, it is smooth sailing. There is a lot of room for improvement.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an in-house team for the installation, and it went well.

    In the past, we have used a reseller. Our experience with them was also good.

    What was our ROI?

    It helps us save money using compression and deduplication. No overhead snapshots and FlexClone (with no additional space) help us save space. We have been able to save about 50 percent of our space using ONTAP.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not consider anyone else besides NetApp.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are looking for something simple to manage, but an advanced storage array, NetApp is the way to go.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PG
    Chief Administrative Officer at a government with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Gives us the ability to upgrade easily and the scalability is good

    Pros and Cons

    • "We have been able to save about 10 to 15% on space using the space consumption features."
    • "They could also improve on their ability to back up storage."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for serving the file server files. File storage is for the member offices and accessing that data.

    How has it helped my organization?

    From the capacity perspective, it has helped us because of the thin volumes, deduplication, and compression features.

    What is most valuable?

    ONTAP provides the ability to dole out Qtree shares as needed. Team volumes is a benefit.

    What needs improvement?

    The cloud features, the ability to go into the cloud would be a feature I'd like to see improvements on.

    They could also improve on their ability to back up storage.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable. It has good monitoring tools to help monitor activity and take action if necessary.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is good. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We do look at tech guides and the Knowledge Base articles and then engage support. The account teams are always available.

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

    We were using Dell EMC. We did an initial evaluation with the reseller consultants, based on that we went forward. We wanted to diversify everything so that we could get more benefits from the features.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was good, flexible, forthcoming, and straightforward. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We used CopperTech. They were good to work with and very responsive. They look at every scenario.

    What was our ROI?

    The deduplication and compression features have helped us save storage costs.

    We have been able to save about 10 to 15% on space using the space consumption features. 

    What other advice do I have?

    The approximate cost per IOP is around 50 cents. 

    I would rate this product a nine because of its ability to upgrade easily and the scalability.

    Definitely look at the compression, deduplication, and the ability to grow into the cloud, consider any product that has these features. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JK
    Technical Analyst at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Incremental Snapshots keep us protected from ransomware attacks

    Pros and Cons

    • "One of the things I find most valuable is the way they do the Snapshots, taking incrementals at points in time... Often someone will say, "Hey, I deleted this thing yesterday, can you get this back for me?" It's good that we have all those incremental Snapshots at different points in time that we can refer back to, to get them whatever they need."
    • "It has also helped us reduce our overall cost of storage. Through dedupe and compression, we save a lot of capacity. Without that, we'd obviously have to buy more capacity. The last time I checked we were saving about 40 percent over our previous storage."
    • "They use a lot of PowerShell for managing things and there are still a few things that you can't do through PowerShell cmdlets that you can do in the native CLI. It would be nice if they got more of those added in."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's our main storage platform for our business applications. We have SQL and we do a lot of video editing. We also have a lot of media and sound data. Radio stations and TV stations keep some of their data on it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Primarily, I do the data replication, the disaster recovery. Often someone will say, "Hey, I deleted this thing yesterday, can you get this back for me?" It's good that we have all those incremental Snapshots at different points in time that we can refer back to, to get them whatever they need.

    Or we'll have someone download a virus, something malicious that corrupts a whole folder-tree of files. We can easily go back to right before they did that and just grab everything back. There are also ransomware attacks where they hold your data hostage by encrypting it. We can easily just go back and grab the data from before the attack. We can look back at the footprint and see when the whole tree was changed and restore the whole folder or the whole subset of folders. We might be down for two hours from it. An attack like that hasn't happened in the last nine months, but it has happened in the last two years.

    It has also helped us reduce our overall cost of storage. Through dedupe and compression, we save a lot of capacity. Without that, we'd obviously have to buy more capacity. The last time I checked we were saving about 40 percent over our previous storage.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the things I find most valuable is the way they do the Snapshots, taking incrementals at points in time.

    We just upgraded to 9.3, which is not the latest version, and it has some adaptive QoS built in. We have been using WFA for that. I'm interested in checking that out. I'm really glad they added it.

    What needs improvement?

    They use a lot of PowerShell for managing things and there are still a few things that you can't do through PowerShell cmdlets that you can do in the native CLI. It would be nice if they got more of those added in.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable as well.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The tech support is really good. We go through a support provider, Datalink, and those guys are really good. Anything that they don't have immediate knowledge of will be quickly escalated to NetApp and they're really quick about getting an engineer on it and getting us a solution. If we need a part replaced - of course, it depends what level of support we have for that particular system - everything is usually pretty quick.

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

    In terms of a previous solution, when I joined this team they were already using NetApp. We did upgrade our controllers from 6290s to the 9000 but that was because of the age of the system. It was out-of-support and the support cost to maintain them got higher and higher as the years rolled by. It was cost-effective to invest in a new controller.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn't part of this team when they initially set up all the storage, but we've had some upgrades, and we've gotten new controllers and added them to the cluster, and taken some out. All of those steps have been really straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our reseller is Datalink and our experience with them has been really good. We've used them for several years. They negotiate really good prices for us and they give us really good support. If we need someone at a remote site, they'll schedule someone to support us at that site.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't handle the numbers, but the biggest ROI, to me, would be the ease with which we have our data protected.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did look at Pure Storage and they were comparable in performance but they didn't have as many features. The gain in performance, for us, didn't offset the loss of the features, coupled with losing the relationship, or hurting the relationship, that we have with NetApp and Datalink.

    The Pure system didn't have a way to do the iSCSIs that we need to use, and the impact to the relationship, to have a one-off system that didn't match the rest of them, didn't seem worth it to us.

    What other advice do I have?

    In terms of NVMe over Fabrics, we no longer have any Fibre Channel. That was all phased out before I got on the team. In general, NVMe over Fabrics is good, it's quick. We aren't yet using machine-learning, AI, or real-time analytics but that is something we're looking into.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    TG
    Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    Switching workloads from one data center to the other has been great. We have had some issues with the architecture, because of the complex setup with the MetroCluster.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We have been using it for our entire environment, so we use it in file shares and in our VDI environment, at least for user data. That has reduced our user login times by about 50 percent."
    • "Going forward, I want to see a simplified deployment and more straightforward recommendations on what is required for it."

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have been using it for our entire environment, so we use it in file shares and in our VDI environment, at least for user data. That has reduced our user login times by about 50 percent. This has helped, and probably been one of the biggest benefits that we've recently seen, getting people's logins down to 45 seconds from more than two minutes. It's helped with our backups times, and keeping our backup windows in compliance.

    What is most valuable?

    The main thing has been performance, but we're hoping that we also get there on the reliability section (with the MetroCluster), so we don't have any disasters. The performance has been so good on it. Even some of their tests that we're doing, switching workloads from one data center to the other, has been great.

    What needs improvement?

    While its performance has been great, the configuration with the MetroCluster has been a bit of a headache. We've been working through it. However, it's a bit of a tedious process. With the MetroCluster, in theory, we should have good reliability. We have been having some issues just the finishing the configuration. Some of our DR tests have been not successful, so it's been a little troubling.

    We have had some issues with the architecture, because of the complex setup with the MetroCluster. While it is getting there, we've had problems. We've had some outages trying to get the system up, so it hasn't been very good, but I'm hoping we get there. This does not seem like it's necessarily a NetApp issue, but the architecting of it has been a little rough.

    Going forward, I want to see a simplified deployment and more straightforward recommendations on what is required for it. They're a little vague, and we've had some issues where we would like to have a tool that can scan the environment and find issues before deployment, fixing issues. So, when we're deploying it, we're not running into problems. Simplification would definitely help.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system stability has been good. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't had it too long, so we haven't needed to scale it up. It does look pretty easy. We have MetroCluster, then we have the All Flash FAS and the new 8200 hybrid. 

    We've been able to scale out the 8200, which has been beneficial, as we offload some of the older, slower storage to it. We have quite a bit of room to grow by adding new nodes into it. Right now, we only have two-node clusters, which have been great to upgrade, and not an issue.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has been good, but since we're using MetroCluster IP, we've been a little bleeding edge. This has been a bit of a problem because there are not as many people who are knowledgeable in it. We have had some issues getting people who have good knowledge on the subject, which has been why we've had some of the issues that we've had. A lot of it is just foundation and architecting. We've had some issues with existing equipment compatibility issues that we didn't really discover in the initial planning. The technical support has been good, but it has been a bit of a slow process.

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

    We ran out of space with our old storage. We didn't have any full DR redundancy because we didn't have enough space to do a DR scenario. The main reasons to upgrade: Not enough space, we needed to upgrade, and NetApp happened to be a cheaper solution than some of the competitors.

    We migrated from Dell EMC storage, where did have some issues with capacity in the IOPS, and NetApp was the cheapest solution. We got more performance and bang for our buck, so we moved over to the NetApp All Flash system. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty simple, just for the basics. However, when we tried to scale out and run it in production, that's when we ran into issues. Because we were sold Fibre Channel MetroCluster, then that ended up not working for our situation, we had to buy more equipment and switch it over to MetroCluster IP. This was smooth at first, but then the deployment on production was much longer process.

    What about the implementation team?

    All the support and deployment has been primarily from NetApp. We do have a consultant who has been assisting with some of the networking pieces, but most of the actual storage is all done with NetApp. While they've been knowledgeable, it's a complex configuration, and sometimes we've had some issues with them giving us solid answers on which direction we should go. They'll help us do something, but they don't want to give too much architecting information. That's been a bit of a headache for us. They said it was going to take 60 days, and it's been six months and we're still not fully rolled out.

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

    We went through a reseller to buy the solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at just Dell EMC and NetApp. Those were the two main choices, as they are similar products with similar performance. We could see Dell EMC was definitely more expensive, but it also had a more complex configuration. On paper, NetApp seemed cheaper and a bit simpler, which was one of the main reasons that we moved over. The performance for cost ratio was really interesting.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend doing your homework and make sure the environment is prepped before getting it set up. Make sure you have any prerequisites and your equipment's compatible: The distance between data centers is the networking pieces being compatible with the all-flash MetroCluster. If you have any issues there, you're going to have constant headaches with the configuration. The main piece is make sure you have all your ducks in a row on your networking gear, make sure it's compatible, and fix the issues early before you start deploying.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user834939
    Senior Architect, Cloud Computing at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It is very stable and never crashes. However, it doesn't scale horizontally.

    Pros and Cons

    • "If you lose connectivity, it has one-sided redundant connectivity on the back-end for shelves, which is good."
    • "There is a faster release cycle now. Also, they are doing all types of cool stuff in their cloud volumes, replication, and tiering."
    • "It doesn't scale horizontally since there are a limited number of shelves."
    • "The lack of an API is a big thing for us that needs to be improved. It needs proper API support."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to manage storage for our customers. 

    Our customers use it for mission-critical applications, such as backup circuits.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use ONTAP as a managed storage for customers. It helps our customers with all its features.

    What is most valuable?

    There is a faster release cycle now. Also, they are doing all types of cool stuff in their cloud volumes, replication, and tiering.

    The fabric pools in the newer version is cool, though we don't use it yet. It provides tiering to cloud and fabric pools.

    What needs improvement?

    • We would like full automation of deployment.
    • The ability to scale out.
    • The lack of an API is a big thing for us that needs to be improved. It needs proper API support.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable and never crashes. During maintenance, it's easy to do. If you lose connectivity, it has one-sided redundant connectivity on the back-end for shelves, which is good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It doesn't scale horizontally since there are a limited number of shelves. Other NetApp solutions are way better at scaling. This needs improvement since the future is in scaling horizontally, similar to what SolidFire does.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    NetApp's technical support is always perfect. They go above and beyond when trying to help.

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

    We generally upgrade when a solution is end of life or moving out of support.

    How was the initial setup?

    With older versions, it was a little complex at some point, but this was back in the day. It's still a bit challenging, but when you have the right versions, it's straightforward. 

    We're trying to automate the deployment process, and as far as I know, you cannot do that with ONTAP systems today. This may not be true with the newest 9.4 or 9.5 systems. 

    What makes it complicated, there is no API available to automate a task. Now, they have released a lot of Ansible playbooks to automate a deployment, which might have significantly improved it, but I have not had a chance to try them.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did the deployment ourselves.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend ONTAP, because I like the platform. With the most recent stuff, like the fabric pools which blow my mind, it is a really good solution.

    There is something interesting stuff coming out in the future, like NVMe over Fabric, which has a different rate over Fiber Channel.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Miguel Gonzalez
    Senior Engineer at Alliant Credit Union
    Real User
    It's more intuitive to use as they are moving away from command line into more graphical interfaces, but they need to improve stability

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's more intuitive to use as they are moving away from command line into more graphical interfaces, which are somewhat easier to use."
    • "There is room for improvement in the stability. They have been trying to become simpler, and as a result, there have been road bumps along the way. I have personally experienced this."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's our enterprise storage solution where we keep 95 percent of our data.

    We use it for our mission-critical applications: All our SQL, Exchange, data warehousing, and anything with heaving I/O processing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our company has grown so fast, we spend more in the process. At the same time, we have been able to shrink due to technologies, such as deduplication and compression.

    We've been able to keep up with the demands of our business in terms of both performance and storage. Whenever the business needs something, we add it right away. Whenever they say, "Hey, we're gonna throw some big load at you guys. Can you this handle it?" We say, "Yeah, the system can handle it."

    What is most valuable?

    It's more intuitive to use as they are moving away from command line into more graphical interfaces, which are somewhat easier to use.

    What needs improvement?

    There is room for improvement in the stability. They have been trying to become simpler, and as a result, there have been road bumps along the way. I have personally experienced this.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have experience a number of bugs recently. The company has also gone through recent changes which has affected stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales pretty well. It has a cluster interface connection with multiple systems clustering across the board. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They are pretty good when it comes to critical support. Technical support is something they're still working on, but the critical support is good. The critical support will get back to you quickly and stay with you, so you always know who you are dealing with.

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

    The performance was really bad on our previous solution. When we did an analysis with our tools, we saw how bad the storage performance was. It was a ten-year-old system. It was meant to run for a small company. It was never meant for where we were at the time.

    Compared to what we had in the past, ONTAP has given us both visibility into performance, as well as, adapted to different changes. Where as before, we had a system that we couldn't do much with.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex compared to what we had, since it does more. When we bought it a couple of years ago, it was more complex. Now, they are trying to become simpler at the setup.

    The initial setup took a lot of steps. You had to know a lot of what had happened throughout the process. There were a lot of steps involved, where as now, they're condensing the amount of steps involved. Plus, its more graphically-driven now rather than being mostly command line.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used two different consultants: 

    1. We had one vendor for the architecture of the high-level stuff.
    2. The other consultant was more to come in and fix it up or do the hardware physical stuff. 

    We picked the best out of both.

    What was our ROI?

    With the duplication and compression, we have been about a one and half to two times savings since we are not running all-flash.

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

    It pays to get the Cadillac. That's what we call ours.

    Don't undersize it. We undersized our first one and ended up having to get rid of it, then buying a new one. We lost money in the process. We should have paid for more than what we needed at the beginning.

    What other advice do I have?

    NVMe over Fabric is considered the next generation of storage in terms of how fast things move.

    Our company chose this solution because they've known it from the past.

    We are still looking into machine learning, AI, and real-time analytics.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PM
    Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It allows us to scale and grow as needed and also be flexible in the way we operate

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's easy to failover and failback"
    • "ONTAP allows us to scale and grow as needed and also be flexible in the way we operate."
    • "It should be easier to put in tech support cases. They should streamline the online support and chat."
    • "They should make the storage arrays more easily tied to your accounts."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a storage provider for a government entity. We serve data to profilers and other government entities.

    How has it helped my organization?

    ONTAP allows us to scale and grow as needed and also be flexible in the way we operate.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are:

    • It's scalable.
    • It's easy to failover and failback.
    • There's no downtime.

    What needs improvement?

    They should make the storage arrays more easily tied to your accounts.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable, and definitely become more stable over time. When Clustered Data ONTAP first came out, there were quite a few bugs. However, with the latest releases, we have been pretty happy.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. We're happy with it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It should be easier to put in tech support cases. For example, sometimes you have to call in for a bad disk. You have to stay on the phone for 20 minutes to speak to a person just to get a new disk. They should streamline the online support and chat. 

    Most people wouldn't have this problem, but we have multiple site numbers we have to deal with. A lot of times it's just easier to go through the 20-minute conversation than trying to find for them the specific storage problem.

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

    Over time, systems age and the amount of FAS that you could fit into a rack three years ago was a lot different than what you can now. We needed to find something flexible which allows us to customize solutions as we go.

    How was the initial setup?

    NetApp is typically more complex than normal storage systems. I like it though. There's a lot more granularity and you can configure it the way you want it. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We used Professional Services, and we do it on our own as well. So far, our experience with Professional Services has been great. We're still in the process. They give us guidance. We have our own way that we like to deploy, but it's nice to have their input and information. Just having them there to be able to bounce an idea off of is helpful.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI as we can fit a lot more storage in one rack.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We use multiple different vendors for different scenarios.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm pretty happy with ONTAP.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    NS
    Senior Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It is able to store a lot of data and can be managed with fewer people

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is able to store a lot of data, and we can manage it with fewer people."
    • "Technical support has gone down in my perspective. When getting to the root cause of issues, they need to respond faster."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for storing unstructured data.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is able to store a lot of data, and we can manage it with fewer people.

    What is most valuable?

    • Snapshot
    • Availability
    • Performance

    What needs improvement?

    Generally, their products are good when they come out of the gate. However, what would be good is when we uncover new issues, if those could be addressed quickly. 

    We would like to see SnapMirror encryption in the next release and have better access to feature development.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is generally very stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has gone down in my perspective. When getting to the root cause of issues, they need to respond faster. Also, they need to respond quicker to bug fixes.

    There have been some changes internally at NetApp. Currently, we are moving to a different level of support which will hopefully fix our issues with it.

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

    We use NetApp products. If we switch products, it is because the product does not perform or is not keeping up with its competitors in terms of cost.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did the deployment ourselves. Deployments are easy, but NetApp could make it easier.

    What was our ROI?

    Return on investment has been good.

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

    There are specific workloads where some vendors provide better value, but in general, NetApp has done a far better on price than other vendors.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have used Hitachi and Dell EMC, but we use NetApp the most.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good, market-leading product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    VR
    Storage Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Queries are being completed in less time, but the initial setup is too complex

    Pros and Cons

    • "Queries are being completed in less time. For example, we have seen a three times improvement when it comes to running a query. If query used to take an hour, now it takes 10 to 20 minutes."
    • "The compression works well. We get a 3:1 ratio."
    • "We would like to be able to provide feedback immediately after receiving technical support."
    • "The initial setup is too complex. It should be one click. Anyone with basic knowledge of storage should be able to set it up. Instead, there are too many moving pieces."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this storage device for databases, storing databases, and VMware. When it comes to databases ,we have Oracle, SQL, and mission-critical applications. Therefore, we need very good response times, and we get very good response times from NetApp All Flash systems.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Queries are being completed in less time. For example, we have seen a three times improvement when it comes to running a query. If query used to take an hour, now it takes 10 to 20 minutes.

    What is most valuable?

    • It does both file and block storage.
    • The compression works well. We get a 3:1 ratio.

    What needs improvement?

    • We would like to be able to provide feedback immediately after receiving technical support.
    • Make it a simpler. Our entire industry is moving towards simplicity or automation, we spend a lot of time doing storage allocation. It's too complex.
    • Have integration with other storage providers. 
    • I would like cloud integration where we can send data to the cloud. Engineers should be able to click on one button (integrated with their phones), and move the data from NetApp to cloud.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's a stable product. So far, we have not seen any issues. It has worked as expected, meeting our expectations.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales up, so I don't see any issues with scaling the system.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    When it comes to support, we usually go into NetApp chat and request help. Most of the time, our interaction with their support is nice and they are willing to help.

    Sometimes, you have a team of people, where 10 or 15 people are working, and you are not going to get the same result from everyone. It happens when we call support sometimes that we do not get what we need, then we work with the manager.

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

    ONTAP has helped us reduce the cost of storage by a lot. We were using IBM XIVs (hybrid system) and were paying high costs, except for the maintenance. Now, we are on all-flash and we pay less than what we used to pay.

    ONTAP is an operating system, but we also wanted to invest in all-flash. We evaluated multiple products and we liked ONTAP's performance and its cost.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is too complex. It should be one click. Anyone with basic knowledge of storage should be able to set it up. Instead, there are too many moving pieces. You have to do plaster configuration, north configuration, and port configuration, and these things should be fully automated. Customers should be answering a few questions and system should be ready for application on user portals.

    What about the implementation team?

    The overall implementation was done by a reseller, IS. 

    What was our ROI?

    We see ROI, but I was expecting more. Right now, what happens is I have a team of 10 or 12 people, and the investment is going into managing them instead of doing something new.

    Moving to all-flash from hybrid, we brought the response time down from 10 milliseconds to some milliseconds.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Pure Storage and NetApp. Cost was a value factor in selecting NetApp.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are in a testing phase at this moment for machine learning, AI, and real-time analytics . We have a team who is testing Docker on this.

    In future, we will be using NVMe over Fabric. At the moment, we are still immature.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SR
    Systems Architect at University of San Diego
    Real User
    It is very reliable. We have not lost one byte of data.

    Pros and Cons

    • "My experience with NetApp is its very easy to learn and intuitive. I can figure out just about everything."
    • "I wish tech support would be better. I wish I could talk to somebody more easily and qualified, because this is way it is supposed to be.."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have about 500 volumes that I manage, and I love it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's a good thing to have a reliable storage. Our whole business relies on it. Our two main mission-critical systems, which are EBS system (Oracle Financials) and Banner, which is our database for student services, are stored on NetApp. We need it to be reliable, efficient, and quick, which it is. 

    They run on AIX and are stored on ONTAP.

    What is most valuable?

    My experience with NetApp is its very easy to learn and intuitive. I can figure out just about everything. 

    I love the System Manager. I don't even need to remember commands. I love its ease of use.

    What needs improvement?

    I wish tech support would be better. I wish I could talk to somebody more easily and qualified, because this is way it is supposed to be. At the moment, you talk to an entry level people, and sometimes they know less than you. You waste two to three hours with them. Finally, they send you to a higher level person who  knows something. This is something many companies need to improve.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very reliable. We have not lost one byte of data. There was even an occasion about three months ago where one of my nodes went down. It was recovered and nobody even noticed.

    I don't worry about stability. Even when a disc goes bad, I know it will replace itself. NetApp will send me an email, “We'll send you this tomorrow.”

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is very good. Now that we have an AFF A300, it will be even better. You can add more to storage on live. Before, when we had the 3220s, you only had two nodes, so you had to buy another two nodes to scale. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Sometimes, tech support is slow to answer. However, I'm seeing this as a trend in all companies, even IBM.

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

    I've been using ONTAP for about ten years. I started with the 3140s, then went to the 3240s, and now, I just upgraded to the AFF A300. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I went from an 8.17 node to 9.3 cluster nodes. This was a big change. I still have a lot of things to learn. For example, the migration was done using the 7-Mode migration tool, which was tough.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller for NetApp for the deployment. They were good.

    What was our ROI?

    I have been able to save space using ONTAP, particularly now on the new system. By default, you get compression, deduping, etc. We have saved at least 20 percent in terms of space.

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

    We received a super deal for our new machine, so we were happy with the price.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not consider anyone else. I love NetApp.

    There are some new companies out there, but you take a chance on them. With mission-critical systems, you need a stable company. You cannot play around. NetApp systems will work when things go wrong.

    What other advice do I have?

    My experience with ONTAP has been very good. It is very reliable.

    I might use ONTAP for machine learning. AI. and real-time analytics in the future. Next year will be very interesting as we upgraded to an AFF A300, so that's a new ballgame. I wouldn't mind getting into the cloud.

    I am not using NVMe yet. Maybe next year, I will venture into that. I am only using Fibre Channel and iSCSI right now.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    BW
    Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    new release has a lot of features that save us space and costs

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's very fast, NetApp is always dependable, so if we have an issue, they're very responsive."
    • "They could lower prices so my management doesn't complain about cost"

    What is our primary use case?

    I work for an oil and gas company. We go out to the field and get oil from the ground. The primary use case is for development and preparation for production. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We're able to gather information, and put it all together to find out where the best place to drill would be. Also, speed. Our databases work a lot faster, probably 18 or 20 percent faster than previously. The speed has increased the performance. 

    My colleagues get their information files without bringing down SQL.

    What is most valuable?

    It's very fast, NetApp is always dependable, so if we have an issue, they're very responsive.

    The new release has a lot of features that will save us space and therefore, money. The inline deduplication and compression are really nice. 

    What needs improvement?

    They could lower prices so my management doesn't complain about cost. Other than that, I'm always happy with the releases. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's 100 percent. We've never had any issues with it. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's 100 percent. It's easy to add additional storage disks. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate tech support at nine-plus out of ten. It's not a ten because I have to wait when I call. I can wait for 20, 30 minutes before I get to somebody who can actually help me. Normally NetApp identifies the issue before I get out of bed and has a solution already planned. 

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

    We were coming to end-of-life with our old solution, and this was the next generation that was available, so we would have upgraded regardless. This was the best option.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward. It's built on previous NetApp operating systems. I understood it without knowing the new generation. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We used NetApp Professional Services, and it was very good. I worked with them beforehand and gave them my plan. Any corrections were made beforehand. We've done it twice and it's been very good.

    What was our ROI?

    I know they have saved time, and time equals money. We also have more space in the data center. It's a smaller footprint by half a rack. That's a lot less money and a lot less cooling.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Dell EMC, but we would never go with them. They don't have good support and it's gotten worse over the years since Dell and EMC merged. Instead of two bad support systems, they have now combined it into one huge, bad support system. NetApp's technical support and proven stability are a lot better than them. We've been using NetApp for around 15 years and we've always had good results with it.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's an advance from what we used before, and a lot faster. It doesn't take a lot of learning to start using it.

    Take a look at NetApp and get the Professional Services involved. If you're coming from a different vendor, they'll be able to assist with getting the data moved over. That would be my main point.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Ernesto Silvera
    Pre Sales Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Efficiency Of This Solution Has Reduced The Amount Of Storage Our Customers Need

    Pros and Cons

    • "They always have new solutions for their customers. They also have good integration with other partners like Microsoft, VMware, and Oracle."
    • "If the customer wants to integrate with another product they need deployment guides."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a NetApp distributor. We offer assistance for banking solutions, energy companies, and companies that do retail.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We distribute Netapp as well as a variety of other products, like VMware, for example. We use all our products to provide our customers with a whole solution.

    What is most valuable?

    Efficiency. We have found that its efficiency has reduced the amount of storage that the customers need, while keeping the same amount of data. 

    They constantly develop new features that provide the customers with ways they can better use the system.

    What needs improvement?

    Deployment guides. If the customer wants to integrate with another product they need deployment guides.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has almost 100% stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is very scalable. We have found that the ability to add other nodes to the online cluster during production has been really useful for customers.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    NetApp has very good technical support across all of their products. They have many ways to contact support and you receive support almost instantly.

    The customers like the support as well. The customer has on-site support with a four-hour response. They always have support as they need it.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. It's easy to deploy.

    What about the implementation team?

    I'm a presales engineer. The way that I help customers is by architecting their infrastructure which helps them to decide which is the best solution for them. I also help plan the future of their infrastructure, the way they're going to be expanding the systems or the way they're going to renew their systems.

    What was our ROI?

    With the efficiencies of NetApp, the customer is going to be able to reduce the amount of storage they need. This is the way that the customer assesses the amount of money they invest in the solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I think because of the integration with the other products we sell, like VMware, for example, that's why they have us use NetApp as a storage solution. We sell a lot of security products that have integration with NetApp and we also have integration with Microsoft and VMware which have integration with NetApp.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's an excellent product. They always have new solutions for their customers. They also have good integration with other partners like Microsoft, VMware, and Oracle.

    Compared with their competitors, NetApp has a good advantage with their new development and new functionalities. The new platforms are competitive with other storage solutions. NetApp has better integration with all their solutions. They have only one interface for all their products as well as the same operating system. It's really easy for the customer to handle and to administer the solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    YM
    IT Manager at a non-tech company
    Real User
    The disks are stable and our data is safe

    Pros and Cons

    • "If we want to change things in models, such as add, replace, and adjust to another client, it is very easy."
    • "They have very good tech support who always answers our questions and troubleshoots our issues. They're great."
    • "I would like more security against the malwares, spyware, and ransomware. I feel like ONTAP is a bit lacking in this area."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is the easiest way to backup, restore data, and access data along with keep it secure. It has an easy interface to manage all the data.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has made it easy to deal with the scalability in our organization along with the mass increase of data. We avoid loss of important data and can recover it completely. NetApp has made this challenge for us easy.

    What is most valuable?

    • Saving data and backing up it, up to the minute.
    • 100% guarantee restoring data. 
    • Saving money because of the dedupe technologies.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more security against the malwares, spyware, and ransomware. I feel like ONTAP is a bit lacking in this area.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. You can trust NetApp almost 100% that it will work fine. The disks are stable and our data is safe with NetApp.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    If we want to change things in models, such as add, replace, and adjust to another client, it is very easy. This is a good thing.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They have very good tech support who always answers our questions and troubleshoots our issues. They're great. It is easy to escalate, and they have friendly people. They will help you all the time, every hour in a day.

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

    NetApp was our first storage solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used Encore Technology Group. Our experience was not very good as they lost data, which was a critical mistake for us. They also did not respond in time.

    What was our ROI?

    Because of the dedupe technologies and Data ONTAP servers, we have saved 20% on hardware. This is a lot of money for us.

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

    While it is going to cost a lot of money, their technologies is worth it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also considered HPE and IBM, but NetApp was the cheapest, friendliest, and most accessible.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is friendly to use and manage. They are very good in backup and restoring 100% of things up to the minute. It's very easy for regular users. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MV
    SAN Engineer at American Express
    Real User
    It is easy to migrate data from one storage array to another storage array using SnapMirror technologies

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is easy to migrate data from one storage array to another storage array using SnapMirror technologies."
    • "If they could come up with some more automation, this would be helpful."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for the cloud and storage: NAS and SAN.

    What is most valuable?

    • SnapVault
    • Snapshot
    • Deduplication
    • The replication progress
    • It is easy to migrate data from one storage array to another storage array using SnapMirror technologies.

    What needs improvement?

    If they could come up with some more automation, this would be helpful.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have never had an outage.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. You can expand the storage with disks, which is good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't had to contact technical support, but their support is 24/7 if I needed it.

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

    We were previously using NetApp MetroClusters. We have tested in the lab, NetApp MetroClusters, and have run into issues. I have come up with tie breakers, which are like witnesses our virtual storage arrays. One storage fails and another storage array will be active all the time. In this case, if a tie breaker is down, NetApp doesn't know how to deal with the data. It gets confused. NetApp should come up with a solution for this, such as a physical witness.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very easy. It's not complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used NetApp for the deployment. They know how to deal with issues and follow best practices. It's always better to have them install the storage.

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

    With other vendors, we need to buy a separate license for a third-party storage, but with NetApp, you don't need to buy a license, as it will come up with the storage. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I can recommend NetApp. If you need a solution, use NetApp.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    HS
    Lead Systems Engineer at CACI International Inc.
    Real User
    It has the ability to tailor tiers according to what we need and put the right services in the right place

    Pros and Cons

    • "It is very easy to scale, so we started with a four-node cluster and added it to a six-node cluster. We've also done some other modifications in between."
    • "One of the things that we were looking at being able to do a FlexGroup NFSv4. Right now, 9.4 goes up to NFSv3, but if we could get the NFSv4 solution on a 9.4, or a future release, that would be awesome."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using it for all of our enterprise architecture. So, we use everything from CIFS, NFS, Fibre Channel LUNs, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and iSCSI. Therefore, we're pretty much using the gamut. We have a little bit of SAS storage tier, SATA storage tier, and SSD as well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It makes our organization more efficient with more scale. We have the ability to tier off the storage and ensure storage is efficiently utilized so we can get rid of idle data and data that is not required. Then, we can show and prove what needs and should be used.

    We do use this solution for mission-critical applications.

    What is most valuable?

    Its flexibility is its most valuable feature. It has the ability to mix with the different requirements that we have to provide, such as some I/O intensive services and a lot of archive services. It has the ability to tailor tiers according to what we need and put the right services in the right place.

    What needs improvement?

    One of the things that we were looking at being able to do a FlexGroup NFSv4. Right now, 9.4 goes up to NFSv3, but if we could get the NFSv4 solution on a 9.4, or a future release, that would be awesome.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is great. We have a six-node cluster. We've done head swaps. We've had failures and the cluster has always stayed up and the data has always been available. We haven't lost any data either.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very easy to scale, so we started with a four-node cluster and added it to a six-node cluster. We've also done some other modifications in between.

    This solution helped our organization reduce our overall cost of storage. Because idle data which was residing on high cost tiers, once we sifted the ONTAP, we were able to scale and place it where it should be, then offload the data which was unnecessary to different locations.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is awesome. We call them up, and they're there. We receive answers and get what we need right away. We have four hour delivery, as it's based on our contracts, but we do receive outstanding support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. There was a guide of how everything goes together. Therefore, use the guide, put it together, and you're up and running.

    What about the implementation team?

    During the initial install, we had a reseller who came in, helped us build it out, etc. They were awesome getting us up and running. Now, that it's up and running, even though they don't have access to our systems, but we can still call them and get assistance, look into different changes, opportunities to scale in or our, and upgrade as we need to.

    What was our ROI?

    We have been able to save space by using the solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    Look into the product's reliability. You will definitely see an increase in your business performance if you use it.

    We don't current employ any NVMe. We have SSD. We're looking at NVMe potentially on some of our higher IOP operations, but we don't deploy it right now.

    We use SaaS and also have a Hadoop cluster which are backed up by ONTAP storage. These are for doing a lot of data analytics and analyzing different data streams. AI is soon to come.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    CD
    Storage Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    It has been very stable. Our mission-critical applications are on it.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's much easier and faster to deploy our storage with ONTAP than some of the other solutions that we have."
    • "We can do upgrades without taking it down. We have had nodes fail and people just kept working."
    • "We would like to have additional cloud integration and the ability to Snapshot directly to Amazon. This would help us reduce costs, provide us additional disaster recovery, and give us a site that's not owned by us."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is network-attached storage.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's much easier and faster to deploy our storage with ONTAP than some of the other solutions that we have.

    We use it for everything from payroll to home directories.

    What is most valuable?

    • Availability
    • Resiliency
    • Ease of use

    It stays up. My people can easily manage it. It just works for us. It has been very stable. Upgrades have worked. We've had very minor to no real problems with it.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like to have additional cloud integration and the ability to Snapshot directly to Amazon. This would help us reduce costs, provide us additional disaster recovery, and give us a site that's not owned by us.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been very stable. Otherwise, we wouldn't have put our mission-critical applications on it.

    We can do upgrades without taking it down. We have had nodes fail and people just kept working.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has scaled really well for us. We started off with several nodes and are up to about 16 node clusters now.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support has been great. We also have professional services in our offices, and our professional service guys have been awesome. They are super-fast in finding problems and fixing them.

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

    We switched solutions because were at capacity as far as size. NetApp was also cheaper and easier for us to deploy.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward and simple. Put an IP on it, give it some passwords, and we configured from there with strips and other stuff.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deployed with an in-house. The experience was great. We had enough experience in-house that it worked.

    What was our ROI?

    This solution has helped our organization reduce our overall cost of storage. We're part of the NetApp OnDemand, where we lease it. Also, it doesn't take as many people to administer the solution as some other products.

    Because of its manageability, we have fewer people managing it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Our short list was Dell EMC and NetApp. NetApp was more familiar to our people, and they came in cheaper per gigabyte.

    What other advice do I have?

    It has been amazingly easy for us to use.

    We hope will be using this solution for machine learning, AI, and real-time analytics in the future.

    We are not using NVMe yet.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PG
    Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    Since we have a hybrid solution, we can accommodate for the performance that we need

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has been very stable. We haven't had a significant outage."
    • "The solution has helped our organization reduce its overall cost of storage by allowing us to have multiple sites using the multi-tenant security model, segregated from each other, while at the same time using the same resources."
    • "Sometimes, we have had some delays, on holidays and weekends, getting the right resource for a specific problem."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for SMB and CIFS for different departments. It is also used for HIPAA and FTC compliance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Management, deployment, and compliance are much easier. We're doing NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE), so it has increased the security model as well.

    We use ONTAP for our mission-critical applications. E.g., at our pharmacies, we started loading data onto our NetApp systems.

    What is most valuable?

    • Ease of use.
    • Ease of expansion.
    • It doesn't go down and is very reliable.
    • It is quite fast. 
    • Since we have a hybrid solution, we can accommodate for the performance that we need.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like more building performance monitoring. Right now, we have to buy separate products. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been very stable. We haven't had a significant outage. We do take time and test as if we were going to go down, but we haven't gone down yet.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Because we are using ONTAP Cluster Mode, if we want to increase, we add nodes or pairs of nodes. It is that easy.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate technical support as an eight of ten. Sometimes, we have had some delays, on holidays and weekends, getting the right resource for a specific problem.

    When we need to escalate an issue, there can be a delay when they have to find somebody. Besides that, our experience has not been bad.

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

    We used and still use Dell EMC.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used NetApp for the deployment. Right now, we are using a VAR, World Wide Technology, for NetApp operations.

    Our experience with World Wide Technology has been good. It's a fantastic company. Whenever we have had issues, if NetApp is not prompt, they almost immediately try to resolve them. They have their own resources. We have increased our support by having them as a middleman.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI, especially with the deduplication. We have a high ratio of deduplication and are way past 70 percent of our VDI, as we have almost 400TBs on our VDI. We have been able to save at least a quarter of a petabyte of space.

    The solution has helped our organization reduce its overall cost of storage by allowing us to have multiple sites using the multi-tenant security model, segregated from each other, while at the same time using the same resources.

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

    Our cost per IOP is three to four dollars, but we have a hybrid solution. Therefore, we have SSD and spinning disk running together.

    In the past, you didn't have to buy separate products. They were mostly included with the purchase. In the end, it's more expensive to buy it separate than together. If you are going to need it, one package at the beginning is cheaper.

    I don't like this nickel-and-diming. I like an all in one solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    NetApp is a lot better at replication and easier to set up for replication than its competitors.

    Dell EMC is expensive in comparison to NetApp, but its reliable as well. We like them too.

    We looked at Pure Storage and some other vendors, but were not convinced it was the direction that we wanted to go.

    What other advice do I have?

    Do a PoC and compared against your current solution. ONTAP is very intuitive.

    We use the solution for analytics and monitoring. Our monitoring system uses both Splunk and Log Insight and the analytics are tie into NetApp. 

    We haven't used NVMe, but are looking forward to it. To my understanding, it is not ready yet to be implemented on NetApp or any other product. However, we're ready to start testing it as soon as the product's available. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JP
    System Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The technical support is the best that I have ever encountered

    Pros and Cons

    • "The technical support is great. It's the best I've ever encountered. I can email and have everything resolved at three in the morning within half an hour. I have had some late night calls to their guys techs, and it's been phenomenal."
    • "I would like more diagnostic generation. Right now, it's a pain to go into the controller and do a full diagnostic and export."

    What is our primary use case?

    ONTAP runs our Tier 1 data center. We use it for running all our virtualization, backups, etc.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Where the DBA is doing all the migrations and testing within our database, we have Tier 1 and Tier 2 data centers and do a lot of testing across them. The ability to create a FlexClone and immediately test everything which needs to be done then revert back within minutes, if needed, is phenomenal for testing.

    What is most valuable?

    FlexClone has been great for R&D. We've been doing a lot of testing, implementing Oracle DBAs and getting them into the thick of things.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more diagnostic generation. Right now, it's a pain to go into the controller and do a full diagnostic and export. If that could be streamlined in any way and not be so tedious, because it's a pain to go through all the different steps and have the command memorized or have to look it up. If there was some way NetApp could incorporate it into the native ONTAP command center, that would be great.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I've never had an issue with it. Same with the upgrades, we have had no issues from 8.2 to 8.3 to 8.4. The stability has been great for four years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We are in the process of doing a huge data center refresh. We will find that out very shortly about its scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is great. It's the best I've ever encountered. I can email and have everything resolved at three in the morning within half an hour. I have had some late night calls to their guys techs, and it's been phenomenal.

    I probably leverage NetApp's engineers too much, but we have a good working relationship with their contacts. They usually handle everything within a few messages, so it has been great.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward for me. I am a storage engineer, so I'm familiar with it. Even our network engineers that have to set it up using NetApp diagrams had no issues with it.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have used CDW in the past. However, we are now going with NetApp directly.

    CDW was great. We didn't have too many issues. However, for our work particularly, there wasn't a enough value-add to stick with a third-party. Therefore, we are now doing everything directly with NetApp.

    What was our ROI?

    I have seen ROI. NetApp is streamlined, reducing costs. ONTAP is the best.

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

    If you start narrowing down NetApp versus price point, then comparing it to the feature set and take away all the bloat that other companies will try to add on, there is no other option. It comes down to just NetApp.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have some strict requirements because we are a defense contractor. It came down to NetApp and one other big company (Dell EMC). ONTAP's ease of use and our familiarity with it along with the reps, who are great about keeping us informed about training, etc. It made it a no-brainer for us to go with the solution.

    We chose NetApp because of price and it's a no hassle solution. We're doing a trade study, so we asked all vendors for quotes, etc. We asked our NetApp reps, and they gave us what we needed within a timely fashion. 

    Dell EMC sent us eight people, who insisted on a two hour meeting. They keep trying to oversell us crap that we don't need. It felt very forced. Whereas our NetApp guys, they would rather undersell us than have us buy stuff that we don't need. I appreciate their upfront and honest attitude.

    You can't switch out a hard drive without an EMC rep coming out, where NetApp is streamlined.

    What other advice do I have?

    There is nothing it can't do. It satisfies all my needs. It is straight to the point and has great updates.

    We are doing a trade study right on all the things that we would like to have and everything we have hard requirements for, and NetApp meets both.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    AK
    Storage Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Scalability is very good, as it enables us to use different product lines within the same operating system

    Pros and Cons

    • "The scalability is very good. It enables us to use different product lines within the same operating system."
    • "I would like to see more evolution towards the cloud."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for on-premise storage.

    How has it helped my organization?

    For our organization, in terms of resiliency, it has gotten better over the years. It has also become more reliable.

    What is most valuable?

    • Availability
    • Resiliency
    • Recoverablity

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see more evolution towards the cloud.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is excellent.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is very good. It enables us to use different product lines within the same operating system.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good to very good.

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

    We actually haven't switched. We've been using it for about 15 years. We've been with it for a long time.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do all our deployments in-house.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We're always looking at different vendors, and we want to see fit-for-purpose. We want to make sure that we're using the right technology for the right job.

    What other advice do I have?

    It has a good, safe implementation.

    I gave this product an eight, because there is always room for improvement and to make things better.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    StorageE1250
    Storage engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    New features help us keep up performance but storage efficiency could be better

    Pros and Cons

    • "With the NetApp Data ONTAP Cluster, we get some features that are particularly helpful. For example, we can always add to and remove nodes from the cluster. The ability to move volumes online from the storage side, from one aggregate to another aggregate, or from one node to another node, keeps up the performance which helps us a lot."
    • "Especially with the all-flash arrays, we would like to see better storage efficiency and deduplication. In terms of manageability, it would be great if NetApp would add more native reporting tools into the dashboard so that we don't need to use the third-party tool for analyzing our environments or to generate any reports. This would be especially helpful for companies that need to generate some chargeback for the customers."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using the NetApp solution to host our tier-two storage workloads. We use it for virtualization and as a database for applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Oracle.

    What is most valuable?

    With the NetApp Data ONTAP Cluster, we get some features that are particularly helpful. For example, we can always add to and remove nodes from the cluster. The ability to move volumes online from the storage side, from one aggregate to another aggregate, or from one node to another node, keeps up the performance which helps us a lot.

    What needs improvement?

    Especially with the all-flash arrays, we would like to see better storage efficiency and deduplication. In terms of manageability, it would be great if NetApp would add more native reporting tools into the dashboard so that we don't need to use the third-party tool for analyzing our environments or to generate any reports. This would be especially helpful for companies that need to generate some chargeback for the customers.

    Vendors in the market are trying to simplify their technologies. They're working to make anything from the hardware and installation to the management of the array, simpler. And I think it would be great if NetApp worked to make the whole process simpler to help customers achieve their goals easier and faster. For example, NetApp could work to simplify tech refresh or migration. Some more reporting tool would be great as well.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been stable. We've been using NetApp for a long time and we've never really had any major issue with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is good. The older Data ONTAP 7-Mode scalibility was a bit challenging. Clustered ONTAP is scaled-up technology since you can always add the node to the cluster. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have been NetApp customers for a long time. For the most part, we're receiving good support. Sometimes there are situations in which we need help from our NetApp rep, SE, or someone who knows how to escalate the cases for faster support. But our overall experience with their support is good.

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

    We always do our due diligence, whether it's a tech refresh or just moving on with another new project. We compare different technologies based on our requirements. Often when we have a chance, we also perform a PoC. We bring that technology into our data center and then we perform our tests on it. We have scorecards and then we go through every aspect based on our requirements, our customers, and project needs. Then we decide if it makes sense to move on with a new technology or product.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used NetApp themselves as well as a company called Red8.

    What other advice do I have?

    Instead of just considering the brand name, whether it's NetApp or any other vendor, my advice is always for a company to define their requirements. Once the requirements are identified, set the expectations and then consider NetApp as a possible solution because we have worked with it and have had a positive experience. If the data is consistent, my advice would be to move on with NetApp.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RC
    SAN Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The new automation feature saves us a lot of time. The response time for tickets is bad.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The product is good at deduplication. Also, the new automation feature is good, as it saves us a lot of time."
    • "Technical support is not in person nowadays. We have to wait a long time to get an engineer. Then, most of the time, their engineers are not good enough to understand our problems. While we might not be able to explain the problem well, or they are not able to understand the problem well, their solutions are slow to resolution. The response time for tickets is bad nowadays."
    • "I need to be able to validate how the host is performing from the storage, as I am concerned about the host performance and storage connectivity to the host."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for the NAS solution. We have a NAS infrastructure with NetApp ONTAP.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product is good at deduplication. Also, the new automation feature is good, as it saves us a lot of time.

    What is most valuable?

    • SnapMirror
    • SnapVault
    • Deduplication
    • The compression.

    What needs improvement?

    I need to be able to validate how the host is performing from the storage, as I am concerned about the host performance and storage connectivity to the host.

    They have to improve on the data and monitoring tools.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good. They have point in time recovery, and they don't have any single point  of failures. 

    The FAS series is good. In addition, they have around 10Gs for management, which is nice.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I love NetApp's scalability. We started in three areas, and now, we have grown to 16 areas. It is that good at scaling.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is not in person nowadays. We have to wait a long time to get an engineer. Then, most of the time, their engineers are not good enough to understand our problems. While we might not be able to explain the problem well, or they are not able to understand the problem well, their solutions are slow to resolution. The response time for tickets is bad nowadays.

    How was the initial setup?

    Half of the setup is straightforward. However, when we want to do customizations and networking configurations, it is quite challenging. The issue is that we cannot fit NetApp's configurations to our organization standards.

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a NetApp consultant for all types of deployments. He has been wonderful to work with as he is always helpful.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The top two vendors that we considered were NetApp and Dell EMC. 

    We are also considering some white labels for HCIs, but these solutions aren't shortlisted yet.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you need something in the NAS area, consider or test the NetApp products.

    On the storage and box side, NetApp is really good at what they do.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MB
    Executive Director at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The initial setup and deployment were straightforward

    Pros and Cons

    • "The initial setup and deployment were straightforward"
    • "The vendor diagnostics, which allows for movement from one vendor to another vendor using the application technology that is available. It should be able to talk to any vendor, not just NetApp to NetApp. We should be able to replicate the data, so the next feature should not be vendor specific."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is to move from Fibre Channel to SolidFire.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We see it drastically improving our organization. We are trying to move away from Fibre Channel. SolidFire with iSCSI will change a lot going forward in the organization.

    What needs improvement?

    The vendor diagnostics, which allows for movement from one vendor to another vendor using the application technology that is available. It should be able to talk to any vendor, not just NetApp to NetApp. We should be able to replicate the data, so the next feature should not be vendor specific.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable, and upcoming releases will make it more stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Right now, there are some limitations. However, what I am hearing is that future technologies will be more scalable than what we have now.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They have pretty good technical support. They have a different support model for the hypervisor customers, so I have been quite happy with the support until now.

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

    The previous solutions that we have are both IP and Fibre Channel-based. We are moving away from Fibre Channel, so we wanted to look for a new solution which was IP-based.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup and deployment were straightforward.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at multiple vendors.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    EK
    Storage manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    This solution has helped reduce the overall cost of storage space in our organization by allowing us to use one data center, instead of two

    Pros and Cons

    • "Previously we didn't have DR, but ever since we purchased the NetApp server, we are able to use Snap Mirror and then create DR scenarios, so that's been a huge benefit. This solution has helped reduce the overall cost of storage space in our organization by allowing us to use one data center, instead of two, and then allowing us to replicate the data; so that saves us money to buy more storage. We have been able to save space by using this solution."
    • "I would like the ability to perform backups in the cloud. That way you don't have to worry about building the data center. Everything's already in the cloud."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case for this solution is the storage and backup.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Previously we didn't have DR, but ever since we purchased the NetApp server, we are able to use SnapMirror and then create DR scenarios, so that's been a huge benefit.

    This solution has helped reduce the overall cost of storage space in our organization by allowing us to use one data center, instead of two, and then allowing us to replicate the data; so that saves us money to buy more storage.

    We have been able to save space by using this solution.

    What is most valuable?

    SnapMirror. DR replication, it's very useful that we have backups.


    What needs improvement?

    I would like the ability to perform backups in the cloud. That way you don't have to worry about building the data center. Everything's already in the cloud.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable. We never had any data corruption or data loss, so, it's been very stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would say we have platinum support, so they're really good for our work, so they're really good. You get what you paid for.

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

    Previously, we didn't use any other solution. NetApp came out and gave us a demo and it just works. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Yes. It was very straightforward. Very easy. The PSE came in and showed us how to do it. We followed the instructions and it just works.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    EMC, Hitachi, and IBM. We chose NetApp because of its ease of use. 

    What other advice do I have?

    Our approximate cost per IOP is at least a couple of million.

    I would give this product a rating of 8 out of 10. There could be improvements, its proprietary software so it can be pricey.

    I say give NetApp a try. Its very simple to install and easy to use.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Antoine Roseman
    CEO at RACTSOL Corp
    Real User
    Its usability, scalability, and dependability are very good

    Pros and Cons

    • "Its usability, scalability, and dependability are very good."
    • "We are always looking for more security enhancements and ways to continue to provide security encryption, whether it's data in rest or security in transit. We would also like to have more enhanced encryption beyond the regular TLS and 256-bit."

    What is our primary use case?

    ONTAP is currently being used for data backups, migration of data, and volume management.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the ability restore and backup our virtualized servers on demand.

    Its usability, scalability, and dependability are very good.

    What needs improvement?

    We are always looking for more security enhancements and ways to continue to provide security encryption, whether it's data in rest or security in transit. We would also like to have more enhanced encryption beyond the regular TLS and 256-bit. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is great.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is good. We were able to deploy multiple infrastructures underneath the cloud environment by utilizing ONTAP. It scales well with our environment.

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

    We were previously using Dell EMC for our backup solution. After we created a virtualized environment and used the ONTAP appliance, we were able to provide a seamless process for backups and recoveries.

    We chose this solution primarily because our customers were gearing towards NetApp.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. We started off with a small environment, which was used as a test environment initially. Therefore, we were able to deploy it into a much larger environment once we understood what we were doing.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used an integrator for the deployment who was good. We used a provider through ClearChart, who partnered up with NetApp, and provided engineers who assisted with the integration of ONTAP. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Ultimately, we chose NetApp because we were able to identify its strengths over other competitors.

    What other advice do I have?

    Stay open to different technologies, as it's an emerging market. I do recommend the ONTAP product. I often offer colleagues a chance to come in and utilize our test environment to explore the different options around.

    The product is good and sound. Our customers have been extremely satisfied with how we are using the product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    FB
    System Administrator at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Technical support is good. Their solution engineers are good at architecting designs which are standard, but also future thinking.

    Pros and Cons

    • "SnapMirror is a good solution, because we can take our production data and replicate it over to our DR data center with minimal administrative effort, which is huge."
    • "Technical support is good. NetApp's solution engineers are good at architecting designs which are standard, but also future thinking. I've only opened a few tickets, and they've answered my questions each time. NetApp takes less than four hours to respond."
    • "I would like to see FlexGroup volumes come to parity in terms of software features with Flex volumes. It seems like FlexGroup volumes have massive scalability, but their features set is not the same as Flex volumes, so we are currently unable to use it."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is file storage. We use it for SMB CIFs and Fibre Channel LUN for Hyper-V.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our administrative effort is lower. 

    DR is much easier now. It is essentially just flipping a few switches, then we have replicated data up in our DR data center. We have done the tests, and it works perfectly. We also have file services which are DR, where we flip another switch and all our files are in another easy place to locate. 

    What is most valuable?

    SnapMirror is a good solution, because we can take our production data and replicate it over to our DR data center with minimal administrative effort, which is huge.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see FlexGroup volumes come to parity in terms of software features with Flex volumes. It seems like FlexGroup volumes have massive scalability, but their features set is not the same as Flex volumes, so we are currently unable to use it. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is perfect. Even when we are doing upgrades to the ONTAP cluster, such as rolling upgrades where one node will take over the other cluster's volumes, we have zero downtime. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is great. We are in current discussions to obtain another two nodes to our ONTAP cluster. So, two more nodes to our already two node cluster, and we don't expect any downtime. We have seen how much it can scale in terms of numbers, so we are happy with it.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good. NetApp's solution engineers are good at architecting designs which are standard, but also future thinking. I've only opened a few tickets, and they've answered my questions each time. NetApp takes less than four hours to respond.

    We once opened a ticket to have a technical support person online at two in the morning for a cluster upgrade. The technical lead was online and supportive, and nothing went wrong with the upgrade.

    They have awesome technical guides and documentation.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward, because getting a storage system installed is not the hardest thing. It takes some know how, but it's not an impossible task. 

    When we do a controller upgrade from a FAS8200 to a FAS9000, I want somebody there to watch over the upgrade because something can go wrong, and I do want technical help. However, the cool thing is while we're apprehensive and know what can happen, it never has. We're too cautious.

    What about the implementation team?

    Meridian and ePlus implemented our solution. We had no issues and found them to be knowledgeable.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We look at the other companies, like Dell EMC and Nutanix. We decided to go with NetApp because they are an industry leader. We also liked their SnapMirror and SnapVault features.

    What other advice do I have?

    ONTAP is easy and works. It most likely has all the features you need, and then some. 

    Each ONTAP upgrade has brought us new features, like rest encryption.

    The new solution is crazy small and compact.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JC
    Storage Architect at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Scalability is awesome with a cluster node, not only can you scale up, but you can also scale out

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has multiple uses. It does everything in one box."
    • "Scalability is awesome with a cluster node, not only can you scale up, but you can also scale out."
    • "While the data efficiency features are great, I want to see more efficiency and compression type of technology."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for everything, like the NAS and SAN functionality. It's a back-end for the host VMs and the Microsoft SQL Database, which is directly attached to them. We also use all-in-one file servers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We got rid of about 25 Windows file servers, which is great. We don't have to patch them every month anymore. We now have an all in one solution, which are virtual storage machines (SVMs). For example, previously, executives would try to use presentation material on the file server and the screen would not come up for a long time. Now it come up instantly.

    We use it for our mission-critical applications, such as SQL Databases and NetApp AFF.

    What is most valuable?

    It has multiple uses. It does everything in one box. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like them to support NetApp All Flash in upcoming NVMe versions. We have an AFF8040 and NVMe version 9.4 does not currently support it. 

    I would like to have an easier connection to the cloud on the back-end. Something that brings the cold data out to the cloud and brings it back when needed. We want ONTAP to do this.

    While the data efficiency features are great, I want to see more efficiency and compression type of technology.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It works. It is great and reliable. We haven't had any issues. Hardware failure is rare. We have no performance issues with our AFF.

    When a disk failed, it was automatically detected. They sent me a disk and I wasn't even aware of it. It happened on Sunday and they sent me a disk on Monday morning.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is awesome with a cluster node, not only can you scale up, but you can also scale out.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    ONTAP tech support needs some improvement, but it has improved quite a bit.

    Previously, the support center was in India and Asia. They had some communication problems but their technical skills were not up to par. Then, they pulled the technical support back into North Carolina, as this helped a lot. I can talk to a Level 1, which most of the time I don't need. When I have an issue, I know exactly what I'm talking about. I know there's a bug and need to go to Level 2. Also, our large corporation global team gets involved as soon as I open a case, and they put me through to Level 2 or Level 3, which helps a lot.

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

    We were previously using Hitachi with NetApp. However, Hitachi is lacking in all the features. Our companies chose Hitachi because it was cheaper, but this was back in the early 2000s. Hitachi doesn't have any NAS functionality. File systems could not be migrated unless we connected to a Windows system, then Windows provided the file system function.

    We looked into this solution because of its high availability and disaster recovery. We are in a dangerous business because something could blow up and everything would be lost. So, offsite backup replication, SnapMirror, and SnapVault are very important.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was extremely easy to set up from day one.

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented everything myself.

    What was our ROI?

    It has helped us reduce the overall cost of storage. Replacing the Windows license alone provided us savings. 

    We have been able to save a lot of space because there is deduplication and compression.

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

    Just buy ONTAP and go for it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When we were considered products, we also looked at Dell EMC. Previously, Dell EMC products only provided SAN functionality. We had to buy separate Celerra as NAS heads to attach to the SAN back-end. 

    NetApp has much smarter way of doing everything. Their Snapshot technology, by just copying the index, is much better than Dell EMC, which forces you to cut a snapshot, taking up I/O.

    Data Domain has a lot better deduplication technology than NetApp, and that is bad for NetApp. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We have been using Fibre Channel, but we are planning on moving over to NVMe. We're on a 32G Gen 6 switches and HBA cards. We need to convert it to see how it will affect the speed, but it should drastically increase the performance of the connection.

    NVMe over Fabric with existing Fibre Channel infrastructure is wonderful. It is easy to convert. We don't have to do much at all. It's just a matter of how we present. Instead of using WWPNs, we use an IQN number. So, it's connecting the same volume over iSCSI and Fibre Channel mixed. We just have another means to talk to the hosts.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    JR
    Director of IT at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Using Snapshots, we're able to use to restore VMs in minutes for our developers

    Pros and Cons

    • "The deduplication is valuable."
    • "The only thing I don't like is that firmware upgrades require downtime. It would be beneficial if we could do upgrades without as much downtime."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for network shares and being aware of backups.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It can restore from Snapshots. Our developers ruin VMs very quickly. It restores Snapshot and gets them back in a few minutes.

    What is most valuable?

    Deduplication.

    What needs improvement?

    Feature-wise, it does most of what we want. The only thing I don't like is that firmware upgrades require downtime. It would be beneficial if we could do upgrades without as much downtime.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable. We've had no issues with it in six years of using it now. We have eight different devices and the stability has been awesome. The only failures we've had are drive failures and they normally have those shipped out before we even know there was a problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Unfortunately, we haven't scaled up much.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is very good. We haven't had a ton of issues but when we do - the drive failures - they're very easy to deal with.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was pretty easy. They came out and helped with it and gave us a few days' training. It was pretty simple.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller, Storage Assessments. Our experience with them was very good. We still maintain the relationship with them for upgrades and purchasing other software.

    What was our ROI?

    We had a developer get a virus in the Dev environment and, due to the Snapshots and backups, we were able to just blow that environment away and bring it back up pretty quickly. I would consider that ROI because it saved us a ton of money in machines and resources. We were able to do that in an hour, versus rebuilding the entire environment.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at 3PAR and HPE. We brought all three vendors in, met up. After doing testing and using them all, NetApp was by far the easiest and the deduplication was much better than the competitors.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go with the NetApp. The ease of use and the deployment of it, by far, outdo every other vendor that we've dealt with.

    I would rate it a solid eight out of ten. The ease of use is awesome, the support is awesome. The only thing keeping me from giving it a ten is that keeping it upgraded is a pain.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Nana Esigyan
    Storage and Backup Manager at Vodafone
    Vendor
    The cluster version is flexible and easy to use

    Pros and Cons

    • "The cluster version is flexible and easy to use."
    • "Stability and performance have been great."
    • "In Africa, especially in West Africa, NetApp doesn't chat with their customers. Therefore, we always have to go through the local partners or vendors."
    • "Because most of us were new to the product, the initial setup was a bit cumbersome. Once we were trained, it was fine."
    • "I would like it to be more user-friendly. When you open the main dashboard, anyone should be able to know exactly what is going on, even without a tech background. Minimal training should be required."

    What is our primary use case?

    ONTAP is the OS for NetApp storage controllers. We use it to provision storage or line volumes for our internal customers requesting storage either for databases, the storing of flat files, etc.

    How has it helped my organization?

    ONTAP 7-mode is a bit archaic, but with the clustered mode, it is straightforward. Also, if you add OnCommand Unified Manager, it is awesome.

    We have a lot of mission critical systems, so we normally use ONTAP for all of them along with our databases and applications, e.g., Oracle Databases, like the BI and the CRM. We also have a VMS, which takes care of our virtual management systems.

    It's easy to use. So, we don't have much stress. 

    What is most valuable?

    • SnapMirror
    • Snapshot
    • FlexClone volume: Cloning of volumes, volume move, and volume create.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like it to be more user-friendly. When you open the main dashboard, anyone should be able to know exactly what is going on, even without a tech background. Minimal training should be required.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability and performance have been great.

    Sometimes it takes a while for us to upgrade. We need to ensure the applications running are compatible with the upgrades that we will be running. So, it takes us a little time to upgrade. However, all the upgrades, including the latest one (ONTAP 9.4), have been awesome.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability is good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I'm here at NetApp Insight because I needed to talk to a few of the NetApp customer representatives about cost. In Africa, especially in West Africa, NetApp doesn't chat with their customers. Therefore, we always have to go through the local partners or vendors. 

    I just spoke to a woman on the technology team. She's promised to be in touch and have somebody come to Ghana to speak to the high-end customers, like Vodafone, MTN, etc.

    ONTAP's technical support is awesome and always ready to help.

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

    We did not have a solution before NetApp, and NetApp was the first, but now we have Huawei as well.

    We first used the NetApp 7-Mode version. Now, we use the cluster version. The cluster version is more flexible and easier to use.

    How was the initial setup?

    Because most of us were new to the product, the initial setup was a bit cumbersome. Once we were trained, it was fine. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a local vendor for the deployment with professional support from Nigeria. Our experience with them was good.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI.

    It doesn't help reduce the overall cost of storage.

    We have been able to save about 3TB to 5TB of storage. We still need to do more on the compression bit, then provisioning, to save more going forward.

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

    The product costs an arm and leg; it's expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at NetApp, Dell EMC, HPE, and Huawei.

    We chose NetApp because of efficiency and performance. Its product is up-to-date.

    What other advice do I have?

    Fabric is good. I have yet to experience NVMe.

    Sometime in the future, we will look at AI and machine learning.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MW
    Senior Manager Computer Storage at a individual & family service with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    The initial setup was straightforward. It came in a box ready to go.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The initial setup was straightforward. It came in a box ready to go."
    • "I would like to see Synchronize Snap mode in the next release."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is as an application file server.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is able to restore back several points during the day if there is a production issue.

    What is most valuable?

    • Flexible consumption
    • Being able to scale as we need to
    • Data production
    • SnapMirror

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see Synchronize Snap mode in the next release.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is good. We haven't had a severe outage in years.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is very good, especially how it has matured over the past few years in cluster mode. We can now add nodes without disruptions.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support has generally improved, especially the tickets for Cloud IQ where you are able to go through and it intelligently tells you how it has changed over time. That's pretty nice.

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

    Performance: We outgrew the box. Or, the support was ending. It was one of those two scenarios.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. It came in a box ready to go.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a reseller for the deployment, Applied Computer Solutions out of LA, who was very good. We've been using them since 1997.

    What was our ROI?

    The data compression and deduplication have kept us from buying more disks these past three years.

    What other advice do I have?

    Try it out, get your hands on it, and see what it does.

    Every year, I am impressed with the product. It has gotten better over the years with cluster mode, but it is not 100 percent perfect. There are certain technical limitations with being able to use it for SAN, but it's improving.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    DJ
    Systems Engineer at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It has CIFS environment sharing and integrated monitoring with OnCommand

    Pros and Cons

    • "Today, because NetApp listened to their customers and improved their GUI, we can perform a firmware upgrade within minutes."
    • "You really need OnCommand to do a lot of cool stuff with NetApp, and they make it hard to get."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Data ONTAP to provide CIFS and NFS shares, as well as direct attached data stores for VMware.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Four years ago, upgrading a NetApp controller was a command line process which was very arduous. Today, because NetApp listened to their customers and improved their GUI, we can perform a firmware upgrade within minutes.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features would be:

    • CIFS environment sharing.
    • The availability of NetApp to tie into the UCS FlexPod environment.
    • Integrated monitoring with OnCommand.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see some sort of a free version of OnCommand: A stripped down version of OnCommand Unified Manager offering a bit better usage for enterprise users. We have found that it's very hard to get it without buying it outright. I wish they had a better marketing with the product. It's probably my biggest gripe with them. You really need OnCommand to do a lot of cool stuff with NetApp, and they make it hard to get.

    It's not an all inclusive model. You have the option to purchase modules to make the entire ecosystem coherent. I would like the option to pay one price and get everything all inclusive, like OnCommand.

    If you don't have a TAM or SAM, it can be difficult to get P1 cases.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We serve out data from a multitude of different properties through FlexPod environments, as well as a centralized data serving location in the Las Vegas area. We have had minimal downtime over the past five to ten years that we have been using the product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability has been less of an issue. 

    Unfortunately, NetApp does forklift upgrades. This is probably the biggest negative that I have with NetApp as a whole. We found to upgrade a FlexPod environment, if we wanted to upgrade the UCS on the Cisco side, due to the interoperability matrix, sometimes we'll have to upgrade controller units. Basically, if we upgrade one part of our infrastructure, we have to upgrade another part. 

    This affects our scalability. Instead of being able to simply add a couple of shelves, that controller may only be able to hold four shelves. However, we already have four shelves, so now we have to buy a new controller unit. Whereas, some of other companies, you can just add another controller unit and an HA pair, then you are off to the races with more shelves.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is good. We had a TAM for a long time. Now, we have a SAM, and working through them we found that our cases get risen in priority level whenever we need it. We haven't had to fight for quite some time to get P1. It is easy to escalate.

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

    We were previously using DAS-JBODs, but this was in 2007. We pretty much followed everybody else when the industry went to NetApp. We have been using NetApp ever since it was 7-Mode.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward after we used EVOLTECH as a third-party. We actually took the process over after watching them do it a couple times. It was that easy.

    Upgrades are great. One of the best things about NetApp is that their products are so easy to upgrade now. That did not use to be the case.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used EVOLTECH for the deployment. We were happy with them. They did the job that we asked them to do.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were considering Pure Storage and Dell EMC. NetApp won out with a far superior price point.

    What other advice do I have?

    ONTAP has a lot of stuff that most people don't utilize it for. For example, the entire Snap Management package is an underutilized piece of software in our industry. 

    Get it and use a lot of the features, then have your mind blown. The moment you start using it is when the magic happens. If you don't use it, then you don't know how awesome it is.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SC
    Storage Consultant at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We are saving more disk space which saves us more money

    What is our primary use case?

    SnapVaulting SnapMirroring Backing up

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are saving more disk space which saves us more money.

    What is most valuable?

    Aggregate data, compaction, and deduplication for ONTAP are its most valuable features, so we can save space.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't had any issues with the technical support. When we've used the technical support, they have been helpful.

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

    Previously, we have 7-Mode technology. Now, we have cDOT. We changed because now we can move volumes without any interruptions. …

    What is our primary use case?

    • SnapVaulting
    • SnapMirroring
    • Backing up

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are saving more disk space which saves us more money.

    What is most valuable?

    Aggregate data, compaction, and deduplication for ONTAP are its most valuable features, so we can save space.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't had any issues with the technical support. When we've used the technical support, they have been helpful.

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

    Previously, we have 7-Mode technology. Now, we have cDOT. We changed because now we can move volumes without any interruptions.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deployed the solution ourselves.

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

    They could reduce the price.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at NetApp and Dell EMC. We chose NetApp because it was cheaper, more scalable and ordered.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a robust product. If you buy it, you will have no issues.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    DP
    Storage Lead at Tata Consultancy Services
    Real User
    The throughput has improved overall performance, but the migration was complex

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is the throughput. You tend to get to your data very quickly. That's why we decided, eventually, to move into NetApp, because of the speed. Also, as a support engineer, this solution is easy to use, compared with SAN storage."

      What is our primary use case?

      We have an SAP HANA migration project going on. We bought NetApp a couple of years back, and our first solution was to migrate the data to the HANA boxes.

      In terms of mission-critical applications, the first phase of migrating the legacy systems was to migrate all the mission- and business-critical applications to the new platform. The customer has a lot of legacy applications. Most of the mission-critical applications have been moved. The only mission-critical application that is left is the website application that the customer uses. Once that is done, all of the mission-critical applications will be in NetApp.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The customer we have been working for has a lot of legacy products, a lot of legacy hardware and software. Their current path is towards SAP, and the back-end databases are always HANA. There has been a very big improvement in the performance.

      There has also been a big improvement in the user experience. Earlier, it would take something like 14 seconds for a page to load. Now, that has improved to about six seconds or seven seconds. That's a big difference from the user's perspective. The ultimate aim, when all the legacy has been migrated to the new platform, is to have a two or three-second wait time for a page to load. We are gradually moving towards that. So overall, performance has improved a lot.

      It also has helped us reduce our overall cost of storage. We migrated all our former SAN environment to NAS storage, and that has reduced the OpEx cost a lot.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the throughput. You tend to get to your data very quickly. That's why we decided, eventually, to move into NetApp, because of the speed.

      Also, as a support engineer, this solution is easy to use, compared with SAN storage.

      What needs improvement?

      We have been talking to them about the monitoring tools and performance improvement tools which would enhance it a bit.

      In a session, here at NetApp Insight 2018, I heard that OCI, which is one of the tools that is becoming more robust, will include more things that the host team can understand and make use of. So things that we're looking for are getting added.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We had initial hiccups. Initially, we thought it was because of the way the knowledge was transitioned from the earlier support team to the new support team. We even doubted why we migrated. Later on, we learned it had to do with configuring it in the right way. Once you have everything set up properly, you should see the performance and stability that you hoped for. We are on the right track.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have not had to scale the product because the procurements are done when we migrate from one application to another. We haven't had to scale much. We will probably experience scaling in the coming days.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      NetApp technical support is really good. They help a lot with all our questions. They know that we are new customers. NetApp has always been there. You raise a ticket and they respond right away.

      How was the initial setup?

      We were having trouble during the initial phases of the project and NetApp was there to help us out with the data migration. The initial phases of data migration had a lot of challenges, especially because we had a lot of legacy data involved. NetApp helped us a lot in getting it done.

      It was never straightforward. Even NetApp struggled a bit, because the environment was so complex, because of its legacy nature. We were migrating from a very old architecture to a newer SAP-based system.

      The first year was not a great time, between a lot of email exchanges, a lot of escalations, etc. It's helping a lot that we're growing in confidence and the support team now knows our architecture behind the scenes. To an extent, the good thing about it is that the engineers have been the same most of the time. When we raise a ticket, they already know the background and how to work it out.

      It's been a journey. I believe in another one or two years, it will be a stable environment. But the initial days were really complex.

      What about the implementation team?

      We had consultants on the job. It was very good. They helped a lot. It was like a partnership between Tata and NetApp to do the migration from the old SAN environment. Consultants were in-house, onsite, to help, and they are really helpful.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Especially for this customer, NetApp was the only option.

      What other advice do I have?

      I suggest involving NetApp in your solutioning, so that they better know what to propose and what procurements need to be done in the initial stages. Otherwise, you are looking at wasting a lot of time, the kind where you are in the middle of a project, and you realize, "Oh, this is not what I want, I want to be able to scale up more," or something like that. You have to involve them as consultants at the initial stage so that the right things are bought. Their involvement is very important in terms of the architecting, especially if you are building up a new environment.

      We don't use the solution for machine-learning, AI, real-time analytics, or other kinds of ground-breaking applications for storage.

      We have the lowest version. We still have to do a couple of upgrades to have the latest OCI at the ONTAP level. I would rate what we have now as a six out of ten but that is probably going to climb in the next year or so; it will probably be a better number.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      DL
      Storage Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      This solution makes things easier for us on the operations side

      Pros and Cons

      • "We are going the direction of automation in the cloud. It has flexibility and supportability around NetApp solutions and products."
      • "The config could be a little easier. It's not entirely difficult, but it could be a somewhat easier. I have seen other vendors make it easier."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it with the All Flash FAS solution.

      There are a lot of the reasons that we chose this solution. We are going the direction of automation in the cloud. It has flexibility and supportability around NetApp solutions and products.

      How has it helped my organization?

      For the All Flash FAS, it has lessened our performance issues. Our support for that is a lot easier for our patients to access.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the NVMe AFF.

      What needs improvement?

      The config could be a little easier. It's not entirely difficult, but it could be a somewhat easier. I have seen other vendors make it easier. 

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Still implementing.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have other flash arrays which seem solid, but we trust NetApp to deliver us the best product.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      One of the big benefits was the scalability. We wanted to grow as is. 

      We have a lot of problems with this right now, so this product seems to help.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We have always had great technical support from NetApp on all their solutions. That's why I trust them against all our other vendors.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is straightforward. Most of the information can be found outside of the config guide, either way the information is available.

      What about the implementation team?

      We used a reseller for deployment, PEAK Resources. We have been using them for 15 years. They're awesome.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We chose NetApp for a lot of support reasons.

      Other vendors did not seem to not be on the forefront with their solutions. Their roadmaps for the future were unclear, where NetApp's roadmap is solid. It seemed very specific for our needs.

      We also looked at IBM, Pure Storage, Nutanix, and Pivot3. None of them met the mark. They were all short for a lot of reasons, but mainly it was the roadmaps. They were unclear and general, so we decided to go with NetApp.

      Don't buy IBM.

      What other advice do I have?

      NetApp solutions get rid of a lot of time spent on the operational side. This solution makes things easier for us on the operations side. 

      NetApp seems to be very cognizant of what we need and where the future of technology is going with health care, in general.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      CP
      System engineer at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      The ability to view multiple clusters on one pane of glass is key for us

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable feature of the solution is to be able to do multiple clusters on one pane of glass. We used to have to log on to each cluster per NetApp to view statistics on it or the logs if something was wrong. But now we can use ONTAP to view all the clusters and it shows us if something is full of space or not."
      • "The technical support hasn't been that great. A couple of times we have had to call support and it took a long time to get somebody on the phone, it took a long time for someone to call us back. That's the only downside, the support."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it to manage our NetApps.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We used to have to log in to each cluster per NetApp to view statistics on it or the logs, if something was wrong. But now we can use ONTAP to view all the clusters and it shows us if something is full of space or not.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature of the solution is to be able to view multiple clusters on one pane of glass.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      I find it to be very stable. I don't think it has gone down at all since we started using it, two to three years ago.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's very scalable. We're in the gaming industry. We had 12 casinos and now we have 26 casinos. You can just input all of the NetApps. There weren't any problems.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      The technical support hasn't been that great. A couple of times we have had to call support and it took a long time to get somebody on the phone, it took a long time for someone to call us back. That's the only downside, the support.

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

      This is a type of solution that we didn't have before. It was new to NetApp. We jumped on it right away, as soon as we learned that we could view multiple clusters on one web page.

      How was the initial setup?

      It was straightforward. We just had to build a VM for the ONTAP and install the software on that. It was easy after that.

      What about the implementation team?

      We installed it ourselves.

      What was our ROI?

      We can scale it better, having multiple clusters at once. It also saves us time. One of us can log in to check over all of our casinos at once, compared to having to log in, one at a time, to check a casino and see how its storage is going. It's a very good return on investment.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We mostly had NetApp in our infrastructure already. We really had to go with them based on that. The alternative was buying a whole new solution, software, storage, etc. We didn't really have a shortlist of other options.

      What other advice do I have?

      Test it out, go with a PoC on it to see if it's what you need in your environment. If you have a majority of NetApp, I would say, “Go with it.” I would recommend it.

      I would give ONTAP about an eight out of ten because it does everything we need it to do. The two points I took off were for customer service and technical support.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      LM
      Technical Architect at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      The capacity, mid-range performance in the management stack, and its features set are unparalleled

      Pros and Cons

      • "We use NetApp for its capacity, mid-range performance in the management stack, and its features set are unparalleled."
      • "It is not as good as we need from a performance perspective. At the moment, we are always running out of CPU on the controllers, even the high-end solutions."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for electronic design automation, build, and regression.

      What is most valuable?

      • The management stack
      • Performance visibility tools
      • Replications

      What needs improvement?

      The product already has more features than we can keep up with. 

      I'm looking for a performance bump.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is good from a capacity perspective, but not as good as we need from a performance perspective, but I'm hopeful going forward. At the moment, we are always running out of CPU on the controllers, even the high-end solutions.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support is very good.

      How was the initial setup?

      cDOT is more complex than 7-Mode, but we're hoping that NetApp makes it simpler as time goes on.

      What about the implementation team?

      We used a VAR for the deployment. We have a good relationship with them.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      NetApp has been our workhorse solution for more than 20 years now. It's our main solution that we use. We have been using other vendors for the high performance stuff, but I'd like to see a future where NetApp is an option in this space again.

      We use NetApp for its capacity, mid-range performance in the management stack, and its features set are unparalleled. We go to Dell EMC Isilon and Pure Storage FlashBlade for raw performance on things that we can't do on NetApp today.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would give it an eight out of ten on its feature set, maturity, and global product availability.

      Up and coming vendors can provide performance or specific features. However, compared to Hardware Universe, Unified Manager, and replication, along with spectrum, from the FAS2000 that we use out our small sites to FAS9000 that we use for big regressions, these other company don't have the breadth to the feature set that NetApp has today.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      SG
      Systems Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      It gives us a location to store data across multiple mount points

      Pros and Cons

      • "It gives us a location to store data across multiple mount points."
      • "Being able to scale out at cost-effective capabilities doesn't compare to some of our other storage solutions, but it is coming along. NetApp ONTAP could improve its scalability."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it as a file-based storage. We store a lot of unstructured and application data. Mostly data which needs to be shared across multiple mount points.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It gives us a location to store data across multiple mount points. It gives us functionality to provide Snapshots and backup outside of traditional backup solutions.

      What is most valuable?

      • It is easy to use. 
      • It has been stable. 
      • We haven't had any problems with it. 
      • Getting support from our VAR and the vendor has been good.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability is great.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Being able to scale out at cost-effective capabilities doesn't compare to some of our other storage solutions, but it is coming along. NetApp ONTAP could improve its scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      The technical support is good.

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

      We did not have another solution previously. 

      We had specific use cases for file-based storage, and that's what drove us to NetApp.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was straightforward.

      What about the implementation team?

      We used Datalink for the integration. They've been good.

      What was our ROI?

      Recently, we have seen ROI.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      NetApp and Dell EMC were on our shortlist. We mostly chose NetApp because of its functionality. 

      What other advice do I have?

      • Do a proof of concept (PoC).
      • Understanding the high availability of the storage solutions, especially if you have rack resiliency requirements. 
      • Understand how the solution is designed and configured.
      • Understand what your performance requirements are.
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      SM
      Systems Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      We can recover data quickly. We are able to failover to remote sites. It is reliable.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Scalability is good. Now that we have the ability to add more nodes to the cluster, it's better. It allows us to grill our clusters allowing them to be larger and faster, without having to buy a whole new system."
      • "Snapshot and SnapMirror technologies make it easier to replicate data to disaster recovery scenarios."
      • "We can recover data quickly. We are able to failover to remote sites. We can do that within minutes."
      • "I would like to see more integration into the cloud, as we are pushing to do more cloud-based compute. It is just easier to get the storage and everything synced up there and move to the cloud. We want NetApp to keep down the cloud integration path. It still needs some improvement. Overall, there needs to be more cloud integration in all NetApp products."

      What is our primary use case?

      We primarily use it for our file server environment: all our home shares, group shares, etc.

      How has it helped my organization?

      From a recovery credibility standpoint, we can recover data quickly. We are able to failover to remote sites. We can do that within minutes versus hours in the past. So, it is a lot faster.

      What is most valuable?

      Snapshot and SnapMirror technologies make it easier to replicate data to disaster recovery scenarios. We can't do that with certain vendors as easily. 

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see more integration into the cloud, as we are pushing to do more cloud-based compute. It is just easier to get the storage and everything synced up there and move to the cloud. We want NetApp to keep down the cloud integration path. It still needs some improvement. Overall, there needs to be more cloud integration in all NetApp products. 

      NetApp needs make sure that we don't have any downtime and also keep improving on the non-disruptive pieces to avoid bringing systems down.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is stable. We usually don't have any issues with it. Our updates have been solid.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is good. Now that we have the ability to add more nodes to the cluster, it's better. It allows us to grill our clusters allowing them to be larger and faster, without having to buy a whole new system. We have some other competitor devices in the house that are not that scalable, like Oracle.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Overall, it has been pretty good. We usually can get responses quickly, bug fixes, and whatever we need. It is easy to escalate issues.

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

      We have been using ONTAP for a long time. Previously, it was an old files system called Novell NetWare. It was old, and this was a lot easier to deploy in our remote locations and receive data back for disaster recovery.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was straightforward. There were not a whole lot of issues with it. 

      What other advice do I have?

      Give it a look. It's reliable. Now, with ONTAP Select and the ability go to virtual machines, it gives you a lot more flexibility that you didn't have before.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      JM
      Systems Architect at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      We use a lot of SnapVault and SnapMirror features for disaster recovery and daily backups to meet SLAs

      Pros and Cons

      • "We use a lot of SnapVault and SnapMirror features for disaster recovery and daily backups to meet SLAs."
      • "Scalability is a bit of a question. If we're only doing file-based storage, scalability is fantastic. If we are doing block-based storage through iSCSI or Fibre Channel, there are some significant limitations in the number of volumes and clients that you can put on a single data ONTAP cluster."
      • "The PowerShell scripting capabilities right now are all over the place as far as which rich operating systems are supported. They all support Windows, but the HCI product with the SolidFire integration also supports PowerShell on Mac and Linux. It would be nice if the rest of the NetApp APIs caught up with PowerShell on other operating systems besides Windows. Because we're deploying more non-Windows operating systems, it would be helpful if we would be able to use that utility."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for enterprise storage. We use data ONTAP to solution and enterprise storage for our core data centers. We use a lot of SnapVault and SnapMirror features for disaster recovery and daily backups to meet SLAs.

      How has it helped my organization?

      From a service level of perspective, we can restore it from a snapshot in a very short period of time. Whereas, traditional backups from some of our larger databases could take many hours to recover.

      We use this solution for our mission critical applications, like SAP.

      What is most valuable?

      • Snapshots
      • SnapCenter
      • The ability to take an instant point and time capture of an application's consistent backup.

      What needs improvement?

      The PowerShell scripting capabilities right now are all over the place as far as which rich operating systems are supported. They all support Windows, but the HCI product with the SolidFire integration also supports PowerShell on Mac and Linux. It would be nice if the rest of the NetApp APIs caught up with PowerShell on other operating systems besides Windows. Because we're deploying more non-Windows operating systems, it would be helpful if we would be able to use that utility.

      We have not been able to save space by using this product.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is very good.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is a bit of a question. If we're only doing file-based storage, scalability is fantastic. If we are doing block-based storage through iSCSI or Fibre Channel, there are some significant limitations in the number of volumes and clients that you can put on a single data ONTAP cluster.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is very good.

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

      We knew that we need to invest in a new solution after we did a total data center architecture. This is the product that we sought afterwards. We chose NetApp because it was the best fit for its price performance.

      How was the initial setup?

      We started out in 7-Mode and evolved into cDOT. The initial 7-Mode deployment was very straightforward. Migrating 7-Mode to cDOT was much less straightforward.

      What about the implementation team?

      We worked directly with NetApp for deployment, and our experience was good.

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

      The solution has helped us reduce the overall cost of storage by doing an OPEX agreement with NetApp, we are paying based on utilization. Instead of fronting 30 petabytes worth of storage, we are paying for what we're using.

      What other advice do I have?

      NVMe over Fabrics is a very interesting proposition. However, it's probably always going to be in a leap frog position with NVMe over traditional Fibre Channel infrastructure. Because if you look at a lot of the research data running NVMe over an Ethernet-based fabric, as the fabric gets congested, the total amount of footprint goes down significantly. Whereas the footprint is very consistent for the Fibre Channel fabric from start to finish, no matter how congested it becomes, and you're still capable of pushing it at reasonable speeds very close to the theoretical maximum.

      With the Ethernet fabric, you also have to take into account that you only get the best speeds for NVMe over Fabrics if it's a dedicated storage Ethernet environment, and more than 90 percent of the people implementing it are going to share it with other things because they don't want to have a separate Ethernet infrastructure just for storage. If they were going to do that, they would have stuck with Fibre Channel. Theoretically, it has an off a lot of promise, but practically, not so much.

      We do not use this solution for machine learning, AI, or real-time analytics at this time, but we are investigating them.

      Make sure that you test it with your own data set. No one else's test will look remotely like what you will use it for.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      Bill Blair
      Storage Engineer at Evolent Health
      Real User
      Clustered ONTAP makes it very easy for one person to manage petabytes of data

      Pros and Cons

      • "Clustered ONTAP makes it very easy to manage large amounts of data, measured in petabytes. One person can manage all that."
      • "We bought it for a couple reasons. One, it took advantage of our existing storage because we could front-end that storage. It also allowed us, through native replication, to set up a DR site, which we're working towards. And three, that DR site, in 2020, is going to the cloud. NetApp has a nice solution for that. And our production in 2022 may actually go to the cloud. So all that is already in place, no additional tools. You can use the same SnapMirror and SnapVault technology to get there."
      • "I would like to see volume efficiency come closer to what Dell EMC can do with, for instance, their XtremIO platform."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for VMware.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Clustered ONTAP makes it very easy to manage large amounts of data, measured in petabytes. One person can manage all that. In the old days, you could never do that.

      What is most valuable?

      We're using it as a virtualization platform, so not only are we buying NetApp SSD, we're also able to utilize our existing Dell EMC storage that still is under support.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see volume efficiency come closer to what Dell EMC can do with, for instance, their XtremIO platform.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Less than one year.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Today, the stability is very good.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is very good.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      The technical support is poor. The first line people that pick up the phone are, quite honestly, awful. Once you get to an escalation engineer they're extremely talented, but you have to pull teeth to get there.

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

      My management was all about Dell EMC. With my experience with NetApp I just kept my mouth shut and asked technical questions and Dell EMC basically fell flat. They actually proposed a mid-tier solution that was, as they put it, a number of storage silos. And I said, "This is 2018. We have storage silos?"

      So I was able to work with CDW and prove that the FlexArray would front-end the existing Unity's and 3PARs we have. CDW ended up coming to the table and they won the deal. They came in late but they won the deal. The NetApp people have never come to our office yet.

      How was the initial setup?

      We did purchase Basic Install, so it was straightforward.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Dell EMC and Pure were on our shortlist. Dell EMC couldn't come with a reasonable solution. Pure is all-flash and we needed hybrid.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would advise colleagues who are researching this type of solution to look at NetApp. We bought it for a couple reasons. One, it took advantage of our existing storage because we could front-end that storage. It also allowed us, through native replication, to set up a DR site, which we're working towards. And three, that DR site, in 2020, is going to the cloud. NetApp has a nice solution for that. And our production in 2022 may actually go to the cloud. So all that is already in place, no additional tools. You can use the same SnapMirror and SnapVault technology to get there. To me, it makes sense.

      We bought our solution through CDW. They're excellent.

      I would rate this solution at eight out of ten. I think it's time for a hardware refresh. We ended up buying 8200s and they've been out on the market for quite a while. There is newer hardware that we were hoping to take advantage of but we needed the storage now.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      SS
      Vice President at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Replication technologies keep our customers out of risk; we can seamlessly failover/failback

      Pros and Cons

      • "I love the replication technologies which keep a customer out of risk. At any time, we can do a seamless failover/failback, and have the latest data on it. The SnapVault is another excellent feature. It's used for remote disk-based backups so we don't need to depend on tape backups with their long restore times."
      • "The only thing that they have to improve in NetApp is that they're still relying on padding each node in active/active in CDOT. That has to go away. They should look at the scalability on a platform level. The computer will have that one file system with multiple nodes on it. If even one node fails, any node in that cluster could take over the functionalities. But today, it absolutely relies on that active-active uncoupling it. That needs to be improved in such a way that it would be one namespace. If this node goes down, any node in the cluster should take over and run that environment."

      What is our primary use case?

      One use case is user files, when customers are trying to place their unstructured data and then access it remotely. A second case is is VDI. All the VDI uses have their home drives hosted in NetApp. In addition, we use NetApp for general-purpose, such as Unix applications, database archives, big data, when they need a lot of reads and fewer writes. That data comes into NAS. In our firm, we use it for tier-three and tier-four, which needs less than 20 millisecond response times. Those types of applications are deployed in NetApp.

      How has it helped my organization?

      In terms of VDI, pretty much every employee of our firm is a customer of our NAS infrastructure. Everybody's home drive is on NAS, so it's highly critical. Even a minimum outage would cause a lot of potential business risks to the firm. NetApp has come up with performance management devices to improve the performance. And it has all-flash and hybrid aggregates to improve performance in caching. It's really excellent.

      As we scale more data, as we add more data into our data pool, we really need it for faster disk drives and quicker response times for our customers, to make sure they will get their data whenever they need it.

      What is most valuable?

      I love the replication technologies which keep a customer out of risk. At any time, we can do a seamless failover/failback, and have the latest data on it. 

      The SnapVault is another excellent feature. It's used for remote disk-based backups so we don't need to depend on tape backups with their long restore times.

      What needs improvement?

      SnapLock is the feature we would like to see enhanced. As a bank, we store data for compliance for a long time: ten years, 15 years. The data would be locked. So they should enhance the SnapLock features. 

      At the same time, the customers want a seamless failover and failback for SnapLock. As a bank, we want to look at the data availability, so every quarter we failover and failback. Today, we can failover but we can't failback. We'd like to be able to do both.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      On average, the data that lives in the ONTAP hardware is there for four to six years and then it moves on to its end-of-support-life years. When it gets there, it tends to have a greater number of hardware breaks and failures. From a data perspective that's a big risk for us.

      As part of tech refresh, we plan the data movement. One year before it gets to the end-of-support-life, we predominantly migrate it into a CDOT, or some other latest all-flash technology that NetApp provides us.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      In CDOT, theoretically, you can have 24 nodes in a cluster, but we are careful about that. Right now, we have ten-node clusters. We feel CDOT provides scalability in terms of the virtual world. You can keep adding nodes, you can keep adding disk shelves, you can scale your volumes. And then you can virtually move your failover capabilities from node A to node B, whichever node you want. When you want to do maintenance, you can just virtually move your LIFs' interfaces to other nodes and then you can safely failover. That's great, amazing.

      The only thing that they have to improve in NetApp is that they're still relying on padding each node in active-active in CDOT. That has to go away. They should look at the scalability on a platform level. The computer would have that one file system with multiple nodes on it. If even one node fails, any node in that cluster could take over the functionalities. But today, it absolutely relies on that active-active uncoupling it. That needs to be improved in such a way that it would be one namespace. If this node goes down, any node in the cluster should take over and run that environment. It should also have stability, high-availability, and data protection. It all happens today in the virtual world, but it has to happen in the physical layout as well.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Tech support is okay. We have given our feedback. What we have seen it evolve over a period of time. So far it's okay. It still has not reached a level I would call "great," but it's okay. It's going in the right direction.

      We have performance issues and capacity issues, among other things. We don't get the right engineer, the right attention the first time, so it needs escalation. We need to raise the priority of the cases to make sure to grab NetApp's attention. Those situations have to be avoided. There needs to be a proactive solution instead of reactive.

      What was our ROI?

      We do see ROI from the capacity perspective, although I don't have data points at the moment.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would rate ONTAP at eight out of ten. It's an industry standard. It pretty much supports all the protocols and it delivers what the customer needs. It's operating on the use case perspective. Instead of having thousands of features - what is the use of that if a customer only wants ten percent of it - NetApp is really focusing on the ten percent, and delivering what the customer really needs.

      It would be a ten out of ten with cluster enhancement and support improvements. Those are things that they should improve. I hope in a couple of years, when I come to the next NetApp Insight conference, I'll be able to tell you it's a ten.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      CV
      Storage Engineer at a government with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Delivers low latency and fast I/O for our users' mission-critical apps, with a smaller footprint

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable features are the data deduplication, the inline compression/compaction, and the encryption as well, the security aspect of it."
      • "Overall, for us, it's the stability, it has a solid infrastructure. It's easy to use, easy to rack and configure and start utilizing really quickly. It's been very stable, it works great, and it does everything we would want it to do."
      • "I could see the GUI being a little bit more refined, the presentation layer being a little stronger, a little less sluggish."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for all our storage requirements.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We use it for mission-critical applications. A lot of our users don't want any downtime, they don't want any kind of failure or bottlenecks. They want low latency, they want fast I/O, they want fast throughput - and it delivers.

      It has helped us reduce the overall cost of our storage. We were able to consolidate a lot of the storage that we had in the past into a much smaller footprint, using less rack space and power. It has been great for that.

      We have saved space using ONTAP, in some cases it's 30 to 40 percent.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable features are the data deduplication, the inline compression/compaction, and the encryption as well, the security aspect of it.

      Overall, for us, it's the stability, it has a solid infrastructure. It's easy to use, easy to rack and configure and start utilizing really quickly. It's been very stable, it works great, and it does everything we would want it to do.

      What needs improvement?

      I could see the GUI being a little bit more refined, the presentation layer being a little stronger, a little less sluggish.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We're happy with the stability and performance. They are very powerful machines.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is very good. It's much more than what we can imagine using.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Tech support is very good. They're great at following up, as well, with emails or calling you. It has been very good so far, very quick responses. It's easy to escalate and whenever we have had to order replacement parts, it's been very quick. No complaints at all.

      What about the implementation team?

      We used a reseller for the deployment, OnX. Our experience with them was very good. They were very helpful. They really helped with the purchasing, refining our requirements to get them where we needed them to be. They have been very good.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We have considered other options but they either don't have the same kind of architecture that we're looking for or the performance isn't quite the same. We'd have to look at them a little more in some cases, part of our job is to see what the other vendors are up to. But, for now, we're quite happy with NetApp.

      What other advice do I have?

      Go see a NetApp presentation or get a referral to a reseller for consultation. That would probably be the best way, because they can speak to the whole line of products. We're only familiar with some of their product line but they would be able to do a good job of showing all the products that NetApp has to offer.

      In terms of NVMe over Fabrics, that's something we're going to see a lot of in the future. It's going to change storage. From now on, it's not going to be the same. When it comes to speed, compared to other Fiber Channel gear, there's nothing that compares, it's pretty amazingly fast. When it comes to NVMe over Fabrics with existing Fibre Channel infrastructure, the sky is the limit. It's pretty robust, it is a pretty amazing product, and the performance, especially with things like AI applications, will be pretty amazing.

      We, as an organization, do not use ONTAP at the moment for machine-learning, AI, real-time analytics or those kinds of groundbreaking applications for storage, but it has a lot of potential. I'd like to use it for those kinds of scenarios, I'd like to see that happen.

      We're definitely going forward, we're going to be growing with NetApp and with their products. They've improved a lot over the last couple releases, and I hope to continue to see that. There are a lot more features, advances in things like deduping and thin-provisioning. They're always improving their product.

      I would rate ONTAP a nine out of ten at least. It's a very solid product, great architecture, great service and support, and very responsive.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      Mark Ramdas
      Storage Engineer at Bank of NY
      Real User
      We save a lot because of the deduplication and compression

      Pros and Cons

      • "It has the ability to bring up disaster recovery quickly."
      • "The toughest thing that we have right now is a cabling issue. There are so many that you need to connect."
      • "I would like to see more S3 integration with other vendors, objects, or instruments."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for cloud. We have a big VMware environment with CIFS, NFS, and other applications. Most of the data is on NetApp.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has the ability to bring up disaster recovery quickly.

      What is most valuable?

      • High availability
      • Deduplication
      • Compression
      • Encryption

      What needs improvement?

      The toughest thing that we have right now is a cabling issue. There are so many that you need to connect.

      I would like to see more S3 integration with other vendors, objects, or instruments. We are a big Dell EMC shop and would like to have this integration.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. Given you have so many nodes in a cluster, the volumes, connections, and lifts can be moved anywhere within the cluster.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is better than some of the other solutions that we have used. It is easy to expand nodes.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      We are a premiere customer. When we call, we get someone on right away.

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

      We have grown with NetApp. As they grow, we grow.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was straightforward, but there is some complexity. 

      What about the implementation team?

      We used professional services from NetApp for the deployment. Our experience with them was good.

      What was our ROI?

      We save a lot because of the deduplication and compression.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We have a mixture of NetApp and Dell EMC.

      What other advice do I have?

      NetApp does NAS well and better than other vendors.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      Adam Sando
      Enterprise Solutions Specialist at Lenovo (United States)
      Real User
      We are able to spin up copies of data in other data centers on other storage appliances

      Pros and Cons

      • "Efficiencies such as Flash Cache and Flash Pool allow us to make better use of slower, cheaper storage and have some faster storage sitting up front taking a lot of the caching and the reading. The way that has been optimized for the NetApp platform is better than the competitors. It has reduced our cost of storage because we're buying cheaper storage for the bulk capacity, which is really effective."
      • "The ability to spin up copies of data in other data centers, on other storage appliances, is the most valuable for us."
      • "I would like to see more in the public cloud space around things like object storage. A bit more granularity around how that gets deployed would be nice, but other than that I think they've got it nailed."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use ONTAP for systems management, running and managing storage appliances.

      ONTAP, for us, is underpinning all the software that sits on top of our hardware. We manufacture the infrastructure side of NetApp appliances. We use the capabilities of ONTAP for our customers. It's a case of implementation of that software and using that software to manage the storage arrays we're putting into our clients' environments. We also use it for PoCs. We'll deploy the software and demonstrate it for customers.

      How has it helped my organization?

      When you look at traditional, simplified storage, you would have a lot of manual command-line toolsets, you would have a lot of simple features and capabilities. With ONTAP and features like SnapMirror - the ability to have these more advanced capabilities - NetApp is leading that space. There are a lot of stats out there about what NetApp is doing around storage features and it's making it easier for our customers to consume rich storage features more easily.

      The customers we work with absolutely use this solution for their mission-critical apps. For example, we have a university customer where NetApp underpins all their corporate systems. For them, that's mission-critical because they have to pay and manage, from an AP perspective, all of their internal customers. Without that system in place, without it being robust and reliable, they have no business, effectively, as a university. For them, it is absolutely mission-critical.

      We have customers who have had ONTAP deployed for each of machine-learning, AI, real-time analytics, and similar groundbreaking applications. Our university customer is a good example. From an SAP perspective, they have a lot of rich analytics being done on that platform. ONTAP provides the best value for them. How the system gets architected is key, ensuring they have the right solution in place to get the best performance. The fact that NetApp performance, in general, is better than a lot of the competitors anyway has helped the university immensely.

      In terms of helping us reduce the overall cost of storage, efficiencies such as Flash Cache and Flash Pool allow us to make better use of slower, cheaper storage and have some faster storage sitting up front taking a lot of the caching and the reading. The way that has been optimized for the NetApp platform is better than the competitors. It has reduced our cost of storage because we're buying cheaper storage, for the bulk capacity, which is really effective.

      Storage efficiencies in ONTAP have been fantastic. For things like Snapshot-ing, when you are rolling out multiple clones, having good storage efficiency is really key.

      What is most valuable?

      Valuable features are SnapVault, SnapMirror, all the capabilities around Snapshot-ing. 

      Also, the ability to then spin up copies of data in other data centers, on other storage appliances, is the most valuable for us and the one that we see the most interest in from our customers.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see more in the public cloud space around things like object storage. A bit more granularity around how that gets deployed would be nice, but other than that I think they've got it nailed.

      The trend is heading in that direction, where more and more customers want to deploy applications that leverage object storage. It would be nice to have a more seamless integration, although it's not bad at the moment.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      ONTAP is now in its ninth version. It's the most robust software on a storage platform on the market at the moment. I don't think anyone else has the same capability with the same level of flexibility.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The fact that you can have large clusters, you can keep bolting on more and more nodes, more and more appliances, makes it a lot more flexible than a lot of other providers. Normally, with a traditional SAN, you put a big SAN in the corner, stick some stuff into it, and leave it alone. Compared to having to buy another SAN with a different workload, the fact that, with NetApp, you can cluster and spread workloads across, makes it more scalable.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      From what limited exposure I've had personally, our local support is fantastic. In terms of the process of raising tickets, I've not heard of customers having issues with the support mechanisms that NetApp has in place.

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

      What typically drives the solution is the outcome for the customer. The customer will naturally follow down the path of needing a particular feature set to achieve some sort of outcome. We work through that list and figure out what that looks like. ONTAP seems to tick more of the boxes than any other product.

      How was the initial setup?

      For the average person, it might not be straightforward but, in my opinion, the setup is more straightforward when compared to other storage platforms. Active IQ and the tools you have access to are a lot better than the competitors'.

      What about the implementation team?

      Typically we work directly with NetApp on all our installations. Our experience with them has been fantastic. Really good guys, really good to work with, extremely knowledgeable.

      What was our ROI?

      We haven't measured ROI, but I guarantee there would be some. The cost per IOP is different for every customer environment so I can't give a figure for that.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      IBM, since we're a partner. The reason I would go with NetApp is their products are a higher enterprise-grade than the IBM products, which is saying something. IBM is more of a mid-market play. The NetApp stuff is a more holistic, feature-rich set. It has more capabilities. The price points are roughly similar compared to competing products. NetApp is just a richer experience.

      What other advice do I have?

      Do your research. Undestand what NetApp can offer. Talk to local NetApp resources and you'll find out a lot. One of the challenges a lot of customers have is that they don't know what they don't know. The more you talk to people, the more you will understand. I would advise talking to the local resources first, see what they've got. They probably have a solution, as far as ONTAP is concerned, that would fit into your requirements, the outcomes you're looking for.

      I sat in on a session about NVMe over Fabrics this morning here at NetApp Insight 2018. Reducing the latency, getting storage to the application as quickly as possible, is phenomenal. That becoming the new standard, instead of the old-school SCSI approach, is going to become the next big thing. The fact that they're reducing that controller piece in it, the latency drops so significantly - traditional Fiber Channel is missing out on an opportunity to improve performance.

      In terms of using NVMe over Fabrics with existing Fiber Channel, the good thing is that if customers already have investment in Fiber Channel networks, they can still take advantage of new technology from a storage perspective, without having to worry about upgrading and forklifting in new, specific equipment for that particular purpose.

      As a software set, from a storage perspective, I would rate NetApp at eight out of ten because the maturity of the product is so much greater than the competition. I don't think anybody else has the level of flexibility and feature sets that ONTAP has.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user750540
      Admin at Centene
      Vendor
      ONTAP OS is super easy to use; failover works well

      What is most valuable?

      Definitely ONTAP. The command line. It's super easy to use.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The ONTAP is so easy to use. I can do my tasks pretty easily on there. If someone needs something quickly I can give them what they need pretty quickly.

      What needs improvement?

      The one thing I would really like to see - I don't know if they offer this or not. I know EMC has got really good: their SRDF replication is really good for keeping consistency with your backups, or the other side.

      NetApp is crash consistent. I don't know the quality of the EMC one but that one seems to work really well. EMC is primarily block storage anyway so that is what it is build for.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's pretty stable. There have been some random crashes we have had though, from a couple weird things.

      There always seems to be some random bug in the code. If there is a random bug in the code, it seems like we have so many of these storage arrays that one of them is going to experience a crash from it. We have had a couple like that, zombie deletes, causing the controller to panic. We have had a couple weird things like that.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Never really implemented one but it seemed to be pretty easy to scale out. If you have the money to buy one, to scale it out is nothing crazy.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      We have an in-house resource and usually, if there is something going wrong, he is the one that will handle it and give it direction. If we ever call it in we always get the front-line people and typically we don't need the front-line people. When we need support we need someone specialized, like a certain protocol or a certain aspect. Usually, that's kind of annoying, when we call in it's getting front-line people and it is an extra 30 minutes just to get to where we need to go, really.

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

      No, ever since I have been here at Centene, we have been using NetApp.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I know NetApp and EMC are at the top, but other than that we don't really have any. I haven't seen much for any other vendor, like Nimble or like a couple of others, we don't really deal with those.

      What other advice do I have?

      We use it for datastores, and do a little bit of SAN on it too. We use it for both, block and file storage.

      My impression of NetApp as avendor of high performance SAN storage is that it's not as good as EMC. I don't have any complaints, really. I primarily use NetApp. I only use the EMCs a little bit.

      I am more likely to consider NetApp for mission critical storage systems based on my experience with AFF. The failover seems to work pretty well, they seem to be pretty reliable. If you have a lot of clusters, a cluster that's broke out, it works pretty well. If it fails or crashes, you still have to fix it but it still works.

      Performance is pretty good. It's a little hard to compare because I'm not really on the OS side. I don't really delegate storage provision so I hardly ever get to see the other side of the systems.

      When selecting a vendor the most important criteria include is: can the vendor supply a solution that we need? If we need block storage, can they do block storage very well? If we need good replication, can they provide that? It just depends on what we need it for and if they can provide that solution the best. Our company doesn't have any really money constraint problems. It's more just about the solution than about the cost.

      If someone was looking to buy one I would say: I love the ONTAP operating system. The support is pretty good. I would say the block side of NetApp is probably the weak point. It still does it well, but if you are doing file shares and datastores, you could use it for that. That is primarily what we use it for.

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