2018-10-23T08:13:00Z

What advice do you have for others considering NetApp ONTAP?


If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering NetApp ONTAP, what would you say?

How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?

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5656 Answers

author avatar
Top 10LeaderboardReal User

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.

2019-11-05T05:28:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

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.

2019-11-05T05:28:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardConsultant

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.

2019-01-14T13:16:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Real User

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-12-19T07:16:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-12-11T08:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-12-11T08:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:37:00Z
author avatar
Vendor

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.

2018-10-28T07:37:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:37:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:37:00Z
author avatar
Vendor

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-10-28T07:36:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

* 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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
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Real User

I'm pretty happy with ONTAP.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
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Consultant

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

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Vendor

Fabric is good. I have yet to experience NVMe. Sometime in the future, we will look at AI and machine learning.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

It is a good, market-leading product.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-10-24T13:31:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

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.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Real User

It has a good, safe implementation. I gave this product an eight, because there is always room for improvement and to make things better.

2018-10-24T09:09:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-23T08:13:00Z
author avatar
Real User

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.

2018-10-23T08:13:00Z
author avatar
Top 20Real User

NetApp does NAS well and better than other vendors.

2018-10-23T08:13:00Z
Learn what your peers think about NetApp ONTAP. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2020.
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