We are not using the NetApp cloud backup services. Instead, we have a storage solution on the back end and AFF on the front end. In this setup, we have high I/O with a low storage expenditure.
Our company is mainly concerned with software development and we have VMs as part of our infrastructure. We have a large number of VMs and they require a large data capacity, although we don't know which ones require high-intensity input and output. The reason for this is that some scenarios demand a high level of I/O, whereas, with others, the demand is low. We have AFFs set up at the front end, and at the backend, we have ECD boxes, which are the storage grid.
We treat the system as a fabric pool setup. When a high level of I/O is required, the data will be stored on NetApp AFF at the front end. We created a policy so that pooled data will move automatically to the lower-end capacity units, which are configured from the storage unit.
NetApp helps to accelerate some of the demanding enterprise applications that we have, in particular, our database applications.
NetApp AFF has helped to simplify our infrastructure while still getting a very high performance. Prior to setting up AFFs, we had latency issues. Now, things are more balanced, including the volumes that are on SAS or SATA.
Using NetApp AFF has helped to reduce support issues, including performance-tuning. About a year and a half ago, we were experiencing some performance issues. Lately, this has not been the case, although occasionally, we still have problems. We are exploring whether it is the server hardware or an issue with VMware and drivers.
The ONTAP operating system has made things somewhat simpler, although we don't use it very much. I normally work on the CLI so for me, it is not a big difference. That said, as features are released with the latest versions, I review them to stay updated.
We also use NetApp's StorageGRID and the combination of it with AFF has reduced our overall cost while increasing performance. We see benefits on both sides.