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IBM FlashSystem vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) comparison

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IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint."

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"We've found the solution to be very stable so far.""When it comes to the interface of the solution we did not encounter any challenges. Additionally, the solution has good documentation.""The installation is nice and easy.""Most of the features for the reduction in data compression are useful. It is also very easy to use and administer. Its performance is also good.""IBM's technical support do excellent work.""IBM FlashSystem is a powerful effective storage solution. Additionally, it is user-friendly, anyone can use it.""The most valuable features are deduplication and compression, which together, enable you to have more space.""The most valuable features are flexibility and performance."

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"NetApp AFF has helped to simplify our clients' infrastructure while still getting very high performance for their business-critical applications. One of our customers uses the vSAN environment in the release, then they use NFS for their VMware VCF environment and TKG environment. In this case, when they move to NetApp for the TKG and the VM infrastructures, they use AFF for block, CIFS, and NFS. It provides a single storage with NFS, block, and CIFS with deduplication, team provisioning, and compression. Everything is in there, which makes it very good to use.""Regarding features, SnapMirror is one we depend on right now. It helps us provide snapshots to the customers on request. There are many scenarios in which we might take snapshots in various daily use cases. We trigger the snapshots, which gives us a sense of security because we know we have this technology in place if something happens.""It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ feature. These features are good overall. It helps us manage data quickly and sufficiently. Also, compression features, like dedupe, give us a good ratio.""The speed of data retrieval is the most valuable feature. We mostly use it for our SAP database and we are getting good IO from the hard drive.""The most valuable features are the performance and the storage efficiency, due to the compression and deduplication... The efficiency is very important because we can buy fewer disks for more data.""In terms of the footprint, it is far more efficient. It has smaller, higher-capacity drives than our older unit. In terms of space, power, and cooling, it has simplified things.""One of the main features that we love about the system is the ability to create snapshots. NetApp makes a lot of snapshots in a short space of time. Also, the speed of data recovery with NetApp, at the time we need it, is an important feature that we love.""It also helps to accelerate databases in our environment. First of all, there is the reliability of things staying online and the small response time as well, from the MetroCluster, for all of the data that we're serving; and the applications are talking to the MetroCluster. It provides a very fast response time."

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Cons
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint.""I would like to see the management layer improved.""In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented."

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"The data reduction pool feature sucks and is not recommended for use with heavy workloads.""The Data Reduction Pools (DRP) support could be better.""It is slightly more expensive, however, it all depends on your supplier.""The customer's expectations are what they get on the cloud, they're expecting even in the on-premises deployments, going forward.""The pricing needs to be more competitive.""IBM should improve its data reduction development.""The technical support in my region is satisfactory but it could improve. Support is very important for customers and downtime is very critical for us. We would like onsite or complete technical support which can help us to minimize our downtime or if problems occur.""This product lacks some of the options we wanted. For example, expansion was difficult and it required a lot of patching to be done."

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"Their backup software could be improved.""When it comes to the connectivity on the back end, where the hardware is concerned—the cabling and the like—it could also be simplified to ease the communication between the nodes and between the other components of the infrastructure. I still find that a little bit complicated.""There is room for improvement in terms of support. I have noticed that if I sometimes call their customer care for a particular issue, they will give me another number and ask me to call that other team. It would be better if they could do a warm transfer. That would save customers time from calling all the numbers again and speaking to another team.""We would like to have a feature that automatically moves volumes between aggregates, based on the performance. We normally need to do this manually.""We have been seeing some challenges around the application layer implementation. We are having some teething problems now with the cooperation between the application layer and backups to things, like SnapCenter. This may be a question of product maturity.""I don't like the newest GUI. It needs more options. Some features have been removed. Oversight is not as good in the new GUI compared to the previous version. Though, it might be something that we just need to get used to.""Its integration could be improved.""When comparing with Pure for example, with Pure you have no maintenance anymore and with NetApp, you still need maintenance."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
  • "The licensing fees are very reasonable."
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  • "The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features. We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go."
  • "They've been much more aggressive in the last five, six years than they were before that."
  • "This is an expensive product and if the price were reduced it would be better."
  • "Among IBM, Dell EMC, and Pure Storage, IBM is the cheapest. The price is also based on our location, the size of our entity, and our regular annual purchases from them. We are a very big IBM customer, so we normally get very high discounts. We are not a big customer of Pure Storage. We don't buy that much from Pure Storage per year. Everything is included in the price. There is no extra license for different functions."
  • "Its price is very good."
  • "I find the pricing of the solution to be very reasonable."
  • "You purchase it as a bundle and the price is comparable."
  • "The solution requires a license and could be less expensive."
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  • "It depends on how you look at things, but they are in a higher price range."
  • "All features are included in the license, whereas with an EMC solution, you have to pay separately for extra terabytes."
  • "The price of NetApp is very expensive, but we don't know how much Pure is, so we can't compare."
  • "We benefited from implementing all-flash by reducing our data center footprint. We took it from 30 racks to just over five. This is one of the biggest savings for us."
  • "The licensing and pricing are fine. As a reseller for the product, we need to make the differentiation in the minds of the customer. They are not just buying some tool that does only one thing, e.g., showing a LAN for a customer. The pricing is fair for what it is."
  • "In addition to simplifying the management across a mix of solutions, AFF simplifies the cost. That was one of the main reasons we purchased AFF."
  • "NetApp AFF is an expensive product, although not compared to other vendors."
  • "The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive."
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    Questions from the Community
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    Top Answer:As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable features of IBM FlashSystem are performance and security.
    Top Answer:The price of IBM FlashSystem is a little high because you pay a premium because the solution is from IBM. We had paid… more »
    Top Answer:The performance is outstanding when it's all Flash. That's the biggest bang for the buck that we get.
    Top Answer:NetApp AFF is somewhat pricey. If they weren't as pricey, that would be a big deal for us. It's worth it but if you… more »
    Top Answer:The deployment itself, compared to other platforms, should be a lot easier. We don't find it all that complicated… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pavilion HFA
    IBM Storwize
    NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
    Learn More
    Overview

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

    What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

    Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

    IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.

    NetApp AFF8000 All Flash FAS systems combine all-flash performance with unified data management from flash to disk to cloud.  Leverage the Data Fabric to move data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud. Plus, you get the industry’s most efficient and comprehensive integrated data protection suite, on premises or in the cloud.

    Offer
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    Learn more about IBM FlashSystem
    Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    Celero, Friedhelm Loh Group, Clarks, Mingkang Natregro Health Food Group, Sofia, Etisalat Fights Fraud, UF Health Shands Hospital, Generali, Elecon Engineering Company Limited, Ventiv , Technology, CPFL Energia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., SciQuest, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Paddy Power, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Interconnect Services, Severstal IP-Only AB, PVU Group GmbH
    Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
    Top Industries
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm29%
    Government10%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company15%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Retailer7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government6%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise63%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 8th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 33 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 4th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 21 reviews. IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.4, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Reliable and easy to configure with simple data migration capabilities ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Provides us with quick options when restoring things for customers". IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Dell PowerStore, Pure Storage FlashArray, HPE Nimble Storage, Dell Unity XT and HPE StorageWorks MSA, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell Unity XT, Dell PowerStore and HPE Nimble Storage. See our IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.