NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 5, 2022

We performed a comparison between NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs Pure Storage FlashArray

based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and Pure Storage FlashArray report straightforward and simple setup and deployment, though some NetApp AFF users mention mild complexity. Pure Storage FlashArray users report being impressed with its ease of deployment.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their flexibility, stability, and scalability.

    NetApp AFF users say it has robust features and unique functionality and that its speed is impressive. Some users mention, however, that the GUI could be better and that it could offer more disk sizes like competitors.

    Pure Storage FlashArray users like its user-friendly dashboard and its stability, but mention that its file functionality and replication could be better.
  • Pricing: Users of both products feel they are pricey but worthwhile for what you get. Some Pure Storage users report some dissatisfaction with the high pricing structure.
  • ROI: Users of both products report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Users of both products report high satisfaction with the level of response and support they receive. NetApp AFF users mention the clear documentation, while Pure Storage FlashArray users mention support as being “amazing.”

Comparison Results: Pure Storage FlashArray has a slight edge in this comparison because users were happier with its ease of deployment and features.

To learn more, read our detailed NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs. Pure Storage FlashArray Report (Updated: November 2022).
655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"We have had issues before on our infrastructure where 20 to 30 percent of the people would come to us pointing the finger at the storage technology or storage back-end. That is now virtually zero.""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.""It impacts customer retention because of its overall ease. When you are running a business, where time is a factor, that is the biggest selling point. Things happen really rapidly, when they happen, and being able to say, "Yeah, we can get this up and running in a day, if you want," or even less time in some cases. Sometimes, that can be what makes or breaks our case.""It has a good interface. Its configuration and flexibility are also good.""Using System Manager for green management or command line interface, we have a single point for managing the cluster. It is much easier to manage. It is very seamless. The product is robust and solid.""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.""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.""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."

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"The compression and deduplication features help to make the best use of the capacity.""I like the speed, and I like the API and how programmable it is.""The availability and ease of use are the big features.""NVMe data storage platform that's easy to set up and easy to use. It's stable, with a lower response time, and quick technical support.""The product cheaper compared to other solutions concerning the technology that they are using.""We find the ease of usability and setup valuable.""The all-flash disc is the most valuable feature of this solution.""Processes that used to take 40 minutes to two hours can be completed in five minutes."

More Pure Storage FlashArray Pros →

Cons
"During the initial setup, you need to know what you are doing.""NetApp should offer more training so everyone can learn about the products. Other vendors have a lot of training options. It would be great if NetApp would highlight how to use the features more so that every admin or person can gain more knowledge about this technology.""We would like to have a feature that automatically moves volumes between aggregates, based on the performance. We normally need to do this manually.""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.""It would be better if they just improved the performance of the system.""The admin tools and the integration with other products and clouds can be improved. It should also be easier to identify and troubleshoot problems in this solution. It takes a long time, and it should be improved.""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.""There is room for improvement with the user interface. There are a few things that cannot be done in the GUI. We do a lot of things through the CLI, but that's grown out of a lack of ability to do them in the GUI. An example is QTrees. You can manage them within the GUI, but the GUI is missing a few options."

More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Cons →

"Pure Storage FlashArray could improve in the area of cryptographic information in the consoles. The user-friendliness could improve. The Pure Storage FlashArray team should come and log into the system with their maintenance credentials and then pull out the information as evidence of cryptography.""Its price needs improvement. Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution.""It is way in excess of what we need. If anything, we could see a bit more speed. I'm just comparing it with what some of my colleagues who are implementing their own systems do.""Pricing could be better in comparison to other solutions.""I like what they're doing, but some of my customers complain that they do not have all the bells and whistles and knobs to fine-tune workloads that some of the competitors have. In my opinion, that's good. All customers don't have dedicated storage gurus, and they can get themselves into trouble if they fine-tune too many of those high-performance knobs, but they do get knocked down. Pure Storage takes a hit in the minds and opinions of some of the customers because they cannot customize things as much as compared to a legacy storage provider's appliance such as NetApp, Dell EMC, or even HPE. I personally think 95% of my customers are better off letting the system fine-tune itself. That was something that you needed to do 12 or 15 years ago, but now with all-flash, the technology can handle what it needs to handle. Customers just end up shooting themselves in the foot if they are tweaking too many default settings.""Larger capacity and more storage ports would be the two things I'd like to see.""On a couple of occasions, the waiting time for an upgrade has been pretty substantial.""Areas for improvement would be the financial operations. In the next release, I would like to see a NAS protocol included."

More Pure Storage FlashArray Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "The list price of AFF is too expensive... they need to be careful with the pricing of the new NVMe disks. They are way too expensive."
  • More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution."
  • "The price, in general, is around $100,000, however, I know it costs more."
  • "They have a standardized fee; it's been the same price for 10 years straight. I am happy with the price — I think it's good."
  • "We do not incur additional costs beyond the licensing fee."
  • "My organization has a yearly license, but I believe that Pure Storage FlashArray has capacity-based licenses as well. I'm definitely happy with the pricing."
  • "There is an annual or perpetual license required for this solution."
  • "Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing. They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance."
  • "The pricing is reasonable."
  • More Pure Storage FlashArray Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Well, Is one thing NetApp Storage has vs other brand is the mix of protocol CIFS with NFS booth working together in the same volume that features is difficult to find in other Storage but the… more »
    Top Answer:This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost is decisively based on the Gartner magic quadrant storage 2020 Net app company… more »
    Top Answer:The answer depends on your needs and budget. If you want high performance (who doesn't) or let's say the latency matters more than IOPS for your needs, Netapp AFF is the right choice. You can approach… more »
    Top Answer:Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure Storage. It may be more expensive, but it should pay for itself for its… more »
    Top Answer:We find the ease of usability and setup valuable.
    Top Answer:The licensing cost is close to zero. Every new function or functionality is included when paying the annual maintenance. Our customers value it because the maintenance is always the same regardless of… more »
    Ranking
    4th
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    9.1
    2nd
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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
    Learn More
    Overview

    NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) is a storage infrastructure that contains only flash memory drives instead of spinning-disk drives. NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) addresses enterprise storage requirements with best-in-class data management, higher performance, and flexibility. All Flash FAS systems accelerate your operations without sacrificing the effectiveness, dependability, or adaptability of your IT infrastructure, since they are built on ONTAP data management software. As an enterprise-grade all-flash array, the NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) manages and safeguards your critical data, making your datacenter’s transition to flash simple and painless.

    NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) is a robust, scale-out platform designed for virtualized environments and can be deployed as an independent system or a high-performance tier in a NetApp ONTAP configuration.

    NetApp All Flash FAS Features

    NetApp AFF has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Cloning and Snapshot copies combined with native space efficiency can lower storage expenses.
    • Near-zero performance impact for snapshot copy creation, cloning, and replication.
    • Application-consistent Snapshot copies simplify app management.
    • Synchronous replication using NetApp MetroCluster software, a feature that is only available from NetApp in the all-flash array market and provides zero RPO and close to zero RTO for workloads that are mission-critical.
    • Support for at-rest data encryption and an onboard key manager to help secure your data through easier key management.
    • NetApp SnapMirror replication software reduces overall system costs by replicating to any type of FAS/AFF system, whether it is all-flash, hybrid, or HDD, on premises or in the cloud.

    NetApp All Flash FAS Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing NetApp AFF. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Change the economics of your data center with flash - you'll consume 11 times less electricity, require 11 times less rack space, and spend 67 percent less on support compared to a data center using HDDs.
    • Manage data with a single piece of software for SAN and NAS settings, including flash, disk, and the cloud.
    • Within 10 minutes, you can provision storage and serve data.
    • Inline data reduction technology can reduce SSD storage by 5 to 10 times on average.
    • Protect your data using the system's best-in-class integrated data protection suite.
    • Scale out to 24 nodes, 367PB of effective capacity, and 4 million IOPS without causing disruption.
    • Accelerate applications with up to 12 times more IOPS and 20 times faster response thanks to NetApp ONTAP FlashEssentials.

    Reviews from Real Users

    NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its handling of read and write operations and its high-capacity drives. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:

    Harish M., Senior Consultant at a tech services company, writes of the solution, “The most valuable feature is its ability to handle high-intensity read and write operations. It works very well in terms of this.” He adds, “We recently started using the volume encryption feature, which is helpful because there are some federal projects that require data at rest to be encrypted.”

    Another PeerSpot reviewer, a director at an IT Infrastructure Services department at a university, notes, “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.”

    Pure Storage FlashArray is the world’s first enterprise-class storage array that runs exclusively on the nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) protocol for memory access and storage. It represents a totally state-of-the-art type of storage technology. It offers users shared accelerated storage that delivers cutting-edge features in the realms of performance, simplicity, and consolidation. Pure Storage is fresh and modern today and will be for the next decade. Without forklift upgrades or planned downtime, Pure Storage takes the work out of storage ownership and delivers unprecedented customer satisfaction.

    Pure Storage FlashArray is built with simplicity and reliability in mind. The solution can be implemented and optimized in hours, as opposed to other similar solutions that can take days. It has no moving parts, which removes areas where it could potentially be vulnerable to suffering errors. It is highly stable and gives users the ability to manage system shutdowns in a way that  prevents data loss.

    Benefits of Pure Storage FlashArray

    Some of the benefits of using Pure Storage FlashArray include:

    • A much higher level of speed than similar pieces of technology. Pure Storage FlashArray maximizes the speed at which data can be transferred while at the same time minimizing system latencies that might slow the transfer down. Additionally, it offers users quick memory read and data access speeds.

    • A higher bang for your buck in terms of the storage capabilities you get for the money you pay. They are smaller in size than more standard storage technologies, but they offer flash memory, which enables users to store larger amounts of data than the current standard.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Pure Storage FlashArray is a highly effective piece of storage technology which stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its overall robustness and the value that it offers by way of its reliability and ease of use. It provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with this solution. Pure Storage FlashArray’s reliability and ease of use make it a highly valuable solution. 

    PeerSpot user Prabakaran K., a technical consultant at Injazat Data Systems, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "FlashArray has many valuable features. It's very user-friendly and it has high availability, so there is comparatively less downtime. During maintenance, there is no shutdown procedure, so you can directly power off the Array and manage the shutdown process without any data loss, which is a unique feature. Managing replication and data migration is also very easy."

    PeerSpot user Jason D., a cloud solutions architect at a tech services company, notes three features that make this solution valuable when he writes, "We've had different types of storage, and three things of this solution are valuable. The first one is its outstanding performance. The second one is its stability. In the about three years that we've had it, we've had component failures, but we never had a service interruption or any data loss. The third one, which is really critical, is that it is super easy to use in terms of provisioning, storage, and managing the arrays. I'm able to maintain a multi-site environment with a couple of dozen arrays with a single mid-level storage admin."

    Offer
    Learn more about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
    Learn more about Pure Storage FlashArray
    Sample Customers
    Acibadem Healthcare Group, AmTrust Financial Services, Citrix Systems, DWD, Mantra Group
    Nielsen, Lamar Advertising, LinkedIn, Betfair, UT-Dallas
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company15%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm20%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    University7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Buyer's Guide
    NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    655,711 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 4th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 20 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 44 reviews. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) writes "Provides us with quick options when restoring things for customers". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades". NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell Unity XT, Dell PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage and HPE Primera, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, IBM FlashSystem, VMware vSAN, HPE Nimble Storage and Dell Unity XT. See our NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) vs. Pure Storage FlashArray 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.