NetApp AFF vs NetApp FAS Series comparison

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96% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Feb 28, 2023

We performed a comparison between NetApp FAS Series and NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: The deployment of the two products is straightforward and users who have had additional preparation or external help describe the processes as easy.
  • Features: NetApp FAS Series has a user-friendly interface and valuable features for replication, restoration, and deduplication. The solution needs to improve its performance and is said to lack certain capabilities because it is not all-flash. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is scalable with valuable features called FlexClone, SnapMirror, and SnapVault, and capabilities for IOPS, snapshots, and data recovery. The user interface and the GUI in particular need to be improved and more disk size choices need to be added.
  • Pricing: The price of NetApp FAS Series depends on the licensing plan and the majority of users estimate the product as middle-range. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is expensive and for some reviewers, it is worth its price while others remark it should be lowered.
  • Service and Support: Both products are by the company NetApp so their users agree the support is good.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) came out ahead of NetApp FAS Series. Although both products have similar deployment difficulty and quality of support, NetApp FAS Series has fewer valuable features and should move towards adopting more all-flash capabilities.

To learn more, read our detailed NetApp AFF vs. NetApp FAS Series Report (Updated: March 2024).
771,740 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:
"The most valuable feature of this solution is its ease of use.""Overall stability is very good. It is a very stable solution.""One of the best features is the support, which is excellent.""It has benefited my organization because it has reduced time to insights.""Pure has signature security technology, which cannot be deleted, even if you are an administrator.""The most valuable feature of this solution is reliability.""It is very easy to install and configure. It has got excellent diagnostics. If you really need to see how the box is performing, the console gives you a lot of information. You can set thresholds as well as alerts based on the thresholds, which is a very powerful functionality. They are very proactive. They know how to monitor and manage the systems. They see a problem, and they are all over it before us. They see the problem before we see it, which is very good.""The duplication algorithm allows us to get a lot more use out of less storage. We're running a five terabyte array right now and we're running probably about 30 terabytes on it. So the duplication rate is pretty phenomenal, without a cost to performance. It still runs pretty smoothly."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pros →

"The in-line dedupe, and the compaction saves us a lot of space because most of our AFFs house VMware VMDK files.""The benefits of being on AFF are the phenomenal speed at which we're able to ingest data and index it, and the IOPS.""NetApp tech support is so good. Their tech support has always been so stable and the people are so good in case of any failure or any good feature that needs to be updated or features that supposedly can help with performance to improve some performance. NetApp support is one of the best that I deal with.""Easier to manage with the clustered system and everything with the newest ONTAP 9.""The solution’s thin provisioning has allowed us to add new applications without having to purchase additional storage. We use thin provisioning for everything. We use the deduplication compression functionality for all of our NetApps. If we weren't using thin provisioning, we'd probably have two to times more storage on our floor right now than we do today.""It is a stable solution.""We are using the AQoS operating system, which allows us to get a lot more out of our AFF systems.""Storage is very reliable. You don't have to do much maintenance."

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"The most valuable features are the NAS features and NetApp's excellent support.""It has a very good implementation of the Active Directory services, so implementation into a Windows network is easy.""The new FAS series is a good fit for some customers. We have good performance and capacity, even though it is full flash.""Better performance and lower costs.""The solution is stable.""Flexible and reliable storage solution with multiple features such as cloning, replication, and deduplication. Data migration can be done without any performance implications on the production systems.""Saves space with deduplication""Reliable storage solution with an easy setup. It has high availability and makes single file restoration easy. It also has good stability and scalability."

More NetApp FAS Series Pros →

"We would like to see VNC integration or be able to use Pure Storage with VNC.""The tool's pricing is higher than competitors.""If the customer only needs 500 terabytes and doesn't care how much data they'll put in the server, IBM is cheaper than Pure.""Efficiency improvements would always be welcome, but I'm not sure if they could get more efficient.""It is on the expensive side.""There is room for improvement in the pricing of the product.""Right now, the box itself is just strictly working as a backend storage system. It would be fantastic if we could access it directly like a NAS device through network access or SIS drives. I think they have an interface, but I am not sure how good it is. If we could address a box directly on the network without having to go through a server, it would be great. The replication schemas could be improved. We are not using replication on the storage level right now. We use a different type of replication. If their replication would be as good as the one that we have, I would probably run the replication schema because it might be faster, but I don't know that for a fact. So, I cannot say that they have good replication. All I can say is that they need to inform us better.""Many options to check performance, like read, writes, random writes, and random reads, are missing in Pure FlashArray X NVMe."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Cons →

"I don't work on the technical side of things, so it's hard for me to highlight areas of improvement, but maybe the price could be a little better.""This solution should be made easier to deploy.""The initial setup has a lot more steps in it than are probably necessary for a base deployment, unlike other vendors where it's more straightforward. It could be a little bit more streamlined.""Technical support is a little lackluster. Some of the issues that we've had were opening up tickets. They seem to be routed in the wrong direction or it takes one or two days to get a call back for simple tasks.""The response to basic problems could be faster. They usually respond fast when there are critical issues, but you always want it right now.""The Bezels need improvement.""We currently use some thin provisioning for our planning system, but we will probably move away from thin provisioning because our Solaris planning system actually has some issues with the thin provisioning and way Solaris handles it, since Solaris uses a ZFS file system. The ZFS file system doesn't like the thin provisioning changing things and it brings systems down, which is bad.""It would be helpful if the compatibility matrix was a bit better."

More NetApp AFF Cons →

"NetApp needs to put its OS on a microchip rather than on disks.""The high cost of the product is an area of concern, so from an improvement perspective, the tool needs to be made cheaper.""Needs to improve the adaptive storage quality of service.""The solution could do more than just data.""We're supposed to have used NetApp FAS Series for replication, but then one of the nodes failed, and then it's taken us some time to bring it up.""For long term partnership in Myanmar, the local warehouse should be built in Myanmar that's something I'd like to see. We have some issues with supply so there is sometimes a delay in getting the hardware.""Interfacing with the cloud environment could be better. I want to be able to move some cloud volume and integrate it seamlessly with my home on-premise storage. Sometimes I have issues with port permissions. NetApp probably needs to improve more on the integration side from on-premise to the cloud.""The high cost of the product is an area of concern, so from an improvement perspective, the tool needs to be made cheaper."

More NetApp FAS Series Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "With Pure Storage, we would like to continue seeing price reductions with flash storage. I don't think we're any different than anybody else when we continue to look to the industry for price reductions of both NVMe and traditional SSD storage. We would like to see these prices continue to decline and erode, even displacing large spinning disks."
  • "We pay approximately $50,000 USD per year in licensing fees."
  • "With VMware, we pay $300,000 annually."
  • "Our licensing fees are $500,000+ USD."
  • "As far as the licensing costs, everything is included in the license."
  • "They can tout the functionality and cutting edge technology that they have, but that's where the price tag comes in. The cost is high, but I think as they grow their business and get more customers that it will probably go down a little bit."
  • "Its price could be better. It is not too expensive, but it is the high-end cost. It is kind of a Rolls-Royce. You pay a lot, but you get a lot out of it. So, the price pressure on the way down would be great, but at the end of the day, if you need to do the work, you just pay for it."
  • "The licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It's expensive but we think over time all the prices are going to go down."
  • "Once we did get into the NetApp ecosystem, we realized that the cost effectiveness was greater than we originally thought."
  • "Obviously depending on the price point, NetApp is obviously a little more expensive than your generic Dell SAN solution or whatever."
  • "Other vendors may come in at a cheaper price point, but you will pay in the end with management costs and downtime."
  • "The entry point for potential customers, who are looking at coming onboard for flash systems, it may be a bit expensive. It would be good if the price comes down."
  • "It is pretty expensive compared to other solutions. I would give it a seven or eight out of 10 in price (where 10 is expensive) compared to similar solutions."
  • "NetApp is getting too expensive."
  • "ATTO bridges add to the total cost of the system."
  • More NetApp AFF Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It’s difficult for us to get money, so make sure you get everything in order, because there’s no going back and saying “oh, I missed this or that”, so make sure you plan well and well in advance."
  • "it’s not an inexpensive solution and it may not be for the cost-sensitive customer."
  • "The process for going to cluster mode is expensive."
  • "Most storage vendors also have software, or licensing bundles, which may offer the required licenses considerably cheaper, but do also maybe offer licenses, which are not needed."
  • "There are products available in market with comparatively lower costs."
  • "Cost effective storage for all performance levels (including all-flash)."
  • "The only area that could be improved is to lower prices for their All Flash FAS."
  • "The price it not low, but comparing features to other vendors, the price can be balanced."
  • More NetApp FAS Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    Is there another storage platform as feature rich as NetApp FAS? I think it is fair to say that NetApp FAS running Clustered Data ONTAP is a very feature rich platform – the move to the clustered version of ONTAP has brought many next-generation features including Scale-out and Non-disruptive Operations. As a benchmark let’s compare FAS to EMC’s solutions – I fully appreciate that EMC has taken a best of breed approach, but my feeling is that for most non-enterprise customers this is not a sustainable strategy – customers want simplicity and ease of use, and you are not going to get that by deploying four different storage platforms to meet your needs. I have chosen EMC because they are the overall market share leader and they have the broadest set of storage products available – so let’s compare FAS with VNX, VPLEX, XtremIO, Isilon and Data Domain: NetApp FAS supports All-Disk, Hybrid Flash and All-Flash data stores - that meet the needs of any kind of application workload The VNX is a very good All-Disk and Hybrid Flash array and XtremIO is a very good All-Flash array, but you need two completely different products to provide the functionality. NetApp FAS eliminates silos and provides seamless scalability - to address Server Virtualisation, Virtual Desktop, Database and File storage needs in one scale-up and scale-out solution, that can start small and grow large VNX is optimal for general Server Virtualisation and Databases and XtremIO excels when it comes to large scale… Read more →
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The standout features for us in Pure FlashArray X NVMe are its robust DDoS protection, seamless transparent failover… more »
    Top Answer:I would rate the solution as an eight out of ten in terms of costliness.
    Top Answer:There is room for improvement in catering to midrange storage needs, especially for customers seeking Enterprise-class… more »
    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… more »
    Top Answer:This question is very dependent on your requirements. Both are among the best in the field. Of course, the intended cost… 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 »
    Top Answer:Have you considered a NetApp FAS Storage for your NAS needs? I am sure it fits very well.
    Top Answer:I would rate the pricing a seven out of ten, with ten being expensive. We have a contract and pay a one-time purchase… more »
    Also Known As
    Pure FlashArray//X NVMe, Pure FlashArray//X, FlashArray//X
    NetApp All Flash FAS, NetApp AFF, NetApp Flash FAS
    Learn More

    Pure Storage FlashArray//X is the world’s first enterprise-class, all-NVMe flash storage array. It represents a new class of storage – shared accelerated storage, which is a term coined by Gartner – that delivers major breakthroughs in performance, simplicity, and consolidation.

    The NetApp A-Series and C-Series are AFF storage arrays that deliver high performance, scalability, and simplified data management for a wide range of workloads. They are designed for organizations that need to improve the performance and agility of their applications, while also reducing costs and complexity.

    NetApp A-Series and C-Series feature a scale-out architecture that can be scaled to meet the needs of your growing business. They also support a wide range of built-in data protection and data security features, including snapshots, replication, disaster recovery, and autonomous ransomware protection.

    AFF A-Series all-flash systems deliver industry-leading performance, density, scalability, security, and network connectivity.

    AFF C-Series systems are suited for large-capacity deployment as an affordable way to modernize your data center to all flash and also connect to the cloud.

    NetApp AFF Benefits

    • Speed up your critical applications with lightning-fast end-to-end NVMe enterprise all-flash arrays.
    • Increase Performance: AFF A-Series systems deliver industry-leading performance proven by SPC-1 and SPEC SFS industry benchmarks, making them ideal for demanding, highly transactional applications such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB databases, VDI, and server virtualization.
    • Save up to 95% of rack space and up to 85% of power and cooling cost over hybrid flash storage.
    • Reduce cost with guaranteed storage efficiency.
    • Realize even greater savings by tiering cold data to the cloud easily.
    • Simplify Operations on premises or in the cloud: Eliminate fragmented and redundant toolsets and combine visibility and manageability of storage instances with data services in a unified control plane across the hybrid cloud.

    NetApp AFF Features

    • Expand capacity with nondisruptive scaling in a cluster without silos or data migration.
    • Manage data with the ultimate flexibility of unified support across different storage media and protocols, on premises or in the cloud.
    • Scale performance with technology innovations of NVMe/FC and NVMe/TCP connectivity.
    • Safeguard your data with best-in-class data security, ransomware protection, multifactor admin access, secure multitenant shared storage, and in-flight and at-rest encryption.
    • Simplify backup and recovery with built-in application-consistent data protection.
    • Achieve business continuity and fast disaster recovery with zero data loss and zero downtime.
    • Scale out to 24 nodes, 367PB of effective capacity, and 4 million IOPS non-disruptively.

    Reviews from Real Users

    NetApp AFF stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its high performance and simplicity. PeerSpot users take note of the advantages of these features in their reviews:

    PeerSpot user and Storage Administrator, Daniel Rúnar Friðþjófsson, comments “AFF has helped to simplify our infrastructure, while still getting very high performance for our business-critical applications. Having all these things working well on one solution is really good. We run this as the backbone for both Hyper-V and VMware as well as an archive location for Rubrik. So, it is great having one solution that can do it all.

    Because of the ease of it all, you have a highly tunable, high-performance storage system that alleviates a lot of problems. With its ease of management, you can quickly get your work done and go onto the next thing on your list.”

    Additionally, Mohan Reddy, Sr. Technology Architect at a Pharma/Biotech company comments on how “NetApp's ONTAP data management software has also made tasks simpler for us. There's no question about that. It has helped us run operations very quickly, saving us a lot of time. Before ONTAP, we used to spend a long time doing regular operations, but with the latest version of the tool, our day-to-day operations are much quicker and easier.”

    NetApp FAS series is an enterprise-level storage system that provides a wide variety of data management services, including data protection, block and file storage, and data management.

    NetApp FAS is designed to be highly scalable, allowing your organization to grow storage capacity on demand. NetApp FAS also supports multiple protocols, including NFS, SMB, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel, as well as various storage architectures, including SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network-Attached Storage).

    The FAS series has multiple data protection and data management features, including snapshots, cloning, replication, and deduplication, to help secure your data and manage it more efficiently. The system integrates with other NetApp products and solutions, to create a unified data management platform. The system can be deployed on-premise, on multi-cloud environments, or hybrid.

    NetApp FAS Series Benefits and Features

    NetApp FAS series provides its users with several key benefits and features, including:

    • Scalability: NetApp FAS series is easy to scale, allowing organizations to rapidly grow their storage capacity according to demand.
    • Security: Protect and manage your data with various data protection and data management tools, including snapshots, cloning, replication, and deduplication.
    • Seamless integration: Integrate with other NetApp products and solutions to ensure a unified data management platform across on-premise, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.
    • Reduced costs: Consolidation of multiple storage boxes greatly reduces the data center footprint. From a management point of view, with NetApp FAS you manage a single storage box instead of multiple storage boxes.

    • Compatibility: Forward and backward compatibility ensures that you don’t have to trade in existing controllers. New controllers can always integrate with previously released controllers.
    • Multi-protocol support: Support for multiple protocols, including NFS, SMB, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel.
    • High performance and availability: The solution has high input and output per second performance and ensures that critical data remains accessible in the event of a hardware failure.

    • Intuitive interface: The FAS series has a user-friendly interface and management dashboard, making it easy to manage your storage systems. With unified management, you can quickly run a single protocol on your entire system

    • Data cloning and replication: Easily clone databases of any size. Clones occupy a very, very small footprint on the storage until they are severed from the main database. Replications carried out by the system are fast and require very little bandwidth.

    Reviews from Real Users

    NetApp FAS Series stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Several major ones are its speed, reliability, and a wide variety of features.

    Adriano S., IT project and infrastructure service manager, writes, “The replication feature is noteworthy because it's faster than most and it uses little bandwidth. Then there's the friendly interface that the equipment offers. With this interface, it is very easy to manage.”

    Temitope O., a NetApp product manager at Hiperdist Ltd, says, “I like the unified management feature because sometimes you end up running a single protocol on the entire system. You rather have a system for a particular protocol and another system for other protocols, especially in a big environment like mine.”

    Sample Customers
    Fremont Bank, Judson ISD, The Nielsen Company
    DreamWorks Animation, FICO, Yahoo! Japan
    Children's Hospital Central California, Plex Systems, PDF PNI Digital Media, Denver Broncos, PDF KSM Legal, Clayton Companies, Virginia Community College
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company23%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Manufacturing Company18%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Healthcare Company15%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    Educational Organization61%
    Computer Software Company7%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Financial Services Firm4%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Healthcare Company11%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Comms Service Provider7%
    Educational Organization59%
    Computer Software Company7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Financial Services Firm4%
    Company Size
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise34%
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise73%
    Small Business9%
    Midsize Enterprise66%
    Large Enterprise25%
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Small Business10%
    Midsize Enterprise64%
    Large Enterprise27%
    Buyer's Guide
    NetApp AFF vs. NetApp FAS Series
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp AFF vs. NetApp FAS Series and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    NetApp AFF is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage with 281 reviews while NetApp FAS Series is ranked 5th in Deduplication Software with 98 reviews. NetApp AFF is rated 9.0, while NetApp FAS Series is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of NetApp AFF writes "Since switching, our clients have reported improved performance and reduced latency". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetApp FAS Series writes "Offers good performance and ". NetApp AFF is most compared with Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity XT, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Pure Storage FlashArray and NetApp ASA, whereas NetApp FAS Series is most compared with Dell PowerScale (Isilon), HPE StorageWorks MSA, Dell PowerProtect DD (Data Domain), IBM FlashSystem and HPE StoreEasy. See our NetApp AFF vs. NetApp FAS Series report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage 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.