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NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Room for Improvement

Daniel Rúnar  Friðþjófsson - PeerSpot reviewer
Storage Administrator at Sensa ehf.

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.

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MohanReddy - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Technology Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees

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. 

For example, my team is unaware of any product unless my architect tells us about it. Then the team starts digging. It would be helpful if they made all the documentation and training readily accessible to everyone on their portal.

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Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

In some situations, we would like to have an additional storage shelf but do not want to use an SSD. Unfortunately, AFF won't work in conjunction with SATA. Having these together might give some benefit in terms of capacity.

We would like to have a feature that automatically moves volumes between aggregates, based on the performance. We normally need to do this manually.

In some cases, we would like to have the ability to expand our units to handle two additional target ports. As of now, we are using four or eight target ports, which come with the A300 model. There are situations where we need to extend this but we have limited slots available. 

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Buyer's Guide
NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
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Director, IT Infrastructure Services at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees

The newest version of ONTAP has a bit of a learning curve because you need to learn where things are to find them. It is not impossible, but when you are accustomed to the older version of ONTAP, it just takes a bit getting used to it, but it is about the same as before.

The front-end of ONTAP and its web UI could be improved. It has been a little while since I interacted with the interface, but my recollection is that because of the learning curve and things moving around, it is less intuitive than the previous version. 

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AWS Solutions Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees

For ONTAP, in general, the deduplication ratio and Snapshot limitation are areas that need improvement. There is a global limitation on the number of Snapshots or clones that can be spun off of a particular Snapshot. If those limitations are increased, it might be helpful.

With regard to Fibre Channel and iSCSI, the block protocol is still not up to the mark. NetApp has not been a leader in file and block services.

SnapCenter is still not mature enough and has a grid at scale. It is still not up to the mark and is not delivering as promised when we initially invested in StorageGRID.

In terms of Oracle workloads, NFS workloads specific to databases, Snapshots, data production strategies, and SnapMirror, significant room for improvement is needed from NetApp.

Compatibility with multiple vendors has been a pain and continues to be so.

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Pedro Paz - PeerSpot reviewer
System Engineer at Eni Energies et Services

The deployment itself, compared to other platforms, should be a lot easier. We don't find it all that complicated because we have been doing it for such a long time, but it should be a bit easier. They can improve that.

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. I know that SAN, itself, is quite complicated. It's not the same approach as the hyper-converged solutions, but there are always ways to improve. NetApp's engineers should try to tackle that so that integration between devices, including the cabling at the back, is simplified.

Another thing that could be simplified is the Service Processor setup. That is something that requires you to perform a lot of tasks before it is completed.

Also, joining clusters should be a lot easier. With one or two commands you should be able to complete that.

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Swann Adjemian - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of the Projects Department at ALPIX

We have an S3 protocol with the AFF, but there are a lot of limitations. The new ONTAP version has S3, but we can only do a very small volume.

Another issue is that for smaller customers, NetApp doesn't have enough disk sizes. You begin with a 980-gigabyte disk and the next size is 3.8 terabytes. There aren't any disk sizes in between. Competitors have more choices in disk sizes.

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AIX and Storage Specialist at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

It used to give us the volume where LANs should be placed when we created a LAN in the older version. However, in the newer version of ONTAP, it does not give where to place the LAN in the volume. So, that liberty has been taken away. If that was there again, it would be very good.

When we create a LAN, it has taken away the feature. For example, in older code, we used to be able to select the LAN volume for LANs to be placed in. In the newer code, it does not allow the volume to be selected. It creates a volume automatically based on a round-robin. 

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Vice President Data Protection Strategy at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I'm not an engineer, so to a certain extent, it ain't broke, don't fix it. From my perspective, everything works well. 

They've already announced that they have some features in their next release that make the existing investment more usable, by adding software features to your existing legacy hardware investment. Features like the ability to add the S3 protocol, which is the storage protocol used by Amazon Azure and Google onto a NetApp filer for on-prem or co-located products.

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Systems Management Engineer at a legal firm with 201-500 employees

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. Overall, for the pure back-end, we are not seeing any issues whatsoever.

With our previous storage solution provider, we had the availability of synchronous mirroring. SnapMirror is asyncronous. I would just like to see if NetApp has any plans to implement synchronous mirroring for DR solutions into the tool in the future.

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Sr. System Engineer at a government with 10,001+ employees

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. Also, the graphical design of the GUI for that part doesn't fit the windows on your screen.

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Senior Storage Administrator at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

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. 

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IT Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 201-500 employees

This particular solution is coming up at its end of life.

During the initial setup, you need to know what you are doing. There's a learning curve. There are simpler options available. 

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Angel Barra Madrigal - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultor and Co-founder at OS4IT

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.

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Bob Mulders - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Infrastructure, Network & Security Management at Vos Logistics N.V.

The only problem is that when you change to NetApp, it may have a large impact on your backups or something else.

When comparing with Pure for example, with Pure you have no maintenance anymore and with NetApp, you still need maintenance. For the maintenance, you need an external company to maintain the system. With Pure you have less maintenance which is a good item.

I think it could have better monitoring.

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Consulting Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Their backup software could be improved.

In the next release, I would like to see a complete S3 protocol. Also better compatibility and integration with VM-ware.

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Solutions Consultant at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees

It would be better if they just improved the performance of the system.

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Sarith Sasidharan - PeerSpot reviewer
System Administrator at a government with 201-500 employees

Its integration could be improved.

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Buyer's Guide
NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS)
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.