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IBM FlashSystem vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 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
"There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features.""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."

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"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 in IBM FlashSystem are IOPS, performance, duplication, and compression.""The performance of IBM FlashSystem is very good. The new technology and high throughput have given us more confidence in the solution. The management of the system has improved and we can control the monitoring system alerts and multiple FlashSystems with the Enterprise Cloud Edition, which is free. The migration of recently stored data to a new flash is much easier. You can move your data because you can utilize it externally.""The performance is very good and we use this product to enhance our core system.""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.""We've found the solution to be very stable so far."

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"The initial setup is very simple.""Technical support has been okay.""I like some basic features like Snapshot, FlexClone, and advanced features such as SnapMirror, and SnapVault. They also recently enhanced the market with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. I think that NetApp is a very good product.""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.""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 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.""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.""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."

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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.""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.""I would like to see the management layer improved."

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"A big area for improvement is that the data reduction pool feature is not recommended for use in a production environment because it has stability and performance issues.""We use some open-source tools for monitoring, such as Grafana and it should be bundled along with IBM FlashSystem.""The support could improve by allowing you to speak to someone when you call rather than them calling you back. However, once we do have contact with one of their technicians they are excellent.""The customer's expectations are what they get on the cloud, they're expecting even in the on-premises deployments, going forward.""The GUI for monitoring performance metrics could provide better visibility. For example, it doesn't let me segregate the IOPS per volume.""Their technical support needs improvement in terms of reachability for the clients and response times. They should be more responsive and have more online platforms for support. They should make more technical information available online. There could be some kind of documentation community.""There could be some extra features added.""We had issues when attempting to do a flash, we hope to resolve it soon."

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"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.""We would like to have a feature that automatically moves volumes between aggregates, based on the performance. We normally need to do this manually.""Its integration could be improved.""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.""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.""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.""During the initial setup, you need to know what you are doing.""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."

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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."
  • More NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk… more »
    Top Answer: 
    This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal… more »
    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 performance is very good and we use this product to enhance our core system.
    Top Answer: 
    The cost is pretty high in terms of licensing. We pay at least $100,000 USD in licensing fees for the storage. We have… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It simplifies data management for NAS environments with its ease of management, ease of share creation, and Active IQ… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing is pretty reasonable for what we get. But if you have to buy any more disk space, it can be quite expensive… more »
    Top Answer: 
    There is room for improvement in terms of support. I have noticed that if I sometimes call their customer care for a… 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
    Learn more about Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array
    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 Company29%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm30%
    Government11%
    Healthcare Company9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company28%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Healthcare Company16%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Retailer7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business72%
    Midsize Enterprise3%
    Large Enterprise26%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise51%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business12%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise75%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise67%
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 7th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 28 reviews while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 15 reviews. IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.4, while NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is rated 9.0. The top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Good performance, energy efficient with a small form factor, helpful support". 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 Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC PowerStore, Dell EMC Unity XT, HPE Nimble Storage and HPE StorageWorks MSA, whereas NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) is most compared with Pure Storage FlashArray, Dell EMC Unity XT, Lenovo ThinkSystem DM Series, Dell EMC PowerStore and HPE Primera. 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.