no longer recommending netapp
Having done so frequently in the past, I am not currently recommending NetApp to my consulting clients; for three reasons:
1. They've totally dropped the ball on delivering the shared-nothing cluster capability in OnTAP 8.x. It is way behind schedule and the release is looking half-baked. Whether the development group has run into insurmountable technical difficulties, lost some key talent, or suffered from BigCo processes (rather than being allowed to innovate like a startup) I cannot say but I fear a mix of all three.
2. The management UI has always been crap and despite repeated promises to develop a high-quality modular interface, it remains crap. I think they hired too many developers with a Java Enterprise background. Oops.
3. Even with VAAI the integration with VMware remains saddening. It's so easy to imagine array-assisted snapshot/clone integration for zero-copy backups & VM management. The prospect remains unfulfilled, unlike in Citrix/Xen land. VMware shares the blame for this but with the HQs twenty minutes apart I remain unimpressed by VAAI.
Alone I guess my recommendations haven't contributed more than a few $m to NetApp's net worth, but other like-minded infrastructure consultants may be expressing similar concerns.