NetApp FAS3200s: Choices for NetApp FAS3210 and NetApp FAS3240 Support
NetApp FAS3210 and NetApp FAS3240 support is in a state of transition. These midrange data storage platforms have remained popular since their introduction in 2010, but now OEM support is winding down. The OEM has refreshed the 3210’s line-up and will discontinue support for the FAS3240 on December 31, 2018. As a result, data center managers should start evaluating non-NetApp support options for both of these pieces of hardware as soon as possible.
So begins the comparison shopping for an appropriate long-term support solution.
Apples to Apples to Bad Apples
Both the NetApp FAS 3210 and FAS3240 feature single-enclosure HA, two controllers, and a single 3U chassis. They also each bring four PCIe expansion slots, four onboard of each I/O (4 Gb FC, 6 Gb SAS, and GbE), and the ability to run ONTAP 7 or 8. And they both can continue to deliver value in the data center for years beyond EOSL.
Customers choosing between the FAS3210 and FAS3240, therefore, based their decisions primarily on capacity and memory. The specs for the two arrays line up like this:
|Max Capacity||1,800 TB||720 TB|
|Memory||16 GB||8 GB|
|Max Flash Cache||1 TB||512 GB|
Customers selecting a NetApp FAS3200 series direction will have to choose from among the following options:
- The NetApp way. NetApp’s preference is for customers to use the OEM support until the bitter end, and then transition to newer hardware. It’s definitely an option, but at this stage in the FAS3200 series’ lifecycle, it has several downsides. NetApp isn’t devoting a lot of engineering time to the FAS3210 or FAS3240, so the value of its support is declining while the cost is not. Over the next few years, customers will pay about half-again as much as they would a third party maintenance provider to keep NetApp on board for support.
- The bargain basement alternatives. With IT budgets tightening, many data center managers are pressured to find savings, and older storage systems can seem a good place to do it. A low cost quote can be sufficient reason to dump NetApp support. Unfortunately there are “bad apples” in the market with deceptively good marketing. Although they promise NetApp-quality support, they lack the engineering talent to deliver and are stymied by problems more complex than drive failures. Customers end up paying a high price in extended downtime, internal and external customer frustration, and costly business impacts.
- An affordable, high-quality solution. There is a middle ground between NetApp and the low end of the third party maintenance market. Several providers have built a strong reputation on providing NetApp-equivalent engineering quality and service at a lower cost than NetApp itself. And at least one—namely Park Place Technologies—adds features and personalization that take NetApp FAS support to a whole new level. This is the sweet spot where you want your NetApp FAS3210 or FAS3240 to be.
What Makes Park Place the Best?
- We save most customers 40% to 70% off NetApp’s prices for FAS3210 and FAS3240 support, so there’s no reason to go to the bottom of the barrel to find a support solution that fits your budget.
- Complete coverage. Despite the savings, we offer the most comprehensive standard contract in the industry. It includes 100% component coverage, certified spare parts, online support portal, 24/7 remote monitoring, on-site assistance, and full hardware, software, and firmware support—to name just of few of the main features.
- Engineering expertise. We pride ourselves on being just as good as NetApp, if not better. Over nearly a decade servicing NetApp equipment, we’ve built one of the best support infrastructures available, staffed exclusively by Level 3 personnel. We haven’t met a problem we can’t solve.
- Personalization and access. A great support solution is only worthwhile if the client can make full use of it, so we open the access doors. Clients never have to go through an escalation procedure to reach Level 3 support; they get the answers they need right away. We assign an appropriately experienced, local, Level 3 engineer to the account and launch the relationship with an on-site systems analysis. Quarterly account review meetings continue the relationship, and clients even gain four hours to four days of engineering time to address issues that don’t fall into the usual break/fix or troubleshooting categories.
- Long-term commitment. Just as important at this stage for the NetApp FAS3200 series, we never impose an EOSL date and will be happy to support your NetApp FAS3210 and/or NetApp FAS3240 for as long as they have a role in your environment.
These features each have corresponding financial and operational impacts on the IT organization.