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NetApp refreshes its all-flash FAS and hybrid arrays

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September 26, 2016

Earlier today, NetApp said it has refreshed its all-flash FAS and hybrid arrays, adding performance, capacity and scalability upgrades, and supporting 32 Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 40 GbitE connectivity.

ONTAP also gets upgraded, with Azure support for ONTAP Cloud, we are told. This follows on from the E-Series launch of the entry-level all-flash and hybrid flash/disk E-2800 two weeks ago, aimed at midsized businesses and remote offices.

NetApp claims that the E-2800 offers best-in-class performance up to 300,000 IOPS and at the lowest acquisition cost for an all-flash array.

There are a total of six new mainstream NetApp arrays and we'll start with the AFF flash fliers. The two new AFF arrays use Samsung’s 15 TB SSDs, which provide a 4x capacity increase at the entry and old mid-range levels.

We understand that the A-300 replaces the AFF-8040 and AFF-8060 with the AFF-700 replacing the AFF-8080 EX.

New hybrid FAS-9000, FAS-8200 and FAS-2600 arrays replace the current FAS-2500 and FAS-8000s. All these systems scale up but are built to scale-out with clustering from 2 to 24 AFF and/or FAS nodes.

Of course, a new generation of Intel CPUs is used for the controllers. For the AFF A700 and FAS-9000, there are two Broadwell 18-core processors per controller, so 72 cores for high-availability.

The AFF A-300 and FAS-8200 get two 16-core Broadwells, 32 cores per pair. At the low end of the new FAS product line, the FAS-2620 and FAS-2650 get two 6-core Broadwells, 12 cores per pair.

ONTAP, the AFF and FAS operating system, also get a refresh to version 9.1 which offers:

  • FlexGroup – a massively scalable, high-performance NAS container for the latest generation of applications in the EDA, high-tech, oil and gas, media and entertainment industries. It scales a single container up to 20 PB and 400 billion files.
  • Volume Encryption – granular, volume-level, software-based encryption for data on any type of drives across AFF, FAS, or ONTAP Select systems.
  • ONTAP Cloud support for Microsoft Azure on top of existing AWS support.
  • ONTAP Select now supports all-flash commodity servers.
  • To be sure, ONTAP version 9 is available as a base bundle and a premium bundle (FlexClone, SnapMirror, SnapVault, SnapRestore, SnapCenter and SnapManager) with separate optional software.

    We have the new AFF A-300 mid-range and AFF A-700 high-end system with configuration flexibility through a modular design. This is said to ease servicing and prepare the way for future upgrades.

    These systems deliver up to twice the performance at half the latency, compared with the previous generation of AFF systems, with a typical (standard) setup in about 10 to 12 minutes.

    A 24-node AFF cluster can deliver more than 7 million IOPS. NetApp claims that its new AFF arrays reduce SSD storage utilization by five to ten times on average with proprietary data reduction technology.

    Compared to the old AFF arrays, the new ones have increased flash capacity, memory and NVRAM, with greater host connectivity bandwidth.

    NetApp was quick to point out that its AFF line uses Samsung 3D V-NAND and is the first all-flash array maker to support Samsung 15 TB SSDs.

    These two AFF boxes are also the first to use multi-stream write SSDs, which improve SSD write performance and SSD endurance through better garbage collection techniques.

    The new AFF arrays support 32 Gbit/s Fibre Channel, with eight ports for the A-300 and 32 for the AF-700.

    Additionally, 24 and 64 16 Gbit/s FC ports are also supported. On the Ethernet side, 40 GbitE, 8 and 32 ports and 32 and 64 10 GbitE ports respectively are also supported.

    Source: NetApp.

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