With a complete refresh of their current hardware range, NetApp is simplifying their portfolio by reducing the number of FAS hardware models to four, and as of today their AFF models to two.
At the top end we have the FAS9000, which is designed for enterprise business critical applications, with simplified serviceability and a capacity of up to 14PB. In the mid-range we see the FAS82000 system, which is built for enterprise workloads, and at the entry range, we have two integrated storage systems, the FAS2620 NL SAS based system and the FAS2650, which has both SAS and SSD.
All models will simplify deployment and flexible, with the FAS9000 allowing for easier serviceability with its new modular design and mobile autosupport. Clusters will also now allow up to 12-node SAN nodes.
One of the biggest things in terms of connectivity is the next generation of datacentre connectivity, with support for 32Gb FC SAN and 40GbE networking environments, which will surely meet the demands of any modern datacenter.
NetApp’s “Flash Everywhere” message is further enforced with Flash now included in all new ONTAP systems. This Onboard NVMe flash, is a read cache not to similar the Flash Cache in previous hardware models, but is one of the fastest SSD solutions out there at the moment.
In terms of performance, the FAS2600 see the biggest performance boost, with an increase in performance of 200%+ over the current platform (FAS2500). The FAS8200 and FAS9000 systems also both see a 50%+ performance increase over the systems they are replacing. All systems will use the new CPU architecture, which is based on INTEL Broadwell CPUs, taking the CPU core limit of the FAS9000 to 72 cores (HA systems), which is considerably scaled up from the FAS8080, which had 40 CPU cores.
At the entry level, the FAS2500 will be replaced by the FAS2600 (FAS2620 available at the end of CY16). In the mid-range the FAS8200 replaces the FAS8020 and FAS8040. And at the high-end the FAS9000 replaces the FAS8060 and FAS8080.
The FAS9000 is an 8U system that has been designed for the next generation of high-speed data centers. It’s a completely new architecture with a modular design, so basically there is no IO within the base controllers. This not only increases serviceability and reliability, by allowing components to be hot plugged without having to down the system, but by also having the IO outside of the base unit, it’s now easier and inexpensive to upgrade to the next generation of CPU architecture.
A nice touch with the model is the included cable management shelf that attaches to the back on the system, which makes it really easy to add/remove modules without having to touch cables plugged into any other module.
Similar to the FAS8020 in style, the FAS8200 is a 4U system which has 4 expansion slots. But this is where the similarity ends. Connectivity is enhanced with four 10GbE ports, two dedicate cluster ports, and four SAS ports. There are also eight UTA2 ports for MetroCluster FC-VI connectivity.
Each HA pair scales up to 6PB and come with 1TB of NVMe M.2 (Flash Cache) as standard for read caching, which is upgradable to 4TB per HA pair.
The FAS8200 offers 50%+ more performance over previous models with four times more memory; 256GB per HA pair, and two times more CPU cores; 32 CPU cores per HA pair.
The FAS2600 range is a new integrated storage system aimed at the SMB, and although classed as entry level models, though they definitely aren't low end systems by any means.
The two FAS2600 models are 2U 12Gb SAS integrated enclosures, with the FAS2620 being a 12-drive enclosure and the FAS2650 a 24 disk enclosure, and allow for both SAS (NL SAS on FAS2620) and SSDs. Both models have four UTA2 ports, which provides you with the flexibility in terms of I/O, and feature 12 CPU cores, 64GB Memory and 8GB NVMEM, which is two-three times more than the hardware it replaces. There are also two SAS ports per controller to allow connectivity to external disks shelves, to allow you to easy scale out.
Each HA pair scales up to 6PB and come with 1TB of NVMe SSDs (Flash Cache) as standard for read caching, which isn’t upgradable.
Two new AFF systems have been announced, the AFF A300 and AFF A700, which will replace the current platforms. Both platforms have more CPU cores and memory, and consume less rack space, at 5U and 10U respectively. Both systems will require at least ONTAP 9.1 RC1.
The AFF A300 replaces the AFF8040, and provide 50% more throughput than the AFF8040. Connectivity is the same as the AFF8040 but storage configuration is more flexible with support for 15.3TB, 3.8TB SSD, and 960GB; 800GB; and 3.8TB NSE.
The AFF A700 is a single-chassis system which replaces the existing dual-chassis AFF8080. Performance is significantly improved, providing over 100% higher IOPS than the AFF8080, so this system can handle nearly double the workload of the AFF8080 at half the latency; this is due to the increase in memory to 1024GB and increase in cores to 72.
Like the FAS9000, the AFF A700 is modular based, with support for 40GbE, 32Gb and 16Gb FC, 10GbE/10GBaseT, 12Gb SAS, meaning it’s well suited for modern datacentre environments requiring the highest throughput, reliability and serviceability.
New Storage Shelves
Two new 2U storage shelves have also been announced (ONTAP 9.x only), the DS224C and DS212C; 24 x 2.5” and 12 x 3.5” drives respectively. Both shelves provide more storage bandwidth with quad-pathing than current models, and the introduction of drive packs allows for flexible configurations using 6/12/18 drive configurations, allowing you to mix both SAS and SSD in the same shelf. It’s also worth noting that both shelves support the new 15.3TB SSDs and that SAS management is now inband, meaning no separate ACP requirement, allowing for a cleaner install.
Next Generation High Speed Networking Infrastructure
Moving onto the bridge infrastructure. Flash Storage demands the maximum network speeds and throughput, and with this in mind NetApp have introduced the first to market 32GbE SAN adapter. This allows for a complete 32GbE SAN infrastructure, which offers a significant performance improvement for SAN environments.
40GbE front end network connectivity is now also possible with the new 40GbE cards, when used in combination with the Cisco 3132Q-V network switch, meeting demands of the next generation of high-speed data centers.
I think this is a great release for NetApp, and in combination with the world’s number 1 storage OS - Data ONTAP 9.1, these systems will be hard to beat.
ONTAP 9.1 in itself has some nice improvements over the previous versions, with increases in performance through the optimisation of the code, with the biggest improvements being seen in the SME space with the FAS2600, gaining a massive 200% performance improvement over the previous generation FAS2500. However the star of the show is the amazing AFF A700, which will handle double the workload of an AFF8080, which is a huge leap in performance and will meet the needs of any workload.
Another nice feature of ONTAP 9.1 is FlexGroup; a single namespace spanning multiple controllers, allowing systems to scale to 400 billion files. There’s also Cloud tiering; the ability of an AFF to utilise object store for its cold data, and encryption.
It’s also worth noting that Azure is also now supported through Data ONTAP Cloud, which ties in nicely with EACS’s other Microsoft offerings.
Now the only thing to do is get hands on with the kit at NetApp Insight Las Vegas this week.
You can contact EACS Limited on 0044 845 337 9146.