NetApp HCI with SolidFire® Element® software.
NetApp HCI has been around for a while now and there have been various improvements to the technology since its inception. Today NetApp made the following announcement to bring the product range up to date and meet a greater number of use cases.
- Now supports SnapMirror® to Cloud Volumes ONTAP to deliver seamless integration between public and private cloud.
- New options in the NetApp HCI portfolio to include H410C and H610C compute nodes. With the GPU-based H610C compute node, customers can accelerate VDI environments and confidently consolidate multiple workloads without bottlenecks, thanks to the unique workload protection capabilities of NetApp HCI.
- The ability to mix and match compute nodes with independent scaling of compute and storage gives users the flexibility and scale to consolidate private cloud, container services, VDI, and enterprise applications without silos.
From a software perspective, the Element Software Version 11 release will be compatible with all HCI and SolidFire nodes and clusters, and brings some much needed new features to the HCI platform including:
- SnapMirror to ONTAP Cloud – migrate or backup your data to ONTAP Cloud
- Support for IPv6 management networks
- 16TB maximum volume size
- Protection domains – Automated resiliency built into HCI chassis.
Protection domains are automatically enabled as part of the software upgrade and using Double-helix data layout ensures that secondary data blocks span domains, so in the event of a chassis failure, or a chassis is taken offline for maintenance, workloads will automatically fail-over to another chassis and remain highly available.
- Reduce risk exposure to chassis failure
- Automatically detect HCI chassis and node configuration
- Auto-heal a domain or node depending on cluster configuration and available storage capacity
- Provide Domain level capacity monitoring
Note: A minimum of three domains (HCI Chassis) is required for domain-level resiliency and storage must be distributed between those domains.
New Compute Nodes
First up, NetApp are rolling out a new chipset in the all new HCI H410C compute nodes. These nodes are a mid-life update and will utilize the Skylake generation CPU, bringing the hardware up to date with current CPU technologies.
This hardware update expands on the current node configurations that are available in the HCI product line from three node sizes, small, medium and large, to ten configurations, each with different CPU and memory configurations to meet more specific customer workload demands.
All new node configurations are compatible with previous generation platforms, which allows nodes to be mixed and matched without the addition of new chassis.
In addition to this, NetApp have also announced a new GPU accelerated compute node that has been optimized for Windows 10 VDI workloads. The HCI H610C allows for up to 128 office/knowledge worker desktops per node features two NVDIA Tesla M10 GPUs, allowing users to offload a lot of the graphics work in Windows 10 away from the CPU, and run multiple monitors with high graphics performance on a single platform.
Finally, NetApp have also announced a new network switch called the H-Series. Specially aimed at NetApp HCI environments, the H-Series Switch is a Mellanox SN210 based half-width switch, allowing two of them to be racked side by side and only take up only 1U worth of rack space. Each switch comes with 18 ports, which perfectly matches the port requirements for a full HCI deployment, and an optional bundle of cables and transceivers further simplifies a HCI deployment. Furthermore, all HCI technical support will now be provided by NetApp, allowing for a single contact for the entire HCI stack, including VMware.