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New Cluster-Ready FAS3200 Models

by NetApp Staff on ‎2013-01-08 07:36 PM

Steven Miller
Senior Technical Director and Platform Architect

NetApp recently introduced two new models in the FAS3200 series: the FAS3220 and the FAS3250. Our design goal for these models was to optimize them for use with clustered Data ONTAP® and Virtual Storage Tier technologies. We've doubled the computational ability and significantly expanded memory and capacity so that these systems are able to deliver outstanding performance and efficiency in a wide range of use cases, including consolidating midrange workloads, as a cluster building block, in cloud environments, and in FlexPod® configurations.

You'll notice that we simplified the FAS3200 line from three models to two. With clustered Data ONTAP you can now combine several systems—from across the NetApp® FAS2200, FAS3200, and FAS6200 product lines—to address your capacity and performance needs while improving infrastructure agility through the nondisruptive operations that clustering makes possible.

In this article I explain how NetApp designed the FAS3220 and FAS3250 to deliver great performance and efficiency while exploiting the latest advancements in Data ONTAP.

Flexible Configuration Options

When we introduced the FAS3200 series in 2010, we recognized that we needed a flexible, expandable platform that was capable of bridging the substantial gap that exists between entry-level and enterprise storage. That focus on flexibility and expandability continues.

We use the same 3U chassis as with previous models. A chassis can be occupied either by two controllers (each with two PCIe v2.0 slots)—creating an HA pair in 3U—or by a single controller and an I/O expansion module (IOXM) that provides an additional four PCIe slots.

Figure 1) The 3U chassis of the FAS3200 series can be occupied by dual controllers (HA pair) or a single controller plus an I/O expansion module with four additional PCIe slots.

FAS3220 configurations are available with or without the IOXM. This means that you can have an HA configuration (two controllers) in just 3U with four available PCIe slots, or in 6U of rack space with 12 PCIe slots. All FAS3250 configurations include the IOXM for maximum expandability. An HA configuration occupies 6U of rack space and offers 12 PCIe slots. As before, there are V-Series versions of each model for virtualizing third-party storage.

Table 1) Available configurations for new FAS3200 models.

FAS/V3220
FAS/V3250
Single-Chassis Standalone
FAS/V3220
NA
Single-Chassis HA
FAS/V3220A
NA
Single-Chassis with IOXM
FAS/V3220E
FAS/V3250E
Dual-Chassis HA
(controller + IOXM in each)
FAS/V3220AE
FAS/V3250AE

As a general rule, NetApp recommends using the two PCIe slots built into the controller for high-performance 10GbE and/or 8Gb FC adapters. The additional expansion slots in the IOXM can be used for NetApp Flash Cache™ intelligent caching and additional connectivity for FC or SAS disks. The availability of these four IOXM slots offers obvious benefits for configuring systems to take advantage of Flash Cache.

FAS3220 Highlights

To enhance the power of the FAS3220 versus the FAS3210 that it is replacing, NetApp doubled the number of CPU cores, increased system memory by 2.4 times, and increased NVMEM by more than 3 times. We also doubled the maximum drive count to 480 drives and provided configurations with the IOXM for greater expansion. The result is a much more capable system delivering up to 80% more performance. The increased NVMEM will further accelerate write-intensive applications. As writes occur, they are journaled in the NVMEM. When the NVMEM fills, a checkpoint occurs and all writes are flushed to disk. A larger NVMEM decreases the frequency of these checkpoints and allows Data ONTAP to further optimize writes to disk for maximum efficiency.

Table 2) Comparison of the new FAS3220 with the FAS3210.

FAS/V3210
FAS/V3220
HA Configuration
A
A or AE
CPU Cores
4
8
Physical Memory
10GB
24GB
NVMEM*
1GB
3.2GB
Max Drive Count
240
480
Max Capacity
720TB
1920TB**
On-Board Ports
4 GbE
4 FC
4 6Gb SAS
4 GbE
4 FC
4 6Gb SAS
PCIe Slots
4
4 or 12

*NVMEM consumes part of physical memory.
**Using 4TB drives. (Not qualified on FAS/V3210).

NetApp recently tested the FAS3220 as part of the Microsoft Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP). We found that the system is capable of supporting 21,000 Exchange 2010 users at 0.120 IOPS per user and a 1.5GB mailbox size in the Mailbox Resiliency (dual-copy) configuration. Since it achieved 49% more IOPS than targeted, it's clear that the tested solution still had significant IOPS headroom. This result compares favorably with those from competing midrange storage systems.

FAS3250 Highlights

For the FAS3250, we doubled the number of CPU cores, increased memory by 2.5 times, and raised the maximum number of disks supported to 720. We also include standard either a 10-Gigabit Ethernet card or an 8-Gigabit Fibre Channel card in each controller for both clustered Data ONTAP and 7-Mode configurations to satisfy cluster interconnect or high-performance I/O needs. The FAS3250 boosts performance up to 2 times versus the FAS3240.

Table 3) Comparison of the new FAS3250 with the FAS3240.

FAS/V3240
FAS/V3250
HA Configuration
A or AE
AE only
CPU Cores
8
16
Physical Memory
16GB
40GB
NVMEM*
2GB
4GB
Max Drive Count
600
720
Max Capacity
2400TB**
2880TB**
On-Board Ports
4 GbE
4 FC
4 6Gb SAS
4 GbE
4 FC
4 6Gb SAS
Standard I/O Cards
NA
10GbE or 8Gb FC
PCIe Slots
4
4 or 12

*NVMEM consumes part of physical memory.
**Using 4TB drives.

We used the SPECsfs benchmark to assess the performance of the FAS3250. The FAS3250 delivers 100,922 SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 Ops/sec with an overall response time of 1.76 milliseconds.

Clustered Data ONTAP for Increased Agility

With increased memory, processing power, and capacity, the FAS3220 and FAS3250 are ideal building blocks for clustered configurations that take advantage of the scale-out capabilities of clustered Data ONTAP 8. (Previous Tech OnTap® articles referred to clustered Data ONTAP as "Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode" or simply "Cluster-Mode.")

Clustering provides a layer of abstraction between data access and the physical storage hardware, creating a much more agile storage environment. All data access goes through a Virtual Storage Server, or "Vserver," which is a storage profile that isn't tied to a particular underlying storage system. The result is that you can move workloads within a cluster without requiring remounts or otherwise disrupting user access. This gives clustered storage a new set of capabilities analogous to the kinds of capabilities that hypervisors provide to server environments.

For instance, if a storage node needs maintenance, you can move all of its workloads elsewhere in the cluster, perform the maintenance, and move the workloads back without disrupting users or applications. You can also move workloads to balance the load across your cluster or to give more or different resources—such as a different media type—to a particular workload. Your storage environment becomes much more able to adapt dynamically to changing needs and unexpected events. You can add resources (capacity and performance) to particular workloads to address spikes in demand, and reallocate those resources elsewhere when they are no longer needed.

Clustered Data ONTAP continues to deliver all the capabilities you expect from NetApp, including unified storage (SAN and NAS), advanced storage efficiency capabilities (thin provisioning, deduplication, compression, and so on), and integrated data protection.

With clustered Data ONTAP you can build storage clusters with up to 24 storage controllers. You can build homogeneous clusters in which all cluster nodes are the same, as PeakColo did, or you can create heterogeneous clusters that include several types of FAS controllers and media, so that a single cluster—with a single point of management—provides several tiers and classes of storage.

Flash for Performance and Efficiency

The FAS3220 and FAS3250 are designed to take the fullest advantage of the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier technologies: Flash Cache™ and Flash Pool. Deploying these technologies gives you the performance benefits of flash technology while keeping both capital and management costs down. Capital costs are reduced because your storage can deliver the same or better performance using fewer disk spindles. Plus, you can combine flash with high-capacity SATA disks to achieve a given performance level rather than using more expensive high-performance SAS disks.

Flash Cache dramatically improves latency for random reads and is the easiest way to add flash to a NetApp configuration. Flash Pool accelerates both random reads and writes.

The additional memory and processing power in all new FAS3200 models allows them to take advantage of current and future Flash Cache devices and Flash Pool SSDs.

Table 4) FAS3200 series flash support.

FAS/V3220
FAS/V3250
Flash Cache per HA Pair
1TB
2TB
Flash Pool per HA Pair
1TB
2TB
Total per HA Pair
1TB
2TB

Conclusion

The earlier FAS3200 models—the FAS3210, FAS3240, and FAS3270—will remain available for current customers for some time to facilitate the transition. The FAS3220 and FAS3250 offer the same great reliability, availability, serviceability, and manageability features that we built into the FAS3200 series from the beginning. We added more cores, memory, and capacity to increase performance and deliver the capabilities that midrange storage needs to address the increasing demands created by business-critical applications, server virtualization, and cloud workloads.

These new systems are optimized to support clustered Data ONTAP and the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier so you can create a more agile data infrastructure that takes full advantage of flash technology to accelerate storage workloads.

Steven has been the platform architect for NetApp for over six years and was responsible for the FAS3100, FAS3200, FAS6200, FAS2240, and FAS2220 as well as the Performance Acceleration Module (PAM) and Flash Cache (PAM II). He is also the NetApp Engineering liaison to the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency. Steven is currently involved with several IEEE and industry groups. He is credited with 31 issued patents and 19 pending applications in the areas of storage and high-performance computing.

Comments
on ‎2013-01-25 06:40 AM

Good Morning Steven,

Should I swap from FAS3270 to 3250?

Thanks & Happy 2013

Henry

NetApp Employee on ‎2013-02-20 04:01 PM

Hi Henry,

There's no need to change FAS3270 deployments to FAS3250.  The FAS3250 really does have most of the same limits as the FAS3270 so there's not much to gain there.  Where you want to consider the FAS3220 and FAS3250 are for new mid-range deployments.  You might also look into FAS6210 or the new FAS6220 for traditional FAS3270 types of deployments.  The FAS6220 offers much more capabilities and higher performance over the FAS3270 at only a small cost increase. 

Take care - and hope you have a great 2013 as well!

-chris

on ‎2013-02-24 08:43 PM

This seems like a significant price/performance improvement over the previous FAS3200s. Will the 3220 not have the restrictions that were put on the 3210 last year.  Also Chris... in your reply you said the 3270 is not upgradable to the 3250. What is the performance difference between the two ? Is the 3270 still faster than the 3250?  If it's faster ... why not just reduce the price of the 3240s and 3270s? Are there other differences around ONTAP support that the new systems have that the old ones do not.

Cheers!

-C

NetApp Employee on ‎2013-02-25 08:13 AM

Hi there,

The significant price/performance improvements apply when you compare the FAS3220 to the FAS3210 and the FAS3250 to the FAS3240. When you compare the FAS3220 to the FAS3240 and the FAS3250 to the FAS3270 the differences are pretty small at best.  In the case of the latter two, the FAS3250 is about 10% faster than the FAS3270 for certain workloads.  But everything else is equal between the two save for the FAS3250 supporting fewer spindles.  So it's not that you cannot upgrade from a FAS3270 to a FAS3250, there's just not a compelling reason to do so.  The real upgrade path for the FAS3250 or FAS3270 is the FAS6220 as it is a much more capable platform. 

I like to think of the FAS3220 as a FAS3240 in the price range of a FAS3210, and the FAS3250 as a FAS3270 in the price range of the FAS3240.  So you do get your price reduction with this approach - and the concept has resonated well during various training sessions on the new platforms. 

And no worries about the FAS3220 having any of the FAS3210 restrictions on it.  The FAS3220 is capable and ready both now and for the next generations of Data ONTAP

Take care,

-chris

on ‎2013-12-25 05:43 PM

Hi all,

This artical is helpful for me. And I am looking for the information of FAS/V6290A, too. I have a customer asking for the comparison in term of performance between FAS3250A and Fas/V6290A in 7 mode. Do you have any article like this or any reference information can be share to me...

Thank you.

Son

son.le@west.vn

on ‎2014-02-26 10:25 AM

I would like to know what is Master ID: JTM-248275, what does it identify?  Why do the same component FAS 3220HA  (4ea.) have the same serial number?  What do they identify? Do these four items have to be kept together to make it a system?

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