As you probably have read here (link to Part 1), Flash Pool brings great technical and business values to our customers using FAS2200 series. Here are some more exciting facts about our Flash Pool technology as I continued the conversation with Chetan Khetani, product manager for Flash Pool, and Steve Scully, product manager for FS2200 series.
Ling: We’ve talked about how Flash Pool works and what it means to our customers. Now how does Flash Pool work with other technologies in the FAS2200 system, such as dedupe, Snapshots ™, etc. and can I implement it on an existing system?
Chetan: Flash Pool is an integral part of Data ONTAP and FAS2200. It is compatible with deduplication, thin provisioning, Snapshots and many other ONTAP features. Existing aggregates can be converted into a Flash Pool configuration without requiring any data copying, downtime, or disruptions. We also provide a tool for customers to determine the right size of Flash Pool they need, which is based on the size of the hot data on their specific workloads.
In addition the cached data on the SSD is fully RAID protected and High-Availability-compatible. This assures that Flash Pool provides consistent performance over planned or un-planned failover scenarios.
Ling: Have any FAS2200 customers deployed Flash Pool? What are they saying about the experience?
Steve: Yes, many of our existing FAS2200 customers have added SSDs in their systems to take advantage of the Flash Pool, and a lot of new customers ordered SSD’s for Flash Pool right at the start when they order the FAS2200.
They have achieved phenomenal performance gains at very low cost as compared to alternative options. They were amazed by how easy it is to deploy and manage NetApp Flash Pool in their storage systems.
Ling: What about other storage vendors’ flash offerings? What is unique about NetApp’s Flash Pool technology?
Chetan: Many storage vendors offer the use of SSD drives in their entry platforms. Some use them as cache; some use them as just fast storage drives. But the unique thing about NetApp’s Flash Pool technology in the entry storage market is that it is intelligent, automatic and no data movement is required between different storage tiers. It has the highest granularity of hot data identification making it more efficient than competitor’s offerings in terms of the SSD usage so you get a better ROI. It also has the smoothest integration with other storage technologies ensuring seamless operations with all types of workloads.
Ling: This is exciting. How can people order Flash Pool with FAS2200?
Steve: Customers can order new FAS2200 systems with Flash Pool in a bundle or separately during their new purchase. Existing customers who already deployed FAS2200 can order SSDs in a pure or mixed disk shelf with SAS or SATA HDDs as an add-on then install the shelf non-disruptively.
I hope It is now clear to you as it is to me that NetApp’s Flash Pool is something great to have - making your whole storage system perform at SSD-level with only a little bit of SSDs. And it is super easy to use - automatic and intelligent, no need for any “baby-sitting”. Also, remember, not all flash technologies are made the same. So make sure you get it from the leader who knows the best – NetApp, a company that has shipped a stunning 36 PB of flash so far! And btw, that number is still growing rapidly.
Enjoy your ride with Flash-Pool-charged FAS2200!