This week’s introduction of our Flash Cache 2 product marks another significant milestone for the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier (VST). Since we first shipped Flash Cache in 2009, thousands of NetApp customers have been able to accelerate the pace of their businesses while achieving huge improvements in their data center efficiencies (less space, less power, less overprovisioning of storage). With PCIe Gen 2 technology and module capacities up to 2 terabytes, Flash Cache 2 extends this value along with the amazing capabilities of our latest Clustered Data ONTAP release (8.2) which was also announced this week.
Having said that, we still get a lot of questions about where Flash Cache and Flash Cache 2 fits relative to the entire NetApp flash portfolio. What about Flash Pool? Flash Accel? EF540 Flash Array? FlashRay? E-Series SSD Cache? After all, flash is now pervasive across all NetApp storage platforms and there are decisions to be made. Right?
Well, as we have been saying, flash is a transformational technology and it can help drive productivity and efficiency across every dimension of your business. But understandably, one size does not fit all and the decision of how and where to deploy flash will depend on your application profile(s) and business requirements. That’s why we have embraced flash, not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental technology building block with deep integration into our hardware and software architectures. As a result, we are seeing customer success based on deployment of several of our flash based products-working together in a complementary and synergistic way. The experience at Revlon is one example where the experience with Flash Cache was enhanced with the addition of Flash Pool (SSD based caching) and Flash Accel (server based caching). So, it’s not really a decision of which flash technology to use but really one of how to combine them for maximum advantage.
In developing the industry’s most comprehensive flash portfolio, we recognize that you need help to get started. We’ve just published a couple of new documents which should help:
NetApp is driving the conversation around flash and with Flash Cache 2, the story just got better!