FAS and V-Series Storage Systems Discussions

Re: CPU in FAS32xx

Slow CPU's has been the NetApp trademark for years. They probably come cheap and they can charge the customer 1000% of the original price.

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Re: CPU in FAS32xx

To set the record straight, I occasionally receive this question from partners.  Last I checked, the 3200 Series CPUs include:

  • FAS3210 = 1-socket, 2.33GHz Intel Wolfdale, 2-core/socket
  • FAS3240 = 1-socket, 2.33GHz Intel Harpertown, 4-core/socket
  • FAS3270 = 2-socket, 3.0GHz   Intel Wolfdale, 2-core/socket

Other than the curiosity factor, there's much more to NetApp than speeds `n feeds.

Answer your question?

Re: CPU in FAS32xx

brendanheading wrote:

But you can't argue that the CPU is not an important factor.

The question is, what your software / OS does with the ressources.

Even though I find FAS2020 a crap I am always amazed what they get out of that lousy Celeron CPU!

On Insight there was a interesting track where they showed how many servers you need to fill the CPUs of an 6280 - I don't have the numbers in mind, waiting for the presentation to download - but to sum up: Ontap is obviously getting much more out of the ressources than even the used Linux.

OS-software engineers at NetApp: well done!


Re: CPU in FAS32xx

brendanheading wrote:

That problem is easily solved, as one can easily build a ZFS box with 24 cores and 64GB RAM. That costs about $20,000 which which I guessing is not far away from the list price of a FAS2040 with no disks, a single CPU core and 4GB RAM and some basic block access licensed. Now you might well argue that's not fair, as you're not comparing like with like. But the customer will be looking at the total cost.

So you have built that super-box for $20000 - now you must pay your sales guys, your support organisation, handle your stock for RMA, develop and maintain the whole software stack etc. etc....and you really think this will be cheaper in the end?

But hey: we all know cattle cycles, and luckily we are not at the end of it, like it happened to Desktop, Servers, Flatscreens, Network equipment....they all became commodities. So everyone in the storage market is making prices just as high as possible, giving discounts like mad when the customer is important or strong enough in negotiation...that's business, and you all know the game!


Re: CPU in FAS32xx

Mark, I got that $20,000 price by going to the dell.com website and customizing their fastest 4-socket rackmount server.

Whether or not it will be cheaper in the end is hard to say. For me it wouldn't be, because I work for a small organization with 2-3 sysadmins so it makes no sense to have them customize and build a complex Solaris/ZFS setup. The key benefit of the Netapp product is the end-to-endness of it; one provider, one support contact number, and no quibbling over what third party stuff has been upgraded inside the box. A bigger company, especially one which is highly IT-focused which can effectively afford to operate a 10-man sysadmin team would be a different case.

Re: CPU in FAS32xx

Agreed it is very impressive. This is a benefit which flows from having a custom, purpose-built OS rather than Linux or Solaris which are fundamentally general-purpose. I imagine that ONTAP does pretty much everything in kernel space and is able to take a lot of liberties with MMU page sizes, CPU caching policies etc.

But yes, ONTAP certainly does rock.

Re: CPU in FAS32xx

For sure!  That's why the previous 6000 series included an opteron 8xx series, known for being "dirt cheap" and "slow" at the time.  If you're going to make claims, perhaps try ones that aren't both trollish and completely inaccurate.

Re: CPU in FAS32xx


What I can tell you:

FAS3210 - 2 CPU 64-bit dual-core 2.3 GHz - 4 cores - 1 GB nvram - 8 GB sys. mem.
FAS3240 - 2 CPU 64-bit quad-core 2.3 GHz - 8 cores - 2 GB nvram - 16 GB sys. mem.
FAS3270 - 4 CPU 64-bit dual-core 3.0 GHz - 8 cores - 4 GB nvram - 32 GB sys. mem.



Re: CPU in FAS32xx

Great discussions, folks! Here are a couple facts to further along this discussion:

Our latest FAS/V3200 systems use the Intel Xeon CPU family leveraging 64 bit multi-core processors.  The reason we do not highlight the CPU model used is because overall storage system performance, scalability, and expandability depends not only on processor type used, but the overall hardware system architecture and the tight integration and tuning of ONTAP.  Yes as noted in earlier discussions, NetApp spends tremendous amount of R&D investment in the overall storage system’s performance, function and reliability, in order to satisfy our enterprise and MSE customer’s storage requirements.  Our goal is to continuously provide our customers with the best overall storage solution that is tightly integrated with their applications.  These solutions need to be delivered at a optimized price point, while carrying forward all existing features and functionalities.

Sandra Wu


Product Marketing


Re: CPU in FAS32xx

There is no quad-core in the Intel Wolfdale family (5200-serie) so I suppose the FAS3240 use Clovertown (5300-serie) or Harpertown (5400-serie) ?

Best Regards,

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