ONTAP Hardware

Any reason not to buy a FAS3220 over a FAS2240-2?


We are getting towards the pointy end of the procurement phase of an infrastructure refresh at our SME. Part of this is replacing an aging (badly) FAS2050 + a couple of DS14Mk4 shelves with a new NetApp filer.

The FAS2240-2 was an obvious candidate, as even an entry-level system such as this provides more than enough performance and capacity for our current and planned needs for the next few years. However, a key part of our upgrade plan was implementing FlashPool, and we only discovered late in the piece that the FAS2xxx series has a 400GB usable FlashPool limit per HA pair. This is/was cause for concern around whether this would be sufficient for us given a pending VDI deployment, and led to a flurry of research into alternatives, quotes on alternative systems, etc.

Where we have "landed" is that we have been quoted on two options - the original FAS2240-2 and a FAS3220*, with otherwise identical disks/software licenses/etc. The interesting part is that the FAS3220 quote is only fractionally more expensive than the 2240-2 (think 5% or so). I am being told that the reason for the close-to-price-parity is a sharp deal on the FAS3220, whereas the FAS2240-2 is close to being a fixed price / fixed margin unit.

While I have not yet verified the truth of the above (that the reason for price parity is a cheap 3220 quote, not an expensive 2240-2 quote), if we take it at face value that this is true and hence can buy a FAS3220 for essentially the same price as a FAS2240-2, can anyone think of any good reason why we wouldn't take the FAS3220 (remembering it is overkill for us in every way except the FlashPool limit)?

All I can think of is that ongoing support / warranty will be a bit more expensive, and any additional software licenses purchased later will cost more (can anyone quantify approx how much?). I think the former is worth the cost, and the latter isn't too much of a concern as we barely use any separately licensed features now and I don't envision this changing in the future (except perhaps for SnapMirror - we may implement that).

Thoughts from the gurus? And thanks, in advance.

* we actually have two FAS3220 quotes, which are essentially the same price and spec except that one provides 7 x 200GB SSDs for 400GB + 200GB of FlashPool, and the other provides 2 x 512GB FlashCache cards. Secondary question here: for a small environment like ours that will only have one aggregate per controller, I'm thinking the FlashPool options makes more sense, but would like sanity check here - thoughts?



  While I cannot offer any real insight into the dilema I can offer some insight into the FAS2240-1 as we depoyed it in jan this year.  Having not used NetApp in almost 10 years I offer these thoughts.

  We purchased a FAS2240-2 with two additional shelves, one DS-2246 and one DS4243.  The DS2246 will be to add additional SAS drives for expansion and the DS4243 has 6 SSDs and the remainder wil be used for SATA to add backup to disk space.  It is running DOT 8.1.1 in 7 Mode and is conigured for an HA Pair.  We opted to go with fiber channel and 4 1GB NICs for our networking requirements.  Hidsight being 20/20 I wish we would of tried to increase the 1GB NICs as the system only comes with 4 1GB NICs and once you put CIFS shares up in a VIP you only have two left and not we cannot support iSCSI or NFS.  Our purpose was to add storage space and then migrate our 100 Desktop VDI deployment over to the NetApp as well as some mission critical servers in hopes of taking advantage of the Flash pool capability.

  We have been running the VDI Desktops and Servers for about 3 months now and while we did see some imporvement in performance it was not what we had hoped, is it ever though.  Following the Flash Pool Best Practices TR we configured the 2 aggr one with three disks for the root volume the other with 21 disks for the flash pool volume.  configuration was very straight forward and even I did not have any problems.

Overall though it is pretty straight forward system to manage.  We also have a Compellent system with 17TB and of the two I would say the compellent is easier from a systems configuration and managment point of view but both systems are pretty much setup, watch for a bit, tweak a bit, then monitor.

  Hopes this helps in some way.  If you have other questions reach out.