A major Belgian academic hospital standardized on clustered Data ONTAP for all data storage needs. Learn why the IT team made this decision, how they are upgrading from 7-mode, and the resulting benefits.
... View more
NetApp FAS Storage Would you like to learn more about NetApp FAS storage? Platform Architect Steve Miller has written articles that cover the entire FAS product line-up: Enterprise-class FAS6200 series Midrange storage Original FAS3200 series FAS3220 and FAS3250 Entry-level storage FAS2240 FAS220 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 Miller, Senior Technical Director and Platform Architect, Core Systems 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. Tech OnTap Community User Groups Archive PDF
... View more
About Zumasys Zumasys is a NetApp reseller and cloud service provider that provides enterprise-class infrastructure technologies to businesses across North America. Founded in 2000, Zumasys specializes in IT solutions that reduce costs and boost productivity. The company achieves high customer satisfaction by listening to the needs of its customers, building strong relationships, and custom tailoring multivendor technology solutions that deliver results. More NetApp Insight: Mark Your Calendars Insight 2014 is NetApp's annual conference devoted to technology-curious storage and data management professionals, including system engineers, professional services consultants, channel partners, and—for the first time ever—NetApp customers. This year's events take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 27–30 and in Berlin, Germany, on November 17–20. You can preregister here or get more details here. More Ryan Beaty Practice Manager for Infrastructure, Zumasys NetApp has been making waves recently with its clustered Data ONTAP® operating system, which offers a long list of features and groundbreaking benefits such as nondisruptive operations, lower total cost of ownership, and seamless scalability. However, there's been a lot of FUD out there about the complexity of clustered Data ONTAP. Most of those rumors come from people who don't know the product well or who don't have much hands-on experience. As one of the first 50 clustered Data ONTAP Partner Professional Services and Systems Engineering Specialists, I've spent a lot of time with both Data ONTAP 7-Mode and clustered Data ONTAP. I've done roughly 50 Data ONTAP installations since I joined Zumasys three years ago, with a significant increase in the number of clustered Data ONTAP installations in recent months. What this means to you is that—if you haven't already done so—it's time to get up to speed with this product. Clustered Data ONTAP is different from 7-Mode, but added capabilities such as nondisruptive operations make it well worth using. In this article, I provide a few tips for familiarizing yourself with clustered Data ONTAP. I slant my discussion toward those who are already familiar with 7-Mode, but, even if you're new to Data ONTAP, you can still benefit. Tip #1: Practice on the Clustered Data ONTAP Simulator The NetApp® simulator—Simulate ONTAP 8—is by far the best tool you can use to hone your clustered Data ONTAP skills. The simulator will prepare you for all aspects of configuring and operating a cluster and will also help you understand best practices for AutoSupport™ settings, job scheduling, alerts, network failover groups, and more. Practice makes perfect. The simulator lets you run through all aspects of a design and, when you're done, destroy your cluster and start over until you figure out how everything works and what will work best for your situation. You can download Simulate ONTAP 8 from the NetApp Support site. (A NetApp login is required and available only for download by Data ONTAP customers and select partners.) To run the simulator, all you need is a dual-core laptop or desktop with at least 2GB of memory and 40GB of free disk space. Windows® systems require VMware® Workstation software and Mac® systems require VMware Fusion. (The latest version requirements are shown on the site.) Choose the version of the simulator that corresponds with the version of clustered Data ONTAP you will run. Tip #2: Learn the New Command-Line Interface One of the first things you may want to do with the simulator is learn the clustered Data ONTAP command-line interface (CLI). Clustered Data ONTAP includes graphical management tools that allow you to accomplish pretty much all configuration and management functions, but I still find there's no replacement for the command line when it comes to power and flexibility. If you are a hard-core command-line junkie like I am, familiarize yourself with the new CLI hierarchy structure. One of my favorite new CLI features is tab completion. You'll find that you miss tab completion when you go back to 7-Mode. The CLI is structured into a hierarchy of commands. No longer do you just type a question mark and see every command available to you. Commands are grouped together in a folderlike structure that includes networking, QoS, SnapMirror® technology, volumes, and so on. Once you enter into the first level of the hierarchy you can get more specific. For instance, if you go into "network" you have options such as ping, traceroute, port management, and interface management. Getting to know the structure may take a little learning, but if you know 7-Mode CLI and think about what you want to configure at the top level of the hierarchy you'll find yourself navigating quickly in no time. My advice is to familiarize yourself with the new CLI on the simulator before you dive in on the real thing. Tip #3: Make Full Use of Storage Virtual Machines In clustered Data ONTAP, all data access goes through a logical construct called a storage virtual machine (SVM). (This was previously referred to as a Vserver, and you'll notice that the CLI still uses the older term.) As a result, the physical resources used by an SVM can change without necessitating any client-side or host-side changes or disruptions. An SVM is a secure, virtualized storage container that includes its own administration security, IP addresses, and namespace. An SVM can include volumes residing on any node in the cluster, and you can have from one to hundreds of SVMs in a single cluster. Each SVM enables one or more SAN (FC, FCoE, iSCSI) and/or NAS (NFS, pNFS, CIFS) access protocols and contains at least one volume and at least one logical interface, or LIF. (See the following section for more on LIFs.) Figure 1) Clustered Data ONTAP uses storage virtual machines to separate logical entities from physical hardware and provide secure multi-tenancy. You can have multiple SVMs within a cluster to serve different purposes. For instance, a service provider might use a separate SVM for each client on a cluster. SVMs are an import factor to consider when designing clustered Data ONTAP systems even if the environment they are going into isn't inherently multi-tenant. For instance, I prefer to keep storage volumes used by servers on one SVM and user share volumes on a separate SVM. I usually create all of my iSCSI/FC LUNs and NFS datastores/mounts in one SVM. I create CIFS shares in a separate SVM. This provides extra flexibility in case of disaster, similar to what you may be used to with the vFiler® unit dr command in 7-Mode. Here are some other considerations when setting up SVMs. QoS policies can be applied directly to an SVM. This can be extremely useful in service provider scenarios. However, be aware that you lose granularity in your QoS structure when you apply it at the SVM level. If you apply QoS to an SVM, you cannot apply a QoS policy on a particular volume within that SVM, so it may not be the best way to use QoS in every case. You can separate departments within a company, keeping data completely separate from other departments. Chargeback can be greatly simplified. You can easily tell how much each SVM utilizes. You can use separate SVMs for administrative purposes. You can give different groups or departments administrative rights to manage their own data without compromising other SVMs. Tip #4: Understand Logical Interfaces Logical interfaces (LIFs) may be the most important point to grasp for a full understanding of how clustered Data ONTAP works. This became apparent after I spent some time talking with other NetApp system engineers last October at NetApp Insight. (See the sidebar for information on this year's upcoming event.) LIFs are essential to nondisruptive operations within clustered Data ONTAP, so it's important to know what a LIF is, how LIFs work, and how to design systems using LIFs. If you can get this down, you will be way ahead of the people who just have a "good idea" of what a LIF is. Now brace yourselves, because here comes the technical introduction. Similar to the way hypervisors abstract networking with virtual switches, NetApp LIFs abstract physical networking for your NetApp cluster. A LIF is a logical network interface that virtualizes your SAN and NAS network connections. This allows the cluster to expand, shrink, or even replace nodes without any network outages. LIFs are tied to an SVM and mapped to physical network ports, interface groups, or VLANs (when tagging is used) on the controller. Because LIFs are virtualized, a LIF address remains the same even when a LIF is migrated to another physical port on the same or a different node within the cluster. NAS LIFs automatically fail over if one of the cluster nodes goes down, working together with storage failover in the HA pair to preserve data access. You can also manually migrate a LIF to another port. Figure 2) Clustered Data ONTAP uses logical interfaces (LIFs) to virtualize network connections. This is an important enabler of nondisruptive operations. Each cluster node can support a maximum of 256 LIFs, 6 of which are reserved for management and cluster functions (leaving you with a usable maximum of 250). Data LIFs are used to serve data to clients or hosts and are designated as either SAN or NAS. IP-based LIFs (NAS or iSCSI) are assigned IP addresses and FC-based LIFs are assigned WWPNs. Each SVM requires at least one data LIF. In normal operation, you should limit the number of data LIFs per node to 125 or fewer. That way, if an HA failover occurs, the limit on the partner node won't be exceeded even if it takes over all LIFs from the failing node. You can learn more about LIFs and LIF migrate in this Tech OnTap article on nondisruptive operations. To find out more about clustered Data ONTAP networking topics, including failover groups, load balancing, and more, check out TR-4182: Best Practices for Clustered Data ONTAP Network Configurations and the Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2: Network Management Guide. You should also check out the NetApp Support Site (login required) and NetApp University for the latest resources. Tip #5: Be Prepared to Use More VLANs and IP Addresses You almost certainly already know what VLANs are, but the thing you have to keep in mind is that a typical clustered Data ONTAP system uses more VLANs and IP addresses than 7-Mode. Where a 7-Mode storage system might have three VLANs (production, iSCSI, and NFS), a clustered Data ONTAP installation will have five VLANs (management, production, iSCSI, NFS, and SnapMirror). With clustered Data ONTAP, the management VLAN is required, and keeping your management on a separate VLAN helps you communicate with all cluster nodes in the event you have network problems. Most network engineers agree that keeping broadcast domains to a minimum is ideal. By separating different traffic types into VLANs you keep down chatter to unintended recipients. It also helps keep your data secure from prying eyes. It is possible to create a CIDR 20 network and run NFS, iSCSI, and CIFS on the same subnet, but this is just asking for trouble. Most engineers, myself included, create different VLANs for each protocol to keep broadcast domains small and improve security. Personally, keeping things consistent is very important to me. Using separate VLANs for different protocols also helps keep the IP address scheme easy to remember. For instance, when possible I like to have all IP addresses on the same node end in the same octet. You'll use a lot more IP addresses with clustered Data ONTAP than with 7-Mode systems, so be prepared. Each SVM requires a management IP address as well as block (iSCSI) and/or file (CIFS, NFS) IP addresses. For example, a 7-Mode system with a service processor running CIFS, iSCSI, and NFS will have five IP addresses per controller. A similar setup requires about 14 IP addresses with clustered Data ONTAP. Making sure you have enough IP addresses in a block is extremely helpful during deployment. Tip #6: Update Your Naming Conventions With the new features of clustered Data ONTAP, having a well-thought-out naming convention is more important than ever. For example, a logical interface group (LIF) could be named n01_svm01_nfs. This allows you to quickly see that the LIF is on Node01, for SVM01, and is used for NFS. Additionally, a volume could be named svm01_ds01, denoting a volume that lives on SVM01 named ds01. It's less important what your naming convention is than that you have one. If a particular named object is tied to a node or an SVM, make note of it in the naming convention. On the flip side, if an object can float around it is probably best to remove the reference to the SVM or node. There is no perfect recipe, but consistency is the key. Do yourself a favor and create a naming convention before you do your first deployment—it will make your life much easier. Tip #7: Create or Update Checklists If you're a 7-Mode administrator or systems engineer, you may have checklists for installations and other procedures that you've developed and documented over the years. Creating or updating these checklists for clustered Data ONTAP may seem like an obvious step, but it's easily overlooked. If you don't already have a checklist on paper, start by asking yourself how you would perform a given procedure such as setting up a 7-Mode system and use that as a starting point. Now take that checklist and perform the same process on clustered Data ONTAP using the simulator. You'll find that some of the steps for 7-Mode may be completely different to perform on clustered Data ONTAP, but the same general concepts still apply. Some steps are node specific while others are clusterwide. Once you complete this walk-through successfully, make yourself a new or updated checklist. By Practice Manager for Infrastructure, Zumasys Ryan is a leading NetApp Certified Implementation Engineer with an extensive background in VMware, Microsoft® Exchange, and other enterprise technologies. He has engineered and administered systems and networks for the last eight years, including large-scale networks with over 1,800 users and 99.998% uptime. Ryan's primary role at Zumasys is designing and implementing NetApp solutions for customers. He strives to provide a clear picture of each solution before implementation and the highest-quality deliverable possible. Tech OnTap Community User Groups Archive PDF
... View more
All-Flash Vendors Should Meet These Criteria
Here's our checklist to help you evaluate the enterprise-grade capabilities of all-flash storage solutions you may be considering. It helps you assess what you should be most concerned about as you invest in solid-state storage arrays for critical application environments.
Your enterprise should settle for no less.
AFF Enterprise-Grade Checklist
Audited performance benchmarks
Quality of service
Single pane-of-glass management
Seamless scale-out and scale-up
NAS and SAN
Data Protection / Security
Synchronous / asynchronous replication
F2D2C integrated data protection
Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, VMware, Citrix
Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, TSM
OpenStack, CloudStack integration
When you've gone through the list, contact your NetApp sales rep or reseller to see if you qualify for our free All Flash FAS try-before-you-buy offer—it's a risk-free way to get a taste of what true enterprise-grade, all-flash storage has to offer.
Mike McNamara Senior Manager, Product Marketing NetApp
Sure, high performance and low latency matter. Business competition—relentless 24/7/365—demands that you coax maximum speed and responsiveness from key business operations. Faster time to market translates to greater customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.
That's why your forward-looking IT peers increasingly embrace all-flash storage: By speeding performance and reducing latency, flash accelerates business value—driving revenue, enhancing the customer experience, and reducing costs through consolidation.
But when it comes to all-flash storage solutions today, high performance and low latency are not enough. Your enterprise needs more.
Turn on a Dime—Without Compromise
In an enterprise context, "agility" refers to how well and rapidly a company can adapt to market and environmental changes—and do it in productive, cost-effective ways. Robust data management and enterprise-grade capabilities are key to staying on top of today's dynamic marketplace.
Accordingly, astute IT bosses are asking questions around all-flash storage solutions: How available is my data? How much flexibility do I have to move that data over its lifecycle? What about data protection? Does the solution offer native support for cloud?
In essence, they're saying, "Okay, Mr. Storage Vendor, you can accelerate my performance and reduce my latency. But can you wrap that in the enterprise-grade package that I need to run my business?"
NetApp® All Flash FAS (AFF) answers all these questions. It's an enterprise-grade storage solution.
Figure 1) Powered by clustered Data ONTAP, All Flash FAS is built for virtualized, shared environments requiring high performance plus robust data management.
Source: NetApp, 2015
Powered by Clustered Data ONTAP
Driving All Flash FAS is NetApp clustered Data ONTAP®, the #1 storage operating system (OS).* It's the foundation of the Data Fabric, our vision for the future of data management. We architected Data ONTAP to have enterprise-grade, unified, scale-out capabilities that deliver nondisruptive operations, storage and operational efficiency, and scalability over the lifetime of the system. Data ONTAP is the basis for virtualized shared storage infrastructures.
Backed by Data ONTAP FlashEssentials, AFF simplifies flash deployment, eliminates flash silos, accelerates database performance with 20x faster response times, and reduces your total cost of ownership. Enhanced native capabilities of the OS bring integrated inline efficiencies to AFF. These include newly enhanced compression, inline zero-block and always-on deduplication for 5x–10x average space savings.
All Flash FAS employs the Data ONTAP log-structured file system WAFL® (Write Anywhere File Layout). It's optimized for flash media to minimize latency, reduce wear, and maximize usable capacity. The solution's optimized write, read, and parallel processing results in consistent submillisecond latency and high performance.
Figure 2) Flash-optimized write architecture reduces latency and increases the longevity of SSDs.
Source: NetApp, 2015
All Flash FAS supports live workload migration between flash and hard disk drive (HDD) tiers—on premises or in the cloud. As data characteristics and application environments change, data that's no longer performance-driven doesn't need to be in flash. All Flash FAS gives you the flexibility to move that data nondisruptively within the same cluster to other nodes that are just spinning media for cost-effective backup or archival for example—quickly and easily.
Flash-to-Cloud Data Protection
NetApp is the first all-flash system to support integrated snapshots and cloning to a software instance running on Amazon Web Services. You can move your data securely across your choice of clouds—enabled by Cloud ONTAP™ and NetApp Private Storage for Cloud.
Enterprise-grade Data Protection Delivers Resiliency
Industry-leading, advanced data protection technologies in AFF improve your resiliency. Core features include RAID DP, in-core checksums, lost write protection, read-after write verification, and media scans that verify that data written to the solid state drive (SSD) is written correctly and regenerated.
For enterprise-grade data availability, NetApp MetroCluster™ is the only high-availability and disaster recovery software integrated into an all-flash array. With MetroCluster, you recover from failures with zero data loss, maintaining continuous data availability for mission-critical applications—at half the cost and complexity of competitive solutions. All Flash FAS with MetroCluster is one of the only all-flash arrays that supports integrated synchronous mirroring with a single management view. And, according to Forrester Research estimates, organizations can achieve up to 143% return on investment (ROI) through MetroCluster.
NetApp SnapMirror® software replicates to any type of FAS system—all flash, hybrid, or HDD, on premises or in the cloud—reducing overall system costs.
Enhancements that improve SSD durability and life include metadata and user data that are coalesced in memory before being destaged intelligently to the SSD subsystem. This ability minimizes wear by reducing the amount of writes dispatched to the SSDs. Data is never overwritten in place and writes are striped across multiple SSDs, resulting in more even wear.
Furthermore, where other storage vendors compete, we partner. One road leads to vendor lock-in; the other leads to interoperability. Through strong data protection partnerships, All Flash FAS delivers integrated support for Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, and Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) solutions.
Leading Application Integration Covers All the Bases
Deep application integration sets All Flash FAS apart from other all-flash solutions on the market today.
Delivering tight assimilation with Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP, Citrix, VMware, and OpenStack and CloudStack environments, AFF streamlines your management and data protection chores—saving you time and cycles. Application-consistent backup and recovery is integrated and automated.
Storage Management Made Easy
All Flash FAS includes the NetApp OnCommand® family of management software for automated tools that further simplify management of storage operations. Setting up and configuring AFF typically takes less than 15 minutes leveraging preconfigured systems for SAN deployments. OnCommand Workflow Automation automates common storage tasks such as provisioning and data protection for environments such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.
To optimize storage for peak performance and to keep everything running smoothly, OnCommand Performance Manager automatically monitors and analyzes performance. It's an integrated component of OnCommand Unified Manager.
With multiprotocol support—Fibre Channel (FC), FCoE, iSCSI, NFS, pNFS, CIFS/SMB—AFF delivers a common look and feel across your entire heterogeneous enterprise. Network-attached storage (NAS) is especially useful for VDI workloads typical in Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon View installations.
The Need for Speed
All Flash FAS accelerated performance enables server consolidation and can reduce database license costs by 50%.
In a recent SPC-1 benchmark, the All Flash FAS8080EX delivered 685,000 SPC-1 IOPS, ranking in the top 5. For database environments, AFF delivers 309K IOPS at 1ms latency for Oracle database 12c and 280K IOPS at 1ms latency for Microsoft SQL Server. VDI performance is equally impressive with 160K IOPS at ~1ms latency (80% write, 20% read).
Like every FAS controller, AFF supports all the same protocols and features as FAS hybrid arrays. This includes the ability to scale up and out to 8 nodes for FC, or 24 nodes for NAS. With multi-tenancy built in and quality of service to protect important workloads, All Flash FAS is more than capable of meeting the demands of enterprise IT—scaling up to 384TB all-flash capacity per high availability (HA) pair or up to 5PB all-flash capacity in a cluster.
Free Try Before You Buy
If you're evaluating all-flash storage arrays for your enterprise, you'll want to consider the questions in the All Flash Array Checklist for Enterprise Buyers (see sidebar, "All-Flash Vendors Should Meet These Criteria"). Compare NetApp AFF against all-flash storage solutions other vendors are offering. If their solutions don't meet these criteria, you will end up setting up a storage silo with all of the management challenges involved.
NetApp is currently offering a free All Flash FAS trial for qualified enterprises. It's a risk-free way to put all-flash storage performance with enterprise-grade capabilities through its paces in your own environment. Contact your NetApp sales rep or reseller to find out more
The NetApp AFF8000 product line delivers on all the elements in the checklist. Because yes, high performance and low latency matter—but for enterprise IT mavens, that's just the beginning.
*IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker 2015 Q1, June 2015 (Open Networked Disk Storage Systems revenue)
Mike McNamara, senior manager of product marketing at NetApp, has 25 years of storage and data management marketing experience. Prior to NetApp, Mike worked at Adaptec, EMC, and HP. He helped lead the launch of the industry's first unified scale-out storage system, iSCSI and SAS storage system, and Fibre Channel storage system. Mike is a former marketing chairperson for the Fibre Channel Industry Association, and current member of the Ethernet Technology Summit Conference Advisory Board and the Ethernet Alliance. He frequently contributes to industry journals and speaks at industry events.
Tech OnTap Community
... View more