NetApp’s Big Flash Push: New Product, Huge Ecosystem Update

A couple days ago with Big Blue announced its first major commitment to flash with the acquisition of Texas Memory Systems, I said that the deal is going to have a big impact on the storage market. Other vendors will want to get their feet wet at some point if they don’t intend on falling behind the curve, and NetApp is not wasting any time.

Today the storage solutions provider unveiled a new three-pronged strategy that involves a new offering, incentives for flash partners and an alliance with Fusion-io.

The latest addition to NetApp’s product lineup is NetApp Flash Accel, which uses server-side flash as cache for hot data. The company says by storing up to two terabytes of hot data in flash memory, users can realize a 90 percent reduction in latency and an 80 percent increase in IOs per second.  Flash Accel is natively integrated with the firm’s ONTAP software, so the pitch also includes an added layer of data protection. And it’s not limited to a specific platform or flash card either.

Alongside this update, the company will now accept hardware and software server-caching vendors into its Alliance Partner Program. One of the very first and biggest names on this list is Fusion-io, which signed an agreement with NetApp that allows the latter to resell ioMemory as well as the ioTurbine and Direct Cache solutions.

“NetApp Flash Accel and caching products from our partners add a persistent and durable storage layer on the server, which, when used as part of our Virtual Storage Tiering approach, leads to the automatic management of data from storage to the application based on affinity and workload,” Tim Russel, the head of NetApp’s ‘Data Lifecycle Ecosystem Group,’ said in a statement. “This results in dramatic application and server performance boosts that will accelerate how business is conducted using virtualized environments.”