NetApp Updates Storage OS with Flash Caching and More

NetApp announced major update to the E-Series platform that powers its data storage system this morning.  The latest release introduces a number of enhancements that aim to make the software more attractive for enterprises that deal with CPU-intensive apps and massive amounts of data.

The big deal here is flash caching. Support for SSD cache means that hot data can be accessed much faster than before, while non-mission critical info can stay on the more economic disk storage.

NetApp also improved its OS in the networking department. Its E5400 systems now ship with support for 10Gb/s iSCSI and 6Gb/s SAS connectivity, a feature that the vendor says can accelerate replication.

Lastly, NetApp baked in some new data protection functionality into its platform.  E-Series now features mirroring and copy service techniques, and leverages dynamic disk pools to secure data more effectively.

“NetApp’s E-Series platform is deployed in the world’s most demanding data-intensive environments,” said Brendon Howe, vice president, Product and Solutions Marketing, NetApp. “These dedicated workload environments require proven and versatile storage that delivers high-performance and scale without high cost. With features such as SSD cache support, petabyte-scale capacity, and improved data protection, our E-Series platform will help organizations accelerate innovation and speed insight to action.”

Flash and big data are converging, at least as far as NetApp is concerned. Tim Russel, the company’s vice president of Data Lifecycle Solutions, said during an interview with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante that handling information properly is key in the high-performance analytical environments that his company’s clients employ. Russel’s view is that frequently accessed data should be stored on SSDs as close to the application as possible, while cold data belongs on more cost-efficient HDDs.

NetApp is definitely putting its money where its mouth is with this latest update, as well as the less recent launch of Flash Accel.