NetApp Announcing Flash Technology to Achieve Software Defined Storage with Flash Array

Netapp is announcing an all-flash array for software-driven enterprise applications, and  its new, purpose-built FlashRay™ product family.  According to Netapp this new direction will deliver rich scale-out and storage efficiency features to maximize the benefits of all-flash arrays.

The new product introductions is the company’s attempt to extend the NetApp flash product in the enterprise.  NetApp has two main items in this flash announcement. The first is the EF540 which is built on E-Series and some say it’s cheap+deep.  It is shipping, but it has limited functionality compared to many of the startups who have been out there. However, the big deal as reported above is the “FlashRay” statement of direction – a new all-flash purpose built array.  The big issue is that it’s not shipping until 2014, so it’s behind EMC’s project lightning announced last year.

Anyway Netapp has a lofty goal to maximize the value of flash across the entire compute, network and storage stack, enabling the flexibility to choose the best approach to unique workloads.  This is a great enterprise message.

Netapp is announcing EF540 an all flash array product, including intelligent caching technologies Flash Cache, Flash Pool, Flash Accel.

My Angle:  The Consummate Startup

I really like Netapp as a company.  They have a great culture of innovation and corporate citizenship (which we need more of in this market).  All that is great but more impressive is that Netapp knows how to make money on a sustained basis.    There have been many discussions of late in Silicon Valley about how to build a startup.  Other blogs are writing about how many young entrepreneurs are failing to build a durable company.  For all the young “company builders” out there take a look at Netapp.  They are a great example of a durable business not matter what the conditions of the market are.  Netapp is venture backed rode rapid growth and constantly innovated at the speed of both good and bad markets.  Yet they stay relevant.   Netapp reinventing themselves again with their flash array product launch.  This new direction shows that great companies continue to keep pace at a product/technology level with the marketplace demand.

More on the news…..

There is a great write up on this announcement from GeekOnTap here.  via @netappgeek

NetApp today announced the EF540 Flash Array, an all-SSD based storage system designed for performance-driven applications with sub-millisecond latency requirements. Its 300,000 IOPS (at 4K random reads) with sub-millisecond latencies are proven, predictable, repeatable, and sustainable.

Requiring just 2U of rack space, the EF540 is a fully-redundant system that comes in two configuration options (both of which are based on an industry-standard 800GB MLC SSD): a 12-drive configuration that provides 9.6 TB of raw capacity and a 24-drive configuration that provides 19.2 TB of raw capacity.

The EF540 runs on the enterprise-proven SANtricity 10.84 software platform and offers several advanced replication features including snapshots, synchronous mirroring, and asynchronous mirroring. It supports 8 x 8Gb Fibre Channel (FC), 8 x 6Gb Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), 4 x 10GbE (iSCSI), and 4 x 40Gb InfiniBand (IB).

This new array is also power efficient at 386W and 1,316 BTU/hr


Photos from the event in Silicon Valley at Netapp corporate headquarters.