Converged network management, power boosts for NetApp’s latest storage suite

NetApp, Open Source, Cloud StorageNot to be left in the dust amid the growing adoption of flash storage in the enterprise, NetApp is rolling out a new high-performance system designed to power the most resource-intensive of workloads while giving IT organizations the freedom to tailor their deployments to meet specific business requirements.

The FAS8080 EX is the latest addition to the company’s FAS8000 series, which was first introduced in February and sports Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge architecture. The product family additionally offers a number of unique features, most notably the ability to manage storage-attached networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS) side-by-side. It’s also touted as the first in the industry to ship with a converged network adapter that enables both 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and 16-gigabit Fibre Channel (16Gb FC) connectivity.

Like all the other models in the line, the FAS8080 EX runs NetApp’s Data ONTAP storage operating system, which makes it possible to cluster multiple machines in a fault-tolerant pool that can be managed as a single logical unit and allows users to move workloads among physical devices without incurring any downtime.  The goal is to remove as much of the hassle historically involved in maintenance and upgrades as possible.

On the hardware side, the appliance comes with 40 processor cores and 256 gigabytes of DRAM, delivers a maximum of four million I/O operations per second and can accommodate more than 17,000 drives, either solid-state memory or traditional disk.

As a result, it can be set up in one of two configurations: an all-SSD system with upward of 4.6 petabytes of ultra-fast capacity or a hybrid platform packing as much as of 70 petabytes of mechanical storage space accelerated by 700 terabytes of flash cache. The array also includes 16 onboard I/O ports and 24 PCIe 3.0 expansion slots that can support the same number of memory cards or up to 48 extra 10GbE or 16Gb FC ports.

NetApp claims that the FAS8080 EX provides twice as much bang for the storage buck as the previous generation offering, with double the density while installing up to three times faster. The company is touting an equally compelling pitch for the FAS2500, an entry-level series unveiled in conjunction with the high-end appliance that it says offers up to 46 percent greater performance and 48 percent more usable capacity than the FAS2200 line it replaces.

The FAS2500 comes in three configurations with raw capacity ranging between 336 to 576 terabytes, a maximum flash pool of four terabytes and another four terabytes of RAM. Also included in the package are enhanced data management capabilities and the ability to convert the FAS2552 and FAS2554 models to an external disk shelf when upgrading to larger NetApp systems.

image courtesy NetApp