As you may or may have not heard the announcement earlier this week, NetApp has released an All Flash FAS (AFF) storage array. Many announcements, blogs and articles have been written about AFF, but I wanted to highlight the main aspects without having to read pages and pages (you can thank my ADHD for that).
Let me start ranting for a bit about those who have been spreading FUD about NetApp and how the company is “doomed”. I do not work for NetApp, but I use and truly believe that it is one of the best if not THE best storage solution in the market. Those who are writing negatively about NetApp still refer to it as a single purpose NAS, when it truly encompasses a diverse portfolio, and AFF is a perfect example.
What is the big deal about NetApp AFF?
The recent announcement highlights the marriage between FAS systems (ONTAP) and Flash. Yes, NetApp already has all flash systems such as the EF560, but such systems are not running on ONTAP.
ONTAP + Flash, results in the only storage solution that is truly unified and is capable of utilizing different protocols within the same software AND hardware, in addition to the incorporation of Flash. Yes, no need to buy separate hardware for NAS vs SAN protocols. When you add these two components together, AFF is the result of not only an all flash storage, but also incorporates all the features of ONTAP such as de-duplication, compression, built-in data protection. scale-out performance, multi-tenancy, Non disruptive upgrades, etc, etc, etc.
AFF Announcement Highlights
Here are some of the highlights about the recent AFF announcements:
- Lowest price for All Flash storage ~$5/GB Raw
- One SKU number
- Includes ALL license Bundles (Yay!!!)
- Locks in support price for years 4-7 (3 years included)
- We are talking Flash here, so Flash wear is no longer a practical risk
- High performance at low latency
In short, AFF promises to deliver Enterprise ready performance at low cost and low latency by leveraging Flash, and ONTAP 8.3.1 (later discussion).
For more information about NetApp AFF, follow my NetApp A-Team colleagues on twitter for excellent posts (#NetAppATeam)