NetApp Insight US 2015 recap

NetApp_InsightUSA couple of weeks ago, NetApp’s conference (Insight) took place in Vegas. It took me a week to recuperate (Vegas) and absorb all the great content, so better late than never. While I am not new to IT conferences like VMworld, CiscoLive and Microsoft Ignite (TechEd) among others, this was my first NetApp Insight I was able to attend. I was on the customer side for 15 years, and when I jumped to the partner side, the conference was opened to customers.. it figures. The great thing is that everyone can go to Insight now. I can see why Insight was previously focused on partners, and employees, as NetApp’s conference is more technical than others in my humble opinion, and I love that.

As far as the content, there were a lot of cool technology announcements. I am happy to see that NetApp is innovating again. I can see how having to support both 7-mode and clustered-mode development was really taking a toll on producing new features, but that is now history. First thing that comes to mind was the expansion of SnapMirror. Now that is has been overhauled, according to the announcement, it will make it across all of NetApp’s products. This is huge, think of AltaVault, e-series, etc. all with SnapMirror. Speaking of SnapMirror, another up and coming release is SnapCenter which is the new Central Management interface for all SnapManager. YESS!! Finally. Like I said before, I was on the customer side for a very long time, and you know how tedious it is to have to manage tens or even hundreds of instances of SME, SMSQL, SMSP, SDW, etc.

Also part of the centralized management that we all love, Cloud ONTAP was demoed with OnCommand Cloud Manager. You can move your data between public clouds (AWS, Azure, etc.) with a quick drag-and-drop. In the demo, they literally clicked on an AWS cloud and dragged it into an Azure cloud, moving the data locality in seconds. This was a pretty awesome demo.

Earlier this year, NetApp announced their All Flash Array (AFA). Although many storage vendors came out with their version first, NetApp took its time to do it right. To prove it, they received outstanding results from SPC1 benchmark test, not only surpassing all of its competitors but also breaking records. So what did NetApp do to highlight this great accomplishment?!?!  They made it better, faster, stronger. A demo by Neto From Brazil, demonstrated > 70% gains from previous results, achieving over 1.18M IOPS with UNDER 1ms latency with an 8-node AFF cluster. This is pretty amazing if you ask me.



Check out the demos in the video below


As always, check back later for new stuff in the IT realm…

FUD Slingers have nothing on All Flash FAS

FastAs 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)