Understanding NetApp’s All-Flash Solutions

NetApp Flash Drive EF560

Posted on Monday, April 20, 2015

Last week the CDS blog discussed the disappointing sales of NetApp enterprise storage solutions last year, when OEM revenue fell by an alarming 22%. This week the NetApp EVP George Kurian has been on the offensive, claiming a 69% year-on-year increase in flash sales has seen them selling over 750,000 SANtricity and E-Series units.

And to help capture as much of the flash storage network as possible, NetApp has two distinct technologies on sale, each designed to target a specific use case scenario.

What is EF560?

Coupling high availability with performance and density, NetApp has tuned the EF560 specifically for database acceleration. Claiming that the EF-Series performance beats competing XtremeIO products, NetApp is pitching the range at DBAs who need to replace their existing disk-based SAN systems.

What is the All Flash FAS?

Shortened to AFF, the All-flash FAS unit has been built for enterprise applications that use consolidated storage environments, particularly those reliant on file and block storage. As a result, AFF is perfect for service providers who need to support business applications, virtualized environments and more, whilst creating and maintaining a data management standard.

What is FlashRay?

NetApp’s all flash array project has recently been absorbed into the ONTAP products group, effectively ending the product line before it even began. The technologies developed during the project are not going to waste however. NetApp expect to eventually integrate their discoveries and advances into the FAS range in future. 

NetApp’s continued innovation suggests that they will remain a competitive force in enterprise storage for some time to come. As with most new developments however, deployment of all flash technologies only makes sense for all-new projects. Where performance and availability of existing systems continues within acceptable parameters, most businesses would be better served by extending their use, even beyond OEM-imposed warranty periods.