NetApp nips and tucks FAS3200 clustered NAS unified storage range

NetApp refreshes FAS3200 series unified storage arrays with changed drive capacities, plus clustered NAS and Flash Cache and Flash Pools

NetApp has topped-and-tailed capacities in its midrange filer family, introducing the FAS3220 and FAS3250.

Both products come with clustered NAS, unified storage (NAS and SAN) and flash cache acceleration capability.

The FAS3220 and FAS3250 raise minimum and cut maximum capacities in the FAS3200 line. They replace the existing FAS3210, FAS3240 and FAS3270, which housed 240, 600 and 960 drives respectively.

The FAS3220 is the smaller of the two new arrays, with storage capacity of up to 480 drives and 1,440TB with NAS (NFS/CIFS) file-level and Fibre Channel and iSCSI block storage access. The FAS3250 can house up to 720 drives for 2,160TB maximum capacity.

Drive types supported include 2.5” and 3.5” variants ranging from 7,200rpm SATA to 15,000rpm SAS plus SSD. A FAS3220 with expanded input/output (I/O) capacity offers 12 PCIe expansion slots compared to the four of the standard FAS3220. These can be used to support network cards, Flash Cache cards, and additional storage connectivity.

The new arrays run on NetApp’s Data ONTAP operating system (OS). The hardware sees the debut of its 8.1.2 version. This is a point release update on the 8.1.1 version, released earlier this year, which introduced true clustered NAS capability to NetApp filers.

Clustered NAS, also known as scale-out NAS, allows users to build clusters of NAS devices that all share a common file system that can scale to billions of files. With such a distributed file system, users can add or remove storage arrays on the fly.

The FAS3220 and 3250 also allow for the addition of PCIe Flash Cache solid state storage. This does not operate as a tier of storage, but as additional fast cache.

These hardware releases also see the introduction of Data ONTAP’s Flash Pools capability. This is a feature that allows hot data to be automatically tiered between spinning disk and SSDs.

Flash Accel, which caches hot data from NetApp arrays into server flash, will be offered from December, said Laurence James, products, alliances and solutions marketing manager with NetApp. The feature is a result of NetApp's collaboration with server flash supplier Fusion-io.

Server flash has arisen to meet the needs of very demanding I/O use cases such as with virtual machines. The ability to cache hot data locally to the server means data avoids the latency involved in traversing the LAN or storage fabric and keeps data close to where it is being processed.

James said: "The new devices are targeted at the scale-out SAN and NAS workloads in the midrange. This means organisations with 500 to 1,000 users and in the price band £50,000 to £100,000. Use cases could be virtualisation, storage consolidation and unified storage.”

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