NetApp adds high-end FAS8080EX with all-flash array capability

NetApp adds flagship FAS8080EX with all-flash array options that can scale to 5.8PB

NetApp has added two new product lines to its FAS range, with the high-end FAS8080EX that can be configured as an all-flash array, and a new entry-level FAS2500 family. 

It has also added the ability to virtualise HP storage with its FlexArray storage virtualisation software.

The FAS8080EX incorporates new Intel Ivy Bridge processors in a base unit with 18TB of flash cache with room for 1,440 drives, as all hard disk drive (HDD), all MLC flash or a combination of the two for a maximum capacity of around 5.8PB.

The FAS8080EX adds extra capacity to the Sandy Bridge-powered 8000 family launched in February, which starts with the FAS8020 (maximum capacity 1.92PB/480 drives) and tops out with the FAS8060 (maximum capacity 4.8PB/1,200 drives).

Lawrence James, products, alliances and solutions manager for NetApp northern EMEA, couldn’t give IOPS figures for the FAS8080EX but quoted claimed I/O performance of 68,000 IOPS on a dual-controller FAS8040 with sub-millisecond latency in a write-biased VDI environment.

Such figures don’t set the world on fire when compared to flash array vendors that claim IOPS rates in the hundreds of thousands and nudging a million. They reflect the fact that NetApp’s flash offerings are made up of flash drives married to a hardware architecture and Data ONTAP operating system that was not designed for flash.

But, said James, NetApp offers this performance with the full range of Data ONTAP data management features that include clustering, snapshots, replication, high availability and storage virtualisation. Here, NetApp is able to exploit the fact that most flash arrays on the market do not provide advanced storage functionality.

At the other end of its FAS family NetApp has launched the FAS2500 series. This comprises the FAS2520, 2552 and 2554. All these models include 4TB of Flash Pool (Data ONTAP-managed auto-tiered cache). The FAS2520 scales to 84 drives and around 33TB of capacity,  all of which can be flash.

Meanwhile, the FAS2552 scales to 144 (flash and SAS) drives and 518TB, and the 2554 to 144 (flash and SATA) drives and 576TB. On both of these arrays, up to 96 of their drives can be flash drives. They also support Fibre Channel connectivity, in addition to the iSCSI and NAS protocols supported by the FAS2520.

The FAS8000 and FAS2500 lines will be the only FAS filers available as NetApp phases out the FAS200, FAS300 and FAS 6000 ranges.

In this launch, NetApp has added the ability for FlexArray to virtualise HP storage, in addition to its existing EMC, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and NetApp E-Series capabilities.

FlexArray takes the capability of NetApp’s V-Series storage virtualisation hardware and offers it as an option in the FAS8000 arrays, allowing users to create SAN and NAS storage pools from existing NetApp and third party hardware.

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