I’ve just returned to the UK following, what has to be, the greatest NetApp Insight event ever.

Once again we invited our partners, alliances and customers to the event at the City Cube

in Berlin to hear what NetApp Staff hear. To learn, achieve accreditation’s, certifications and to see the



For me a new challenge this year and this was to host and run the Flash Performance

‘Birds-of-Feather’ (BOF) session. This is a Customer to Customer sharing session

where a panel of customers who have implemented Flash products are put in the spotlight

and asked questions about their experiences, processes and outcomes. As a host you

never know quite how these type of sessions will progress, so preparation and ‘Ice Breaker’

questions are essential. Thankfully I only used one of my questions.


The panel dispelled many of the myths and legends that have grown up around Flash

Technology. The early confirmation for me was Flash Endurance. This topic is over.

Dead and buried. One of our panel members confirmed the calculations on the wear rate

of their Flash SSD’s placed the effective life at over 10 years. And this was with a highly write

intensive workload. These results are achievable because, by design,  Data ONTAP gathers

and distributes writes in a way that complements and enhances the SSD wear leveling processes

that are required to avoid early life cell wear out. The other statistic that emerged from

one panelist who had diligently measured both HDD and Flash reliability over a number of

years and concluded that this metric exceeded that of mechanical Hard Drives by a

factor of 3.


Indeed these outcomes driven by the inherent capability in Data ONTAP to enhance the

endurance of Flash enable NetApp to confidently offer new support programs:


  • AFF systems Extended support price protection up to 7 years
  • Free Controller Upgrade with premium support renewal

Another panelist confirmed that for them the All-Flash Data Centre is not a Myth. Examination

of the Market, the price point of HDD vs SSD Flash Capacity confirmed to them that

soon SAS HDD and SSD will reach capacity price parity. They confidently predicted, that because

of the nature of the way they service their customers, All-Flash would be all they will buy !

The one factor differentiating the Flash / performance market being consistent, repeatable

predictable Data Management and protection. Without this Flash – Disk – Cloud services models

will not be achievable.


Respond Rapidly.jpg


So I will leave it here for this Blog. Was the BOF session useful ? You bet. These BOF sessions

are Insight from customers using the technology in customer facing / revenue generating

modes today.


I will follow up with more Myth Busting Insight in the next couple of weeks.

In the mean time don’t forget that NetApp have a number of offers and programs to help you

build your Data Fabric, here are few highlights and links to help you find more information




  • 3 x Performance Guarantee  For All-Flash Workloads
  • Free Controller Upgrade for eligible customers who purchase a 3 year SupportEdge premium contract by 31/12/2015
  • Extended Support Price protection to extend standard 3 years warranty for up to 4 more years
  • New AFF Series Models AFF8080EX can bet set up to address mainstream SAN based workloads in a little as 15 minutes
  • AFF systems now support 3.8 terabyte solid state drives, making NetApp one of the early adopters of this new form factor.

All Flash FAS (AFF)


EF Series All Flash Arrays


If you could’nt make it this year then save the date for next year. You won’t be dissapointed.


Published on behalf of the EMEA Product, Alliances and Solutions Marketing Team.









Laurence James

Laurence is responsible for driving market awareness for NetApp’s products across EMEA. His focus is on business growth and aligning NetApp’s offerings with customer and market needs.

Laurence works across all of NetApp’s products and has an in-depth understanding of diverse customer requirements to deliver value across the entire range of the product suite.

Working with a dedicated and experienced team, he now assists in developing and implementing campaigns that support the positioning of NetApp’s Cloud Infrastructure products.

Laurence has many years’ experience working with all aspects of Enterprise IT and held roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek.

For nearly 20 years he was Principal IT Consultant at the UK Meteorological Office.

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