On June 1, I attended the first FlashForward conference in Munich and followed many interesting sessions about standards, flash technology, and use cases.


The session I found most interesting was about data strategy in the digital age, presented by Dr. Carlo Velten, CEO at Crisp Research. Figure 1 shows the session overview slide (in German).


Figure 1) Session overview slide.


Although the slide is in German, I’m sure that you can figure out the four requirements (Anforderungen) that modernized storage systems need to meet to make an IT organization future-proof.


Let me tell you why NetApp® All Flash FAS, our all-flash array, is such a system today.


Scale (Skalierbarkeit)

NetApp All Flash FAS scale-out functionality is unique on the flash market. All Flash FAS can scale out up to 24 nodes. These brings a maximum raw capacity of 7.3PB (and certainly 4 times more effective capacity), which is more than most of our customers will need today or in the future.


That is not all. On June 5, NetApp announced ONTAP® 9.2. With it, our customers can now scale almost indefinitely to the cloud. With 9.2 we introduced FabricPool, which brings automatic tiering to private and public clouds and additional flexibility with regard to capacity and investment protection.


A good Case Study on the scalability of the solution is the European Space Agency. Read the ESA Case Study.



Performance and Availability (Performance and Verfügbarkeit)

Performance is important because business requirements are changing rapidly, and IT needs to be agile. Therefore, building a data center infrastructure on the most powerful systems on the market such as the All Flash FAS is advantageous. Tests based on the SPC-1 benchmark show All Flash FAS to be one of the three fastest systems available today. It also has a great price/performance ratio; the same SPC-1 benchmark proved that the AFF 700s has the best $/IOPS ratio out of the 10 tested systems.


Authority and Security (Datenhoheit and Sicherheit)

Everybody speaks about hybrid cloud, but deploying a hybrid cloud and being able to move data securely between different clouds remain challenges. The NetApp Data Fabric is the answer. With the Data Fabric, you can securely move and manage the data in the clouds (both private and public) to get benefits from the hybrid model. All Flash FAS is fully integrated into the Data Fabric and can replicate, back up, and tier data to different systems in a public or private cloud. To learn more, download the white paper.


Efficiency (Effizienz)

Besides inline compression, deduplication, compaction, and thin provisioning, ONTAP can now also deduplicate on an aggregate level and get rid of redundant data across volumes. This brings up to 30% additional storage efficiency. Why is this important? Customers with large data centers are growing at an incredible rate and are looking for ways to save space by reducing their infrastructure footprint. Smaller customers are outsourcing their infrastructure to service providers, but colocation/hosting service prices are based on rack units used. The transition to efficient flash technology means massive savings for customers regardless of size. IT organizations that have moved to All Flash FAS are experiencing a footprint decrease of a factor of 4 to 10.


A good example is the Faculty of Civil Engineering (FCE) at the Czech Technical University (CTU). Read the FCE Case Study.


With All Flash FAS, the future is now.

Christian Lorentz

Christian has held a variety of positions as System Engineer, Consultant, Product Marketing Manager and Product Manager for Digital Equipment, Chipcom, Cisco Systems and Riverbed. Christian joined NetApp in 2015, as Sr Product and Solution Marketing Manager for EMEA , and has over 20 years’ experience in the networking and storage arena.

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