In May, NetApp launched new products and solutions to help our customers accelerate their businesses with world-class data services across the hybrid cloud. A key part of that announcement was the launch of NetApp® ONTAP® 9.4 software, the next big enhancement to the data management software that powers the industry’s fastest, most cloud connected enterprise all-flash systems.

 

ONTAP 9.4 has experienced healthy adoption and is performing extraordinarily well across many deployments. Based on rigorous testing by NetApp’s quality assurance organization and the experience gained from hundreds of customer systems running the ONTAP 9.4 Release Candidate extensively in varied environments, we’re pleased to announce that ONTAP 9.4 has entered General Availability (GA). ONTAP 9.4 GA is available for download at http://support.netapp.com.

 

Do you need a refresher on the new business capabilities included in ONTAP 9.4? They break down into three main categories:

  • New intelligent cloud services for the world’s most cloud-connected all-flash infrastructure
  • Fastest all-flash performance with the first enterprise end-to-end NVMe support
  • Most efficient and secure enterprise storage

For a quick overview, check out the What’s New in ONTAP 9.4 lightboard video.

 

New intelligent cloud services with FabricPool

FabricPool, our automated cloud tiering solution, was first released one year ago in ONTAP 9.2. With ONTAP 9.4, we’ve introduced a significant set of new enhancements for FabricPool, including:

  • Tiering of inactive (cold) data in the active file system to the cloud
  • Support for Microsoft Azure in addition to existing Amazon S3 and NetApp StorageGRID® options
  • Inactive data reporting to give you a heads-up on what you could be saving

To learn more, read the latest FabricPool blog and check out the FabricPool 9.4 lightboard video.

 

Fast all-flash performance with the first enterprise end-to-end NVMe

Along with ONTAP 9.4, we also released the AFF A800, our new, industry-leading all-flash array. In addition to NVMe solid state drives, the A800 offers both 32Gb Fibre Channel and 100GbE Ethernet and amazing density with 48 high-capacity SSDs in a single 4U chassis. To learn more,  read the AFF A800 blog post and watch the A800 lightboard video.

 

 

The AFF A800 is our flagship NVMe over Fabrics platform, introducing the next-generation NVMe-based SAN protocol, which offers significantly higher performance and lower latency with the same hardware and switches. The combination of NVMe SSDs on the back end and NVMe over Fabrics on the front end makes the A800 the industry’s first enterprise end-to-end NVMe all-flash array. In addition, in partnership with Broadcom Brocade, we’re offering NVMe over Fibre Channel not only on the A800, but also on the existing AFF A300, A700, and A700s systems, delivering up to 60% higher performance and 50% lower latency. To learn about the advantages of NVMe/FC, read  Broadcom’s guest blog.

 

Finally, for a quick refresher on the benefits of NVMe and NetApp’s innovation vision, check out the new NVMe/SCM lightboard video.

 

Most efficient and secure enterprise storage

With ONTAP 9.4, we’ve added support for 30TB SSDs, enabling unheard-of storage density, with up to 2.5PiB of storage in a single 2U shelf of 24 drives at a 4:72:1 storage efficiency ratio. A new background aggregate deduplication scanner hunts out common blocks on existing storage to reduce them across a storage aggregate. In addition, ONTAP 9.4 raises the number of Snapshot™ copies to 1,023 per volume and adds the ability to deduplicate identical blocks across Snapshot copies and the active file system. Finally, for data protection volumes, ONTAP 9.4 now automatically enables all inline and background efficiencies.

 

In addition to storing the most data in the smallest space, it’s necessary to secure that data. ONTAP 9.4 adds to the already extensive ONTAP security portfolio with some new key features:

  • Secure purge to cryptographically destroy data for data spillage or GDPR requirements
  • Protected controller reboot with passphrase lock of the Onboard Key Manager
  • Upgrade image validation to ensure that signed copies of ONTAP are being used
  • UEFI secure boot on next-generation platforms

To learn more, check out the blog post New Data Security and Privacy Features in ONTAP 9.4 and the ONTAP Data Security Overview lightboard video.

 

ONTAP 9.4: Continued innovation, now generally available

For more information, visit the ONTAP website. If you’re a NetApp customer, be sure to visit the ONTAP 9 documentation center, and go to support.netapp.com to download ONTAP 9.4 and start your nondisruptive upgrades today.

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Jeff Baxter

Jeff Baxter is the Chief Evangelist for NetApp’s ONTAP Software & Systems Group. Jeff’s goal is to drive excitement about how the industry-leading ONTAP portfolio solves customer challenges today, while also providing a compelling vision of forward-looking innovation.

Previously, Jeff was in the NetApp Field organization, including serving as Chief Technology Officer for the Americas at NetApp.