With the recent release of ONTAP 9.6, let’s continue exploring the benefits that ONTAP (see previous blog on Simplifying Data Management with ONTAP) and NetApp provide to our customers. In this post, I will describe how NetApp leads the way with end-to-end NVMe solutions based on ONTAP.

Digital Transformation demands more

Digital transformation looks different for every company. However, as businesses go through digital transformation, modernizing their IT infrastructure to improve speed and responsiveness to support critical business operations is key. Although all-flash storage systems have been widely adopted to accelerate typical enterprise applications, newer applications of data analytics—such as those in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning—demand higher performance that first-generation flash systems cannot deliver.

NetApp is a leader in Flash

NetApp leads all-flash storage innovations with the latest solid-state drives (SSD) technologies (See Gartner Magic Quadrant here). The AFF A-Series system, the first all-flash array to support 30TB SSDs, was the first to use multistream write (MSW) SSDs to significantly reduce the dollars per GB cost of SSDs. Designed specifically for flash, the AFF A-Series all-flash systems deliver industry-leading performance, capacity density, scalability, security, and network connectivity in dense form factors.

NVMe is a mandatory step forward

NVMe standard was built for faster storage media like SSDs, as compared to the SAS and SATA protocols which were intended for slower media like spinning disks or tapes.

 

NVMe offers a highly streamlined and parallelized architecture to meet the demands of faster media.

 

With NVMe, you have now a massively parallel data highway from your applications to your drives. The next bottleneck will occur within the storage OS. If this has not been designed carefully for IO to be parallelized, then NVMe will not provide many enhancements to your applications. Find out why NetApp leads the way with NVMe.

All-Flash Performance Powered by ONTAP End-to-End NVMe Technology

NetApp began shipping NVMe over Fibre Channel (NVMe/FC) with NetApp ONTAP® 9.4 and doubled down in May 2018 with the AFF A800 all-flash array. The AFF A800 not only supports NVMe/FC but also includes NVMe-attached SSDs.

 

NetApp AFF A800 is the first shipping end-to-end enterprise NVMe array (please read that blog). By combining low-latency NVMe SSDs and the first NVMe over Fibre Channel (NVMe/FC) connectivity, AFF A800 delivers below 200µs latency and a throughput of up to 300GB/s in a 24-node cluster. AFF A-Series systems also support the NVMe/FC host connection, so you can run 60% more workloads or cut application response time in half.

 

With the addition of the NVMe-based AFF320 (please read blog here), NetApp has extended these benefits to the midrange market.

 

The AFF A320 powered by ONTAP 9.6 enables customers to:

  • Accelerate traditional and emerging enterprise applications such as artificial intelligence and deep learning, analytics, and databases with extremely low latency.
  • Reduce data center costs by consolidating applications with a powerful system.
  • Future-proof their environment with NVMe technology, 100GbE Ethernet, and cloud integration.

ONTAP 9.6 improvements are critical to driving NVMe/FC adoption, they include:

  • NVMe/FC licence is now FREE of charge
  • Expanded NVMe over Fibre Channel (NVMe/FC) ecosystem now includes VMware ESXi, Microsoft Windows, and Oracle Linux hosts, in addition to Red Hat and SUSE Linux, with storage path resiliency.
  • Organizations can experience NVMe/FC performance for most workloads such as:
    • Oracle: 58% IOPS and 11-34% latency improvement
    • MongoDB:  25% IOPS and 67% latency improvement

By reading this post, I hope you understand now why NetApp is ahead of its competitors in shipping enterprise end-to-end NVMe arrays and why ONTAP is ready to help you build the next generation data layers for your business critical applications.

NetApp References and Documents

Jean-François Marie

Jean-François Marie is Director, Chief Technologist EMEA. He is a storage IT veteran with more than 25 years in various roles from pre-sales engineer, to storage expert and manager, marketing director product and solutions, press and analyst go-to-person, and now Chief Technologist EMEA.

He started his data management career at Sun Microsystems, continued it at EMC, and then joined NetApp more than twelve years ago.

Jean-François has always been fascinated by innovation in technology, products, and solutions. He is a life ‘gourmet’ and appreciates all the simple things that could make happiness a reality.