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NetApp and Fujitsu NFLEX: More details emerge about European HCI tryst
Entanglement in the EMEA geo
Analysis More details have emerged about the Fujitsu NetApp NFLEX converged system and about Fujitsu's HCI strategy, which might preclude it selling the NetApp HCI.
Fujitsu has agreed it has no deal planned in that direction.
NFLEX is a converged infrastructure (CI) system with pre-integrated and tested Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers, NetApp storage and Extreme networking components.
An HCI (Hyper-convered Infrastructure) appliance is a fully integrated single component, combining server, virtual SAN storage and networking.
Fujitsu has at least three of these:
- Fujitsu Nutanix Enterprise Cloud on PRIMERGY x86 servers running Nutanix's Acropolis OS and Prism management software,
- PRIMEFLEX for Storage Spaces Direct,
- PRIMEFLEX for VMware VSAN.
NetApp's HCI is based on SolidFire all-flash array technology and does not use PRIMERGY servers. For Fujitsu, we could say, HCI is a means to sell more of its servers.
In theory, an implementation of the NetApp HCI could, we suppose, be built with Fujitsu's servers, were both companuies motivated enough to do it.
Some NFLEX details
NFLEX components include PRIMERGY CX servers, NetApp AFF and FAS storage, a pair of Extreme VDX6740 switches and VMware software (vSphere + vCentre plug-in).
There are four NFLEX SKUs, pre-configured systems with a single order number:
- M10 - entry FAS 2500 - 2 x PRIMERGY CX2560 - supports 100 vServer,
- M30 - all-flash small - AFF A200 A - 4 x CX2560 - supports 200 vServer,
- M50 - all-fash medium - AFF A200 - 8 x CX2560 - supports 400 vServer,
- M70 - all-flash large - AFF - A300 - 12 x CX2560 - supports 600 vServer.
The M30 has 12 x 960GB SSDs while the M70 has 12 x 3.8TB SSDs.
RAM varies, with from 384GB to 1,024GB for the M30 and M50, and c384GB to 1,636 GB for the M70.
Up to 16 x CX2560 compute nodes represents the upper compute scaling limit and up to 48 drives the capacity scaling limit. Clearly the NFLEX is a performance play and not a hgh-capacity one.
Systems can be ordered racked or unracked.
The systems are built at a Fujitsu plant in Augsburg, Germany, and shipped to custmers in the EMEA selling geography. Were NFLEX to be made available in the Americas and Far East, then manufacturing arrangements woud have to be made or shipping times from Germany endured. There are no plans currently to extend the NFLEX selling geography. ®