NetApp puts MAX Data, er, ONTAP and StorageGRID gets flash acceleration

Offers a no-details flash performance guarantee

NetApp has a new version of ONTAP which supports server persistent memory caching, a flash-accelerated object storage system, and its containerised storage provisioner supports NetApp cloud storage in AWS and GCP.

ONTAP v9.5 supports MAX Data, auto-tiering data between its server-hosted persistent memory cache and and ONTAP array, such as an all-flash FAS connected to the server by NVMe running over Fibre Channel.

MAX Data can use Optane 3D XPoint which operates at near-DRAM speed persistent memory; access latencies between 1 and 9μs have been mentioned. However these need Optane DIMMs, and these need Cascade Lake Xeon CPUs, which will hopefully arrive by the end of the year.

They use 14nm technology and so should not be delayed by Intel's 10nm troubles.

Our sister publication, The Next Platform, discusses Cascade Lake Optane support here. For now, effectively, the MAX Data support can’t be used until Cascade Lake CPUs arrive.

StorageGRID SG6060

The StorageGRID SG6060 provides flash-accelerated object storage, but not all-flash storage.

The SG6060 has an SG6000-CN compute controller (with 40 cores) in a 1U enclosure and two E2800 storage controllers in a 4U, 60-drive controller shelf. These E2800s run SANtricity OS software. They constitute a five-drawer drive shelf that holds sixty 3.5-inch drives (2 SSDs and 58 NL-SAS) – so there is not a lot of flash caching.

There are more details on the SG6060 here.

Flash Performance Guarantee

NetApp is offering a flash array access latency guarantee, the first of its kind, which offers offers consistent latency of 0.5ms or less. There are no details of what happens if a system fails to meet the performance guarantee. We’ve asked NetApp to clarify this.


Trident, NetApp’s open source automated storage provisioner for Docker, Kubernetes, and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, supports NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, backup and restore using NetApp Snapshot copies and has multi-cloud support.

There is a a verified architecture for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on NetApp HCI, which should make it easier for DevOps teams to build, deploy and scale applications with containers and a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

NetApp Cloud Volumes Service is available for AWS and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and offers offers cloud-native file storage. There are three performance levels for the GCP product; Standard, Premium, and Extreme.

It provides both NFS and SMB protocol services and enables fast file copies; the firm said developers could clone hundreds of environments, saving testing and QA time.

NetApp said it was now accepting production-level data on the Cloud Volumes for Google Cloud Platform, with expanded availability for US-Central1 and US-East4.

NetApp Cloud Volumes for AWS has REST API support and a preview for Cloud Backup service. NetApp says it allows workloads to run in the cloud with extreme speed and predictability. It eliminates the need to rearchitect file-based applications for the cloud; they can be moved to the cloud without development cycles.

It has expanded availability in regions across APAC and EMEA, including Sydney, Tokyo, Dublin, Frankfurt, and London.

Finally NetApp is offering single-point-of-contact support for its FlexPod system, a reference architecture system built using NetApp and Cisco components. The support covers the storage, storage network, compute, compute OS, LAN networking, and hypervisor. It includes NetApp Converged System Advisor (CSA) software, with a single-pane view of the system’s health. ®

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