Golf clap and backslap for NetApp chaps and their all-flash data vat, ONTAP 9.6 unwrap

Try saying that a few times before any morning coffee

NetApp has made life a bit harder for its all-flash competitors, claiming to offer the industry's best price/performance on a new mid-range end-to-end NVMe array and updating its ONTAP OS and services.

Data storage suppliers like NetApp gleefully envisage torrents of data incoming from 5G networks which needs to be kept for later analysis. Data access latency is considered important and all-flash arrays, NVMe drives and NVMe-over-Fabrics access all contribute to this.

NetApp has extended its NVMe-oF and hybrid cloud support in its ONTAP software and introduced a mid-range array to take advantage of that.

ONTAP update

ONTAP v9.6 adds:

  • NVMe over Fibre Channel (NVMe/FC) with VMware ESXi, Microsoft Windows and Oracle Linux hosts
  • FabricPool support for Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud, in addition to Azure, AWS, and IBM Cloud Storage. Cold data can be auto-tiered to any major public cloud or an on-premises NetApp StorageGRID system
  • FlexCache software supports NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP
  • Over-the-wire encryption for NetApp SnapMirror and FlexCache
  • NetApp MetroCluster IP support for entry-level AFF and FAS systems

NetApp said customers can have NVMe/FC performance for most workloads. There's more about ONTAP v9.6 here.

AFF A320

NetApp first introduced end-to-end NVMe connectivity with the high-end A800 in May last year. Now the mid-range gets the same capability with the A320 supporting NVMe-oF across Fibre Channel.

The AFF range starts at the 2U AFF A220 entry-level with up to 72 SSDs, and carries on with the A300 (3U, 192 SSDs), A320 (2U, 24 SSDs), A700 (8U, 240 SSDs), A700s (4U, 108 SSDs) and A800 (4U, 120 SSDs.)


The A320's access latency is as low as 100μs by using NCMe/FC for host-array access and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) for internal array drive shelf access.

Like all AFF systems, you can scale up to a 24-node cluster with 12 high-availability pairs.


There are three new services:

  • SupportEdge Prestige offers a high-touch, concierge level of technical support with priority call routing, a designated team of NetApp experts, specialised reporting, tools and storage environment health assessments
  • Tiered Deployment Service with Basic, Standard and Advanced Deployment options to provide different levels of help
  • Managed Upgrade Service is a remotely delivered service to ensure NetApp software is always up to date with all security patches and firmware upgrades

Read more about the AFF A320 here. ®

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