October 29th, 2019 by Brian Beeler
NetApp Launches New Midrange Arrays (AFF A400, FAS8300, FAS8700)
At NetApp Insight, the company has launched a new midrange controller designed to power the hybrid FAS8300 and FAS8700, along with the all-flash A400. The active/active chassis is 4U without drives, connecting to NetApp's wide variety of expansion shelves, including in the A400's case, the NVMe NS224 shelf. The decision to go with the larger chassis gives NetApp some design freedom, longtime ONTAP users will appreciate some of the day-to-day management benefits. For instance, fan modules are located in the front of chassis and hot-swappable without removing the controller. NetApp is also putting Intel's latest generation CPUs in the controllers, a first amongst the leading array vendors. The units will all ship with ONTAP 9.7 RC1 and should be available before the end of this year.
The arrays are available in two onboard connectivity configurations; Ethernet: 4x 25Gb Ethernet (SFP28) ports per node or Fiber Channel: 4x 16Gb FC (SFP+) ports per node. NetApp offers ten expansion card slots as well, giving quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to I/O configuration.
NetApp AFF A400
As noted, the AFF A400 is a new end-to-end NVMe all-flash array designed to offer low latency at a mid-range price point. The A400 is quoted to deliver up to 50% higher performance than its predecessor. NetApp highlights workloads with large I/Os, such as SAP HANA with reducible data sets as primary candidates for performance benefits. The A400 supports NVMe/FC, 100GbE and 32Gb FC, providing a lot of flexibility. Positionally, the A400 takes over for the A300, though both systems will be available for sale.
When comparing the two units, it's clear just from hardware alone, why the A400 picks up so much performance over the A300. In addition to a more modern CPU, the A400 goes to 40 cores from 32 in the A300. The memory footprint remains the same at 256GB, but the A400 doubles up on the NVDIMM to 32GB. The A400 picks up 25 and 100GbE and adds a bit of scalability bumping up SSD drive support to 480 from 384 in the A300.
Something else that's new is around the 100GbE I/O module, which is used as a dual cluster interconnect and offload engine (NetApp X1151A). The dual-port ASIC supports two 100GbE ports used for controller interconnections on A400 systems. The card also provides a hardware offload engine for storage efficiency services including compression, decompression, and fingerprint calculation for deduplication. Like the other modern flash arrays, the A400 supports a wide variety of SSDs. Non-encrypted drives come in 1.9TB and 3.8TB capacities. NetApp is driving more options when it comes to encryption though, with SED SSDs available in 1.9TB, 3.8TB, 7.6TB and 15.3TB capacities (Onboard and KMIP server starting with ONTAP 9.6). Lastly, NetApp offers a 3.8TB SSD as part of NetApp Storage Encryption which adds FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certification over standard SED SSDs.
NetApp FAS Hybrid-Flash Arrays FAS8300 AND FAS8700
As much as the all-flash array is the most prominent in terms of marketing and general excitement, hybrids still own a large segment of the market because they deliver enough performance for their projected workload, with good economics. NetApp is seeing customers use hybrids for a number of use cases including back-up and retention, consolidation of general business applications, and distributed content.
The FAS8700 is a high-performance configuration optimized for high capacity and the consolidation of multiple business workloads. The FAS8700 offers 64 cores, 512GB of RAM, 32GB NVDIMM, support for 25 and 100GbE, support for 1440 drives and the aforementioned 10 I/O slots.
The FAS8300 is a midrange system designed for a wide range of deployments that need a balance of capacity and performance. The system has a lot of overlap with the FAS8700, they both offer the same connectivity and NVDIMM capacity. The FAS8300 just runs a slightly smaller profile with 40 cores, 256GB of RAM and 720 drives.
NetApp FAS Hybrid-Flash Arrays FAS8300 AND FAS8700 Specifications
|Max Raw Capacity per HA pair||14.7PB||7.3PB|
|Max Drives per HA pair||1440||720|
|NAS scale-out||1-24 nodes (12 HA Paris)||1-24 nodes (12 HA Paris)|
|SAN scale-out||1-12 nodes (6 HA Paris)||1-12 nodes (6 HA Paris)|
|Max Raw Capacity per cluster||176PB||88PB|
|Controller chassis form factor||4U||4U|
|OS version||ONTAP 9.7 RC1 or later||ONTAP 9.7 RC1 or later|
|Storage Protocols supported||FC, iSCSI, NFS, pNFS, CIFS/SMB||FC, iSCSI, NFS, pNFS, CIFS/SMB|
All three of the new systems are expected to ship this year.