NetApp FAS Storage Systems Offer Data OnTap Technology

The FAS3220 and FAS3250 storage systems come with a host of features to enable nondisruptive operations and high scalability.

NetApp its updated FAS midrange storage system lineup Nov. 5 with the introduction of its versatile FAS3220 and FAS3250 arrays, designed for both storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) environments.

The platform offers support for high-speed, low-latency flash and nondisruptive operation and is aimed at enterprises and midsized businesses that are consolidating operations onto a shared storage platform.

NetApp runs its home-developed operating system, OnTap, throughout its product portfolio, so NetApp shops don't have to learn anything new as far as storage admin is concerned.

"As you add new architectures and modules and drop in new layers of technology, they've got to be very simple to manage," NetApp Marketing Director Nathan Moffett told eWEEK. "As you grow, the number of (storage) administrators that are managing it cannot grow exponentially."

The FAS3200 series platform can be tailored for virtualized, private cloud or traditional environments, requiring only a few terabytes of storage to over 2 petabytes in a single system. When clustered, the FAS infrastructure can scale performance and capacity across 24 storage nodes, providing performance and capacity scale while delivering nondisruptive operations by enabling transparent upgrades, system replacements and performance balancing.

"Because we run the same version of the operating system (ONTap) up and down the lineup, so the way data gets provisioned, managed, deduped is the same, whether it's on the smaller system or a larger system," Raj Das, NetApp Senior Solution Product and Partner Manager of Cloud Solutions, told eWEEK. "This is a huge part of our value proposition -- the simplicity of how we manage data."

To facilitate expansion and allow system customization, the two systems also include up to three times the number of PCIe expansion slots, which can be used to support network cards, Flash Cache cards and additional storage connectivity.

NetApp Flash Cache, which is a controller-based PCIe card, speeds data access through intelligent caching of recently read user data and metadata in the storage controller. The systems also provide other storage efficiency features that apply to both primary and secondary storage, which the company said allows companies to reduce disk purchases by half.

“The growth and management of data continue to present a challenge for IT. Midsized businesses and enterprises are looking for the building blocks that will create a flexible infrastructure that can scale, perform and deliver results to meet that challenge,” said Brian Babineau, Enterprise Strategy Group vice president of research and analyst services. “Today’s announcement introduces a new level of performance-driven systems that help organizations create a strong technology platform to grow as needed.”

The company’s Data OnTap storage operating system, which clusters data, enables the FAS3220 and FAS3250 to operate as a shared pool of resources, which results in improved scalability and performance, simplified management and the ability to transparently migrate application data. The platform offers data protection, scalability, thin provisioning, deduplication, thin clones, Snapshot copies, backup and disaster recovery.

The Flash Pool is a software feature within Data OnTap that enables automated storage tiering across combinations of solid-state disks (SSDs) and traditional hard-disk drives (HDD) based on traffic patterns, which can improve performance under load without requiring users to migrate data in demand.

The Flash Accel software product leverages flash technology on the server to deliver I/O throughput gains of up to 80 percent and average response time improvements of up to 90 percent, according to a company release.

Both systems are currently available through the company’s network of authorized resellers, distributors and systems integrators. Until April, the company is offering NetApp zero percent financing for customers who are trading up to the newly released FAS3200 systems.

eWEEK Editor Chris Preimesberger contributed to this story.