NetApp's Updated Storage OS Can Handle New 15TB SSDs

ONTAP 9 includes a virtual appliance that can run 15TB solid-state drives either on commodity server hardware in a data center or in a cloud service.

NetApp continues to grease the skids for companies still on the fence about adopting NAND flash storage into their IT systems.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage maker came out May 31 with the latest edition of its ONTAP storage file system, its first operating system built expressly for NAND flash storage deployments. In particular, it's aimed at large-capacity flash storage systems.

ONTAP 9 includes a virtual appliance that can run either on commodity server hardware in a data center or in a cloud service. It is out-of-the-box-ready to take advantage of 15TB solid-state drives (SSDs) that will be made available for the first time next month, Vice President of Product, Solution and Services Marketing Lee Caswell told eWEEK.

Thus, NetApp becomes the first all-flash array provider to offer its users 15TB SSDs, which are a big leap larger than the largest hard-disk drives now available at 10TB.

The company also introduced its FlashAdvantage 3-4-5 program, which is designed to offer a low-risk path for customers to adopt flash.

"With all the flash functionality and performance this gives users, the only question now left is: 'Can I afford it?'" Caswell asked, rhetorically. "The 3-4-5 program means the following: You'll get three times the performance benefit on flash, you'll get 4:1 guaranteed storage efficiencies of 60TB (four 15TB drives), and there are five ways to get started, including a free risk trial, free controller upgrade program and extended warranties."

Using ONTAP 9, Caswell said, enterprises can maintain their current production storage and incorporate a step at a time flash, the cloud and software-defined architectures to build a data fabric foundation across on-premises and cloud resources.

ONTAP 9 has patented inline data compaction that enables more data to fit in a smaller footprint and brings down the cost of flash beyond traditional compression and deduplication. This capability increases efficiency and is cost-effective compared with hard disk drive-based systems, Caswell said.

While ONTAP 9 is aimed at general on-premises enterprise use, ONTAP Cloud (formerly NetApp Cloud ONTAP) features enterprise-class data management in a cloud service. The new ONTAP Select offers a software-only data management solution.

Another new capability is ONTAP Select, a software-defined capability that allows ONTAP 9 to be deployed on any VMware-qualified commodity server hardware. Users can deploy up to four instances of ONTAP 9 inside VMware virtual machines and connected in a high-availability solution.

ONTAP 9 benefits include:

Simplicity: ONTAP 9 can be deployed and serving data for critical workloads in as few as 10 minutes, Caswell said. Also, with enhanced system monitoring, enterprises can use it to centrally manage performance, capacity and data protection across their IT environment.

Flexibility: ONTAP 9 works well for workload consolidation. The platform offers common data services across general-purpose server hardware deployments as software-defined storage (SDS) in addition to NetApp engineered systems, converged infrastructure, third-party arrays, next-to-the-cloud systems and the cloud.

Security: Customers can achieve up to 100 times greater security against drive failures and meet stringent data retention policies with new triple-parity RAID protection and expanded storage encryption and compliance features, Caswell said.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...