NetApp announces new AFF and FAS storage & updated ONTAP 9.1

In A300, A700, AFF Series, Data ONTAP 9, FAS2600, FAS8200, FAS9000 by AdministratorLeave a Comment

At NetApp Insight this month, they introduced 6 new systems 4 FAS and 2 AFF as well as a new release of ONTAP 9.1.

NetApp AFF A700 and A300 AFA

The A700 is NetApp’s new high-end, expandable all flash FAS (AFF) storage system and the A300 is their mid-range AFF storage. The new AFF systems support both 32Gbs FC as well as 40GbE host interfaces with 12Gbs SAS connections to SSD storage.

The A700 supports up to a max of 480 SSDs (7.3PB raw, 30PB effective capacity) with 1TB of memory, 64GB of NVRAM, 20 PCIe expansion slots, 32-32Gbps FC ports, 32-40GbE ports and 2 controllers (for HA), which fit in a single 8U chassis.

The A300 supports up to a max of 384 SSDs (5.9PB raw, 24PB effective capacity) with 256GB of memory, 16GB of NVRAM, 4 PCIe expansion slots, 8-32Gbps FC ports, 8-40GbE ports and 2 controllers (for HA), which fit into a single 3U chassis.

With the new 15TB SFF SSDs in a 24 drive shelf, AFF systems offer over 1PB of effective (4:1) capacity in 2U of drive shelf space. Doing that with 10Krpm drives would take 2 racks and 11X the power/cooling.

In a NAS cluster, the new AFF storage systems are capable of generating 7M IOPS at under 1msec. response time.

Oracle database IO performance for the A700 provided 584K IOPS at less than 1msec response time, which was 2X the previous performance at ½ the response time. All this IO performance was done with inline storage efficiencies enabled.

NetApp FAS9000, FAS8200, and FAS2600 storage systems

NetApp FAS storage is hybrid storage, which supports NVMe based Flash Cache, SSD based Flash Pools and HDD and SSD storage.

The FAS9000 supports 1440 HDDs/480 SSDs (14.4PB raw capacity) with 16TB of NVMe Flash Cache, 144TB of Flash Pool, 1024 GB of ECC memory, 64GB of NVRAM, 20-PCIe expansion slots, 32-32Gpbs FC, and 32-40GbE ports in an 8U chassis.

The FAS8200 supports 480 (HDD or SSD) (4.8PB raw capacity) with 4TB of NVMe based Flash Cache, 48TB of Flash Pool, 256GB of ECC memory, 16GB of NVRAM, 4-PCIe expansion slots and with UTA 2 IO: 8-16Gbps FC or 8-10GbE ports in a 3U chassis.

The FAS2600 is the lowend of the FAS storage line and consists of two versions; the FAS2650 with 24-2.5” SFF internal drives; and the FAS2620 with 12-3.5” LFF internal drives. Both FAS2600 systems support 144 drives (1.4PB or 1.2PB, SFF or LFF drives respectively), 64GB ECC memory, 8GB NVRAM, 1TB NVMe Flash Cache, 24TB Flash Pool, and with UTA2 IO: 8-16Gbps FC or 8-10GbE ports in a 2U chassis

NetApp ONTAP 9.1

ONTAP 9.1 provides some new and interesting capabilities to complement AFF and FAS hardware. Including:

  • Volume encryption is a software array based encryption allows data to be secured while in NetApp storage and as it moves across an ONTAP cluster to retain that level of security wherever it resides on the cluster. It also enables security at a more granular level, without the need for SED and can be used across other ONTAP deployments
  • FlexGroup is a NAS data container that takes the prior InfiniteVolume and makes it higher performing, more flexible and even larger (up to 20PB and 400B files). Whereas before a cluster could either be InfiniteVolume or not, now customers can implement multiple FlexGroups and non-FlexGroup volumes in the same cluster.
  • Cloud ONTAP for Azure was demonstrated last year at Insight conference but this year they formally released it.
  • 12 node SAN clusters increases SAN cluster size from 8 nodes (4-HA pairs) to 12 nodes (6-HA pairs) for higher cluster performance and more flexibility.
  • Multi-stream write (MSW) SSD support provides for better SSD higher endurance and higher capacity SSDs. MSW SSDs can support 20% more capacity than non-MSW SSDs with the same NAND storage and better endurance.
  • ONTAP storage provisioning wizards/templates increases the speed of storage provisioning for AFF deployments, down to 10 minutes for Oracle, SQL Server, SAP HANA and VMware application and VDI storage.


It’s not your grandfathers NetApp anymore. NetApp have sped up their development cadence and are releasing new functionality much faster than ever before.

The updates to AFF and FAS hardware push the envelope in interface and drive technology. And new functionality in ONTAP 9.1 shows better focus on customers with larger SAN clusters, software based volume encryption and faster provisioning of common storage solutions.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in September of 2016.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers. Also we have recently updated (May 2019) our SAN Storage Buying Guide so if you are interested in purchasing block or primary storage, please checkout our Buying Guide available for sale on our website. ]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & System consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.

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