NetApp Insight 2018 product announcements

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At their Insight 2018 conference this month, NetApp® introduced NetApp Kubernetes Service, MAX Data and ONTAP® 9.5.

NetApp Kubernetes Service

All these public cloud providers already support their own Kubernetes cluster services but NKS can also deploy Kubernetes on NetApp HCI. With NKS, customers can automatically run NetApp certified container applications such as TensorFlow AI framework. The console can be used to deploy any size Kubernetes cluster on NetApp HCI or public cloud infrastructure

In addition to NKS, NetApp and others continue to enhance Trident open source plugin, which supports RedHat OpenShift, Docker and Kubernetes to dynamically allocate/unallocate persistent storage to container apps as they execute.

MAX Data

With NetApp’s Plexistor acquisition, they acquired a persistent memory acceleration software. NetApp is releasing this functionality as MAX Data. MAX Data creates a two-tier, local file system that can make use of DRAM, NVDIMMs, or 3D Xpoint memory as an ultra-fast Persistent Memory Tier and ONTAP storage as the Storage Tier.

All write data is written to Tier 1, and only later migrated to Tier 2 if it’s inactive. Read data can reside on Tier 1 or Tier 2, but when accessed from Tier 2, it will be migrated to Tier 1 and will stay there as long as it continues to be accessed.

MAX Data creates its own file stack in Linux (RH and CentOS), which bypasses most of the Linux file stack overhead and by doing so, streamlines IO activity. With MAX Data, Persistent Memory Tier IO response times are down in the single digit microseconds for all writes and Persistent Memory reads.

MAX Data also provides data protection services to protect written data with the ability to perform MAX Snap snapshot with ONTAP integration for Enterprise Data Protection. MAX Data also features MAX Recovery with synchronous replication between MAX Data Instances. MAX Data supports mirroring in a many to one configuration. Any data written to a primary MAX Data system will be synchronously mirrored to a secondary system. NetApp showed that mirroring MAX Data will add 3-4 microseconds of overhead to write activity. They use a PMoF (Persistent Memory over Fabric [RoCE]) connection over 100GBE links to the secondary system to perform mirroring.

MAX Data brings in memory acceleration of existing Linux applications with minimal application modification and the ability to protect data with Snapshot and Replication data protection. All from a software product set.


With ONTAP 9.5, NetApp is updating and enhancing a number of features, including:

• Synchronous SnapMirror®, SnapMirror is ONTAP’s replication service and up until 9.5 only offered asynchronous Replication. With the new SnapMirror, ONTAP systems can offer 0 RPO, which means any data written to a primary system is automatically written to the secondary system before the host write is acknowledged.
• FlexCache® is back, FlexCache is a dataset caching facility for ONTAP systems used to improve read intensive files performance. It caches read accessed data on a number of ONTAP systems throughout a cluster. In this way, heavily accessed data can be read locally without having to traverse the cluster to access it remotely.
• MAX Data tiering – as discussed above, MAX Data uses ONTAP storage for Tier 2 data.

At last year’s Insight, NetApp rolled out Azure Enterprise NFS and showed previews for NFS and SMB Cloud (ONTAP) Volumes on AWS and GCP. This year they now offer 3 performance levels and is expanding to other regions around the world. One customer showed significant performance when using Cloud Volumes vs AWS EBS.


NetApp seems to be on a high lately, taking market share and moving recent acquisitions into new product offerings. Both Stack Point Cloud and PlexiStor acquisitions showed up at Insight as new NetApp products.

Moreover, NetApp continues to invest in cloud data services. NKS is a great addition and ONTAP file services in one form or another is available on every major US public cloud provider. The company has high expectations for cloud data services.

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

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in October of 2018.  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 and our (April 2019) NAS Buying Guide so if you are interested in purchasing block or file storage, please checkout our Buying Guides available for sale on our website. ]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community

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