NetApp Insight 2020 announcements

In AFF Series, Data ONTAP 9, E-Series, FAS Series, NetApp by AdministratorLeave a Comment

At their virtual Insight 2020 conference, NetApp® announced new ONTAP functionality, new storage systems, Spot by NetApp integrations and other enhancements.

New NetApp ONTAP 9.8

The new ONTAP 9.8 runs on prem, in hybrid cloud and all major public clouds and adds:
Temperature sensitive storage efficiency – saves up to 33% more of your physical storage capacity by ensuring that cold data is reduced even further while hot data is kept optimized to provide high performance.
S3 object storage support – supplies S3 protocol access within ONTAP for supporting small-scale object workloads, complementing NetApp StorageGRID for large-scale object storage workloads. Now customers can use NetApp ONTAP storage for block, file and object data.
Expanded cloud tiering – Adds support for FAS systems with hard disk drives (HDDs) as a source tier for cold data, to reduce TCO by moving cold data from any hot/primary ONTAP instance (on prem/in cloud) to any S3 object storage (on prem/in cloud).
FlexCache support for SMB – enables additional opportunities for the deployment of a distributed data cache for hot data across on prem as well as hybrid and public cloud environments.
SnapMirror Business Continuity – provides flexible, cost-effective instant failover for mission critical SAN workloads.
Other changes that focused on enhanced simplicity and security include one click non-disruptive upgrades for firmware as well as ONTAP software, expanded in-flight data security using IPSec, easier operations with a revamped GUI as well as more extensive file analytics.

New NetApp storage systems

Just prior to Insight, NetApp introduced two new storage systems:
FAS500f, a new storage system that includes support for QLC NAND SSDs for increased capacity and higher density needed for large unstructured data environments and Tier 2 SAN workloads. The new storage supports 367TB in base flash capacity in 2U HA pair configuration and offers a 367TB expansion shelf as well as support for NVMe/FC, 32Gb FC and 25GbE. Maximum scalability is 24 nodes and 19PB with 3-to-1 storage efficiency guarantee
AFF250, a new all flash storage system that supports 24 embedded NVMe SSDs in a 2U chassis, with NVMe/FC, 32Gb FC and 25GbE. The AFF250 is a new entry level system for AFF storage meant for Tier 0/1 business-critical workloads.
EF300, a new NVMe flash storage system that supports up to 367TB raw capacity in a 2U form factor and supports NVMe host connectivity as well as FC and iSCSI. The EF300 is the new entry level system for the EF-Series family.

New Spot by NetApp Capabilities and Integrations

NetApp purchased Spot earlier this year and is now adding new functionality to integrate NetApp storage into Spot. Spot is a multi-cloud optimization platform and framework that supports “application driven infrastructure”. This means Spot customers can optimize their cloud VM compute ability to meet SLAs/SLOs while minimizing cloud costs. Spot uses public cloud APIs to scale up/down cloud infrastructure while maintaining service levels.

Spot also offers Ocean, a SAAS service for cloud Kubernetes (k8s) container workloads. Using public cloud APIs and public cloud (k8s) APIs, they can spin up/spin down cloud compute and storage to support container application scaling.

With the new Spot by NetApp integrations, they are now adding NetApp storage to their mix of services which can be accessed and optimized with Spot. Using NetApp and public cloud infrastructure APIs, Spot can add NetApp ONTAP storage to support VM and container workloads.

Other NetApp announcements

NetApp has also enhanced:
• Cloud Manager Service SAAS system to support an even simpler cloud-based control plane for your NetApp ONTAP storage wherever it resides.
• NetApp Virtual Desktop services to provide virtual desktop compute and storage services so your workforce always has access to their office apps and data.
• Project Astra, an outgrowth of NetApp’s Trident CSI service for k8s persistent volumes, will provide a more all-encompassing method to monitor and manage NetApp’s k8s persistent storage.


NetApp appears to be doubling down on all their cloud offerings. NetApp’s ultimate strategy appears to be to add value to customer cloud operations. Spot’s ability to optimize compute and storage SLAs while reducing cloud cost seems a logical addition from this perspective.

The continued roll out of new storage systems implies that the cloud isn’t the only way NetApp plans to generate revenue in the future. The truth of the matter is that both cloud and enterprise will co-exist for the foreseeable future to meet the needs of organizations who are building out their hybrid clouds.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in October of 2020.  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. ]  

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