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NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) – Product Review

The NetApp fabric-attached storage (FAS) series with SSDs only are offered as the All Flash FAS (AFF) systems and have several different models. NetApp refers to fabric-attached storage systems as storage connected to hosts via any network. The FAS series is part of NetApp’s strategy to offer a network storage system that is capable of supporting both NAS and storage-area network (SAN) accessibility from a single storage pool. All Flash FAS (AFF) only supports SSDs and have embedded software changes to optimize use of flash.

The AFF family spans from entry level to high end, with AFF A series systems including the AFF A150, A250, A400, A800, A900, A70, A90, and A1K. NetApp additionally offers C models for capacity oriented workloads, and designated ASA models for SAN only.

The embedded operating software is called ONTAP and support scale-out clustering and advanced feature capabilities. NetApp ONTAP has scale out capability to allow systems to be configured to match the environment needs and to increase in both capacity and performance as required. The scale out capability with ONTAP allows scaling to 24 node nodes (the A250 can scale to 8 nodes) along with the capacity scaling for NAS and 12 nodes for block mode. A dual node NetApp system is called a High Availability configuration or HA pair. A cloud version of ONTAP is also available.

Data reduction in the form of deduplication, compression, and compaction are supported on NetApp systems for primary data. The data reduction is performed inline and NetApp provides a 4:1 reduction guarantee. Compaction is filling the 4K allocation chunks with smaller blocks, which can improve storage utilization, especially with small files.

NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF) Product Review Includes:

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Usage
  • Architecture Deployment
  • EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
  • The Futurum Group’s Opinion

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Date:

May 23, 2024

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