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NetApp Announces Storage Portfolio Updates Focusing on ONTAP

The News: NetApp has made major releases of products and new capabilities in their May 2023 announcements. The additions to the product portfolio include expansion of the All-Flash SAN Array set of products and a new StorageGRID model. See the complete Press Release from NetApp here.

NetApp Announces Storage Portfolio Updates Focusing on ONTAP

Analyst Take: NetApp’s storage portfolio update announcements are relatively broad announcements that represent a focus on increasing the recognition of ONTAP-based storage systems as premier block storage systems. The announcement also demonstrates NetApp’s continued investment in development with updates to functional capabilities for ONTAP and StorageGRID. The significant updates across NetApp’s storage portfolio include:

  • The All-Flash SAN Array or ASA is a re-launch of the block storage offerings of the AFF that now includes all the models in AFF unified portfolio. The ASA models will only support block storage and cannot be redeployed as unified (file, block, and object) as with the AFF models. NetApp has been successful with the AFF systems (and ASA models) to this point with 20,000 customers using block storage out of 50,000 and of that, 5,000 customers using NetApp systems for block only. The intention of the ASA announcement is to bring more recognition to NetApp as a premier solution for SAN-attached block storage in addition to their position as the leader in unified storage (file, block, and object).
    • The ASA models will only supports block storage but utilize the same base ONTAP software.
    • ASA models will be offered at a different price than the corresponding AFF unified models (expected to be less).
    • There will be a 6 – 9’s availability guarantee of no downtime greater than 31.56 seconds. Failure to meet the availability goal will result in a credit from NetApp.
    • Continuation of the existing data reduction guarantee of 4:1.
    • The ASA systems can be clustered with the other AFF systems.
    • Tiering to cloud is supported with FlashPool.
    • ASA models are included in the Storage Lifecycle Program which includes a three-year controller upgrade.
    • And finally, there is a new, distinctive bezel such that ASA models can be easily recognized.

  • The NetApp entry-level FAS system has been updated with the FAS2720 replaced with FAS2820 model.
    • Connectivity upgrade to 32Gb/s FC and 25GbE for hosts and 25GbE for cluster interconnect.
    • Performance increase up to 50% with new processors.

  • StorageGRID Object Storage Updates
    • Version 11.7 of the software with major new features.
      • Cross-grid replication and account clone providing active/active replication and establishing credentials at both locations.
      • Apache Parquet data format support for S3 Select (where queries are executed on StorageGRID).
    • SGF6112 hardware offering added to StorageGRID portfolio.
      • 1U nodes with twelve 1.9, 3.8, and 15.3 TB SED and non-SED flash storage devices.
      • Four 25GbE network interfaces.
      • Two Intel 24 core processors.

  • Anti-ransomware improvements
    • Support for large scale NAS – 20PB and 400 billion files with included monitoring software in ONTAP.
    • Ransomware guarantee – warranted snapshot recovery (Professional Services engagement is required).
  • ONTAP One updates
    • Common code base (although ASA does not include file or object support).
    • Functional improvements for management.

NetApp’s continued investment in improving their storage systems and offering new capabilities is one of the areas I look for in understanding whether a vendor will be a premier storage supplier for the future. NetApp continues to invest and will be a safe choice for customers. NetApp’s ASA announcements are about getting customers to recognize capabilities and value and will get some attention. StorageGRID continues to be a gem of an offering for NetApp, with advanced capabilities and platforms that on-premises customer want for their deployments.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Randy Kerns

Randy draws from over 35 years of experience in helping storage companies design and develop products. As a partner at Evaluator Group and now The Futurum Group, he spends much of his time advising IT end-user clients on architectures and acquisitions.

Previously, Randy was Vice President of Storage and Planning at Sun Microsystems. He also developed disk and tape systems for the mainframe attachment at IBM, StorageTek, and two startup companies. Randy also designed disk systems at Fujitsu and Tandem Computers.

Prior to joining The Futurum Group, Randy served as the CTO for ProStor, where he brought products to market addressing a long-term archive for Information Technology and the Healthcare and Media/Entertainment markets.

He has also written numerous industry articles and papers as an educator and presenter, and he is the author of two books: Planning a Storage Strategy and Information Archiving – Economics and Compliance. The latter is the first book of its kind to explore information archiving in depth. Randy regularly teaches classes on Information Management technologies in the U.S. and Europe.

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