Last week at NetApp INSIGHT 2019 in Las Vegas, NetApp announced their all new AFF SAN Array (ASA). This is an interesting one from NetApp, certainly a step in a different direction. I am keen to see how it plays out. I believe that, positioned correctly in the market, this is going to be a fantastic bit of technology.
“That’s all great,” I hear you saying, “But why is this under the ONTAP section?” Well I am getting to that bit!
Basically, it’s an AFF without the NAS functionality. You get iSCSI and FC but no SMB or NFS.
The hardware is identical to an AFF, and it is badged just like any other AFF. You can get this in two variants currently: the ASA AFF A700 and AFF A200 – 2-node switchless HA pairs only.
Unfortunately you can’t cluster these with other ASA pairs or with regular AFF/FAS products. You also won’t be able to get MetroCluster, NVMe/FC, or the ability to use these with MAX Data, or MCC as it stands right now. However, the software that is bundled with the ASA includes the Flash premium bundles without NAS features such as (FlexGroup and FlexCache).
So, what do you get then? Apart from running ONTAP and giving you all the features you are used to in a SAN-only setup, it does have some other cool features like symmetric active/active host-to-LUN access. All the available paths are active and optimised. More usable bandwidth? I’ll take that!
You also get near instantaneous read/write resumes after a storage controller takeover. That’s fairly nifty.
Another interesting service to take note of is the new SAN Setup Service. This will help you to deploy a consistent and reliable SAN solution utilizing your new NetApp ASA systems.
What does this include? Hang tight, you are about to find out!
I will be interested to see how this new service plays out. I think it could really help to get some customers up and running knowing that they can get the best out of their system from day one!