Posts Tagged: NetApp

NetApp INSIGHT 2019 in Las Vegas: An A-Team Member’s Perspective

This was originally posted on NetApp’s website here.

This year’s NetApp INSIGHT conference was one for the books! As always, it was chock full of great content. For me, the highlight of the conference was the chance to learn about some of the partnerships NetApp have with other vendors and how they could better help me to achieve my goals.

The Mega Sessions, a new breakout format for this year’s conference, were excellent showcases of NetApp’s latest solutions, and I absolutely loved the Innovation Faceoff. Of course, I have to mention the great “Ask the A-Team” session (featuring my fellow NetApp A-Team members Mark CarltonPaul StringfellowChris MakiBecky Elliott, and Mike Palic) about building a modern data platform. The short story is you really need to know what data you have and what it’s doing. Once you have a handle on your data, you can start building your very own data fabric.

The format for the keynote was slightly different than in years past. I appreciated the focus on my needs and interests as a customer, as well as the real-world examples. It really gave me an idea of how I might want to build a data fabric. If you want a refresher or didn’t get to watch it, stream it here.

One of my favourite takeaways from the keynote came from none other than Kate Swanborg of DreamWorks. She mentioned something really powerful about building your data fabric: it’s not just a single fabric, but multiple layers, one building on another (sort of like an onion, or a parfait!). Kate presented their setup with 4 distinct data fabric layers that make up its infrastructure: production, protection, analytics, and automation.

As always, there was plenty of action in the expo hall. The NetApp A-Team were posted up at the Social Media hub, and we had a great time talking with customers and partners about all things NetApp. As part of the hub, we had our own podcast booth, where various podcast programs were doing live episodes from the expo floor. I had the privilege of being part of the world-famous Tech Stringy Podcast! We had a great chat about how real IT people deliver IT. Give it a listen.

This year, there was something rather special at the Social Media hub: we had the A-Team van from the original TV show. This was a super fun photo opportunity and a chance to relive fond memories.

NetApp University’s stand was also a great place to be—this year they had a virtual reality game! Be sure to check them out to keep your certification game strong.

I am looking forward to the London NetApp INSIGHT roadshow in 2020. If you plan on going, look for the #NetAppATeam, we’d love to chat with you. Hope to see you there!

What You Need to Know About NetApp’s New AFF SAN Array

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!

  • Initial Assessment
  • Environment Discovery
  • Solution Design
  • Deploy
  • A knowledge transfer from NetApp to you about your setup
  • Then follow-ups every month for the first 3 months.

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!

NetApp INSIGHT 2019 in Las Vegas: Hardware Announcement Roundup

I just wanted to highlight a couple of things that I thought were noteworthy.

We have new high-end and midrange All-Flash FAS (AFF) and Fabric-Attached Storage (FAS) systems. These are the new AFF 400 and FAS 8300 and 8700, respectively.

So why would I want one (or more)? Well, generally, you get more! The AFF 400 has more than its predecessor, the AFF 300.

  • More cores: up to 42 cores to be exact, all thanks to the latest Intel CPU technology (Cascade Lake)!
  • More connectivity options with 25Gb and 100Gb, so you can have all the bandwidth you want!
  • More disk: up to 480 Solid State Drives (SSD) to be exact!

Much the same as the new AFF 400, the FAS 8300 and 8700 give us more! But just how much more? Well…

  • More cores: up to 42 cores of the latest Intel CPU technology Cascade Lake goodness!
  • More connectivity options with 25Gb and 100Gb (that’s a lot of bandwidth)!
  • More disk: up to 720 drives of your choice!

So basically, you get can have it bigger, stronger, and faster. This is all well and good but the real magic, in my opinion, is NetApp’s ONTAP OS! This is where things really get interesting.

So stay tuned, there is certainly some ONTAP goodness coming your way!