back to article NetApp slims down latest controller, beefs up channel efforts

NetApp has announced a slimmed down top-end array, cutting the controller box size in half. It is a 6U-sized version of the AFF8080 EX, NetApp's most powerful AFF8000 system. The 8000 series product line previously started with the 3U AFF8020, passed through the 6U 8040 and 8060, and peaked with the 12U (2 enclosures) AFF8080 …

  1. klaxhu

    uuuu, desperation has kicked in?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like yet another

    Netapp "innovation". Looks like a FAS8060 chassis with a FAS8080 motherboard. If I recall correctly, someone in these forums had mentioned a while back that Flashray was using this type of setup.

    They need a real strategy because it has become abundantly clear clustered ontap is becoming Netapp's death trap.

    1. theducks

      Re: Sounds like yet another

      The FAS, FlashRay and Altavault platforms all use the same basic 6RU chassis, with at least one X86 processor motherboard in it. The 8040, 8060 boards use Sandybridge procs, and the 8080 board uses IvyBridge. Not sure about the Altavault and FlashRay, but they're one of the two.

      The second slot can contain another controller or an IOXM, which is a PCIe bridge and a bunch of extra slots. It also takes a front plane Infiniband connection and shoves it out the back in two QSFP connections to accomplish HA.

      So basically what the 6RU AFF8080 is, is just two AFF8080 controller modules in one chassis instead of two. No magic re-engineering, just putting existing parts together.

  3. MityDK

    Still not buying the "scale out" argument from NetApp. It's not scale out.

    Also not buying into the All flash FAS improvements to NTAP. ONTAP still sucks for all flash.

    Lastly, not excited about 5$/GB RAW pricing either. That's really quite expensive still.

    Amazing innovation however, putting two controllers into one smaller box. Compelling.

    1. RollTide14

      Can you elaborate a little more on each point for me?

      Not scale out because it doesn't rebalance? ONTAP still sucks in what way...performance? Also, what $$ gets you excited and what provider hits those marks?

      Disclosure: I work for a VAR that still sells NetApp so I'm always very interested in hearing different points of view.

    2. dikrek

      Back your arguments with facts, otherwise they're pointless

      Mr. MityDK,

      Dimitris from NetApp here. Sucks for all flash? We win performance PoCs against competitors all the time. Imagine if we didn't suck! :)

      We also have had zero (yes zero) SSDs worn out since we started shipping flash in arrays many years ago. Imagine if we didn't suck at flash, how much more reliable we could make them ;)

      Data management is also far beyond anything from any vendor (traditional ONTAP strength).

      Flexibility - also beyond anybody else's gear by a long shot.

      BTW: If you're working for a competitor, it's gentlemanly etiquette to disclose affiliation.

      If you're on the customer side - then ask for a demo and see for yourself just how much it "sucks". You might be surprised to learn that not everything you see on the Internet is true, especially if coming from competitors (ignoring for a moment the irony).

      Pricing per raw TB means nothing anyway, since that number is without efficiencies factored in. Includes the fastest controller, software and support costs, too. Ask for a quote and see just how "expensive" it really is :)



      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Back your arguments with facts, otherwise they're pointless

        i dont understand this misplaced hate...if you study the list of features this product accomplishes and put it under many other vendors name, people would act like its a miracle pill. its very, very hard to find a competitive offering that provides the same or better feature set.

  4. Andrew Harding

    Must Respond

    IMHO OnTap is only a death trap if it stays tied to hardware; I can't wait until they scale up their VM.

    Scale-out is still limited.

    The performance improvements for AFF are real and that is coming from personal experience. They are the only native NAS in the AFF game. We are seeing consistently under 1.s latency with Oracle NAS.

    1. Andrew Harding

      Re: Must Respond

      1 ms

  5. Cloud 9

    Slimming world

    I lost a stone the other month ... where is my dedicated column in El Reg?

    Interesting observation regarding NetApp.

    When they don't change - they get slated for not changing. When they do, we get commentary that they're desperate. I'm not their biggest fan but I think I'd like to see a little less slap happy commentary about them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NetApp doesn't win every POC

    We completed a POC that put AFF, Xtermio and Pure head to head. For our workload, Pure turned out to be the best option. From a cost perspective, NetApp shelf pricing after the controller purchase still sucks. Pure extended us a maximum shelf price for the next 3 years and has already quoted an addon shelf lower than the maximum price.

    In addition, the lack of dedup across volumes destroyed the NetApp $/usable gigabyte value. There were several other NetApp issues, like the fact it took 7 hours across two days with 4 NetApp employees to get the AFF8080EX up and running. We setup the Pure in less than an hour. Management of a NetApp is still much more complicated compared to a Pure or XtermIO solution.

    1. Andrew Harding

      Re: NetApp doesn't win every POC

      NetApp is a Swiss Army knife. The other two are razor blades. SAN Block is dead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NetApp doesn't win every POC

        I think what you really meant to say was "Bike Spanner", referring to Netapp as a Swiss Army knife implies a somewhat elegant design, which patently isn't the case.

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