NetApp Adds To Family Of All-Flash Arrays With EF560

NetApp's new EF560 all-flash array

NetApp on Tuesday expanded its flash storage solution with a new all-flash array and hybrid flash and spinning disk array in its E-series.

The new solutions are targeting high-performance applications like databases that require fast and consistent performance, said Lee Caswell, vice president of product and solutions marketing at NetApp.

New for NetApp is the EF560, an all-flash array and NetApp's first E-series platform to feature a multicore processor along with the software needed to distribute workloads across multiple cores, Caswell told CRN. "This means a big increase in IOPS [I/Os per second] and a big drop in latency," he said.

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Also new with the EF560 are faster SSDs compared to those in the current model EF550, as well as the addition of 56-Gbit InfiniBand and 12-Gbit SAS connectivity to the previous 16-Gbit Fibre Channel and 10-Gbit iSCSI, Caswell said.

"This is one of the advantages of a robust architecture," he said. "We are taking a reliable system and making it faster."

NetApp also released the E5600 hybrid storage array, which features performance and capacity upgrades over the current E5500 model, Caswell said.

NetApp has been doing a great job expanding its all-flash storage array lineup, and has a very exciting road map, said Chris Pyle, president of Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider and NetApp partner.

That will be important as NetApp continues to face increased competition from several startups in the all-flash storage array market, Pyle told CRN.

"Customers we sold NetApp to, and who are NetApp fans, want to hear more from NetApp," he said. "NetApp has been hit from all sides by startups, the bright, shiny pennies like Pure Storage and Nimble. There are a lot of purpose-built, all-flash arrays in the market. But customers who bought NetApp have bought into a process rather than just a technology."

Ravi Poddar, CTO at Bedrock Technology Partners, a San Diego-based solution provider and NetApp partner, told CRN that NetApp has been doing well in the all-flash storage array business.

"I'm not always sure how NetApp compares with the competition in terms of cost," Poddar said. "But for performance and reliability, NetApp does very well."

Caswell said that, when it comes to cost, the NetApp EF560 counts among the best. "Pricing for the EF560 is about $1.95 per IOPS," he said. "That's the lowest cost for any array with a response time of under 1 millisecond."

The new NetApp arrays come to market with new training and new promotions for partners, Caswell said. This includes providing solution providers with units to offer customers on a try-and-buy basis, a bundled try-and-buy offering in conjunction with storage networking vendor Brocade, and the Flash Assist service for evaluating actual customer workloads, he said.