NetApp has announced updates to its All Flash FAS (AFF) array series that drive down the cost of flash for mainstream data centre applications and reduce capacity requirements by as much as 30:1.
New software efficiency technology and higher capacity drives now make it possible for NetApp customers to get the performance of flash at the price of disk. NetApp also extended its 3X Performance Guarantee, first announced in the US, to customers in more than 20 Asia Pacific and European countries. The company added select All Flash FlexPod models to the guarantee program as well.
“The flash market is developing quickly,” says Tim Stammers, lead storage analyst at 451 Research. “Performance of flash has always been dramatic versus disk, but enterprise management and lower prices are critical to take flash into mainstream applications.”
The NetApp AFF series delivers enterprise-grade benefits that make all-flash systems ready for broad deployment.  It is the only all-flash system to support seamless data management across flash, disk and cloud resources. This capability makes AFF arrays ideal for customers who want to boost performance in their traditional data centers while mapping out their move to a hybrid cloud model.
Customers can order AFF systems in standalone configurations and in FlexPod converged infrastructure validated designs. AFF offers NetApp channel partners an easy way to help customers transition to hybrid cloud at their own pace, without the risk of investing in unproven flash platforms.
Announcement highlights include:
* Flash for the price of disk. AFF systems now support 3.8 terabyte solid state drives, making NetApp one of the early adopters of this new form factor.  When combined with NetApp’s storage efficiency technologies, customers realise a lower $/Gb cost, essentially giving them the performance of flash for the price of disk
* New release of NetApp clustered Data ONTAP software, the only storage operating system that supports seamless data movement across flash, disk and cloud resources.  This version offers customers inline dedupe and copy-free transition.
* Extension of 3X Performance Guarantee. NetApp has extended to additional countries its guarantee of 3X increase in enterprise database performance, compared to that of traditional, non-flash disk-based. Selected All Flash FlexPod systems are also now included in the program, which is available in  the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, Sweden, Japan, Australia, India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
In addition, customers and NetApp partners can take advantage of the extended support, no-risk try-and buy, and free controller upgrade programs introduced earlier this year. Professional services, delivered by NetApp or its partners, help users identify workloads that are best served by all-flash systems, as well as identify bottlenecks in users’ existing environments.
“New efficiency innovations in our All Flash FAS line help customers realise a high return on their flash investments, making it an ideal time to increase use of flash in the core data centre,” says Lee Caswell, vice-president: product, solutions and services marketing at NetApp. “Customers can count on NetApp for affordable, enterprise-grade all-flash systems that are ready for broad deployment, with world-class performance and the industry’s best data management capabilities in a single solution.”