Armed with NVMe, EF600 will double performance of arrays using SAS
Storage solutions vendor NetApp is introducing a new midrange storage array that offers the NVMe protocol to accelerate the processing of analytics workloads and data-intensive applications like those found in the high-performance computing (HPC) space.
The Lowdown: Many all-flash arrays use the serial-attached SCSI (SAS) standard, but NVMe is designed to speed up the performance of flash and other non-volatile memory and is finding its way into more server and storage products. NetApp officials said the end-to-end NVMe EF600 array will double the performance of arrays that use SAS.
The Details: The EF600 is about speed. The all-flash array delivers 2 million sustained IOPS and response times that come in under 100 microseconds. There’s 44 GB/sec of throughput and a high price/performance ratio aimed at enterprise workloads. The EF600’s modular design and easy management tools make it easy for enterprises to scale the system without increasing complexity. The array can hold up to 24 drives and offers up to 360TB of raw capacity.
The Impact: Hardware makers have been putting NVMe into systems for more than four years, but the protocol is still finding its way into enterprise data centers. Organizations are turning to it in hopes of more quickly gaining deep insights into the massive amounts of data they’re accumulating and making better and faster business decisions from those insights. NVMe uses a host controller interface and protocol that are designed for all-flash arrays, many of which still use older protocols.
Background: Enterprises are seeing a wide – and fast-growing – range of choices in the NVMe space. G2M Research found that there are more than 100 companies shipping about 380 NVMe or NVMe-over Fabric (NVMe-oF) products, with every top storage system vendor shipping at least one all-flash array with NVMe SSDs or NVMe-oF target interfaces. G2M expects the NVMe market to grow to more than $80 billion by 2022.
The Buzz: “Getting value and insights quickly and reliably from a range of mixed workload environments can allow organizations to differentiate from their competitors and accelerate their time to market,” said Robin Huber, vice president and general manager of E-Series at NetApp. “The EF600 helps customers unlock the value of their data and rapidly develop insights that were previously unrealistic for performance-sensitive workloads such as Oracle databases, real-time analytics, and high-performance computing applications on top of a BeeGFS high-performance parallel file system.”
“The storage industry is currently transitioning from the SAS to the NVMe protocol, which significantly increases the speed of access to data,” said Tim Stammers, senior analyst at 451 Research. “But conventional storage systems do not fully exploit NVMe performance, because of latencies imposed by their main controllers. NetApp’s E-Series systems were designed to address this architectural issue and are already used widely in performance-sensitive applications. The EF600 sets a new level of performance for the E-Series by introducing end-to-end support for NVMe and should be considered by IT organizations looking for high-speed storage to serve analytics and other data-intensive applications.”