Evolution is by far the most effective way to charge ahead and put a real air gap between you and your
contenders. Evolution is an iterative process. Include what works. Throw out what doesn’t work.
Watching, listening, Innovating and disrupting are the IT industry watch words that drive high strength and
depth evolutionary processes. More importantly these processes drive business value with a difference for
This week we announced the new All Flash FAS (AFF) product line. It does all the things previously described
delivering an All Flash family of products ready to take on the Enterprise main stream.
What NetApp has done, that is untouchable by all-comers and does very well, is to recognise the business
advantage gained by organisations that were looking to tightly couple rich data efficiency and management
with their business critical, revenue generating applications. Many organisations rely on this to differentiate
their position in their markets. For NetApp listening to the customer’s customer provides invaluable direction.
As I have said many times in previous blogs but in different words :-). The rate at which you can service
customers drives their perception of you and your business. It often defines customer loyalty, drives returning
customers and repeat business. If your rate of service is inconsistent, if you let queues build up, then your
customers will disappear.
This fact of business life drove us to hone and evolve the All Flash FAS (AFF8000) array family to achieve
consistent performance over a broad range of loads. We demonstrated this by submitting the AFF array to
the rigors of the Storage Performance Council SPC-1 benchmark. SPC-1 exercises the array by putting
it through a standard load which emulates an OLTP workload with consistent read and write ratio.
Link to the AFF SPC-1 Results – spc1_top10_performance
A quick word about benchmarks. I like benchmarks, for me they provide a ‘Line in the Sand’. I spent a lot of
time in the past pouring over SPEC processor benchmarks. They may not emulate my workload but they
will give me an idea of the performance profile I can expect and how consistently the system will perform
for a given mix of work. That word consistency again ! The results for the AFF running the SPC-1
benchmark are mighty impressive. Here I will add the word predictable. Predictability is so important
to business. Without it, as a business leader I am in a difficult position. The AFF8000 SPC-1 benchmark
demonstrates consistent, predictable sub-millisecond latency performance for enterprise workloads.
The price of Flash storage is also in a continual state of flux and we continue to monitor the trends and
ensure our Flash solutions pricing remain competitive. Which leads me to the conclusion ‘Whats Left ?’
Whats left is the Strongest, Broadest and Richest Data Management and Application Integration in the
industry bar none! I am happy to say that and to defend it. This is the final and most important
piece of the story. Regardless of the type of media you place your data on, these data will need to be
protected and managed. Tight integration of these processes with your business critical applications
puts you in control of the data, and not the other way around.
Not only that, but many businesses are moving to the cloud. Some I have spoken to have moved
entirely to the cloud. Others say they never will but when you ask are you using Office 365, sfDC,
or Dropbox they say yes of course. One thing is clear, the charge towards the cloud is going to
accelerate and get louder over the next 5 years. Cloud Readiness for storage solutions is, in my
opinion, a mandatory requirement that I would be stipulating in my operational requirements,
no question. It gives me the flexibility and choice to guide the business as opportunity arises.
The AFF8000 coupled with the Flash Essentials tools completes your cloud and Data Fabric
ecosystem for flexibility, choice and enterprise class performance on or off premise, or in the
To summarise, for almost all businesses, change is a constant. Opportunity comes and goes.
Workloads, Applications, Protection, Security and Regulation requirements vary with
regularity. Our goal is to help future proof your IT Investment, drive competitive advantage,
control costs while maintaining consistent, predictable, repeatable modes of operation.
From Flash to Disk to Cloud – It is the way to go.
Here are links to our blog content that will help you discover more about our
Flash to Disk to Cloud vision.
http://community.netapp.com/t5/Technology/Managing-Your-Data-in-a-Flash-to-Disk-to-Cloud-World/ba-p/106475?ref_source=smc-ef540-1635 Lee Caswell
http://flashmanandy.blogspot.com/2015/06/netapp-all-flash-fas-enterprise-grade.html Andy Grimes
http://recoverymonkey.org/2015/06/24/netapp-enterprise-grade-flash/ Dimitris Krekoukias
http://signal-over-noise.io/2015/06/all-flash-fas-its-about-time-netappflash/ John Martin, The Thunder From Down Under
https://whyistheinternetbroken.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/tech-netapp-is-kicking-some-flash/ Justin Parisi
http://www.watts-innovating.com/fast-efficienct-and-full-enterprise-capabilities/ Matt Watts
Laurence James (aka Flashman) on behalf of the EMEA PASM Team