All Flash FAS (AFF8080)A few months ago NetApp IT did an acquisition cost analysis on NetApp® All Flash FAS (AFF). The team discovered that with All Flash FAS we could get more input/output operations per second (IOPS) by eliminating spindle-bound constraints and managing to higher capacity utilization levels. We use IOPS to benchmark the performance of our storage devices. This meant we could purchase less All Flash FAS to store the equivalent data as traditional hard disk drive spindles.

With such a compelling analysis, our next step was to prove out the technology. The team deployed All Flash FAS in our early adoption environment, a next generation on-premises private cloud. The deployment was easy because the team didn’t have to learn anything new. All Flash FAS uses clustered data ONTAP® (cDOT), a NetApp technology we adopted over two years ago.

One of NetApp’s critical business applications is AutoSupport (ASUP), a monitoring, troubleshooting, and reporting tool that continuously checks the health of installed NetApp systems at customer locations. Recently we experienced a performance issue with the ASUP ingest process that was running on a non-flash deployment.

To quickly remediate the performance issues, we moved the ASUP workload to All Flash FAS to:

  1. Benefit from the fastest performing storage possible
  2. Lower our capital investment
  3. Leverage the positive experience from our earlier benchmark analysis

The deployment was an instant success because we implemented ASUP on All Flash FAS with minimal planning and no disruption to service while increasing the application’s processing multiple times. In the past this type of change to the ASUP environment would have started with a long analysis of the workload at both of the application and infrastructure layers. There would have been a series of changes at all layers resulting in incremental improvements. The process would have taken a few months as plans were recirculated between the application and infrastructure teams.  It could have easily equated to thousands of man hours of effort.

With All Flash FAS now deployed on our ASUP ingest system, we eliminated the need to troubleshoot and address performance issues during peak workloads. Instead of spending untold hours reacting to performance issues, we were able to redirect the man-hours of approximately two fulltime equivalent resources to more proactive, value add activities.

NetApp IT’s investment in All Flash FAS provided an easy fix to critical application performance issues. Today All Flash FAS -along with the non-disruptive operations features of clustered Data ONTAP-has become our standard solution for meeting high performance storage requirements while allowing our staff to focus on more strategic activities.

To read more about how NetApp IT is using cDOT, visit the NetAppIT.com

The NetApp-on-NetApp blog series features advice from subject matter experts from NetApp IT who share their real-world experiences using NetApp’s industry-leading storage solutions to support business goals. Want to view learn more about the program? Visit www.NetAppIT.com.