NetApp Ships FlashRay; Announces Mars OS
Not to be outdone by other all-flash competitors in the industry, NetApp announced that they have begun shipping their FlashRay all-flash solution, complete with the newly developed Mars OS driving the efficiency behind it.
What Differentiates FlashRay?
It’s noted that the patented, and patent-pending technology inside the FlashRay and Mars OS, have been designed to enhance the performance and to reduce the overall cost of the storage which is becoming a key differentiator for many traditional and all-flash storage products alike.
NetApp’s “no-compromise” approach to flash storage helps customers achieve maximum enterprise application performance at a lower cost. FlashRay began shipping this month to targeted customers and partners. (source: http://www.netapp.com/us/company/news/press-releases/news-rel-20140917-816753.aspx)
The dollar/GB (dollar per gigabyte) metric is one that is being used in general across the industry now. NetApp has been able to push that number in new ways because of the efficiency that they are able to get through deduplication and compression that many of their all-flash competitors are unable to rival.
Mars OS and attacking latency
We’ve all been subject to the typical IOPS graph that shows storage workloads and day-to-day IOPS utilization, with ways in which to move high I/O patterns into flash and immediately illustrate a performance win.
The real elephant in the room among storage technology is latency. While IOPS are also significant, the effect of latency in high I/O situations is the real telling property for an enterprise storage system.
Among the innovations in this release are patented technologies related to “always-on” in-line efficiency and a variable-length block layout that together minimize the I/O activity to flash, increase the effective capacity, and deliver high throughput at consistent submillisecond latency. (source: http://www.netapp.com/us/company/news/press-releases/news-rel-20140917-816753.aspx)
The introduction of the Mars Operating System, along with the planned integration into the well loved NetApp Data ONTAP software has a real potential to push NetApp towards the front as a strong player in enterprise all-flash products.
In-line features are what have become the new standard for storage providers, and it is showing strongly that NetApp have seen that writing on the wall. Where overhead was previously a challenge for such operations, forcing post-processing of many things such as compression and deduplication, we can see that work being done by NetApp has ensured that performance and feature set are not mutually exclusive.
The flash storage market is continuing to heat up, and there will inevitably be big changes happening over the next year as more innovations like this are getting to market.
You can read the full announcement from the NetApp site here which also contains additional links to find out more information on the new product set.