NetApp Releases an All-Flash Storage Array

NetApp is jumping on the all-flash bandwagon with the release of the new EF540 Flash Array.

The company is positioning the EF540 as a storage building block for high-performance applications. According to the company, it “delivers over 300,000 IOPS and submillisecond data access” and throughput rates of up to 6 GB per second.

As expected, an all-SSD approach also slashed energy costs compared to conventional storage systems. By NetApp’s estimates, the EF540 can cut power, cooling and space utilization by up to a staggering 95 percent.

Available with 12 or 24 SSDs (2.5-inch, 800 GB), the 2U system offers up to 9.6 TB or 19.2 TB off solid-state storage. The EF540 features a dual active controller design, 24 GB of onboard memory and 8Gb Fibre Channel connectivity (8 ports) with support for 6Gb SAS, 10Gb iSCSI and 40Gb InfiniBand expansion adapters.

Once accustomed to the speed of SSDs, NetApp is betting that organizations won’t want to give it up during maintenance. Thus, the EF540 was designed with reducing and eliminating downtime in mind. Features include non-disruptive controller firmware upgrades and hot-swappable controllers, drives, power supplies and fans.

Data protection features include automatic drive failover, detection and rebuild and battery backup mirrored data cache. Supported RAID levels boil down to 0, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 10.

The EF540 array caps off an enterprise flash storage portfolio that includes NetApp’s caching and application acceleration technologies, namely Flash Cache, Flash Pool, and Flash Accel.

Manish Goel, executive vice president of NetApp Product Operations, hints that the company now offers a flash product for practically every enterprise storage use case, particularly high-end and business critical implementations.

“Flash changes everything by transforming the speed of business. However, enterprise imperatives for global scale, efficiency, and reliability remain the same. NetApp’s approach to flash removes the compromise from consideration, offering customers the best of all worlds,” said Goel in a statement.

The NetApp EF540 flash array is available now.

In addition to the EF540, NetApp also revealed new high-end, flash-optimized network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) systems, the FAS/V6220, FAS6250 and FAS6290. According to the company, the systems offer an 80 percent boost in IOPS, and reduce latency by up to 90 percent versus all-HDD systems.

Finally, NetApp offered the industry a peek at the its new “purpose-built all-flash storage architecture” called FlashRay.

FlashRay offerings will expand on the all-flash storage foundation set by the EF540. “The new product line will combine consistent, low-latency performance, high availability, and integrated data protection with enterprise storage efficiency features such as inline deduplication and compression,” said the company.

NetApp plans to kick off a FlashRay beta in mid-2013 and formally roll out the new product family in 2014.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to Datamation, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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