Fujitsu Eternus AF: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

Fujitsu has a strong base in Asia and Europe but lacks a strong North American footprint. Therefore, the company is one to consider where it has a strong regional presence. Per reports, it isn’t the easiest system to use, so it should only be considered in companies having experienced storage administrators. But the company is leading the way in bringing down the cost of AFAs so they can be implemented by SMEs.

In short, for a budget-conscious company seeking a high performance flash solution, Fujitsu is a potential choice.

Jump to: Fujitsu Eternus Features Table

Company Description:

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries – the sheer size of the company is one of its strong points. Fujitsu Limited reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. Customers include Nippo, AKG, and ST Works.

Product Description:

The Fujitsu Storage Eternus AF delivers flash performance plus management integration with existing disk storage environments to smooth the transition to flash. Mirroring and transparent failover ensure nonstop operation, and automated quality of service minimize administration. In addition, Eternus AF is said to cut operational costs by reducing storage space by up to 66 percent, power consumption by 95 percent and administration costs by 40 percent.

“Customers benefit from ultra-fast response times that set performance records thanks to sophisticated inline efficiency technologies,” said Frank Reichart, Head of Storage Marketing at Fujitsu, International Marketing.

The Fujitsu ETERNUS AF line consists of 2 models:

  • Entry-level ETERNUS AF 250 (>700 TB SSD capacity)
  • Midrange ETERNUS AF650 (up to 3 PB of SSD capacity)

In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays, Fujitsu is classed as a Challenger. Gartner said its high-availability clustering provides quick failover and synchronization between systems. However, the company has limited sales and support coverage in the Americas, and the Eternus platform does not support secure isolation of storage pools.

Key Features:

Implementation: 

Good, though vendor help may be needed. An ETERNUS all-flash system can be set-up within a day.

“Administration/GUI needs improvement, because it’s not easy to understand. Some Tasks line host/LUN masking are more complicated than on other storage systems. For initial deployment you need vendor support. It’s nothing you can do on your own,” said a storage manager at a financial firm. 

Technical Support: 

Good, with varying level based on contract. Fujitsu offers 5×9, next business day or 4h as well as 7×24, 4h onsite response time as standard. Additional offerings like 7×24, 4h recovery may be offered depending on local availability and customer requirements.

Raw Capacity:

3 PB

Performance:

  • Up to 430,000 IOPS
  • 12 GB/s (128 KB Blocks)
  • Less than 1 ms latency

“Since we implemented the ETERNUS flash system, our dream of real-time computing has become a reality. Our response times now range from 0.1 to 1 millisecond,” said the CIO for a European marketing firm.

RAID/Data Protection:

  • Data can be replicated between different Fujitsu Eternus AF models, as well as between AF and hybrid storage DX models.
  • Transparent failover: if an Eternus AF system goes down, an Eternus AF or DX system can take over within 5 seconds at another location (failover all-flash to all flash or all-flash to hybrid. In the latter case, the costs of DR configurations can be reduced)
  • 6 x 9s availability
  • Mirroring
  • Transparent failover for non-stop operation

“Automatic failover has enabled us to fulfill one of our board’s central business continuity management requirements,” said the IT Manager at a Managed Services Provider.

Storage Saving Features:

Flexible use of deduplication and compression options at the volume level: deduplication and compression on, only deduplication or only compression on, or neither.

Data Management:

  • Automated quality of service management
  • Ability to prioritize response times for mission critical applications.
  • Integration with existing disk storage environments.
  • High availability clustering

NVMe: No

Delivery:

The Eternus all-flash devices are delivered as appliances with flexible configuration options. 

Pricing:

Pricing starts at $20,000 as an All-In FlashPack. Software licenses for monitoring, data reduction, replication, mirroring and automated quality of service management are included free of charge.

Fujitsu Eternus AF

Features
Scale-up No
Scale-out Yes
Capacity
Raw capacity (no deduplication) 3 PB
Effective capacity 14.7 PB
Networking (Max speed in Gbps)
Fibre Channel 32 Gbs
Ethernet/iSCSI 10 Gbs
Infiniband No
FCoE No
Performance
IOPs 430k
Throughput 12 GB/s
Latency 1 ms
Storage Saving Features
Deduplication Yes
Compression Yes
Thin provisioning Yes
Management
Data encryption Yes
Snapshots Yes
Replication (synch or asynch?) Both
Availability
Percentage uptime (ex.: 99.999) 6 x 9
Non-disruptive software upgrades Yes
Non-disruptive hardware upgrades Yes
Warranty/Support
Base warranty: array Yes
Base warranty: flash Yes
Flash replacement if drive/module wears out before warranty expires? Yes
Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating Challenger
Price Starts at $20,000
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been a full-time professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. He currently works freelance for a number of IT publications, including eSecurity Planet and CIO Insight. He is also the editor-in-chief of an international engineering magazine.

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