As highlighted in the last four ‘Explained’ stories, big data is becoming an immensely popular area of innovation which seems to be accelerating rather than slowing down. Following this trend, businesses increasingly require a significant upgrade from commodity servers with internal drives to All-Flash Arrays in light of the rapidly growing adoption of applications such as Splunk, Hadoop and NoSQL. Initial Hadoop deployments which rely on commodity servers with internal drives often has limited infrastructure resiliency and agility issues which prevent organisations from realising the full benefits of their Hadoop deployment. For example, a single disk failure degrades performance of the entire cluster.
To enable businesses to keep up with the competition and the pace of digitization, NetApp announced last year their new SANtricity software for both its EF-series all-flash and E-Series storage arrays. The new software significantly improves the performance of data analytics applications while simplifying IT infrastructure and reducing costs.
SANtricity is a data management software that powers and administers the NetApp E-Series storage arrays. With the SANtricity operating system (OS), you can perform all your management tasks while the storage remains online, with complete read and write data access.
Form follows function
NetApp ONTAP was developed for its flagship FAS storage arrays primarily to manage storage that is shared by multiple workloads. In turn, the SANtricity OS was developed to support NetApp’s SAN-based storage where single workloads access dedicated storage usually at block level.
For cloud and third platform data analytics applications, traditional database and data protection applications, NetApp E-Series and EF-Series storage arrays with SANtricity software offer industry-leading performance, reliability, and ease of use. SANtricity aims to support the functions of NetApp E-series storage, specifically Block Only, Direct Host connections, Flash Capable and Highly Available.
Some of the features enabled by SANtricity include:
The ability for up to 512 individual hosts to connect to dedicated customized logical storage with individual characteristics suited to each host.
Intelligent features to boost high availability including automated i/o path failover and load balancing.
Multiple levels of data protection including Snapshots, mirroring, volume copy and replication.
Performance optimisation for SSD storage, using a feature NetApp calls “intelligent cache tiering”.
Intelligent storage provisioning to share unallocated storage across multiple volumes, thus saving wastage from over-provisioning.
Automated proactive support alerting to speed up problem resolution.
SANtricity also features API and application plugins to enhance functionality and provide specific enterprise application configuration. There are specific applications to enhance performance or management for Oracle, Microsoft SQL, VMware, Nagios and even Splunk. As you would also expect with any enterprise class storage OS, it includes RESTful API and PowerShell scripting capability with a powerful toolkit.
Every environment is different, with varying priorities for performance, data availability, and capacity utilisation. Performance-hungry environments often have drastically different workloads and performance demands. The SANtricity OS commands the flexibility to match your application needs, resulting in optimal performance, more efficient use, and lower storage costs. At the core of the SANtricity OS is the vast improvement in capability for Big Data applications, as today’s digital businesses are always looking for ways to maximise and accelerate the value that can be derived from their data. NetApp E-Series and SANtricity software help customers extract this value quickly and easily by offering superior performance to support some of their most extreme data analytics workloads.
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