NetApp EF560 Giving Enterprise the Edge by Weera Areeratanasak, Managing Director, NetApp Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand
A common understanding prevalent among data-driven businesses today is the need to improve applications’ response time in running key operations, especially data intensive workloads which drive core operations. The risk of losing revenue or compromising customer satisfaction due to slow application performance is indeed a very real threat for the businesses of today’s connected world. An efficient data-storage infrastructure would also mean opportunities to innovate and collaborate to create value-added services for their customers.
Enterprises have had to acquire hundreds of hard disks drives (HDD) in order to negate this potential risk and maximize operational efficiency. However, this is an inefficient solution in the present day as it often leads to overprovisioning, wasted disk storage capacity, increased power consumption and often leads IT managers to purchase even more physical units to serve as dedicated storage for management and maintenance. HDDs are also at risk of distress from long-term usage, water damage and susceptibility to disruptions from power outages. Clearly, they are not a sustainable and agile solution in the long run.
However, with the evolution of storage technology that gave rise to the creation of solid state drives (SSD), businesses were able to move away from inflexible, legacy storage infrastructures and achieve maximisation of investment return through this new solution. With the efficiency, flexibility and reliability of all-flash systems, enterprises can effectively continue running their high-performance applications. However, just like with all new technology, the challenge lies with finding the right features in an all-flash offering that is enterprise-worthy, offering guaranteed performance and reliability.
Delivering a powerful advantage for enterprises
The first and foremost priority of businesses is to maximise the efficiency and speed of operations. NetApp’s EF560 is a storage system that delivers the competitive advantage that businesses need in order to succeed in the hypercompetitive environments that they operate in.
In addition to rack-space savings (a 2U rack delivering the performance of over 1000 x 15,000RPM drives) and extreme speed (852,000 input/output operations per second and response times in microseconds), some of the other proven advantages that the EF560 offers are:
Redundant components with automated failover, enabling companies to automatically or manually keep businesses running in the event of planned or unplanned outages.
Intuitive storage management with comprehensive tuning functions, allowing data managers to have complete control over data placement.
Advanced monitoring and diagnostics with proactive checks on drives for media defects and initiating repairs without the need for being prompted or programmed.
Copies and remote mirroring for sub-second backup and long-distance recovery, minimising risk exposure in losing data during a disaster and the potential for quick recovery from a safe distance when a disaster occurs.
The EF560 all-flash array continues NetApp’s long heritage of delivering powerful solutions to meet business needs. Designed specifically for high-speed transactional applications that demand high IOPS and consistent low latency, the EF560 all-flash is a favourite particularly in data-intensive industries. Western Oregon University CIO, Bill Kernan, shared, “The EF-Series could handle 10 times the number of concurrent users in 95% less processing time, even while playing large video files.”
A cutting edge approach
The IT challenges for enterprise businesses usually fall into one of two major categories. One of them is the challenge of leveraging the cloud to increase agility. The other is the optimization of existing enterprise applications and infrastructure that are core to business operations. What is interesting is that while cloud gets most attention in the press, the majority of time and budget is spent managing and maintaining the core, non-cloud systems.
When it comes to storage, SAN performance needs to keep pace with changes to the rest of the enterprise infrastructure, including servers, operating systems and applications. NetApp’s E-Series systems meet that need by providing the best combination of price-performance, low latency, and reliability compared with other storage systems.
A company that cannot sustain prolonged operations, security against unforeseen circumstances, such as a natural disaster or flooding, and truly harness to power of data to transform their business is a company that will not make the cut in today’s data-rich, data-driven and always-on world. Protection against malware and unforeseen downtime, such as power outages need to be pre-empted as implications from such downtime can be extremely damaging to business operations and reputation. Businesses that need to run with advanced protection against data loss would need to evaluate how their storage systems are managed and ensure that they have attributes, such as Snapshots, Volume Copy a Remote Mirroring, to safeguard against unexpected risks.
Additionally, businesses that want their operations to have that edge over competitors should seek a vendor that is open to leveraging and working with the plethora of new third party technologies that increases resiliency in the software-defined data center. NetApp is a company that draws experience and expertise from over one million implemented systems. This demonstrates field proven interoperability, enterprise tested data protection capability and technology that underpins enterprise class data-driven businesses.
True to its commitment to deliver in these areas, NetApp made performance improvements for the new EF560 to be primarily driven by software enhancements to the SANtricity OS. The leading data storage provider has made better use of the multi-core CPUs in the controller and demonstrated performance gains of up to 55% for some configurations. Existing E-Series customers with a support contract can also achieve a boost in the performance of their all-flash and hybrid arrays without even buying a new system. Ultimately, the NetApp EF560 has proven many times over that it can deliver the edge that enterprises require to keep ahead of the curve in the global digital economy of today.