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NetApp Refreshes Entry Level Unified Storage Platform

Posted by Blog Administrator

Sat, Dec 03, 2011

Author: Sean Gilbride, Director of Professional Services Operations

NetApp has been very busy over the past 12 months working on refreshing their entire Unified Storage line. NetApp refreshed their mid-tier (32xx) and high end platforms (62xx) in late 2010 and has recently released their new entry level platform the FAS2240.

The release of the FAS2240 marks the end for the older FAS2020 & FAS2050 systems. NetApp will still be offering the FAS2040 (refreshed in 2010) at an aggressive price point to target EMC VNXe sales.

Don’t let the entry level designation fool you, the FAS2240 can handle mid-tier workloads

  • The FAS2240 has been released in 2 flavors
    • FAS2240-2: 2 RU system supporting 24 internal 2.5” SAS drives
    • FAS2240-4: 4 RU system supporting 24 internal 3.5” SATA drives
    • Both systems support up to 144 drives (432 TB) using external shelves
    • Both systems support SATA, SAS & SSD on external shelves
    • 2x – 3x performance improvement over the previous generation (mid-tier performance)
    • The FAS2240 can be converted in to a disk shelf when upgrading to a larger array
    • More software & capabilities included in base licensing (All protocols included)
    • Simplified management with OnCommand System Manager 2.0
    • Support for Data ONTAP 8.1
    • Support for 8Gb FC & 10GbE (via mezzanine I/O card)

So why is this important?

NetApp has recognized the need for a refreshed entry level platform and has made several important improvements outside of the expected performance boost & increased port density. These improvements include support for Data ONTAP 8.1 Operating System with large aggregate support, support for 8Gb FC or 10GbE and Multi-Path HA cabling for SAS disk shelves to mention a few. 

NetApp also continues to highlight the value of their unified storage platform which leverages the same controllers & operating system for every system they offer. This is critical when considering the life of the platform and the importance of enabling simplified upgrades as customer requirements grow or change. With NetApp and upgrade is usually as simple as performing a head swap.

What is it missing?

The FAS2240 is intended to be an entry level box so it does not include support for PCI expansion. The most notable impact of this is the lack of support for FlashCache. The FAS2240 also does not include support for MetroCluster which enables long distance clustering. Both of these capabilities are available starting in the FAS32xx series.