NetApp announces fifth generation product with new EF600 array

The NetApp EF600 is a replacement for the EF570, and is a price-performance play aimed at HPC and other markets, where pure performance rather than some of the software features of the AFF line are required.

The NetApp EF600

Today, NetApp is announcing the NetApp EF600 storage array, an end-to-end NVMe midrange array that is targeted at performance-sensitive workloads like Oracle databases, real-time analytics, and high-performance computing [HPC] applications.

The EF600 will replace the EF570 in the portfolio, and is aimed at a very defined market.

“This is positioned for HPC with parallel file systems, Big Data analytics environments, and traditional databases,” said Mike McNamara, senior manager of product and solution marketing at NetApp. “It has a very distinct swimlane. We also see it going to customers who run AI workloads that require Infiniband connections.”

Both the EF and AFF lines at NetApp are all-flash, but they address very different customer use cased. The AFF portfolio supports file as well as block storage, and has a richer software feature set from ONTAP.

“The EF600 is built for price performance,” McNamara indicated. “It may not have the compression and duplication of the AFF with ONTAP, but it is positioned in price and latency environments where price-performance is an issue. Environments like HPC don’t need AFF software features. They just require bandwidth performance.”

The EF600 certainly delivers in that respect.

“It can provide up to 44GBps of throughput, response times of under 100 microseconds, and up to 2 million IOPS,” McNamara noted.

A key enhancement of the EF600 over the EF570 is that end-to-end NVMe capability.

“The prior generation supported NVMe to the host, but not back to the drives,” McNamara said. The full end-to-end NVMe capability allows the EF600 to double the performance of currently available all-flash arrays that use the serial-attached SCSI [SAS] protocol.

“What’s also unique is that we offer customers multiple choices from a host connection point of view,” McNamara said. Four options are available. In addition to a standard FibreChannel connection, the EF600 supports NVMe-over Infiniband, NVMe-over RoCE, and NVMe-over FibreChannel.

“We often see Infiniband as the host interface in the HPC market,” McNamara indicated.

McNamara also emphasized that multiple features of the new array should appeal to NetApp channel partners.

“This is the fifth generation of the product, so there are a million of these type of systems out there in the world,” he said. “This means that for partners, it’s a piece of cake as far as ease of use is concerned. With a simple browser-based GUI, it’s easy to set up. We estimate that it takes under six minutes to get it up and running in a SQL server environment. It now provides full end-to-end NVMe capability. And it does this all at a price point that other products just can’t touch.”

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