FabricPool Preview: Building a Bridge from the All-Flash Data Center to the Clouds
At NetApp’s recent Insight 2016 conference in Las Vegas, we offered an update on the massive progress we’ve made in both All-Flash arrays (see Gartner’s view here and IDC’s validation here ) and the significant work that’s been done to turn the Data Fabric vision first shared at Insight 2014 into today’s reality. We launched a variety of new products and features to enhance the Data Fabric, including ONTAP 9.1 and new All-Flash arrays (more color here from EVP Joel Reich and from Jeff Baxter).
In addition, Day 3’s general session offered a very special technology preview of FabricPool. FabricPool should provide the most substantial integration yet directly between the All-Flash revolution taking place in on-premises Data Centers and the massive disruptive economics of the Cloud, linking the two to produce a technically elegant solution with deep business impact.
NetApp CTO Mark Bregman and Sr. Technical Director Joe CaraDonna presented this FabricPool sneak peek from the main stage at Insight 2016:
Let’s dive a little deeper by focusing on two topics in this blog:
FabricPool: Enabling the All-Flash Data Center by building a bridge to Cloud
Over the last year, the phrase “All-Flash Data Center” has been thrown around in the IT industry with fervor. And indeed, the dramatic improvements have meant that All-Flash arrays have increasingly been the right choice for most workloads, driving significant improvements in application and database performance and end-user experience. NetApp itself has ridden that curve to an industry leading position.
Today, the “raw cost” of all-Flash is still a bit more than traditional 15K/10K SAS HDDs. But even a minimum 3:1 storage efficiency ratio could bridge that gap, and customers are quickly adopting all-Flash due to the overall TCO including reduced floor space, power, cooling, plus the user experience.
But as we look at SATA drives, there’s still a sizeable (~10x) $$/GB price difference and the roadmap for archival drives for at least the next five years seems to indicate that gap won’t be closing immediately. These archival drives may be next-generation hard drives today and some form of dense solid state storage in the future, but the one thing they will not be built for is high-performance continuous random reads and writes.
An “All-Flash Data Center” will not be able to leverage these disruptive archival technologies and thus will be a less efficient and competitive resource as a result. The fact is most Data Centers will utilize disk for years to come, either on their floor, or indirectly on the Cloud.
And yet with FabricPool, an “All-Flash Data Center” should be a possibility. How? By redefining what “All-Flash Data Center” means to what really matters: That all applications, databases, and workloads rest on all-Flash storage systems. This ensures that applications are performant and end-users are delighted. But with FabricPool, cold/inactive data could be stored on lower-cost object storage using archival HDDs on-premises or in the Cloud. As previously noted, up to 60 – 80% of data is typically cold or inactive, leading to substantial savings.
Thus, with FabricPool building a Bridge to the Cloud, in the future you could transform your data center as shown:
FabricPool: No Compromise Enterprise Implementation
As we’re designing FabricPool for potential future delivery, we’re making sure it’s a comprehensive enterprise solution.
Transparent for Any Workload
Flexible Cloud Integration: Choose Your Cloud
Efficient On Flash; Efficient On Cloud
Simple To Activate; No Ongoing Management
A Unique Approach
As you can see, we’re tremendously excited about FabricPool. As noted up front in the disclaimer, the information in this blog is intended to outline our general product direction, and is subject to change. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. But we are hard at work on the FabricPool technology, and we look forward to sharing more details in the future.
The information in this blog is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. NetApp makes no warranties, expressed or implied, on future functionality and timeline. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for NetApp’s products remains at the sole discretion of NetApp. NetApp's strategy and possible future developments, products and or platform directions and functionality are all subject to change without notice. NetApp has no obligation to pursue any course of business outlined in this blog or any related presentation, or to develop or release any functionality mentioned therein.