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Rev up performance: NetApp takes #1 spot in EDA benchmark

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Octavian Tanase
Octavian Tanase

Powerful and reliable storage environments are critical to the evolution of chip design, which is why I’m excited to announce that NetApp just claimed the top spot in the SPECstorageTM Solution 2020 EDA Blended benchmark (see Note 1 below). The ranking validates the trust placed in us by our electronic design automation (EDA) customers and once again proves that all-flash NetApp® AFF storage solutions deliver on all fronts. This achievement showcases our ability to provide predictable, high-performance storage environments that can manage more concurrent job sets than any other vendor—75% more than the nearest competitor (see Note 2). NetApp’s EDA story gets even stronger: our solutions provide better scaling and low latency while simultaneously keeping up with the drastically increasing demands of EDA workloads.

NetApp’s position as a leading provider of storage solutions for EDA isn’t accidental. Our innovation is built on customer insights, leading to solutions that tackle their challenges head on. For example, our customers tell us that 70% of chip design costs are attributed to developers with another 20% of non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs coming from software. By focusing on increasing the productivity of those designers and empowering companies to get the most benefit out of their EDA software licenses, NetApp is helping to meaningfully reduce their NRE costs associated with people, software, and infrastructure.

#1 SPEC benchmark for EDA storage solutions

NetApp posted the #1 result for the SPECstorage Solution 2020 EDA_Blended benchmark, which focuses on simulating the EDA process from end to end. Our results show that the NetApp storage environment delivers:

  • Predictable, consistent high performance, which results in more concurrent job sets than any other vendor
  • Better scaling, with continued low latency as demands increase from more EDA workloads

That high performance and low latency empower designers to run more simulations—faster. And the increased productivity means more iteration cycles to improve the design to deliver chips with better power, performance, and area (PPA) and greater differentiation.

Our strong SPEC benchmark result is powered by our high-performance AFF A-Series all-flash systems running NetApp ONTAP®, the industry’s leading data management software. The ONTAP FlexGroup technology enables large scale-out NAS containers—up to 20PB and 400 billion files—to deliver high performance, with automatic load distribution and scalability.

"SPECstorage 2020 is an important part of our benchmark and performance testing suite for EDA infrastructure,” said Vijay Ghanta, Director for IT Infrastructure at NVIDIA. “It is very effective in simulating various EDA workloads and objectively determining real-world performance, that in turn drive platform selection."

Additional benefits: Cloud bursting, data protection, scalability, ransomware protection, and more

All these EDA simulations create lots of valuable data. ONTAP can help our customers manage it with industry-leading innovation and capabilities.

  • Burst to the cloud. When simulations require additional compute resources, it’s easy to quickly provision the supporting storage in the cloud. And with cloud resources based on the same ONTAP environment that’s being used on premises, it’s straightforward to manage the storage with the same tools and processes. This approach is especially valuable for chip designers who prefer to run with a smaller on-premises storage footprint and then use cloud resources as needed for additional temporary capacity. By using the NetApp FlexCache® technology in ONTAP to cache data close to each user, customers can further speed up the design process and improve productivity. With NetApp, managing data between on-premises and cloud environments has never been easier.
  • Protect data. Built on 30+ years of partnering and building solutions with our customers, ONTAP makes it straightforward to create the instantaneous NetApp Snapshot copies and backup copies that are needed.
  • Streamline workflows. The NetApp FlexClone® technology in ONTAP increases developer productivity by dramatically reducing the time to check out and build the workflow environment.
  • Tier cold data. When data is no longer hot, why keep it on high-performance all-flash storage? Free up that space by seamlessly tiering cold data to lower-cost environments on premises or in the cloud. If the data becomes hot again, it’s automatically returned to the performance tier. This is an easy way to get even more value out of all-flash storage.
  • Protect from ransomware attacks and security breaches. ONTAP offers best-in-class capabilities for cyber resilience. In fact, our latest technology autonomously detects ransomware attacks and protects data before the threat is known.

How can NetApp help you with your EDA challenges?

We’re privileged to be partnering with our EDA customers, and we‘d love to engage with you to help solve your difficult challenges. To learn more about our EDA solutions, check out our information about the SPECstorage EDA benchmark, our AFF systems, and the industry-leading ONTAP data management environment.

Note 1: NetApp; 6300 SPECstorage™ Solution 2020 EDA_BLENDED Job_Sets with an overall response time of 1.39 ms.

Note 2: WekaIO; 3600 SPECstorage™ Solution 2020 EDA_BLENDED Job_Sets with an overall response time of 0.30 ms.

Octavian Tanase

Octavian Tanase is the Senior Vice President of Engineering for NetApp’s Hybrid Cloud Group, which enables seamless cloud experiences on-premises and provides core foundational technologies to NetApp’s public cloud capabilities. 

In his current role, Octavian is responsible for driving product innovation, measurable business outcomes, and customer engagement and success with NetApp’s on-premises portfolio of products, including ONTAP, the industry’s leading enterprise data management software for shared environments. 

Prior to his leadership of the Hybrid Cloud Engineering group, Octavian was responsible for several of NetApp’s award-winning products including, AltaVault, SnapMirror, MetroCluster, and SnapVault. 

Before joining NetApp in 2010, Octavian led the Java Platform engineering group at Sun Microsystems/Oracle. He has also held various engineering roles in several start-ups in Silicon Valley. 

In addition, as an active champion of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB), Octavian is passionate about ensuring that his colleagues feel heard, represented and understood, and was responsible for introducing the first Unconscious Bias Training at NetApp. He plays a key role in various DIB programs at NetApp, including serving as a sponsor of Advancing Minority Interests in Engineering, previously serving as the Executive co-sponsor of NetApp Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, among other initiatives. 

Outside of work and when not spending time with his family, Octavian enjoys skiing, basketball and judo. He is also an active advisor for BackBox, a network automation startup. 

Octavian holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and Executive MBA from Stanford.

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