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Big Data and HPC Customers Significantly Accelerate Time to Market with New NetApp E-Series Storage Platform

New E5500 Delivers Industry-Leading Performance per Spindle with Improved Scale, Density, and Uptime, Resulting in a Lower Cost of Ownership

Massive amounts of data are being created and processed by a variety of global organizations, including oil and gas and life science companies. Data is also being used in university research centers to analyze seismic data, predict severe storms, and power genomic and bioscience research that can save lives. These organizations are increasingly looking for technology solutions that provide high performance and bandwidth at an affordable cost.

To address these challenges, today NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) announced the new NetApp® E5500, designed to provide industry-leading performance, efficiency, and reliability for big data and high-performance computing (HPC). The NetApp E5500 is the latest addition to the NetApp E-Series platform, and builds the foundation for highly available high-capacity application workflows to provide industry-leading storage performance with half the footprint and half the operational costs over competitive systems.

Big data and HPC customers require an infrastructure that provides speed, scale, and cost efficiency. As a seventh-generation E-Series platform, the E5500 builds on the modular scalability and proven reliability of the previous generations and provides customers with a new level of performance, efficiency, and reliability. With a robust high-performance architecture, improved storage density, and additional support enhancements, the latest E5500 controller provides OEMs and organizations with a platform that overcomes the speed, scale, and reliability challenges posed by big data and HPC while delivering a better return on investment.

"HPC and big data customers need high performance to ingest and analyze huge amounts of data, while still managing power and cost efficiently," said Brendon Howe, vice president, Product and Solutions Marketing, NetApp. "High performance at a reasonable cost can be a difficult balance to strike; however, with over 500,000 E-Series systems deployed, NetApp's deep industry and storage experience created a strong foundation for the new E5500. The momentum of E-Series enabled us to build a new product that provides industry-leading bandwidth per dollar spent while improving density and reliability."

Industry-Leading Performance Confirmed
The SGI InfiniteStorage 5600, which is an OEM version of the NetApp E5500, has produced a new SPC-2 result confirming the performance and cost efficiency of the new E5500; it showcases the performance possibilities the E5500 unlocks for HPC and big data organizations.[1] The audited, peer-reviewed SPC-2 result demonstrates the highest throughput per spindle by more than 2.5 times over the nearest non-NetApp published result.[2] It also validates how the E5500 helps customers accelerate business results and reduce operational costs and footprint.

Improved Scale and Density Drive Best-in-Class Performance Efficiency
The new E5500 has a modular architecture that can be used with file systems, such as Lustre and Hadoop, to scale to unlimited performance efficiently. Combined with 4TB drive support, the E5500 provides the density and speed needed to accelerate time to results for HPC and big data customers. The result is a storage infrastructure that provides significantly increased density, more bandwidth, and best-in-class performance efficiency.

NetApp AutoSupport Improves Enterprise-Class Reliability
In addition to the E5500, the NetApp AutoSupport™ tool is now available for the E-Series product line, providing improved service and uptime to customers. NetApp AutoSupport informs NetApp's world-wide support organization of key metrics and system information. Benefits of NetApp AutoSupport include improved system health and uptime, enhanced storage and operational efficiency, and an overall improved support experience.

"The research carried out on the HPC systems of the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing at the TU Dresden comprises numerous disciplines, each with their own storage requirements," said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nagel, director of the center. "Our new supercomputer, delivered by Bull, uses the new NetApp E5500 as the base for an excellent storage system that will allow our researchers to get their results faster. The enhanced reliability features and the performance analysis possibilities significantly increase our capabilities to support the users. We are already using NetApp FAS systems for central IT services at the TU Dresden and are happy that the AutoSupport feature has also been extended to the E-Series products."

Analyst Quote

  • Steve Conway, research vice president for HPC, IDC
    "The performance and price/performance of storage are crucial for HPC and big data implementation. The benchmark posted by SGI and the SPC-2 strongly indicate that the new NetApp E5500 will provide outstanding speed and efficiency. With the additional reliability and support features taken into account, this new product is positioned well to succeed in the HPC and big data spaces."

Additional Quotes

  • Jose Reinoso, vice president, Storage Engineering, SGI
    "Our customers are turning massive amounts of data into new business and scientific discoveries, so they need solutions that provide the best price/performance possible. With SGI's impressive new SPC-2 result achieving a SPC-2 best price/performance, it's clear that the NetApp E5500 meets those expectations. The results clearly show that the E5500 provides organizations the high bandwidth and density needed to address big data and HPC challenges."
  • Michel Guillemet, executive vice president, Innovative Products, Bull
    "NetApp E-Series has been a staple for customers with high-performance needs; that's clearly shown by the major success E-Series has seen in the marketplace. The E5500 makes it possible for our customers to take a building-block approach to a broad spectrum of workloads. The product gives customers the efficiency and scalability needed to address wide-ranging applications, from weather forecasting and analysis to healthcare research."
  • Dr. Erich Focht, senior manager, R&D and Storage Products, NEC Deutschland HPC Europe
    "At NEC Deutschland HPC Europe division, we've successfully deployed our NEC LXFS product with the E5500 and Lustre file system at a premium car manufacturer from Germany. The NetApp E5500 has allowed us to get the highest speed and density possible, while still delivering the reliability and stability our customers expect. Using the E5500 with the Lustre file system allowed for easy scaling and configuration in terms of capacity and performance."

Additional Resources:

About NetApp
NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. Our commitment to living our core values and consistently being recognized as a great place to work around the world are fundamental to our long-term growth and success, as well as the success of our pathway partners and customers. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at

For more information on the SPC-2 benchmark result, please visit the results pages on:

Data current as of March 1, 2013.

Tested Storage ProductSPC-2 MBPS / Spindle *SPC-2 MBPS™Number of Spindles
B00065 - SGI InfiniteStorage 560073.808,855.70120
B00058 - Sun ZFS Storage 742027.8710,703.69384
B00052 - IBM Storwize V700026.113,132.87120
B00055 - Fujitsu ETERNUS DX80 S222.572,685.50119
B00057 - Fujitsu ETERNUS DX440 S219.965,768.04289

*SPC-2 MBPS/Spindle as computed by NetApp = (SPC-2 MBPS / # of spindles in TSP)

Press Contact
Alex Goldsmith
NetApp PR
(408) 822-7291

NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, and AutoSupport are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

[1] For more information on the SGI SPC-2 benchmark result, please visit:

[2] Results with SPC "Accepted" status as of January 2011 and priced under $500,000 and not using NetApp technology.