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New NetApp Software and Flash Systems Simplify Data Management, Boost Performance in the Hybrid Cloud

Company expands NetApp ONTAP 9 software to new workloads, adds support for Microsoft Azure public cloud; releases new flash and hybrid- storage arrays

“Hospitals produce a lot of data, from radiology images to patient records, and also email. We currently generate up to 6 petabytes of data that grows by more than 50% year-over-year,” said Reinoud Reynders, IT manager, Infrastructure and Operations at The University Hospitals in Leuven, Belgium. “NetApp ONTAP software with the All Flash FAS systems gives us a flexible environment with the performance and capacity we need to manage our data at a low total cost of ownership. For us, that is very important.”

NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced new NetApp® ONTAP® software, flash systems and expanded public cloud support that provide the modern foundation to help customers maximize the value of their data in the hybrid cloud.

The new offerings are key to helping customers transform their IT. Successful IT transformations integrate data siloes, automate processes to speed results and remove barriers to scale that limit growth. Today’s announcement includes:

  • An update to NetApp ONTAP 9 software, making the company’s rich data services offering even better with built in encryption for improved data security, support for massively scalable high-performance NAS containers and simplified provisioning for enterprise applications.
  • Six new flash-optimized storage arrays, including the industry’s fastest unified all-flash systems and highly scalable hybrid flash arrays, with simpler set-up and serviceability.
  • Expanded choice with ONTAP Cloud now supporting the Microsoft Azure public cloud, complementing existing support for the AWS public cloud.
  • In addition, NetApp has taken the lead in optimizing the data center for flash with its support of industry-leading connectivity options.

“IDC believes that the future of IT is hybrid cloud, and we see enterprise storage companies like NetApp making strategic shifts to focus on flash storage, virtualization, high-performance hybrid cloud, and other cloud-related technologies that enable the portability of data and applications,” said IDC Storage Research Director Eric Burgener. “Vendors like NetApp are paving the way for customers who are rapidly transitioning to flash-optimized, software-defined storage architectures with rich and proven data services that monetize big-data analytics by delivering meaningful insight for making critical, fact-based decisions for their businesses.”

Maximizing the Value of Data Across Flash, Disk and Cloud Deployments 

New features in ONTAP 9 include:

  • NetApp ONTAP FlexGroup is a massively scalable, high performance NAS container ideal for the latest generation of applications in the EDA, high-tech, oil and gas, and media and entertainment industries. FlexGroup allows customers to scale a single container up to 20PB and 400 billion files.
  • NetApp Volume Encryption offers granular, volume-level, software-based, encryption for data on any type of drives across AFF, FAS, or ONTAP Select systems without requiring special additional self-encrypting disks.
  • ONTAP Cloud support for Microsoft Azure. ONTAP Cloud is software-defined storage running in Azure that enables customers to use advanced ONTAP data services to efficiently share, move, protect and manage their cloud data. Customers can now gain greater infrastructure flexibility by integrating Azure cloud services into their enterprise data fabric.
  • ONTAP Select now supports all-flash commodity servers.

NetApp also refreshed its industry-leading portfolio of ONTAP-powered all-flash and hybrid arrays, to provide customers with unrivaled scale, speed, and data services as they transform their IT. New features and capabilities introduced today include:

  • The AFF A700 all-flash system, designed for high performance and configuration flexibility; and the AFF A300 all-flash system, optimized for midrange all-flash configurations. These new systems offer up to twice the performance of prior NetApp systems at half the latency. The systems are easy to set-up in under 10 minutes, have greater serviceability and provide expanded support for multi-stream-write (MSW) and 15TB SSDs.
  • New hybrid flash systems including the FAS8200 for enterprise workloads and the FAS2650 and FAS2620, optimized for small-enterprises and mid-size businesses. The new FAS systems offer dramatically increased speed and responsiveness with up to 200% higher performance than that of earlier NetApp systems and integrated NVMe NetApp Flash Cache™ intelligent caching.
  • The new FAS9000 for business critical workloads, which gives customers the ability to easily scale-up to 14PB in a system and scale out to 172PB in a cluster. This capability provides customers with the right size solution for their needs today and growth options for the future.
  • The industry’s first support of leading connectivity with 32Gb Fibre Channel and 40Gb Ethernet, in addition to the 12Gb SAS-3 storage connection, optimizing the infrastructure for flash.
  • Intelligent modular design for AFF A700 and FAS9000 to enhance reliability, availability, and serviceability, and simplify future upgrades.

“Simplification is a key enabler for today’s digital transformation,” said Joel Reich, executive vice president, Products and Operations at NetApp. “NetApp’s new ONTAP software and flash systems give customers a way to bridge existing and emerging IT architectures as they build and evolve their hybrid cloud.”

Supporting quotes

“NetApp is leading the way with the industry’s first Gen 6 32Gb-enabled storage array, making it possible for customers to deploy an end-to-end 32Gb Fibre Channel (32GFC) solution consisting of HBAs, switches and NetApp storage arrays. Today’s announcement is another proof-point that modern datacenters deploying all-flash arrays require a faster end-to-end Fibre Channel network. We are pleased that NetApp has chosen Emulex 32GFC HBAs by Broadcom for their high-performance, all-flash arrays,” said Jeff Hoogenboom, general manager, Emulex Connectivity Division, Broadcom Limited.

“Flash technology is accelerating the pace of innovation in storage,” said Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking, Brocade. “NetApp’s introduction of 32Gb Gen 6 Fibre Channel flash systems creates a new industry benchmark for storage performance. NetApp’s flash-optimized storage arrays and ONTAP software, along with Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel solutions, enable application infrastructure with unprecedented performance and availability for next-generation data centers.”

“Customers need help transforming their IT organizations in the digital era and data is critical to a successful transformation,” said Troy Brick- Margelofsky, solution architect team lead, at CDW. “Together, with NetApp, we are helping our customers realize the full value of their data to improve their customer satisfaction, speed time to market and drive business innovation.”

“Applications need the optimum storage to process large amounts of data with the utmost efficiency,” said Jim Elliott, corporate vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “Samsung’s advanced 3D V-NAND-based SSD portfolio and solutions, combined with NetApp’s ONTAP 9 software and flash array technology, provide a compelling approach to meeting critical storage speed requirements, while eradicating storage performance and efficiency bottlenecks.”

Additional Resources

  • Read Joel Reich’s take on the new software and systems on the blog
  • Listen to the Tech ONTAP Podcast for a deep dive on NetApp Volume Encryption.
  • Get the deep dive on all things Data Fabric with this technical white paper.
  • Find more details about ONTAP 9 here
  • Learn more about NetApp All Flash FAS systems here
  • Learn more about NetApp hybrid storage systems here
  • Follow NetApp on Twitter.

About NetApp
Leading organizations worldwide count on NetApp for software, systems and services to manage and store data. We help customers capitalize on the value of their data in the hybrid cloud through our Data Fabric strategy, data management expertise, portfolio and ecosystem. To learn more, visit

Press Contact: 
Amelia Vierra
1 408 822 6403