It’s a sign of the times that news of NetApp’s FlashRay all-flash storage system this week overshadowed its FAS6200 high-end disk array upgrade.
The FAS6200 is the highest performing and largest capacity platform of NetApp’s mainstream storage family. FlashRay won’t be available for another year, and probably won’t approach FAS6200 sales for years.
But flash storage is so much more interesting these days and, besides, it’s not every day that NetApp reveals it is developing a non-Data OnTap storage system.
The FAS6200 hardware isn’t that much different from the previous versions. The exceptions are that the new systems have substantially more memory and support 4 TB drives. The memory boost results in better performance and the larger drives bring the maximum cluster capacity to 65 PB. The FAS6220, 6250, and 6290 replace the FAS6210, 6240 and 6280 arrays and V-Series gateways.
The dual-controller 6220 holds 1,200 drives and 4.7 PB in a 6U chassis with 96 GB of memory. The 6250 and 6290 have two 6U chassis, and each system holds 1,440 drives and 5.6 PB. The 6250 has 144 GB of memory and the 6290 has 192 GB of memory.
Flash can play a big part in these systems, too. The 6290 holds up to 16 TB of total Flash Cache and Flash Pool capacity, the 6250 holds 12 TB of flash and the 6210 4 TB of flash. Flash Cache is controller based and optimizes performance of data throughout the array. Flash Pools accelerate performance of data inside a volume.
The FAS6200 series competes mostly with EMC’s VMAX 10K entry level enterprise system and the higher end of the midrange VNX family, IBM’s XIV and V7000, the larger of Hewlett-Packard’s StoreServ arrays, and Hitachi Data System’s Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) and Unified Storage-VM systems.