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NetApp E-Series 2800 storage tackles big data

Customers can order E-Series 2800 arrays as hybrid storage or now as NetApp all-flash storage. SANtricity OS upgrade includes tool to define logical data lakes on NetApp arrays.

NetApp has refreshed its entry-level E-Series hybrid flash arrays, designed primarily as storage for distributed analytics.

The vendor touts its E-2800 series as an all-flash array, although it is closer to just a bunch of flash in a 12-gigabit per second enclosure. Unlike most All-flash arrays, the E-Series boxes do not natively include features for managing data reduction or flash endurance.

The E-Series is among NetApp's three all-flash storage platforms. It also sells the All Flash FAS (AFF) with traditional data management features, and SolidFire SF arrays mainly for companies building storage clouds.

Customers can order NetApp E-Series 2800 arrays as hybrid storage, or outfit it completely with 3.2 TB solid-state drives (SSDs).

The E-2800 product family replaces NetApp's E-2700 line. The new hardware includes the E-2860, E-2824 and E-2812. NetApp also updated the E-Series' SANtricity operating system and integrated Hadoop-based Zaloni data lake management software.

Another NetApp all-flash array, sort of

NetApp positions the E-Series for companies that collaborate remotely, such as architectural and engineering firms. Typical use cases include so-called third-platform applications, such as Hadoop, NoSQL and Splunk.

Data lakes are becoming more and more prevalent, and our customers want better agility and insights into their data.
Mike McNamarasenior manager of product marketing, NetApp

"Although our focus with E-2800 is around analytics, the system works well in other environments," including backup, media streaming and video capture, said Mike McNamara, a senior manager of product marketing at NetApp.

E-Series arrays can hold 180 drives if configured with intermixed disk shelves. The 4U E-2860 has the highest raw capacity: 600 TB of disk storage. The base E-2860 expands to 1.8 TB with disk shelvesOf the 180 drive slots, 120 could be outfitted with 3.2 TB solid-state drives for 384 TB of all-flash storage.

The E-2824 and E-2812 are 2U systems. Each provides 1.4 PB of raw capacity. The difference is in the all-flash component: E-2824 scales to 76.8 TB of all-flash capacity; for E-2812, all-flash storage tops out at 38.4 TB.

Network connectivity includes Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS interfaces.

NetApp: E-Series ideal for creating data lakes

SANtricity 8.3 supports all NetApp E-Series arrays, including the E-5600 models that are intended for mixed workloads that need high performance. The E-Series products are based on Engenio storage technology NetApp acquired in 2011 from LSI Corp., now part of Avago Technologies. 

SANtricity point-in-time snapshots are local copies of a storage volume. Secondary servers can access a suspended writable copy to carry out different tasks, ranging from application testing, backup, data mining and file restoration.

SANtricity has a reduced set of features when compared to NetApp ONTAP, the operating system for its All Flash FAS, EFF and FAS storage. ONTAP creates disaster recovery snapshots of file systems, including writable snapshots, FlexClones, disk-to-disk replication.

McNamara said SANtricity 8.3 includes an enhanced SSD cache to boost read performance. The self-tuning algorithm caches hot data in performance-based flash and triggers movement of data between tiers.

Zaloni's Bedrock Data Lake Management Platform is a governance tool for data life cycle management in Hadoop. McNamara said Zaloni lets NetApp customers define logical data lakes, locally or offsite, using NetApp E-Series or StorageGRID Webscale object storage.

"Data lakes are becoming more and more prevalent, and our customers want better agility and insights into their data," he said.

Next Steps

NetApp E-Series gets a performance boost

NetApp tunes SANtricity for Splunk

NetApp's high performance arrays get upgrade

Dig Deeper on All-flash arrays