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NetApp feeds HPC monster: How much cache? That would be telling

E-Series arrays get major update

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NetApp has boosted its high performance computing style storage arrays, the "not-ONTAP" E-Series arrays, by adding a solid state drive cache, better data protection and new network connectivity options. But the storage vendor is keeping quiet on flash cache capacity.

NetApp's HPC style arrays ingest and disgorging data faster than its mainstream ONTAP arrays. The E5400 and E2600 systems get SSD read caching, enabled by a new release of the SANtricity storage management software. The most active or hot data gets put into cache for faster access. This is similar to the ONTAP array's Flash Cache feature. NetApp doesn't say how much SSD cache capacity is supported.

There are mirroring and replication functions to provide better data protection, with NetApp saying there are "additional mirroring, copy service techniques, and dynamic disk pools to secure data".

The E5400 top-end system (NetApp datasheet here (PDF)) gets 10Gbit/s Ethernet and 6Gbit/s SAS network interfaces, broadening their scope from the previous 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 40Gbit/s InfiniBand. We would expect 16Gbit's Fibre Channel to be added eventually. The smaller E2600 has the SAS and Ethernet interfaces available too and has had for a while. ®

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