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The Register: NetApp Launches Two New All-Flash Arrays and Comparison with DataCore's Recent SPC-1 Results

by SVM Press Agency | Feb 01, 2017

the-register

Read the full article here: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/01/fresh_fast_little_flashers_from_netapp/

SPC-1 result

NetApp claims that the A700s is the fastest enterprise storage, citing a Storage Performance Council SPC-1 Result, saying:

The AFF A700s achieved 2,400,059.26 SPC-1 IOPS at an average response time of 0.69 milliseconds. It is the top-performing enterprise all-flash array among the major storage providers and in the top three overall on the SPC-1 Performance list.

A Huawei OceanStor 18800 V3 is number 2, scoring 3,010,007.37 IOPS at an average 0.92ms and a price/performance rating of $0.79. The A700s’ price/performance was better, at $0.62.

A 2-node DataCore Parallel Server holds the SPC-1 record, scoring 5,120,098.98 SPC-01 IOPS with an average 0.28ms response time and $0.10 price performance rating. It did so with a pair of Lenovo X3650 M5 servers, a mix of SSDs and HDDs mounted internally and externally, and 1.54TB of DRAM for caching plus parallel IO-serving software having multiple CPU cores handle the IO.

spc-1-iops

The A700s configuration in the benchmark featured a 12-node cluster (6 x 2-node HA pairs), each node having 512GB of DRAM/cache, meaning a total of 6TB DRAM.

How would NetApp describe DataCore's SPC-1 result coming from a system costing $506,525.24 while the A700s was priced at $1,493,103.71? Roughly speaking that's NetApp offering half the DataCore performance for more than twice the price.

spc-1-iops-ranking

Adam Fore, NetApp's director for product and solutions marketing, said: "We can't speculate on how DataCore got its results. However, in our view, comparing NetApp and DataCore's offerings is like comparing apples to oranges. The NetApp AFF A700s brings the full suite of enterprise-grade data management and data protection that customers are looking for as they build out the cloud-connected data centre."

Comment

The point of the SPC-1 benchmark is to compare systems in an apples-to-apples way with submitted systems subject to review. Here's what the Storage Performance Council says:

The SPC-1 Benchmark is designed to be vendor/platform independent and are applicable across a broad range of storage configuration and topologies. Any vendor should be able to sponsor and publish an SPC-1 Result, provided their tested configuration satisfies the requirements of the SPC-1 benchmark specification.

In effect NetApp says, yes, the DataCore system is faster and costs less but it doesn't run our proprietary software, and that makes it unsuitable for enterprises.

It would be very interesting to see Dell EMC VMAX, Unity and XtremIO SPC-1 benchmarks, as well as ones for HPE's 3PAR, IBM's FlashSystems and also Pure's FlashArray. We're not holding our breath.

The rate of AFF innovation looks high, and this leaves us wondering when a new generation SolidFire array, one designed and engineered under NetApp ownership of SolidFire, will emerge.

We haven't seen any pricing but expect that the A200 will significantly lower the AFF entry-level pricing, while the A700s should do the same for entering the A700 performance level.