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Fujitsu ETERNUS AF Systems – Product Brief

Last updated December 21st, 2018 for annual review and updates. Concise and unbiased 5-page report on the Fujitsu ETERNUS AF Systems. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The ETERNUS AF systems are all flash storage systems in the Fujitsu ETERNUS DX family of storage systems designed for enterprise and distributed environments requiring high reliability, availability and serviceability features.  The AF650 S2 is a midrange system and the AF250 S2 is an entry system. The ETERNUS AF systems are all-flash systems based upon the ETERNUS DX line, using the same design and providing the same features.

The ETERNUS AF systems support connectivity via FC or iSCSI for block mode. The AF650 system utilizes a 3U enclosure for the base unit that houses only controllers and additional 2U expansion trays for 2.5” devices.  The AF650 S2 supports up to 192 SSDs using a 3U base enclosure and up to 7 external enclosures.  The AF250 S2 supports a total of 48 SSDs, using a 2U base enclosure with two controllers and 24 SSDs and one additional enclosure of 2.5” SSDs.

The Fujitsu DX and AF lines of systems share hardware and software features across the lineup, with higher end systems typically offering more cache, ports and total capacity. Common elements include drive trays, management GUIs and support for replication between systems.

Additional cost items include support for local copies and mirrors, as well as remote replication and advanced management software options.

The Eternus Snapshot Manager uses CommVault IntelliSnap technology to create periodic snapshots and maintain a catalog of all snaps for near real-time recovery of data.

Usage

The Fujitsu AF systems are all flash general-purpose block storage designed for use in enterprise environments as primary storage for multiple tier-1 workloads.  Larger enterprises often deploy mid-tier systems as scale up systems supporting a single application, or multiple tier-2 workloads on the same storage system.  Performance may be scaled by adding additional controller cache, SSD drives or a combination of these.  Capacity may be scaled by adding additional drive trays.

Additionally, with replication interoperability between other members of the Fujitsu DX family, the AF systems may help organizations that desire remote and branch office systems that are able to replicate to centralized Fujitsu enterprise data-center systems and to remote Fujitsu entry-level systems.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – Fujitsu regularly publishes results for both SPC-1 and SPC-2 benchmarks. The StoragePerformance.org website should be consulted for the latest information.  Fujitsu has published performance information:
      • AF650 S2
        • Latency – 60µsec write, 160µsec read
        • Sequential access – 12 GB/s (100% read, 128K blocks)
        • Random access – 810,000 IOPs (100% read, 4K blocks)
      • AF250 S2
        • Latency – 60µsec write, 160µsec read
        • Sequential access – 23 GB/s (100% read, 128K blocks)
        • Random access – 430,000 IOPs (100% read, 4K blocks)
    • Availability – Dual controllers provide non-disruptive HA.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Both asynchronous and synchronous remote replication is available to other Fujitsu DX systems
    • Support for VMware VAAI and SRM with an SRA.
  • Applications
    • Fujitsu’s AF systems are targeted at enterprise applications either physical or virtual requiring high performance and capacity, or consolidating several smaller workloads
    • Web and client based GUI along with thin provisioning are included at no cost.
    • Additional cost software includes thin provisioning, snapshots and replication
  • System environments
    • The AF systems provide block storage using direct Fibre Channel (FCP) or iSCSI with standard host drivers.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • For customers without the required knowledge, Fujitsu and certified resellers offer rapid deployment services.
    • Several management consoles are available, including a web browser GUI and Storage Express and for multiple nodes
    • Remote Call Home support is also available and is enabled through a service processor, which may be deployed as a virtual machine.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale: Fujitsu ETERNUS AF – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for Fujitsu ETERNUS AF

Fujitsu ETERNUS AF are the all-flash models of the DX family of enterprise systems.  The AF and DX systems are currently at the S4 generation representing the hardware and software generation.   A full suite of advanced features are also available with the exception of tiering of LUNs to clouds/object storage.

Even though the systems have very similar architecture and execute relatively the same base software, Fujitsu offers only the high-end DX systems as scale-out.  Other models in mid-tier and entry level including the AF all flash systems are very traditional dual controller systems.  We would think that delivering scale-out in the mid-tier as being a competitive offering that Fujitsu could deliver.

Evaluator Group believes the resiliency built into the ETERNUS systems will appeal to many customers where reliability is a critical issue.  The maturity is represented by the generation and the attention to details in integrity and availability.   The all-flash systems (AF models) should become the primary systems as customers transition to all flash environments.


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