Research Library

NetApp FlexArray – Product Brief

Last updated December 12th, 2019 for end of year updates. Concise and unbiased 5-page review of the NetApp FlexArray. Download the product brief now!

Note: Evaluator Group research of Storage Virtualization has been discontinued. The following Product Brief has been archived and is no longer being maintained for updates as of January 2023.

The NetApp FAS and AFF systems with the FlexArray feature of ONTAP support the attachment of external storage. The external storage is virtualized by ONTAP, enabling the advanced features and a common management for volumes allocated to a NetApp aggregate. The release of the FlexArray feature on the high-end systems replaced the V-series systems for virtualizing external storage.

The NetApp Fabric Attached Storage (FAS) series support Fibre Channel (FC) storage area network (SAN), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Internet Protocol (IP) SAN (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI)), and network-attached storage (NAS) environments via network file system (NFS) and common Internet file service/server message block (CIFS/SMB). All solid-state drive (SSD) versions using the same ONTAP software are offered as All Flash FAS (AFF) systems and are covered in a separate Evaluator Group document.

NetApp refers to FAS systems as storage connected to hosts via any network. The FAS series is part of NetApp’s strategy to offer a network storage system that is capable of supporting both NAS and SAN accessibility from a single storage pool.

The embedded operating software is called ONTAP and supports scale-out clustering and advanced feature capabilities. ONTAP 9 replaces the earlier clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) and 7-Mode (non-clustered). A cloud version of ONTAP is also available and is called Cloud ONTAP.

NetApp ONTAP has scale-out capability to allow systems to be configured to match the environment needs and to increase in both capacity and performance as required. The scale-out capability with ONTAP allows scaling to 24 controllers (12 high-availability (HA) pairs), along with capacity scaling for NAS and 16 (eight HA pairs) for block mode. A dual-node NetApp system is called a HA pair configuration.

NetApp FlexArray Product Brief Includes: 

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Usage
  • EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
  • Evaluator Group Opinions

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