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NetApp FAS – Product Brief

Last updated November 2nd, 2020 for ONTAP 9.8 updates. Concise and unbiased 8-page overview of the features and functionality of NetApp FAS. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!


The NetApp Fabric Attached Storage (FAS) series of FAS2700, FAS500f FAS8200, FAS8300, FAS8700, and FAS9000 models support Fibre Channel SAN, FCoE, IP SAN (iSCSI), and network-attached storage (NAS) environments via NFS and CIFS. Previous to the launch of the FAS500f, NetApp had distinguished between its two ONTAP based systems, FAS and AFF, primarily via the storage devices used with AFF models being all flash systems and FAS models being hybrid SSD and HDD systems. The all flash FAS500f system signals a transition to distinguishing the systems on a capacity optimization, in the case of FAS, and performance optimization, in the case of AFF, basis. All Flash FAS (AFF) systems and are covered in a separate Evaluator Group document.

NetApp refers to fabric-attached storage 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 storage-area network (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.

The FAS8000 and FAS9000 systems with the FlexArray feature of ONTAP supports 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 FAS500f system differs from other FAS models by using all SSD devices. The system is designed to provide a balance between NetApp’s high capacity FAS offerings and the higher performance AFF. The system uses QLC SSDs to provide high density, while also offering end-to-end NVMe access to provide greater performance than the hybrid models.

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 HA pairs) along with the capacity scaling for NAS and 16 (eight HA pairs) for block mode. A dual node NetApp system is called a High Availability pair configuration.

Data reduction in the form of deduplication, compression, and compaction are supported on NetApp systems for primary data. The data reduction is performed inline and NetApp provides a 4:1 reduction guarantee. Compaction is filling the 4K allocation chunks with smaller blocks, which can improve storage utilization, especially with small files.

The FabricPool feature tiers snapshot data not in the active filesystem and inactive blocks from a primary storage system and SnapMirror or SnapVault data from a secondary storage system to either Amazon S3 or StorageGRID WebScale.

NetApp FAS Product Brief Includes:

EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group Commentary

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