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Industry Insight: NetApp MAX Data

Last updated November 19th, 2018 with minor updates. In this free Industry Insight report, Randy Kerns discusses the release of NetApp MAX Data and provides an overview of this product. Download now!

NetApp released the first version of their MAX Data solution to the market in October, 2018.  The solution is built on the PlexiStor acquisition in May of 2017.  There are a number of solution variations that have been previewed by NetApp but the announcement in October is for MAX Data on a host server with network connected NetApp storage.

MAX Data is a file system driver, currently available for Linux operating systems that will utilize DRAM and persistent memory in the server as a primary data tier.  Persistent memory used is Intel Optane (3D Xpoint) as NVDIMMs or PCIe attached.  MAX Data expands the internal persistent memory with a backing storage for the primary data tier that is called the secondary data tier.  The secondary data tier is a storage network connected NetApp All Flash Array.

Data stored on the server in the primary data tier is also protected by mirroring to a remote MAX Recovery Server.  The MAX Recovery Server is another server with the MAX Data file system driver and persistent memory connect over a network.

The NetApp All Flash Array may be an All Flash FAS (AFF) or an E-Series system.  NetApp storage is connected as block storage over a storage network.  A LUN from the NetApp storage appears as persistent memory to the application with the MAX Data software managing the backing store transfer between the storage and the server.  Currently, up to four LUNs may be configured per server running the MAX Data software.

The initial use cases for MAX Data are for high performance transactional databases.  There is not limitation in applying MAX Data for other uses however.

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