NetApp ONTAP 9.4, the new AFF A220A and the new FAS 2700 series

By | 12. July 2018

Hi together,

NetApp announced yesterday its new storage operating system ONTAP 9.4 and will probably publish it in the next few days. The latest features I would like to present to you:

  1. Rapid disk zeroing
    as an installation engineer, you know that. When you zero systems, you sometimes wait several days until all the disks are zeroed out. With “rapid disk zeroing” this is over.
    “RPN” is supported from ONTAP 9.4 on a new installation or on a “fresh install” on an old machine with upgrade to ONTAP 9.4
  2. Background aggregate deduplication scanner
    the aggregate de-duplication works now no longer only inline for all flash systems but also in background, if the “system has time”, or if you plan to.
  3. “Snapshot block sharing”
    OMG whats that? Very easy. ONTAP 9.4 Now also recognizes duplicates in snapshots and fishes them out. Therefore even more usable capacity in your NetApp AFF/FAS system.
  4. SMB multichannel
    and again such a signifier term! “SMB multichannel”. The SMB protocol is what we generally understand as file services. So I’m going to click on a file on a drive and it will pop up magically on my laptop. Oh God one can write about it long treatises, some people write their doctoral thesis about it, again others have made a professor with it. I’m going to break this down to the essentials.: Several SMB requests are processed in parallel. So several SMB sessions over several TCP/IP sessions and also the distribution of the processes to multiple CPU cores.
  5. ONTAP image installation from the OnCommand System Manager GUI
    finally you can install new ONTAP versions directly from your client to the NetApp. No Web servers or anything else needed. Simply upload and install the image file via the GUI.
  6. More snapshots per FlexVol!
    Whooo Whooo…. Finally, the magic limit of 255 snapshots per volume has fallen. Starting in ONTAP 9.4 you can keep up to 1023 snapshots per volume. Especially interesting if I want to save the Transactionlogs every half hour on a SQL Server and want to keep it for over a month or so .

In my opinion, these are the coolest innovations. Justin Parisi from NetApp explains the new features in this video:


In addition to the launch of ONTAP 9.4, NetApp has introduced three new storage models directly. Two of them, I want to present you here briefly.

The new NetApp AFF A220 A and the new FAS 2700 series

As with the AFF A200 and the FAS 2600 series, both models are based on the same hardware. The FAS, however, has a 512 GB flash cache on board, which of course does not require the all flash variant. Both the AFF A220 A and the FAS 2750/2720 come as usual with four UTA 2 ports per controller. So four times SFP + for 10 Gbe or four 8/16 GB FC ports. With the FAS 2750 and also with the FAS 2720 variant you also have the possibility to order the machine as a 10 GB base-T version. This will delight many customers who do not want to buy a 10 GBE infrastructure based on SFP + switches for “small” storage.

NetApp sais that they have  a performance boost of round about 30% in the new AFF A220 A and the FAS 2700 series compared to the previous models. This is due to the increase of the CPU cores of the machines. There’s no changes in RAM.

I´ll write another blog about the New AFF 800 soon so stay tuned.



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