NetApp to speed object data with all-flash StorageGRID appliance – sources

NetApp will launch an all-flash StorageGRID object storage system in coming weeks, according to industry insiders.

Object storage holds unstructured data that can scale out beyond traditional file systems but access time with disk-based products is slower than filer arrays can achieve. Storing objects in flash memory would speed access enormously.

Flash memory storage is much more expensive than hard disk drives. But the development of 3D NAND and TLC (triple-level cell flash) and QLC (quad-level cell) is bringing flash storage per-TB costs closer to disk. This will enable the development of lower latency object storage.

NetApp sells three disk-based StorageGRID appliance, the SG6060, SG5760 and SG5712, which are modified versions of the company’s E-series arrays.

NetApp introduced a hybrid flash/disk SG6060 version in October 2018. This added an E2800 controller shelf with SSDs to the existing 4U x 60 E5700 disk drive shelf. The flash accelerates performance – but not to the level of an all-flash system.

An all-flash StorageGRID system would be based on the three members of the all-flash EF-series.

  • EF600 2U x 24 drives – 360TB raw
  • EF570 2U x 24 drives – 120TB raw (EF570 with 4 x 2U/24 expansion shelves)
  • EF280 2U x 24 drives – 96TB (EF280 with 3 x 2U/24 DE224C expansion shelves)

We might see SG600, SG570 and SG280 all-flash StorageGRID appliances.

Blocks & Files has asked NetApp for comment, and a company spokesperson said: “We don’t have any comments to share at this time.” Not a “no” then.