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Network Appliance

NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that accelerate business breakthroughs and achieve outstanding cost efficiency. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com.

See also:- NetApp editorial mentions on STORAGEsearch.com, NetApp's Flash Cache page

  • editor's comments:-November 2013 - Like many other big name enterprise companies from the HDD array era - and for the same reasons - Network Appliance was a me-too (late) follower rather than a leader in the SSD market in the first decade of flash in the enterprise (2004 to 2013).

    For those reasons its interim business strategy has mostly been a mixture of acquisition, and oeming 3rd party SSDs rather than advancing SSD architecture with its own unique designs.

    NetApp has never appeared in the fastest SSD lists nor in StorageSearch.com's 7 year running series the top 10 SSD companies, nor in the lowest price SSDs.

    If you're looking at NetApp for SSDs you may also be interested in looking at these articles for alternative suppliers:- SSDs ASAPs (Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated Pools of storage), rackmount SSDs and PCIe SSDs.

    Despite a late and slow start in solid state storage there's no doubt that NetApp is a fount of knowledge when it comes to network storage architecture related to rotating storage arrays.

    Something which may have helped was the company's 2003 acquisition of patents from the world's first NAS company Auspex Systems - whose Storage Architecture Guide (published in 2000) remains a classic reference which has been read by hundreds of thousands of our readers.
NetApp mentions in SSD Market History

In November 2008 - published details of its thinking re SSDs.

NetApp's paper - Flash Memory Technology in Enterprise Storage (pdf) didn't actually say much beyond the fact they're qualifying some products and will launch systems offerings which include flash SSDs sometime in 2009.

In February 2009 - Network Appliance announced 2 strands in its solid state storage acceleration strategy:-

Although NetApp's PAM is a PCIe RAM card and not a PCIe flash SSD - it's just a short walk from one to the other - which is why I've mentioned it here. I have little doubt the company has already been evaluating options in this market space.

In June 2010 - Network Appliance disclosed that it had shipped more than a petabyte of flash SSD acceleration storage since introducing the product 9 months earlier. See also:- SSD petabyte milestones

In November 2013 - Network Appliance disclosed it had has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.


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Many factors at play in enterprise SSD market behavior still don't appear as explicit assumptions in SSD product marketing plans.

One contributory cause for gaps in segmental understanding has been the continuing pace of disruptive innovation in enterprise SSD-land - which has meant there hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow from one seemingly chaotic year to the next as they encroach on new markets.

Smaller nuances of user behavior (which are easier to discern as patterns in a stable market) easily get lost under the noise created by headline technology changes and the market's apparent willingness to slaughter and discard once loved past industry leaders.
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise


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NetApp says - the time for taking risks with enterprise flash startups is over
Editor:- October 1, 2014 - Demise of the flash startups is the provocative title of a recent blog by Craig Alger at NetApp - who asserts that the "brief window of time where fast and agile (enterprise SSD) startups can get the jump on large, slow manufacturers" has now ended.

Craig questions how startups like Pure and Tegile can expect to compete now that "titans of the industry" such as NetApp, and EMC (and by implication IBM, Dell, and HP too) have got their flash toys, acquired, oemed, licensed and integrated neatly within vast product catalogs?

Editor's comments:- If you agree with Craig's premise - that all the disruptive innovation is now over - then you'd probably also agree that it's not worth taking risks with new enterprise SSD startups. Just stick with the big safe vendors and you'll be OK.

You won't be surprised to learn I disagree.

This is what I said to Craig (by email) yesterday...

"Hi Craig,

I saw your blog - Demise of the Flash startups - and might comment / post about it. Liked the middle but disagree about the conclusion.

I would agree - if the pace of disruptive change in enterprise SSD architecture had slowed down and if it already did solve most problems.

"But with a lot of very big changes in utilization still to come - the potential market size for genuinely innovative enterprise SSD startups (drives, systems and software) is bigger than it was before.

"So there will more startup companies to acquire, license from and compete with. No one's got a whole stable solution architecture and credible roadmap yet. At best current flash systems are stepping stones to somewhere else."

Oh - and if you're wondering - which is the part of Craig's blog I liked the most (apart from the cleverly provocative title) it was where he says "...those SSDs aren't as expensive as they used to be." ...read Craig's article

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NetApp has shipped 59PB of SSDs in 3 years
Editor:- November 19, 2013 - Among other things - Network Appliance today disclosed it has has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.

Editor's comments:- What NetApp actually said was "over 60PB to date".

My calculation goes like this...

The company shipped 1PB in its first year in the SSD market - which ended in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

So it's shipped approximately 60PB in 3 years. Probably more than 1/2 of that will have been in the past year.

How does that compare with others?

It doesn't sound like a lot in the context of today's market.

According to a (quirkily pro-HDD) blog by Toshiba - the analyst data which they have aggregated projects that 8,000 PB of enterprise flash SSDs will ship in 2014.

I think the likely figure (PB of enterprise flash installed in systems) will be much higher than even that - because Toshiba's data probably doesn't take adequately into account the ability of some systems vendors to ship enterprise grade SSD racks using consumer grade flash chips (rather than using enterprise SSD drives) due to technologies like adaptive R/W - and the increasing appetite for enterprise SSDs.

See also:- petabyte SSD shipment milestones.
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"A new generation of enterprise SSD rackmounts is breaking all the rules which previously constrained price, performance and reliability."
exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs




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