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NetApp aids partners to push further into growing AI markets

NetApp aids partners to push further into growing AI markets

NetApp has unveiled new all-flash data storage systems to help partners better serve organisations in their AI deployments. It has also released expanded capabilities across its portfolio to help the channel and end customers manage and operate their data more efficiently.

The new NetApp AFF A-Series systems are designed for unified data storage for the next generation of workloads. Leveraging the same technology used by the top three public clouds, the systems are designed to eliminate storage silos and storage complexity, and provide intelligent, and secure storage to accelerate and optimise workloads. This includes integrated capabilities to optimise VMware storage costs.

"Whether it's mission critical applications or leveraging enterprise data to fuel AI, the data infrastructure a company chooses to run it on makes all the difference," said Sandeep Singh, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise storage at NetApp. "Our unified data storage portfolio, from on-premise to the public cloud, makes it a go-to solution for enterprises looking to have the robustness for the most demanding workloads."

The new systems are the NetApp AFF A1K, AFF A90, and AFF A70, that deliver up to 40 million IOPs, 1 TB/s throughput.

They also have integrated real-time ransomware detection, designed for 99%+ accuracy and a Ransomware Recovery Guarantee.

Powered by NetApp's ONTAP software, the systems support block, file and object storage protocols, and natively integrate with the three largest public cloud service providers, allowing customers to consolidate their workloads, lower the cost of their data, and operate without silos.

“As we’ve ramped up our investments in AI projects to help accelerate our business, we needed to grow our data infrastructure to deliver ever greater performance for those workloads,” said Christian Klie, Tribe Cluster lead at IT services provider T-Systems. “The increased power of the new AFF A-Series systems, paired with their integrated anti-ransomware features and hybrid cloud capabilities, will help position us for success now and in the future.”

“AI is creating the biggest business transformation opportunity we’ve seen in decades, allowing enterprises to unlock new sources of value from their data,” said Justin Hotard, executive vice president and general manager, data centre and AI group at Intel. “NetApp AFF A-Series systems utilising Intel Xeon processors provide the performance and features to help businesses accelerate their enterprise AI adoption.”

NetApp has also released additional products and capabilities to provide customers with the advanced data management and cloud integration that modern workloads like GenAI demand.

It has introduced six new StorageGRID systems that promise to enhance the value of large, unstructured data while reducing total cost of ownership. "StorageGRID can now leverage capacity flash to provide fast object access times at the lowest cost," said the vendor. "Customers can experience a new level of flexibility, choice, performance, and sustainability for critical object workloads, with new models that offer a very competitive price per GB, up to a 3X performance increase, an 80% percent footprint reduction, and power consumption savings as high as 70%."

NetApp has also announced a new cyber vault reference architecture that extends the company’s data protection capabilities. Combining the latest advances in secure data storage, autonomous real-time ransomware detection, and "rapid" data restoration, NetApp’s vault delivers “logically air-gapped” storage, based on NetApp ONTAP technology, for "unparalleled" protection of customer data against advanced cyber-threats.

In addition, the latest version of ONTAP includes SnapMirror active sync, which creates a symmetric active-active business continuity solution across two data centres. Coupled with VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) and enterprise databases from Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft, SnapMirror active sync enables ongoing business operations with no disruption during a data centre outage, promises the supplier.

The updated version of ONTAP also includes FlexCache with Writeback, which creates local copies of data for distributed teams, resulting in reduced latency and uninterrupted access while reducing administrative overhead. The local copies can read and write data, granting local teams greater control while maintaining data consistency with the core data centre.

And NetApp and Lenovo are collaborating on a new converged infrastructure solution designed for retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) and inferencing use cases for GenAI, with Lenovo high-performance ThinkSystem servers utilising Nvidia L40S GPUs, Nvidia Spectrum-X networking, and NetApp AFF storage, all validated with the Nvidia OVX architecture specifications.

Finally, an AI/ML-driven service is now available as a BlueXP core capability at no additional charge, giving users immediate access to the ability to automatically classify, categorise, and tag data across the entire data estate to deepen data intelligence, enhancing efforts in governance, security, and compliance while enabling strategic workloads such as GenAI.

With BlueXP classification, customers can now fuel GenAI and RAG innovation through the AIOps ability to securely and programmatically augment pre-trained models with auto-classified, proprietary data on-demand, for enhanced relevancy without sacrificing cost or data security, NetApp said.

Like a number of vendors, NetApp continues to tailor its products for the new next gen data workloads of AI. IT Europa had a secret preview of all the above new products and services last week in London, and NetApp has clearly pushed itself towards the front of the queue when it comes to vendors offering flash technology to customers to enable them to make the most of their cloud-driven, and now AI-driven workloads.

As one senior NetApp exec admitted to us last week, the company was behind new flash technology newbies like Pure Storage a few years ago, when it came to flash product availability and performance.

“We were letting the likes of Pure take our market share, but that has been corrected,” they maintained. “With our strong alliances with the likes of Cisco, Intel and Nvidia, along with strong integration with the main cloud providers, like AWS, Azure and Google, we are back in a strong position to take advantage of the AI opportunity and other evolving markets.”