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NetApp Releases Flash Accel 1.3.0

January 30th, 2014

NetApp today announced the availability of Flash Accel 1.3.0, its server-side software that turns supported server flash into a cache for the backend Data ONTAP storage systems.

Coherency, Persistence
As with previous releases, Flash Accel 1.3.0 detects and corrects for coherency at the block level — rather than flushing the entire cache. Flushing the entire cache may be good as there are no data coherency issues, but terrible for performance. Flash Accel cache invalidation corrects cache, while keeping the cache persistent.

In addition to intelligent data coherency, Flash Accel also provides persistence across VM / server reboots.

The benefit of both intelligent data coherency and persistence is to ensure that both the cache optimizes performance at its peak (i.e. when the cache is warm) and that peak performance can last as long as possible (by keeping the cache warm for as long as possible).

Side note: Flash Accel code manages server cache, accelerating access to data that is stored and managed by Data ONTAP on the storage system.  Flash Accel is NOT Data ONTAP code.

What’s New
Flash Accel 1.3.0 adds the following features and functionalities:

  • Support for Windows Server bare metal caching:
    • Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012, and Windows 2012 R2
    • FC and iSCSI support for bare metal
    • Clustered apps supported (cold cache on failover)
  • Adds support for Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 VMs and vSphere 5.5 support
    • Note: for use of Flash Accel with Flash Accel Management Console (FAMC), vSphere 5.5 support will be added within weeks of general availability of Flash Accel 1.3
  • Up to 4TB of cache per server
  • Support for sTEC PCI-e Accelerator
    • Note: For VMware environment, Flash Accel 1.3.0 is initially only available for use with FAMC. 1.3.0 support for use with NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) will be available when VSC 5.0 releases

Check the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool (IMT) under the new “Flash Accel” storage solution within the  “Server Caching Solutions” category for the most up to date supported configurations.

As part of this release, memory consumption has been reduced. Previously, Flash Accel required 0.006 GB of physical memory on the host for every gigabyte of device memory and 0.006 GB additional memory on the VM for every gigabyte of cache space allocated. With version 1.3.0, it’s now possible to configure 0.0035 GB of physical memory (on the host) and 0.0035 GB additional memory (on the VM).

It’s also important to note that the default cache block size in version 1.3.0 has been increased from 4 KB to 8 KB.

Flash Accel 1.3.0 can be downloaded by any NetApp FAS or V-Series customer at no cost.  To download Flash Accel, visit the NetApp Support Site.

Geek ONTAP, General

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