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NetApp boosts solid state storage with EF540 flash appliance

19 Feb 2013
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SUUNYVALE: NetApp has unveiled a new addition to its solid-state storage appliance lineup designed for high-performance operations.

The company said that its EF540 appliance would offer firms a fully flash-based storage appliance intended to accompany the traditional hard disk drive (HDD) and hybrid models with a solid-state drive (SSD) model.

Available in both 12 and 24-drive rack mount enclosures, the EF540 models will offer capacities of 9.6TB and 19.2TB with 24GB of memory and an 8Gb network interface.

The appliance will run NetApp's SANtricity operating system, a fact that the company points to as a key differentiator in the SSD appliance space. NetApp executive vice president of product operations Manish Goel said that rather than focusing exclusively on performance figures, the company is looking to pitch the EF540 on its management and support tools.

Goel noted that as many firms look to adopt SSD appliances for high-demand tasks, the ability to properly support customers and manage the device will become increasingly important.

"This is where the EF540 is so compelling," he said. "It combines the performance of flash with the enterprise characteristics that we know and understand."

NetApp plans to make its SSD systems the top of a three-pronged strategy for the network-attached storage space. While the SSD appliances will handle the high-performance operations, the company will also look to pitch firms on hybrid appliances which bring many of the performance advantages of flash without the high costs.

Goel noted that the cost of moving from HDD to hybrid systems is in many cases relatively low and can bring about strong performance gains.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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