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NetApp Pumps Performance

NetApp has raised the bar on the performance of its enterprise systems. While citing demand by engineering and high-performance computing (HPC) customers, the vendor is offering midrange solutions that increase throughput without forcing customers to add more storage.

"Customers are I/O constrained, not capacity constrained," says Patrick Rogers, VP of solutions marketing at NetApp. In response, NetApp is offering new FAS models with matching virtualization systems, a standalone appliance for accelerating storage performance, and modules for use in existing NetApp systems.

The centerpiece of today's announcement is the Performance Accleration Module (PAM), an add-on PCI Express card for existing NetApp systems that is based on solid state disk that provides read cache to speed up I/O performance. NetApp claims the addition of the cache module can improve latency by at least an order of magnitude.

Figure 1: NetApp Performance Acceleration Module

Source: NetApp

Each 16-Gbyte PAM is designed to fit directly into the storage controller unit of existing FAS models. Particular units are constrained by their ability to house the modules, as shown in the chart below:

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