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Lab Insight: Enterprise Applications with NetApp MAX Data Performance

Published December 18th, 2019. In this Lab Insight, Evaluator Group analyzed NetApp’s MAX Data software in a test scenario designed to represent an enterprise environment. Download this free report now!


The need to improve application performance is a challenge that all companies face as a continual problem.  With information at the heart of all modern companies, data centric applications that utilize databases are often the most important within a company.  The question has always been how to improve performance for critical applications cost effectively, without eliminating critical data protection and disaster recovery capabilities.

The challenge for IT executives is to balance the desire to improve application performance with the requirement for preserving data integrity and availability for enterprise applications.  Application owners are often focused on results, particularly the time required to achieve their desired outcome.  Further complicating these requirements is the need to achieve these goals cost-effectively.

Recently, a new type of high-performance storage has become available that can offer dramatic performance advantages.  It is known as “persistent memory” due to its ability to retain data without power, similar to the way storage operates.  This non-volatile, or persistent memory, resides within servers and is capable of offering performance nearly on par with dynamic memory (DRAM), while also providing storage data persistence.  Although persistent memory has the potential to significantly improve performance, many applications need to be re-architected in order to natively utilize this technology.  Additionally, issues remain regarding how applications can leverage these capabilities and how to ensure data protection.

In this paper, Evaluator Group worked with NetApp to test a FlexPod along with NetApp MAX Data software which is able to accelerate critical applications through the intelligent use of persistent memory technologies. Combined with enterprise storage features, MAX Data provides application availability, protection and disaster recovery capabilities.   In addition to performance, efficiency benefits are explored.

A summary of MAX Data with FlexPod results:

  • More I/O: MAX Data enables up to 5X more I/O operations (workload dependent)
  • Faster I/O: operations completed up to 40X faster depending upon workload
  • Fewer Resources: MAX Data completed workloads using fewer compute resources
  • Higher Efficiency: Higher performance with fewer resources improves efficiency
  • Low Risk: No application changes required to utilize persistent memory, using standard filesystem interface lowers risk

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