Unboxed: NetApp AFF A700s

By | 2018-04-17

Since I’ve installed our fourth NetApp AFF A700s controller today, I think it’s time for a “Unboxed” blog post.

First a few numbers and informations. What is a AFF A700s controller? For short: it’s a smaller and limited version of the big AFF A700 controller. It uses the same CPU, RAM and half of the NVRAM, but build in a 4U chassis including 24 2.5″ drive slots for both controller (the A700 has a 8U chassis with no built-in drives):

AFF A700 AFF A700s
CPU 2x 18-core 2.3 GHz 2x 18-core 2.3 GHz
RAM 512 GB 512 GB
Internal drives 0 up to 24
 Max drives  480 216

The new A700s can be ordered with 12 or 24 internal drives – supported are 960GB, 3.8TB, 7.6TB and 15TB SSDs and 800GB and 3.8TB SED SSDs. Filled with the biggest SSDs you can build a 4U storage block with about 260TB netto storage. Including efficiency you could have over 500TB of storage in only 4U including the controller. A very nice storage per height unit ratio. In addition to the internal drives you can add up to eight DS224C shelfs.

The new controller has the following connection ports:

  • e0M and BCM (new SP) separated into two 1 GbE ports onboard
  • 4x 40 GbE onboard
  • 4 PCIe Slots (one SAS HBA, one 40GbE NIC and/or 2x 32G FC HBA)
  • NVRAM with 2 ports for connecting the HA controller

Enough text, here a few pictures:

24 2.5″ SSD drives behind the cover


controller outside of the chassis


NVRAM, looks like a 12G SAS port, but it isn’t 😉


PCIe Slot 4 and 5 – in my case 40 GbE and SAS HBA


controller mainboard with CPU and RAM


backside of the chassis (here with 40 GbE and SAS HBA PCI cards)

The new controller will join our existing 8-node cDOT cluster with a 40 GbE cluster interconnect. Read more in a following blog post the next days 🙂

3 thoughts on “Unboxed: NetApp AFF A700s

  1. Dan Isaacs

    Awesome, Alex! I shepherded this platform through its development, and it’s wonderful to see it in the wild!

    1. Hannes

      Hi Dan,

      the only thing i’m wondering about is whether you have lost some mac adresses while shepherding the a700s – it’s a real pain that the 40g Cards have only 4 MAC-Adresses so that the second port becomes useless if you have to switch to 10G with breakout cables….
      Really nice hardware but a big fault while designing the 40g cards…

  2. Pingback: NetApp AFF A700s Performance Benchmark and Adaptive QoS – Alex' Blog

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