NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) storage systems are fast, high performance all-flash storage arrays designed to deliver high IOPS at low latency for mission critical applications. AFF systems utilize NVMe/NVMe-oF to connect flash storage directly to the network fabric, eliminating storage network bottlenecks.
Some key questions related to AFF pricing include:
- What are the different AFF models and configurations?
- What drives are supported and how is flash capacity priced?
- What software licenses and features come standard, vs. optional add-ons?
- What support levels are available and what is their cost?
- Are there any additional hardware/software costs to consider?
In this 5000 word guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of NetApp AFF pricing, licenses, and support to help you understand the full cost of ownership.
AFF Models and Configurations
NetApp offers several AFF models to fit different performance, capacity, and density requirements:
The AFF A-series arrays are designed for small to midsized deployments that require all-flash performance but don’t need the extreme performance of larger arrays. A-series models include:
- AFF A220 – 2U chassis with up to 24 drive bays
- AFF A250 – 2U chassis with up to 24 drive bays
- AFF A400 – 2U chassis with up to 24 drive bays
The AFF A800 is a midrange array in a 4U chassis with up to 96 drive bays for increased capacity and performance.
The AFF A300 is a high density all-flash array designed for space constrained environments. It comes in a 3U form factor with up to 12 drive bays.
FAS Hybrid Arrays
In addition to all-flash arrays, NetApp offers FAS hybrid arrays that combine SSD and HDD:
- FAS2700 – Entry hybrid array
- FAS8200 – Midrange hybrid array
- FAS9000 – Enterprise hybrid array
All FAS models can be purchased as diskless and populated with drives to suit workload requirements.
ONTAP Select allows you to deploy NetApp’s ONTAP storage software on commodity hardware. This allows you to build your own high performance all-flash array on lower cost hardware. ONTAP Select is licensed based on raw capacity.
Drive Types and Pricing
NetApp offers a range of SSD drive types and capacities to suite different performance and cost profiles:
|SSDs||Low cost SATA SSDs in capacities up to 15.3TB per drive|
|NVMe-oF SSDs||High performance NVMe drives connected over Fabric. Available in 960GB to 15.3TB capacities.|
|Storage Class Memory||Ultra low latency SCM drives. Available in 375GB and 750GB capacities.|
List pricing for NetApp SSD drives ranges from $2,000 to $20,000 per drive depending on capacity and performance level. However, drive costs will vary significantly based on volume discounts.
NetApp also licenses SSD storage capacity based on the raw capacity or effective capacity after data reduction methods like deduplication and compression are applied. Effective capacity licensing can greatly reduce overall SSD capacity costs.
AFF Licenses and Software
All NetApp AFF arrays include the ONTAP storage operating system along with several key data management software technologies:
- NetApp FlexClone – Space efficient snapshots and clones
- NetApp SnapMirror – Asynchronous replication
- NetApp SnapVault – Disk-to-disk backup
- NetApp deduplication and compression – Reduces storage capacity requirements
Additional licenses may be required for some advanced functionality:
FlexCache accelerates performance by caching frequently accessed data on SSDs or persistent memory. FlexCache licenses are based on raw SSD capacity allocated for cache.
FabricPool automatically tiers cold data from all-flash storage to object storage for cost-effective long term retention. FabicPool is licensed based on capacity tiered to object storage.
SnapMirror Synchronous Replication
Synchronous SnapMirror licenses can enable zero data loss protection between peered AFF systems. Licenses are based on unique capacity replicated between systems.
SnapLock provides immutable WORM storage to meet compliance requirements. SnapLock enterprise licenses enable legal hold, retention guarantees, and access logging.
FlexGroups enable single namespace scaling up to 20PB and 400 billion files. FlexGroups requires a premium license based on total raw capacity.
SnapRestore rapidly restores LUN snapshots directly from primary storage. Licensed per TB of application data.
SnapManager Suite integrates ONTAP snapshots with application-aware backup and recovery workflows for databases, VMs, file systems, and enterprise apps. Licensed per storage system based on raw capacity.
MetroCluster enables synchronous mirroring to deliver continuous availability and zero RPO disaster recovery across data centers. Licensed per raw TB mirrored between sites.
NetApp offers support contracts to provide technical support along with replacement parts should hardware components fail. Support pricing is based on the NetApp system list price and includes:
- 24×7 phone, chat, and online support
- Onsite support and part replacement
- Software upgrades and updates
- Hardware replacements if components fail
There are 3 major support tiers:
|Gold Support||4 hour hardware replacement SLA|
|Silver Support||Next business day hardware replacement|
|Bronze Support||24×7 technical support only|
Annual support fees range from 8-12% of list price depending on support level. Multi-year support contracts can lower effective annual support costs.
Additional Hardware and Software
In addition to the core storage system, there are additional hardware and software components that make up a complete NetApp AFF deployment. These can add substantially to costs and should be factored into planning. Some additional components can include:
– Disk shelves and NVMe drive enclosures
– Cluster interconnects and network switching
– Object storage for FabricPool tiering
– Additional network ports and adapters
– Backup and replication licenses
– Data center rack space and power
– Consulting and professional services
A complete NetApp quote will include line items for all hardware, software, support, and services required for the full solution. Hidden costs can quickly add up, so understanding all components required is critical when budgeting for an AFF purchase. Leveraging extended support contracts and pre-packaged configurations can help minimize costs over multi-year deployments.
NetApp AFF pricing has many variables but generally varies based on:
- Chosen AFF model and hardware configuration
- Raw and usable flash capacity
- Drive types – SSD, NVMe, and Storage Class Memory
- ONTAP and additional licensed software features
- Support level – Gold, Silver, or Bronze
- Additional hardware, software, and services
Entry AFF configs start around $25,000, midrange in the $100,000s, and enterprise configs over $200,000. However, list pricing should only be used as a baseline. Final costs will depend heavily on drive types, licensed software, support level, and most importantly – negotiated discounts.
Accurately sizing workloads and capacities required, buying only necessary licenses, maintaining support contracts, and leveraging purchase incentives can realize significant cost savings versus list prices. As with any enterprise IT purchase, understanding requirements, controlling scope creep, and buying strategically are key to keeping NetApp AFF costs on target.