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The NetApp AFF A900 is NetApp's latest addition to its all-flash storage system array lineup. Follow along as we give an overview of the A900 and the seven stages of upgrading from an A700 to A900. 


NetApp AFF A900 is targeted at enterprises running advanced business applications and databases in the enterprise data center, including:

  • Databases (tier 0,1,2) on SAN (FC/iSCSI)
  • Databases (tier 0,1,2) on NAS
  • Virtualization apps like VMware

The A900 has more processor cores, more memory, higher capacity NVRAM, and PCIe Gen4 which doubles the motherboard bandwidth from PCIe Gen3. It performs up to 50 percent better than the A700 and up to 20 percent better than the A800. 

Non-disruptive upgrade

The A900 is available as a non-disruptive, in-chassis upgrade to existing A700 customers, allowing organizations to spend less time thinking about IT infrastructure and more time on the needs of their business. Since all cabling other than controller management remains in place, upgrades from an A700 to A900 are taking about 25 percent of the time as other upgrades. As for rack units, the A900 follows the same form factor as the A700, which is 8U. 

Software announcements

From a software perspective, there are two announcements related to the A900:

ONTAP now supports NVMe-over-TCP. This will greatly expand the NVMe protocol with the ability to use existing TCP/IP networks.

Secondly, there is a new ONTAP bundle named the Enterprise Edition that is unique to the A900 and requires a minimum ONTAP release of 9.10.1. The Enterprise Edition is a bundling of ONTAP core, plus protocols and the Data Protection Bundle. There is also a new Anti-Ransomware Suite that replaces the Security & Compliance Bundle for all AFF and FAS models.

Additional highlights

There are some new lineups for interface cards with a dual port 100GbE module. Each port supports a 100GbE line rate, and the card will auto range to 40Gb with a QSFP+ connection. There is also a new, quad-port 25GbE module, where each port supports a 25Gb line rate. This card will auto range to 10Gb with an SFP+ connection.

How WWT can help

When you're ready to weigh your upgrade options, our team of NetApp experts can provide advice and guidance for determining your optimum upgrade path. And by leveraging our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), you can also test and compare solutions to ensure complete confidence prior to making a purchase.