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The NetApp Family of

Performance Acceleration Modules
Optimize the performance of your storage system without adding disk drives.
Grow while conserving power, cooling, and space.

The Challenge The Solution

Key Benefits
Provide the storage performance The NetApp Performance Acceleration
New way to optimize performance needed to meet application SLAs while Module (PAM) family gives you a new
The NetApp® Performance Acceleration cutting costs. way to optimize performance.
Modules (PAMs) improve performance The cost of delivering IT services is under We created this family of intelligent read
for workloads that are random read more pressure than ever. Hard constraints caches so you can reduce latency and
intensive without adding more high- on budget and staff collide with expectations improve I/O throughput without adding more
performance disk drives. for more and better. high-performance disk drives. Use the PAM
family modules to improve performance for
Reduce latency, improve throughput Networked storage systems are a case in workloads that are random read intensive
Speed access to your data with these point. Providing enough capacity is easy. such as file services, messaging, and OLTP
intelligent read caches, which can Keeping pace with performance demands databases.
reduce latency by a factor of 10 or can be difficult because, while they are
more compared to hard disk drives. getting bigger, disk drives aren’t getting Our second-generation, flash memory-based
Lower latency can translate into more any faster. PAM II cards are 16 and 32 times larger than
throughput for random I/O workloads. the original, DRAM-based Performance
As a result, large numbers of “short stroked” Acceleration Module. You can configure up
Save storage, power, and space disk drives are commonly used to deliver to 2TB of unified read cache in a storage
Use our Performance Acceleration the I/O throughput demanded by many controller by using the 512GB PAM II card.
Modules instead of extra disk drives to workloads. This approach wastes storage The ability to cache larger quantities of
provide I/O throughput. Our solid state capacity, rack space, and electricity. active data makes PAM II cards effective
PAMs use no additional rack space across an even broader set of workloads.
Solid state disks (SSDs) have the potential to
and consume 95% less power than a
solve this problem. But for most applications AUTOMATICALLY PUT ACTIVE DATA
shelf of 15k RPM disk drives.
it’s hard to justify the cost and complexity WHERE ACCESS WILL BE FAST
of SSDs.
Our PAM family caching modules put your
Fortunately, there is more than one way active data blocks in the storage controller,
to use solid state technology for storage. speeding access by a factor of 10 or better
There’s a way that optimizes performance, compared to disk.
reduces costs, and doesn’t increase
PAM modules give you performance that
is comparable to SSDs without creating
another storage tier. You don’t need to REDUCE COSTS FOR STORAGE, POWER, In summary, PAM cards can reduce the
move data from tier to tier for the best AND RACK SPACE purchase price of a storage system and
performance. It’s all automatic because Using an industry standard benchmark* we provide ongoing savings by consuming
every volume and LUN behind the storage demonstrated that the original PAM caching less power, cooling, and rack space.
controller is subject to caching. module can eliminate up to 50% of the disk
drives in a storage system with no change
You can tune the Performance Acceleration You can use a software feature of the Data
to I/O throughput. Similar tests with a new
Modules to match your specific workload by ONTAP® 7G operating system to determine
256GB PAM II module reduced the number
using software settings that let you choose whether the performance of your storage
of disk drives by about 75%.
from three modes of operation. system will improve with the addition of one
We also switched from 15k RPM Fibre or more caching modules. Predictive Cache
You can also give caching priority to your
Channel drives to fewer, larger SATA Statistics generates data that indicates
most important volumes and LUNs when
drives with PAM cards in these tests. The whether caching modules will help and how
the load is heaviest by using our FlexShare®
combination of SATA drives with PAM cards much additional cache is optimal for your
quality of service software in combination
increased storage capacity while providing workload.
with PAM family modules.
comparable performance.

Figure 1) Latency reduction. Table 1) Supported systems and configurations.

16GB 256GB 512GB

FAS6080, V6080 10 modules — 8 modules

160GB 4TB

FAS6040, V6040, 8 modules — 4 modules

FAS3170, V3170 128GB 2TB

FAS3070, V3070 4 modules 4 modules —

64GB 1TB

FAS3160, V3160 4 modules 4 modules —

64GB 1TB

FAS3140, V3140 4 modules 2 modules —

64GB 512GB

Note: 1. These specifications are for a dual-controller, high availability (HA) system.
Divide by 2 to get maximums for a single-controller configuration.
Latency is typically 10ms or higher when accessing 2. PAM and PAM II modules cannot coexist in the same controller.
data from disk drives. The PAM family caching
modules reduce latency by a factor of 10 or more
compared to disk drives when there is a cache hit.

* SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3. Visit

html for more information. SPEC® and SPECsfs2008® are registered
NetApp creates innovative storage and trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.
data management solutions that accelerate © Copyright 2009 NetApp, Inc. All rights reserved. No portions of
this document may be reproduced without prior written consent of
business breakthroughs and deliver NetApp, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice.
outstanding cost efficiency. Discover our NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, and Data ONTAP, and
FlexShare are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in
passion for helping companies around the the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products
are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and world go further, faster at should be treated as such. DS-2811-0809