FlashRay Interest Abounds! :)
Great to see all the FlashRay interest on this forum! Let me address some of the points above.
1. EF540 vs Clustered Data ONTAP FAS | V-Series | EDGE
Application expectations of performance at the Solid-State level are fundamentally different than performance expectations of disk or hybrid flash+disk storage systems. The latter went from response times of 10's of milliseconds for disk-based to single milliseconds for hybrid systems. Clustered ONTAP-based storage systems do very well in both regards.
However for the former, EF540 uses 1ms as the response time ceiling for most apps and goes on to deliver 300K consistent 4K I/O operations per sec (iops) at that level with enterprise Reliability, Availability & Serviceability (RAS). That performance level is something Data ONTAP and all competitors' disk-based arrays popular today were never designed to do. Hence the need for a different architecture at the <1ms response time level.
Also with regards to SSD capacity, WAFL's log-structured nature (esp during the consistency-point process) benefits from more SSD spindles with relatively small capacity whereas the E-Series controller's pipelined I/O architecture is the opposite and can therefore leverage larger SSD capacities. You can expect to see that relative difference continue across both product lines.
2. EMC Symmetrix Performance vs Reliability
Brevity betrayed me in my original comment. I fully appreciate today that EMC customers don't have to choose between these two. Despite lack of flexibility, today's VMAX & yesterday's DMX are highly mature and reliable Tier1 storage platforms which deliver good performance when configured for the task. Also with excellent RAS.
My comments were made in a historical context. In the early 1990's EMC's ICDA (Integrated Cache Disk Array) architecture used performance to disrupt the IBM DASD market - NOT reliability. EMC encouraged IBM customers to make the move based on PRICE/PERFORMANCE, full period. Stop :)
As customers trusted more and more of their mission critical data to EMC during the back half of the 90's, reliability capabilities and supportability features were gradually added to make it the platform people appreciate today.
So when it comes to FlashRay, NetApp recognizes that solid-state media offers us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leverage a tectonic industry disruption in Tier 1 storage. Early adopters will move to us for the superior Price / Performance NetApp FlashRay will deliver. Especially relative to all other entrenched or start-up vendors who will all lack our rich feature set (N+1 scale-out, QoS/multi-tenancy, variable-block inline dedupe, compression, snaps, clones and of course powerful data replication).
Late adopters will move once we have proven our reliability over time in FlashRay 1.x & 2.x releases.
I hope this helps answer most of the questions above.