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8.3.1 and 8.3.2…dot releases never felt so good.

NetApp released ONTAP 8.3 over a year ago now, and since then two minor releases have come as well, and with them far more payload than you’d usually expect for dot releases. Typically the major releases get all the hype, but after you see all that has been included with the two minor releases of 8.3, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

First of all, if you can’t remember what was included with 8.3, go over here and read about it. Highlights included but weren’t limited to:

  • Metro Cluster
  • Non-disruptive LUN migration
  • Serious performance improvements in the flash space
  • Version independent SnapMirror

When 8.3.1 came out in early September, it brought some pretty spectacular:

  • More flash performance improvements
  • Storage Virtual Machine Disaster Recovery (SVM DR)
    • This is the ability to replicated entire SVMs and not just volumes to another cluster. This has two modes, Identity Preserve True or False which can replicate all the network related info for those who’s DR site supports it, i.e.: L2 connectivity.
  • In-line compression and zero elimination
  • Two node MetroCluster, i.e.: one per site
    • Uses ATTO bridge to connect the disk
    • This is more of a “Stretch MetroCluster” and is suitable for campus level DR where the loss of a building is being protected against.
  • Some performance metrics now available in System Manager

8.3.2:

  • Copy Free Transition
    • This has got to be one of the coolest features so far, it lets you stand up a new cDOT system with minimum disk, then move your 7-mode disk over to it without having to do a data migration.
  • In-line deduplication
  • More performance improvements for SAN on AFF
  • In-place, adaptive compression
  • Fibre Channel over IP for MetroCluster
    • Up to 200km, between switches that support it, such as the Cisco 9250i
  • Quality of Service policies previously limited to 8 notes can now be applied to up to 24
  • System Manager Improvements:
    • Cluster performance charts with IOPS and latency available within System Manager
    • Manual IP assignment
      • Previously you had to create the subnet, that is no longer the case
    • SyncMirror (introduced in 8.3 with Metro Cluster) support in System Manager
      • This is not the same as synchronous SnapMirror, which is still not available in cDOT
    • You can now manage your MirrorVaults in the GUI
    • Various other System Manager improvements, far too many to list.

As you can see by the points I’ve covered off, the dot releases of cDOT 8.3 have been packing quite the payload, I’m sure that not having support 7-mode in the same release has helped speed up the development cycle for many features not to mention some of those engineers have probably been reassigned to cDOT work. I’ve left some of the more esoteric details out, but if you want to see them all, head over here to read the release notes for the individual versions.