NetApp announces Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3

Today NetApp announced the next major release of its Clustered data ONTAP operating system and a major release it is. This is the first release of ONTAP that does not include the dual payload of both 7-mode and cluster-mode and will be the norm going forward. This release has three major themes:

  1. Flash, data protection, multi tenancy, cloud, and efficiency enhancements
  2. Simplified Deployment, upgrade, transition, and support
  3. Clustered ONTAP in mission critical environments with MetroCluster

Flash, data protection, multi tenancy, cloud, and efficiency enhancements

The first theme brings with it performance enhancements in the following ways:

  • More consistent and predictable performance and higher IOPS at lower latency in the All Flash FAS (AFF) and other flash-enabled systems thanks to read-path optimization.

Random Read IO

  • The CIFS lock manager has been paralleled bringing improvements to CIFS-based file-services workloads.
  • The initial transfer as well as incremental updates for both SnapMirror and SnapVault relationships have been improved.
  • 8.3 has been optimized for more CPU cores bringing performance enhancements to pre-FAS8000 systems. Initial claims are that FAS62xx performance is similar those running 8.1 while the FAS3xxxx and FAS22xx are showing 8.1-type performance in SAN deployments.

As far as efficiency enhancements are concerned, a long awaited feature by myself is Advanced Disk Partitioning (ADP) which has three use cases:

  1. Root-data partitioning for All Flash FAS (AFF) systems.
  2. Root-data partitioning for Entry-level platforms.
  3. SSD partitioning for Flash Pools

The first two use cases mentioned above will greatly ease the dedicated root aggregate disk tax which has been the bane of the SMB buyers since cDOT’s initial (non-GX) release, providing 20+% increase in storage efficiency in 24-drive FAS255x as well as the FAS2240. This will be the default configuration for systems purchased with 8.3 but if you wish to retrofit an existing system you’ll have to evacuate your data and start fresh. As far as the third use case is concerned, the benefit here is the parity disk tax as represented by the graphic below:

 

ADP

Other efficiency enhancements come in the way of addressable cache, in fact the complete complement of contemporary systems (read: FAS80xx and FAS25xx) has been quadrupled. Also, the 16KB cutoff for Flash Pool has been eliminated, compress blocks are now read cacheable as are read-only volumes such as SnapMirror and SnapVault destinations.

Simplified Deployment, upgrade, transition, and support

In the never ending quest to make their product easier to deploy, transition to and use NetApp brings the following laundry list of improvements.

  1. System Setup 3.0
    • Support of AFF aggregate creation
    • 8.3 networking support (More on this in a subsequent post.)
    • Four port cluster interconnect support
  2. System Manager 3.2
    • This becomes a cluster-hosted web service which can be reached from the network using Mozilla, Chrome and IE on Windows, Linux and Mac platforms.
    • 8.3 networking support
  3. Automated NDU
    • Three commands to upgrade your cluster.
    • One command to monitor the progress.
  4. Networking
    • There is a whole litany of changes/improvements, too many to list here. The biggest one however may be IPSpaces so know you can have overlapping subnets in those multi-tenant environments.
  5. Virtualization
    • vVol support (pending VMware support)
    • FlexClone for SVI
    • Inline zero write detection and elimination.
  6. 7MTT
    • Version 1.4 will bring with it a new collect and asses feature to validate the destination cluster based on the assessment of the source 7-mode system.
    • 2.0 brings with it the much sought after SAN migration.

Clustered ONTAP in mission critical environments with MetroCluster

Not a whole lot more to say around that except that it is finally here. Some of the highlights are:

  • Two node cluster at either site
  • Clients can be served from all four nodes at the same time
  • Support for Non Disruptive Operations (NDO)

While I covered a lot in this post, I didn’t cover everything as 8.3 is a major release indeed. Now the big question many of you will have is what platforms will support it? Look no further:

  • FAS8xxx
  • FAS25xx
  • FAS62xx
  • FAS32xx (except the FAS3210)
  • FAS22xx

As for what I didn’t cover in this post but you may wish to research further:

  • VM Granular Management
  • 8.3 style networking
  • DataMotion for LUNs
  • Offline Foreign LUN Import
  • Version Independent SnapMirror (this one’s pretty cool)
  • Other Performance Improvements
  • Further Protocol Enhancements (SAN and NAS)
  • Data ONTAP in the cloud (Cloud ONTAP)

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