ONTAP 9.3 is out soon, here’s the details you need.

It’s that time of year again, time for an ONTAP release…or at least an announcement. When 9.3 drops, not only will it be an LTS (Long Term Support) version, but NetApp continues to refine and enhance ONTAP.

Simplifying operations:

  • Application-Aware, data management for MongoDB
  • Adaptive QoS
  • Guide cluster setup and expansion
  • simplified data protection setup, much simpler.


Not so long ago, in ONTAP 9.2, NetApp introduced inline, aggregate-level dedupe. What many people may not have realized, due to the nature of way ONTAP coalesces writes in NVRAM prior to flushing them to the durable layer is that this inline aggregate dedupe’s domain was restricted to the data in the NVRAM. With 9.3, a post-process aggregate scanner has been implemented to provide true, aggregate-level dedupe.

Some of the first candidates that come to mind are virtualization workloads as well as SnapMirror/SnapVault destinations with a high fan-in count. This new dedupe scanner is triggered dynamically based on change rate and will always stand down process-wise if data serving cycles are becoming scarce.

As always, there are a couple of caveats and those are that neither NVE volumes nor FlashPool aggregates are supported and this is for AFF only.


  • Both AES-256 and FIPS 1402
  • Two levels of data at rest encryption, NSE drives and NetApp Volume Encryption (NVE)
  • Kerberos 5p, SMB encryption, TLS 1.2 for in-flight encryption
  • Support for both on and off-box key management
  • Support for data retention compliance using SnapLock


As I mentioned earlier, NetApp continues to refine ONTAP. Further read latency reduction on AFF SAN has been realized through WALF optimizations. Performance improvements have been gained on the both the mid and high-end platforms through improved scheduling and better parallelization resulting in more throughput and lower latency for all workloads. Significant iSCSI performance improvements due to the parallelization of the iSCSI layer allowing it to utilize more cores in platforms with 20 cores or more.

Feature improvements:

  • FlexGroups gains support for the following features:
    • QTrees
    • Anti-virus support
    • SnapVault
    • QoS maximums
    • SMB change notification
    • Improved ingest heuristics


Data Mobility

  • SnapMirror from SolidFire to ONTAP…That’s right folks, the tides have turned and a non-ONTAP product is now the SOURCE for your SnapMirror relationship.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.