- Clustered DataONTAP 8.3 Features
- Clustered DataONTAP 8.3 Manageability
Clustered DataONTAP 8.3 Feature Enhancements
If you have ever had a FAS2040, for example, you know the pain: 12 disks internally, say 1TB. DataONTAP required at least two (if you did RAID 4 instead of RAID-DP). You could turn off the hot spare requirement, but then you most likely went to RAID-DP. Regardless, you effectively lost 1.8TB of usable space per controller for an OS that required 240GB or so. No anymore.
But what if you have an entry level system that's not all-flash? Does it work the same way? It's very similar, except that the root slice only lives on the internal disks—but there is no reason the internal disks can't be combined with external disks. They are virtual disks, and cDOT 8.3 is designed to specifically accommodate this configuration.
Oh, and one more thing: disk slicing works for FlashPools (hybrid flash arrays), too.
What NetApp has been working on is how to increase the predictable latency in All-Flash FAS (AFF) arrays so that there is more "available" horsepower before the performance hit kicks in (as is the case in any All-Flash Array (AFA). This is call the "knee" of the curve—the place where latency takes that exponential rise into the (sometimes) unacceptable category.
First, inline zero-write detection. Put simply, everything written to disk is a 1 or a 0, right? Binary language. But why write zeros? So, I like to think of inline zero-write detection as the equivalent in binary terms of changing the storage command from "write a zero" to "don't write a 1 to this bit". This saves a lot of write cycles, which has a cumulatively large effect on flash performance: less writes overall, therefore less overwrites, therefore less garbage collection, therefore less latency for overwrites, and so forth. You get the picture.
There are other enhancements as well, of course, but that is enough for now.
At Insight, NetApp stated that 70% of all disk shelves going out the door this year so far have been hybrid (usually in the form of 4xSSD + 20xHDD). So what about these customers (of which we ourselves are one), are we just left in the dust because we haven't gone all-flash? By no means!
Oh, and did I mention that inline-zero write detection works on spinning disks, too? Boom.
Clustered DataONTAP 8.3 Manageability Enhancements
Clustered DataONTAP 8.3 extends this feature . . . wait for it . . . to LUNs! Now you don't have to move an entire volume, you can move a single LUN. What's even better, it is even more powerful:
What makes this new engine powerful is that it provides instantaneous cutover. Immediately after a request is made to move a LUN, that LUN becomes available on the destination node. Writes go to the destination node, while reads are pulled across the cluster interconnect from the source. This means load on the source node is immediately reduced because it is not processing writes. — Clustered DataONTAP 8.3
Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 supports automated, nondisruptive software upgrades. Three commands are all that is needed to bring the Data ONTAP package (obtained from support.netapp.com) into the cluster, do validation to make sure the cluster is prepared for the upgrade, and then perform the upgrade. All downloads, takeovers, and givebacks are performed as part of the automated process.
— Clustered DataONTAP 8.3