Are you still running NetApp FAS in 7-Mode?

I think it is fair to say that the majority of FAS arrays are still running Data ONTAP 7-Mode, but as it is no longer being enhanced the time has come to start thinking about moving to Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT) – let’s explore some of the benefits of upgrading: Non-disruptive operations – for upgrades, migrations to new arrays and workload re-balancing within a cluster Massive scale-up and scale-out – to meet any future performance and capacity requirements Rapid VM migration – bidirectionally between ESXi and Hyper-V Comprehensive monitoring – using the free Performance Manager Hybrid cloud integration – with Cloud ONTAP for AWS Quality of Service – to control bully workloads Enhanced Flash support – including FlashEssentials code optimisations, much larger Flash Pools, more powerful hardware and dedicated Continue reading

What’s new in NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3?

As we move into the world of Software-Defined Storage it “sticks out like a sore thumb” when an array vendor only makes new software releases available on their next generation hardware. The problem with this is that even if you purchase at the very beginning of the life cycle of a product, at best you will get one round of feature enhancements, after that all software development is focused on the next generation product. This often even includes support for new drive types – again they are only supported on the latest generation hardware. This problem is very evident when it comes to support for VMware Virtual Volumes – any array vendor that will be releasing new hardware next year is unlikely Continue reading

Comparing NetApp MetroCluster with EMC VPLEX Metro Continuous Availability solutions

MetroCluster was the last major feature of 7-Mode to be ported over to Clustered Data ONTAP (it is included in the recently announced 8.3 version). Metro cluster solutions enable zero RPO and near zero RTO and they are typically a requirement for building a VMware Stretched Cluster (to enable vMotion, HA, DRS and FT over distance). Let’s take a look at how MetroCluster compares with EMC’s flagship continuous availability solution – VPLEX Metro: MetroCluster is standard feature of ONTAP, rather than a separate product, and requires: A 2-node cluster at each of the two sites – all nodes in a MetroCluster need to be identical (FAS2500 series not supported) 2 x FC switches per site and 4 x FC ports per controller – Continue reading

Is NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP finally ready for primetime?

NetApp is in transition – moving from their legacy 7-Mode version of Data ONTAP to Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT). This journey started in 2009 when version 8.0 of the software was released with two distinct non-upgradable images (7-Mode and cDOT). The problem for NetApp has been that the majority of customers have chosen to stick with the legacy 7-Mode, not an ideal situation especially as new features (i.e. SMB 3.0) are now only available in cDOT. So three key questions spring to mind: Why have customers stuck with 7-Mode? When will cDOT become the standard? What are the advantages of cDOT? Let’s explore the answers: Why have customers stuck with 7-Mode? This is an easy one – as cDOT has been Continue reading