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CIFS - several small volumes or 1 large volume?

I'm moving 2 file servers with about 3TB of files each to a FAS2040. In setting up the volumes for CIFS I was wondering if I should create 1 large 6TB volume for all the folders from the servers or should I separate them into 6-10 volumes based on the folders. How would each of these scenarios affect snapshots, file restores, etc? How would dedupe work in either of these scenarios. Thanks!

Re: CIFS - several small volumes or 1 large volume?


     De-dupe is at the volume level, so if you have mass redundancy in that 3TB, all in one is better for de-dupe.  However, 3TB of files in a single volume presents problems for backup, and potentially DR.

     If there is a lot of dedupe, you may want to use a volume snapmirror to replicate to any DR, because you get de-duped snapmirror transfers on VSM.

     If you are doing NDMP backups, you need to have multiple qtrees at a minimum and backup at the qtree level.  The more files to backup the longer and slower it will go, even with direct attached tape drives.  Inodes are the biggest factor with NDMP backup from what I have seen.

Lastly think about where you are going to create your shares....trying to search through 6TB of files from a single volume level share would be problematic at best.


Re: CIFS - several small volumes or 1 large volume?

The max volume size for an asis volume on a FAS2040 with Data ONTAP 7.3 is 3TB.

See the Storage Management Guide in Data ONTAP Documentation.

Scott's other points are all very valid.

You might want to keep the same shares you have now, and configure nbalias' on the filer so your users don't have to re-map shares...

At your service,

Eugene Kashpureff

Re: CIFS - several small volumes or 1 large volume?

If you want to have different snapshot retention times for different directories you need to separate them to different volumes. I.e. have user homedirs with retention times of 4 weeks and group directories with 8 weeks.