Clustered ONTAP 8.3 & Advanced Drive Partitioning

The prior blogs in this series on clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 focused on the new features that enhance nondisruptive operations and availability. The next several blogs will focus on a number of new features that contribute to the overall efficiency and manageability of clustered Data ONTAP 8.3. One of the key new features is Advanced Drive Partitioning.

Advanced drive partitioning segments physical drives into multiple partitions. A single physical drive is shared by multiple aggregates and can be accessed by two different controllers at the same time.

There are three use cases that are supported with advanced drive partitioning:

  • Root-data HDD partitioning for entry FAS only - FAS2500 and FAS220 systems
  • Root-data SSD partitioning for all-flash FAS
  • SSD partitioning for Flash Pool

Root-data partitioning is similar for both HDDs and SSDs. Root-data partitioning is achieved by logically dividing each drive into two partitions to form separate root and data partitions. Initiators on both storage controllers can access the same drives concurrently. Each storage controller knows the block ranges on each physical drive it is allowed to access, so data integrity is maintained.

Advanced drive partitioning improves usable capacity compared to configurations with dedicated root aggregates. For certain entry configurations, usable capacity increases by up to 45% depending on the size of the drives. This also decreases the storage overhead and cost associated with using RAID-DP for the root aggregate.



Root Data Partitioning.jpg







Figure 2) Example of root-data partitioning for a 24-drive active/active all-flash FAS or entry FAS system.


Advanced drive partitioning for Flash Pools is a little different than root-data partitioning. With this use case a set of SSDs is shared across multiple Flash Pool aggregates to reduce the overhead due to parity and spares, thereby providing more usable capacity. Advanced drive partitioning for Flash Pool segments each drive into four pieces rather than two.  Only the SSDs in the Flash Pool aggregate are partitioned, not the HDDs.

With all three uses cases, partition sizes are defined by the system and are not user configurable and you cannot convert from an unpartitioned configuration to a partitioned configuration with data in place.

Mike McNamara


Great !

When is this coming to CDot MetroCluster, so we can better streamline our storage pool, and avoid splitting it in 4 ?

That's a really difficult to live by requirement for small and medium MetroCluster setups !

New Contributor

Hi, I don't have a date when it might be supported with the FAS8000 systems with all HDDs.

I have a FAS8040 with SSD, SAS and SATA. I want to create one node with just flash only and the other with HDDs.

Can I root partition the Flash node?

New Contributor

Great information Mike

Russbass, Root Partitioning is only supported for 25xx, so even if you could have one node with only SSD, and the other with only HDD, you can not root partition the 8040 Node.