This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 Clustering, and focuses on multitenancy and the Vserver. The first blog in this series was “Why Scale-Out & What’s New”, the second blog was on “Unified Scale-Out – What’s Supported & Why It’s Unique” the third blog focused on “Nondisruptive Operations – What Does it Mean? the fourth blog was on Enterprise Ready Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode and the fifth blog was What’s Included In A Cluster Configuration.
Data ONTAP 8 clustering provides multi-tenancy, as illustrated the figure 1 below. It is important for different customers (i.e. public clouds) and different business units (i.e. private clouds) to be securely isolated at the compute, network, and storage layers. Clustering facilitates multi-tenancy at the storage layer by segregating storage entities such as aggregates (groups of disks of a particular type that are protected using NetApp RAID-DP), logical interfaces, LUNs, and volumes and containing them in a Vserver.
A Vserver is a secure, virtualized storage container that includes its own administration security, IP addresses and namespace. A Vserver can include volumes residing on any node in the cluster. Data ONTAP clustering supports from one to hundreds of Vservers in a single cluster.
Each Vserver enables one or more SAN (FC, FCoE, iSCSI) and NAS (NFS, pNFS, SMB/CIFS) access protocols and contains at least one volume and at least one logical interface or LIF. LIFs present either an IP address (which will be used by NAS clients and iSCSI hosts) or a WWN (for FC and FCoE access). Each LIF is mapped to a home port on a NIC or HBA. LIFs are used to virtualize the NIC and HBA ports. Each Vserver requires its own dedicated set of LIFs, and up to 128 LIFs can be defined on any cluster node. Because each Vserver operates in its own namespace, each unit or customer mapped to the Vserver is completely isolated. The administration of each Vserver can also be delegated if desired, so that separate administrators could be responsible for provisioning volumes and other Vserver–specific operations which is important for multi-tenanted environments.
The next blog in this series will focus on a lab validation report on Data ONTAP 8.1 Unified Clustering.